Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas brings together the very best of the holiday season — music, food and jolly people!
The event, which runs from Nov. 7, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021, features more than five million Christmas lights, seasonal food and decor.
It’s difficult for others to compete with Dolly and her elves in the decoration department.
In fact, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Christmas event has been named the Best Christmas Event for the 12th straight year in a row by Amusement Today. (These awards are called “Golden Tickets” in case you want to store that away for your future Jeopardy appearance.)
Here’s what to know about the event:
1. Don’t miss Dollywood’s Glacier Ridge
Timber Canyon and Craftsman’s Valley will once again turn into Glacier Ridge – complete with a 130-foot long “frozen” tunnel, an aurora borealis style canopy of lights. The effect is stunning and the photo-ops are numerous.
2. Don’t miss a photo-op at Dollywood’s 50-foot Christmas Tree
Speaking of photo-ops, the 50-foot Christmas tree with lights that coordinate with Christmas song classics is one of the main attractions in the park.
Young children will be so amazed by this, they may even become still for the first time of the day. Be sure to soak it in. In my opinion, this tree puts even the one at Rockefeller Center to shame.
3. Ride a roller coaster, but bundle up
As long as it’s not raining or freezing, many of the rides are still operating throughout the day. My family (not me, my family) immensely enjoys riding the roller coasters day and night, even in the cold weather.
The lines may not seem short, but compared to spring or summer, it’s a much better wait time, and they do move quickly. If you’re brave enough to opt for the coasters, wear warm clothing.
4. Enjoy the quality theme park food
Dollywood serves quality food throughout the park, even at the quick step-up-and-order kiosks.
There is also a variety of sit down restaurants that serve everything from hamburgers to a big bowl of pinto beans and cornbread. For the holiday season, enjoy the guest-favorite hot chocolate with some festive toppings.
5. Watch a few holiday shows
Dollywood shows, famous for their music, are sure to put you in the holiday spirit. I highly recommend the ever-popular Kingdom Heirs Christmas show.
For hours and showtimes, check out Dollywood’s daily schedule.
6. Check out Dollywood’s arts and crafts
Dollywood is home to several noted craftsmen, and you can find great gift options here – many of which will be more affordable than you think.
If you like arts and crafts, I recommend stopping by Old Flame Candles, Blacksmith & Foundry and the Temple’s Warehouse and Old Fashioned Candy Store.
The gifts are cute and tasteful, with many capitalizing on Dolly’s hit lyrics. Who wouldn’t want a coffee cup labeled “Cup of Ambition”?
7. Download the Dollywood app
Download the Dollywood app before you go. It’s very user friendly and helpful when planning your day around the shows you wish to see.
8. Wear layers at Dollywood
This is East Tennessee. Translation – you might experience up to four seasons in one day.
Check the forecast and bring layers to be safe, even if that means you end up renting a locker. The lockers are inexpensive, and you can move your belongings from one locker station to another, should you choose to forgo the free cubbies available at most major rides.
9. Plan ahead
Tickets are the same price all year: $79 plus tax for a one-day pass. Children ages 4-9 are $69 plus tax. Check the website or ask at the gate for discounts for military families, AAA members and seniors.
Remember, Dollywood is very busy this time of year. Reservations are recommended to guarantee entry, especially for season pass holders.
Dollywood is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863.