Dollywood LumiNights 2021: When does it start, what to expect

Dollywood LumiNights sign

This year's Dollywood LumiNights and Harvest Festival event is set to take place Sept. 24 - Oct. 30 (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

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Dollywood’s award-winning fall events are officially underway for the new 2021 season.

By day, the Harvest Festival features culinary treats, live entertainment and seasonal displays. 

By night, Great Pumpkin LumiNights illuminates the park with thousands of glowing jack-o-lanterns and decorations.

Dollywood’s fall-themed events are presented by Humana and Covenant Health.

LumiNights
Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights kicked off on Sept. 24, 2021 (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

How long does the Harvest Festival last at Dollywood?

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival will run from Sept. 24 through Oct. 30, 2021.

Dollywood will be observing a limited schedule throughout the event. This means the park will be closed on select days (mostly on Tuesdays and Halloween).

As you make your plans, remember that booking with Tripster may save you a few bucks off of admission.

At the time of this writing, the park will be closed on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 28
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19
  • Tuesday, Oct. 26
  • Sunday, Oct. 31

Otherwise, Dollywood will be open 10 am-9 pm. The park naturally transitions into LumiNights each night at sunset around 7:30 pm.

This winter, the park will continue to observe a limited schedule as it gears up for Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas event is set to take place from Nov. 6, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022. Check out the Dollywood events calendar for more information.

Read Also: When does Dollywood open in 2021? Festival dates and more

Sunflower field
The sunflower field display features real hand-carved pumpkins and can be found in the Wildwood Grove section of the park (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What is there to do at Dollywood in the fall?

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival features seasonal food selections, colossal pumpkin displays, live shows and festive handmade crafts.

Guests will also enjoy listening to Dolly Parton narrate the autumnal transformation around the Wildwood Grove tree each night.

Are the pumpkins at Dollywood real?

Yes, the majority of the 15,000 pumpkins on display at Dollywood are real. And, most of the pumpkins are hand-carved.

Dollywood is always outdoing itself.

For example, they even recently upped the ante with a new colossal pumpkin display that debuted last year.

Last year’s prize pumpkins ranged from 800 to 1500 lbs each. The massive displays come from growers across the East Coast. 

And we are happy to report that this popular oversized addition has returned for the 2021 season.

Also Read: My 1500-lb life: An exclusive interview with Dollywood’s giant pumpkin

Also somewhat new to the line-up after making its grand debut last year is a Wildwood Grove display featuring hand-carved stacked pumpkins that resemble sunflower stalks.

Colossal
The colossal pumpkin display has also returned to this year’s Harvest Festival (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Does Dollywood have a haunted house?

No, Dollywood does not have a haunted house.

LumiNights is family-friendly, never spooky and safe for all ages to enjoy.

Seasonal fall treats at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival 2021

Most importantly, culinary creations at Dollywood abound again, thanks to the bountiful supply of crops from a Smoky Mountain harvest.

For example, this year seasonal treats are set to include:

Main Entrees

  • Balsamic Honey and Mustard Pork Chop (Front Porch Cafe)
  • BUSH’s Three Bean Pumpkin Chili (Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner)
  • Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Grits (Front Porch Cafe)
  • Harvest Flatbread (Lumber Jack’s & Victoria’s Pizza)
  • Roasted Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Corn Chowder (Front Porch Cafe)
  • Smoked Bratwurst with Red Cabbage Jam (Market Square Big Skillets)
  • Smoked Turkey Leg with Cranberry Dipping Sauce (Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner)
  • Spiced Pumpkin Bisque (Market Square Big Skillets)
  • Sweet Corn Hushpuppies (Market Square Big Skillets)
  • Sweet Potato Poutine (Market Square Big Skillets)

Desserts

  • Apple Dumplin with Vanilla Ice Cream (Front Porch Cafe)
  • Apple Wedges and Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip (Lumber Jack’s & Victoria’s Pizza)
  • Belgium Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich with Maple Pecan Ice Cream (Showstreet Ice Cream)
  • Maple Pecan Bacon Funnel Cake (Crossroads Funnel Cakes & Splinter’s Funnel Cakes
  • Pumpkin Spice Churro with Pumpkin Fluff (Sweets and Treats)

Drinks

  • Apple Pie Milkshake (Showstreet Ice Cream)
  • Autumn Apple Palmer (Market Square Big Skillets)
  • Hot Apple Cider (Crossroads Funnel Cakes)

For additional details on current seasonal selections and where to find them, check out Dollywood’s Harvest Festival menu page.

This larger than life guitar illuminates upon nightfall (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Dollywood wins ‘Best Theme Park Halloween Event’

In 2019, Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights event won USA Today’s top spot for “Best Theme Park Halloween Event”.

Dollywood’s competitors included fan favorites such as Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios and Knott’s Scary Farm.

Live fall shows, entertainment at Dollywood 2021

Finally, no festival at Dollywood is complete without award-winning entertainment.

With artists representing genres from Southern gospel and bluegrass to classic country and Americana, there is something to satisfy every musical taste.

Performances take place on indoor and outdoor stages throughout the park. Even more artists can be found roaming the park, literally taking the music to the streets.

The festival headliners include:

  • Taylor Red (Sept. 24)
  • Janelle Arthur (Sept. 26)
  • Pam Tillis (Sept. 29)
  • Jimmy Fortune (Oct. 2)
  • Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 3)
  • Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Oct. 4)
  • CeCe Winans (Oct. 9)
  • Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (Oct. 14 – 15)
  • Lee University Singers (Oct. 17)
  • Shenandoah (Oct. 20-21)

A complete schedule can be found on Dollywood.com.

Remember, sometimes you can save a couple of bucks on admission when you book with Tripster.

Have you been to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival or LumiNights event? Let us know what you thought in the comments section 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 info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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2 thoughts on “Dollywood LumiNights 2021: When does it start, what to expect”

  1. We enjoyed Dollywood Luminights in 2020. The pumpkins were beautiful. The crafters were awesome! And the food was great. Be sure to stay till dark and make the loop around the whole park to enjoy all of the lit pumpkins!

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