Halloween at Dollywood: Festival information, 5 things to avoid [2022]

The dollywood sign surrounded by pumpkins

Dollywood's Harvest Festival will run through Oct. 29, 2022 (photo courtesy of Dollywood)

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Dollywood’s fall festival celebration is one of Pigeon Forge’s most popular seasonal events.

The theme park attracts tens of thousands of folks from all over the country during this time of year who come to see the beautiful colors of fall in the mountains.

Read Also: Dollywood fall festival: Menu sneak peek, what’s new [2022]

Does Dollywood celebrate Halloween?

Yes and no. The Dollywood park features a Harvest Festival that will run from September 23 through October 29, 2022. The theme park is closed on Halloween day.

Each year, the event features many fun things to explore, including special seasonal treats, live entertainment and larger-than-life seasonal displays.

By day, the Dollywood Harvest Festival features culinary treats, live entertainment and concerts.

By night, the family-friendly Great Pumpkin LumiNights illuminates the park with great decorations that will glow with thousands of jack-o-lanterns.

It’s a beautiful time of year to visit the annual guest-favorite event, which is presented by Humana and Covenant Health.

This season’s event promises even more spectacular sights and fan-favorite displays and beautiful masterpieces, including colossal pumpkins from growers across the East Coast and a centerpiece focal point, the tall pumpkin tree.

Additionally, artisans from around the world will be there to display homemade crafts and demonstrate their pottery, inspirational jewelry and fiddle-making.

Remember, Dollywood observes a limited schedule throughout the event. The park will close on select days (mostly on Tuesdays). Be sure to check the dates on the Dollywood calendar.

But if you really want to enjoy the Dollywood Harvest Festival like a pro, there are a few things you should know to avoid while planning your trip to the theme park.

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5. Don’t make spontaneous plans to visit

The Harvest Festival is one of the park’s busiest seasonal events.

And every year, like clockwork, there are always a handful of would-be guests who miss out because they didn’t plan ahead.

You see, Dollywood operates on a reduced schedule throughout the fall season and closes on select days.

From experience, I know all too well the disappointment of showing up at the park for a last-minute Dollywood day, only to realize it was closed.

As you can imagine, 10-year-old me wasn’t a happy camper. Today, adult me always checks the calendar ahead of time using the park’s operating calendar on Dollywood’s website.

Also, try to visit during off-peak times as much as possible.

It’s not that unusual for the park to reach capacity during this busy festival.

a pumpkin display with fog at Dollywood
This pumpkin display at Dollywood is as smoky as our mountains (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

4. Don’t wear Halloween masks inside the park

Can you wear a Halloween costume at Dollywood? The short answer is, yes you can, as long as you play by the rules.

Guests are asked to abide by the following dress code guidelines.

For basic requirements, guests should wear shoes or sandals or flip flops at all times. Guests should also be fully clothed and avoid showing “excessive portions” of the skin.

For costume-specific guidelines, Dollywood has the following rules:

  • Avoid garments or items that display objectionable material in a family environment
  • Avoid excessively torn clothing
  • Cover objectionable graphics and/or messages
  • Avoid facepaint and costumes that completely cover your entire face or alter your identity

3. Don’t dress as Dolly or Santa

While we could no longer find this restriction on the Dollywood website, we advise against dressing as Dolly Parton or Santa while at the park.

As you might imagine, in either case, dressing as one of those two characters might be confusing for other guests and children and is generally discouraged.

Sparkling Berry Cider at Dollywood
This Sparkling Berry Cider is suitable for all ages (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

2. Don’t bring alcohol

Dollywood does not serve or sell alcohol. The beloved theme park is and always has been dry, and will remain dry throughout the Harvest Festival event.

Dollywood is a family-friendly theme park.

Alternatively, enjoy some of the tasty treats that Dollywood offers during the event.

You can find delicious theme park snacks and comfort food like turkey legs and cinnamon bread.

For beverages, try the Autumn Apple Palmer, Pumpkin Pie Punch or a Wassail. You can find them at places like the Spotlight Bakery and seasonal culinary booths.

Read Also: Dollywood cinnamon bread: We tested two recipes, this is the best one

Mystery Mine coaster at Dollywood during the fall festival
The Mystery Mine coaster at Dollywood during the fall festival is about as scary as it gets (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

1. Don’t call it Halloween

Finally, don’t call it “Halloween”.

Dollywood’s Halloween-themed event goes by “Harvest Festival” and the “Great Pumpkin LumiNights”.

Dollywood takes pride in creating a family-friendly, not-so-spooky event that’s fun for all ages.

That’s one of the reasons why you’ll almost never see the word Halloween in relation to this event.

While you will see loads of pumpkins, including a pumpkin spider and other whimsical scenes and artistic sculptures, there are no ghosts, no haunted houses and no scares.

In fact, Dollywood isn’t even open on Halloween day.

And honestly, with so many other scary options out there this time of year, we’ve grown to really appreciate that Dollywood goes against the grain and remains true to its brand with a peaceful alternative non-frightening option.

Have you ever visited Dollywood during their Harvest Fesitval or LumiNights event? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

For more information and a park operating calendar, visit www.dollywood.com.

Do you plan on being in the Smokies this Halloween to enjoy the crisp Smoky Mountain air? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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