When Does Dollywood Open? Festival Dates and More [2023]

dollywood sign in pigeon forge tn

Dollywood opens for the season on Saturday, March 11, 2023 (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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Following its seasonal closure, Dollywood will open for the 2023 season on Saturday, March 11. Season passholders get a sneak peek with Passholder Preview Day on Friday, March 10.

And officials say that the Pigeon Forge theme park in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains is getting ready for a big season.


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What’s new at Dollywood this year? [2023]

Dollywood officials say this season will be its biggest ever with two massive projects progressing toward the finish line.

After much speculation about new rides coming to the park, officials finally announced a new roller coaster in Wildwood Grove, Big Bear Mountain.

At $25 million, the ride is the most significant single-attraction investment ever at Dollywood. It will feature an expedition in search of Big Bear in the hills of Wildwood Grove.

The ride features three separate launches, multiple airtime thrills, high-speed turns and even passes behind a waterfall. It will be Dollywood’s longest roller coaster and the first to feature onboard audio. Dolly Parton will announce the opening date when the theme park opens for the season.

The second new project Dollywood has been working on is the HeartSong Lodge and Resort, which is set to open this fall. The lodge will be the second resort in the Dollywood family, which also includes the popular DreamMore Resort and Spa.

Read Also: Big Bear Mountain at Dollywood: Opening Date, What To Expect [2023]

orange roller coaster track construction at Big Bear Mountain in Pigeon Forge
Big Bear Mountain is expected to open soon at Dollywood (media photo courtesy of Dollywood)

What else is new at Dollywood this year?

One of the other main features this year will be a new event that starts with the season opener.

Guests will be able to celebrate what has arguably become one of Dolly Parton’s biggest hits, “I Will Always Love You.”

To observe the 50th anniversary of the writing of this monumental song, the I Will Always Love You Celebration takes place on March 11-April 8, 2023.

The special celebration will honor songwriters and kick off the season by commemorating the art of songwriting and the stories behind the songs.

And, in classic Dollywood fashion, there are several other events and seasonal festivals to look forward to this year.

And to help you enjoy it all, the theme park will offer more operating days this season.

The park operating calendar is growing this year with an additional 21 days of operation as compared to the 2022 calendar.

You can check the hours of operation on the Dollywood calendar here.

Read Also: 5 Reasons Why Dollywood Is Better Than Disney World

The umbrella display at Dollywood's Food and Flower festival
The Flower and Food Festival features Dollywood’s iconic umbrella sky (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

When is the Dollywood Flower and Food Festival 2023?

The Flower and Food Festival will run from April 21-June 11, 2023.

The Flower and Food Festival is presented by Covenant Health.

Guests can wander through larger-than-life plant sculptures covered with half a million beautiful blooms, grab a selfie under the picturesque umbrella sky and indulge in garden-fresh flavors and seasonal culinary treats handcrafted by Dollywood chefs.

Summer Celebration at Dollywood
The Summer Celebration features a dance party for families in the evenings (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

When is Dollywood’s Summer Celebration 2023?

The Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration will run from June 17-Aug. 6, 2023, with a drone and fireworks show.

Another favorite, the “Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora”, will return again this year at Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater.

Halloween display at Dollywood
Dollywood’s Halloween festival is family-friendly and never scary (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

When is the Dollywood Harvest Festival and LumiNights event 2023?

The award-winning Dollywood Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights event will run from Sept. 20-Oct. 30, 2023.

The event features seasonal displays, seasonal food and thousands of illuminated pumpkins by night.

Christmas lights at Dollywood
During the Dollywood Christmas event, millions of lights cover the park in a beautiful winter display (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

When is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas event 2023?

And finally, the highly anticipated award-winning Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas event is also set to return for the new year.

This event will run from Nov. 4-Jan. 6, 2023, which gives guests more time in early January to check out the festivities.

Dollywood’s Christmas event features millions of lights and displays that require months of preparation.

But do keep in mind that November and December are very popular months to visit the park, so be sure to plan accordingly. The theme park is usually closed on most Mondays and Tuesdays in December as well as on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Dollywood discounts and coupons in 2023

Dollywood offers a military discount on one-day admission tickets every day. The discount applies to active military, retired veterans, reservists, military spouses and their dependents.

A valid military personnel ID and dependent IDs are required at the ticket window or when retrieving a pre-purchased ticket at the park.

Discounted military tickets can now be purchased online in order to secure your reservation ahead of time.

Dollywood also offers a variety of special offers, discounts and promotions throughout the year to the general public. Always check the special offers page on the Dollywood website before planning your trip for the latest deals.

Guests can also want to check Tripster for discounts on single-day and two-day passes.

If you want to catch all of the festivals, consider a Dollywood season pass. Season passes come with many perks, including Bring-A-Friend Free Tickets and other discounts. See the site for details.

What season do you look forward to the most when visiting this Tennessee theme park in the Smokies? Are you planning a trip in 2023? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo of author


Morgan Overholt

Morgan is the founder Morgan Media LLC, a graphic design agency and the co-founder of TheSmokies.com LLC – a media company that specializes in regional travel sites.

6 thoughts on “When Does Dollywood Open? Festival Dates and More [2023]”

  1. Does dolly have any performance in October during the fall festival are blue Grass show what about the issac Christian group I would love to see dolly at dolly wood will she do Christmas in October and November to

  2. There is currently no Dolly performance on the calendar for the fall festival at Dollywood.

  3. Ms Dolly my wife has cardiovascular disease and has had 2 open heart surgeries and has 10 stents in her blocked arteries she would love to meet you we will be in Gatlinburg May 9-11 Thank You for your time

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