Winterfest is now underway in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, and that means the entire area is glowing in millions of Christmas lights.
Traditionally, guests can enjoy the spirit of the season by taking a relaxing Trolley tour to see the iconic displays.
However, the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights has been cancelled for the 2020 season. But the good news is, if you still want to take a driving tour of Winterfest lights, you have some options.
4. Ride on the Double Decker Festival of Lights Tour
Time for a spot of tea, y’all! Double Decker Bus Tours is a new attraction in the Smokies, and this year they are offering specialty holiday lights tours for guests.
Hop on a double decker party bus, which will be decorated for the holidays, and enjoy festive tunes as you take in the 5 million lights around Pigeon Forge.
This tour lasts two hours, and prices start at $29.99. This tour is appropriate for all ages.
For more information, visit them online.
3. Go to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
If you’re like me, you might get lost easily, so figuring out a DIY-tour of lights could seem intimidating.
But if you go to a drive-thru Christmas light show like Shadrack’s, all the navigation stress is taken out of the equation.
During the holiday season, Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland takes over Smokies Stadium to create a drive-thru Christmas display featuring hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.
This orchestra of colored lights features light tunnels, imaginative scenes and best of all, it’s all done from the warmth of your own car.
Off time peak-time pricing starts at $25 per passenger car.
Friday and Saturday nights, and the immediate weeks preceding Christmas are slightly more expensive at $30 for a passenger car of up to 8 people.
2. Ride the Redneck Comedy Bus Christmas Lights Tour
This comedic version of a Smoky Mountain Christmas Lights tour is one of the newer holiday features in the area.
This tour promises rowdy Christmas carolin’ and fun-filled festivities as guests enjoy the sights and holiday lights around the Smoky Mountains.
The tour lasts two hours and is appropriate for all ages. The bus departs from Cooter’s Place in Pigeon Forge.
Adult tickets cost $40 and children are $25. For more information, visit them online.
1. Do your own driving tour of the Winterfest lights
There are pros and cons to this method of seeing lights in Pigeon Forge.
Pros: This option is fully customizable, free and done within the comfort of your own car.
Cons: You will need to find a patient driver, because traffic is notoriously thick during the winter months.
Finding Christmas lights by road names
Your tour of lights will begin near the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center, located at 1950 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, with the Pigeons in Flight display. This display spans the Parkway from the north to the south ends of town.
From there, you will travel along the Parkway heading south.
If you drive only along the Parkway, you’ll see displays such as Snowflake Lane, the 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wildlife and the Smoky Mountain Cabin, which sits at the edge of Pigeon Forge.
If you’re adventuring off to adjacent roads, be sure to add Community Center Drive, Wears Valley Road, The Island Drive, Teaster Lane and Ole Mill Avenue.
One of my personal favorite spots is the Winter Wonderland Bridges, located on Jake Thomas Road and East Wears Valley Road.
Finding Christmas lights by destinations
If you want to simplify things a bit and just have a few destinations to punch into the ol’ GPS, be sure hit up these hotspots:
- Old Mill Square
- Patriot Park
- The Island in Pigeon Forge
To see seamlessly navigate all the displays, download this map before you plan your route.
Additional tips for Winterfest in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg
For guests who are willing to pay admission, Anakeesta, Dollywood and Gatlinburg’s SkyLift Park are beautifully decorated during the Smoky Mountain Winterfest celebration.
Additionally, simply taking a stroll around downtown Gatlinburg is another solid option to enjoy the spirit of the season during the holiday months in East Tennessee.
If you’re in town during the first weekends of December, you may also be interested in Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas parade. This year, the parade will be held on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at 7:30 pm.
What are YOUR tips for seeing the Winterfest Christmas lights? Let us know in the comments!