Clark Griswold’s fever dream is a reality in Kodak (near Sevierville and Pigeon Forge Tennessee) just off exit 407 on Interstate 40.
Each Christmas season, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland takes over the large parking lot of the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team and creates a drive-thru Christmas light event that will literally brighten up the holidays.
Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights – some crafted into entertaining scenes like a snow-boarding Santa – dance along to Christmas music to create a sensory experience that brings in visitors from all over.
It’s an orchestra of colored lights, all seen from the warmth of your car, as you drive through the display specifically designed to engender Christmas spirit, even in the most ardent of Scrooges.
The first section has the lights made into little vignettes, flying reindeer, elves and a variety of Santas, often designed in such a way as to simulate motion.
It’s during this portion that the kids have a hard time staying in their seats as they jockey to look out the other windows and take in the sensory overload of dozens of Christmas scenes exploding around them.
It’s the second half, though, where Shadrack’s light show really shines. With surfing Santa behind you, it’s a carnival of lights ahead. The music varies from contemplative to Trans-Siberian Ochrestra-esque rocking, and the lights perform accordingly.
It’s an art, like being inside a fireworks show. And, if you have a good enough camera, it is a delight for photographers.
A new addition this year is the 70-ft. RGB light tree, and guests can still enjoy classics like the drive-through tunnel.
When does Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland start? (2021)
This year, Shadrack’s winter wonderland will operate from Nov. 5, 2021 through Jan. 2, 2022.
Santa’s Village will be open nightly from 6-9:30 pm from Nov. 19-Dec. 23, 2021. Photos and visits with Santa will be available.
Santa’s Village is free for anyone who purchased admission to the light show.
There are also concessions for sale, like hot chocolate, coffee and kettle corn.
How much does Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland cost?
Pricing varies depending on the day and time of year. Basically, value tickets can be found on weekdays early in the season. Prime tickets are weekends closer to Christmas.
You can usually save a little time by purchasing in advance.
You do not have to use the ticket for the date you purchased it. Tickets are valid on any date of equal or lesser value and are good for one-time use only.
- Value ticket: Passenger car: $25 / Activity van: $50 / Tour bus: $150
- Standard ticket: Passenger car: $30 / Activity van: $60 / Tour bus: $150
- Prime ticket: Passenger car: $40 / Activity van: $80 / Tour bus: $150
Click here to view the full pricing schedule or buy a ticket.
Also, let me just say, if you have a tour bus drive through Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, you should bring a little tip money for the effort because that’s slightly insane.
It’s like asking them to drive through a festively lit obstacle course. Any driver who completes the course successfully should have their license automatically renewed.
Additionally, remember to be prepared, especially at peak times, as the wait to get into Shadrack’s can be lengthy. The line backs up on Highway 66 towards Sevierville.
You might be able to skip a bit of the line by approaching from the opposite end, coming in the backway on 66 and trying to make a left turn in.
Some kind soul who is filled with the Christmas spirit might let you in. I’ve seen it happen. Or you might be left with your tail lights exposed until Santa comes.
It’s a risk.
Where is Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Tennessee?
The Sevierville location for Shadrack’s is located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium at 3540 Line Drive, Kodak, TN.
For more information, visit their website here.
There are additional locations in:
- Jackson, TN
- Johnson City, TN
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Charlotte, NC
- Tryon, NC
- Madison, AL
Have you seen Shadrack’s Christmas lights? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.