Top 6 magical things about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas 2020

Wildwood Grove
Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas event lights up the theme park with more than 5 million lights (photo by Alaina O'Neal/

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America’s best theme park Christmas event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, is officially underway in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

If you haven’t been yet, be sure to find out what’s new in 2020 before you go so you can make the most out of Dollywood’s award winning Smoky Mountain Christmas event.

Here are some of the most magical things that Dolly and her elves prepared for us this year:

Dollywood Glacier Ridge
Glacier Ridge has an immersive tunnel of lights (photo by Alaina O’Neal/

6. Dollywood’s millions of lights

Dollywood is a literal winter wonderland during Christmas, and this year, the theme park has even more lighted Christmas trees than any festival before.

The new area-based lighting themes and designs can be found throughout the park, and a new discovery is around every turn.

As you take in the wonders and views, remember all of the hard working staff – ahem, elves – who spend five months out of the year hanging these Christmas lights.

Read Also: Behind the scenes look: Dollywood Christmas preparations now underway

5. Merry & Bright fireworks display

Also new in 2020 is Dollywood’s addition of the “Merry & Bright” fireworks display.

The fireworks fill the sky on Friday and Saturday evenings (and on some busier operating days) throughout the Smoky Mountain Christmas event, if the weather permits.

The fireworks display is coordinated with holiday Christmas music. The fireworks show starts at the theme park’s closing time, unless otherwise noted.

Santa's List
Kids can watch Santa make his famous Naughty or Nice List at Dollywood this year (photo by Alaina O’Neal/

4. Santa’s Naughty or Nice List

Bet you didn’t know that Santa has a cabin in the Smokies!

Brand new in 2020, guests can write a special wish list to Saint Nicholas, watch him work on the famous list and then see if their name makes it to the Nice List!

The elves in Santa’s cabin fully embrace the magic of the season to make this experience truly special, and the cabin is so beautifully decorated that kids of all ages will want to see it.

This all-new attraction is an immersive experience that will fill any heart with Christmas joy. Photographers are available for photos during the experience.

Read Also: 8 places to get photos with Santa in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

3. Seasonal food at Dollywood

The restaurants at Dollywood have some of the best theme park food in the world.

This season at the Spotlight Bakery, guests can munch on gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cinnamon rolls with eggnog icing, decorated cookies and more.

At the Front Porch Cafe, one of the most special treats this year is the seared trout, which comes with a sweet Cajun glaze complemented by red pepper Napa cabbage and potato gnocchi.

If you’re in the mood for a more traditional meal, consider the Glazed Ham Steak that comes with potato puree and grilled asparagus. The glazed ham steak is also available at the Front Porch Cafe.

Apple cinnamon funnel cake is also a seasonal treat this year, and of course, no trip to Dollywood is complete without their famous cinnamon bread.

Live music
Dollywood is bringing back many of its popular Christmas shows in 2020 (photo by Alaina O’Neal/

2. The Smoky Mountain Christmas shows

Live music is a huge part of a true Smoky Mountain Christmas, and that is why it’s so exciting that Dollywood is able to bring back its heartwarming holiday shows this year. And yes, this includes indoor shows!

All-new in 2020 is the Heart of the Holidays show features a new generation of Dolly’s family sharing stories and showcasing songs from her brand new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas.

Read Also: These two new Dolly Parton Christmas releases will make 2020 good again

Throughout the festival, see daily performances of classic Christmas shows including favorites such as Christmas in the Smokies and Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs.

Seats are offered on a first come, first served basis. For questions (and answers) about indoor shows, click here.

Read Also: 9 tips to navigating Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas 2020 

Dollywood Tree
You can catch the tree’s animated production every 30 minutes from 6-8:30 pm at Dollywood (photo by Alaina O’Neal/

1. The Wonderful Christmas tree show

One of the most magical things that will be returning to the theme park this year is the Wonderful Christmas tree show, an animated production that takes place on Dollywood’s 50-ft Christmas tree in the Plaza at Wilderness Pass.

The storyline of this show follows a pair of bear cousins who wish to spend Christmas together. Since it’s in Glacier Ridge, “snow” falls around the tree as part of the show’s grand finale.

… and I guarantee you that your kids will go crazy for it.

You can catch Dollywood’s tree show every 30 minutes from 6-8:30 pm throughout the season.

If you’re ready to celebrate Christmas at Dollywood this year, be sure to check their calendar for theme park hours.

What are YOUR favorite Christmas traditions at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas? Let us know in the comments!

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 [email protected] for questions or comments.

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