Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin Luminights wins USA Today 10 Best award

A display at Dollywood, part of the park’s award-winning Great Pumpkin LumiNights.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights at Dollywood. Photo by Steven Bridges -

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights has won the 2019 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event, thanks to the votes of park supporters from around the country.

Entering its third season this year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights—part of Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2)—has become a new Smoky Mountain tradition with family-friendly activities that are sure to please kids of every age. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. each evening (closed Oct. 22 & 29) allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park.

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards include nominees chosen by a panel of relevant experts. The public voting happens digitally on the website. After four weeks of voting, the results are revealed. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights finished second to Dollywood, with Halloween Haunt at Kings Island third. The complete top-10 can be found on the website.

“We knew Great Pumpkin LumiNights was a hit during the first few evenings of the event in 2017,” said Pete Owens, Dollywood Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. “We received a lot of great feedback from guests about how much they liked it, but also about what we could add and change to make it even better. Last year, we doubled the size of Great Pumpkin LumiNights by putting in a number of new displays, and this year the event grows even larger with the addition of Wildwood Grove, which includes the harvest story experience at the Wildwood Tree.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights grows again in 2019, stretching into the newly-opened Wildwood Grove. In addition to the pumpkin displays, the Wildwood Tree tells a Smoky Mountain harvest story multiple times each evening. The Plaza at Wilderness Pass also serves as a main centerpiece for the event with an area for character interaction. pumpkin tree.