Even as Dollywood officials are prepping for the most wonderful time of the year, they’ve got eyes on 2022.
But before we get to next year, let’s talk about the end of this year.
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas begins Saturday, Nov. 6 with 17 kajillion dazzling lights, a family-favorite tradition during Christmas in the Smokies.
And it is also an opportunity for kids to find out if they are on Santa’s naughty or nice list.
Each year, Dollywood transforms into a literal winter wonderland with hundreds of lighted Christmas trees adorning the park.
And area-based lighting themes found throughout the park lead to a sense of wonder and discovery around each turn.
Lighting the Christmas sky will be the park’s nightly Christmas Fireworks Show.
There will also be culinary surprises created by Dollywood’s talented team of chefs.
The Smoky Mountain Christmas festival is sure to shine a familiar light on the holiday tradition of togetherness families have shared at Dollywood for so many years.
When will Dollywood open in 2022?
But Dollywood isn’t planning to only shine through Christmas.
In fact, Dolly Parton herself says big plans are stewing for next year already, including an exciting new season pass structure.
For Dollywood, the 2022 season will begin on March 12, 2022.
The Flower and Food Festival – presented by Covenant Health – will run from April 22 through June 5.
It will include several new Mosiaculture (larger than life floral sculpture) displays, increasing the colorful footprint of the event.
It’s a tough act for Dollywood’s chefs to follow, but the other half of the Flower & Food Festival will bring a wide variety of delicacies to the park.
One of 2021’s biggest successes, the Sweet Summer Nights Drone and Fireworks Show, will be bigger and better in 2022, Dollywood officials said.
The Intel Drone Light Shows combines hundreds of drones lighting the mountain night sky with traditional fireworks.
Sweet Summer Nights – which also includes a nightly dance party featuring sweaty, exhausted guests – will take place from June 18 through Aug. 7.
Also, guess who’s back? That’s right, it’s bubbles, baby.
The Gazillion Bubbles Show will make its return during the summer celebration to entertain the young and the young at heart. Missing since 2017, the bubbles are back. And there will be a lot of them.
Covenant returns in the fall, sponsoring the Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which has been named the best theme park harvest event in the world.
Editor’s note: Hey Covenant, it’s obvious you like sponsoring things. Reach out, we have some ideas … wink.
What’s new at Dollywood in 2022?
New in 2022, guests in Craftsman’s Valley will enjoy Hoot Owl Hollow, featuring a number of owl-themed displays in the park and up in the trees. It’s all part of the Harvest Festival, presented by Humana.
Editor’s note: Hey Humana, same deal … wink.
The Harvest Festival will run from Sept. 23 through Oct. 29, 2022.
The season wraps with another Smoky Mountain Christmas – presented by Humana.
In a perfect world, we’re going to Dollywood at least once a season – or four times in a year.
And that’s where the new pass types come in.
What’s new for season passholders in 2022?
The new season pass structure features several new pass types: Silver, Gold and Diamond, all of which have been created to allow more options for visitors to tailor their experience.
And in all likelihood, make Dollywood beaucoups of money.
The Dollywood Silver Season Pass starts at $139 and offers unlimited visits, two Bring-a-Friend Free tickets and a discount on Dollywood lodging. For just $55 more, guests can opt for the Dollywood Gold Season Pass.
The Gold Pass, which is priced $30 less than a 2021 Gold Season Pass, represents a tremendous value for guests thanks to unlimited visits, Saturday early ride time for the passholder, four Bring-A-Friend Free tickets and discounts on dining, merchandise and lodging.
In addition, the Gold Pass provides free parking, a one-day unlimited refill mug per pass, various other discounts and access to special exclusive events just for Gold and Diamond passholders.
Only the named passholder can receive the perks associated with each pass type.
Diamond Season Passes provide a premium experience for guests starting at $304. They also receive six Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, larger discounts, an all-season unlimited refill mug per pass, and a free one-time preferred parking admission per pass.
Included in the Diamond Pass are many of the other perks assigned to both Gold and Silver Passes.
In addition, Diamond Season Passes will provide the passholder unlimited access to Dollywood’s Splash Country.
Gold and Diamond Passholders also can take advantage of another new perk created for the 2022 season, Dollywood’s new daily “Golden Hours.”
During the first hour of each operating day, Gold and Diamond Season Passes will operate just like TimeSaver passes.
This will allow the named passholder expedited boarding on Dollywood’s world-class rides and attractions.
Passes for 2022 are on sale now.
Is Dollywood building a new rollercoaster in Wildwood Grove?
And all that comes before we talk about the addition to Wildwood Grove, which is planned for 2023.
Plans for a massive new family attraction in the section were recently approved by the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission.
According to preliminary documents filed with the city, Dollywood is planning a massive attraction that will be located next to the Dragonflier.
The new attraction appears to run parallel behind the Black Bear Trail and extend almost the entire length of Wildwood Grove before turning back and returning to the starting location.
The documents don’t indicate the ride is a rollercoaster, calling it simply “Family Attraction 2023.”
However, The Mountain Press reports that during a June 17, 2021 Pigeon Forge City Council meeting that Dollywood President Eugene Naughton mentioned plans for a “multi-generational rollercoaster” set to open in 2023 during a larger discussion of planned expansions.
Judging simply by the plans and comparing relative size to other coasters in the park, the possible multi-generational rollercoaster would be among the longest rides in the park, dwarfing the Dragonflier.
When announcing the second Dollywood resort, HeartSong, officials indicated a record-breaking attraction would be coming in 2023.
It’s speculation currently, but it appears the “multi-generational rollercoaster” just might be that record-breaker.
Are you looking forward to Dollywood in 2022? Let us know in the comments below.