New fireworks show, Santa experience and lighting themes highlight festival
PIGEON FORGE — With Christmas approaching and the calendar set to turn from 2020, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 7 – Jan. 3, 2021) is poised to wrap guests in the warm light of timeless family traditions, new memories and joyous time spent together. Thanks in part to the glow of more than 5 million gleaming Christmas lights and a dazzling new holiday fireworks show, guests can bask in the memories of yesterday while embracing the hope of tomorrow.
Dollywood guests are immediately enveloped in the illumination of millions of holiday lights, which create a festive Christmas atmosphere that has become a cherished family tradition for generations. While the lighting itself remains familiar to guests, brand new area-based themes and lighting designs throughout the park provide a sense of wonder and discovery around each turn. Guests will find themselves strolling through a literal winter wonderland, as more live lighted Christmas trees will adorn the park than during any Christmas festival before.
“Christmas is so precious because of the time we take to gather with friends and family to share the light of love and hope with each other. It’s so good to be able to laugh about old memories and traditions, and even start a few new ones,” said Dolly Parton.
“Some Christmases are more memorable than others, and I think this year is certainly one we won’t forget. I want families to feel the warmth and comfort of all the great things they remember about Dollywood at Christmas, with a few new experiences that will become the memories they share years from now. In twenty years, when someone says, ‘Do you remember 2020?,’ of course they’ll think about how strange this year has been, but I also hope they’ll stop and say, ‘Yes, but remember that special time we had at Dollywood during Christmas that year.’”
Just one of the new experiences guests can enjoy this season is an end-of-the-evening event that will add a little sparkle to the “Dolly-days” this year. A Christmas fireworks display called Merry & Bright! celebrates the season with a colorful and energetic show featuring a number of contemporary holiday songs that will add a little cheer for guests. Performance dates will be available on Dollywood’s website and the Dollywood app.
The spotlight also shines brightly on the park’s award-winning entertainment this season. Christmas in the Smokies—a heartwarming tradition that families have enjoyed for 30 years—returns indoors to center stage at DP’s Celebrity Theater. Guests also can enjoy a new show, called Heart of the Holidays, which features several members of Dolly’s family and includes a mix of some of her holiday favorites alongside songs from her new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas. Heart of the Holidays takes place in the DreamSong Theater. Another returning guest favorite, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, can be found at the Pines Theater.
Heartfelt entertainment abounds during the festival, including O’ Holy Night, Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band, Holiday Wild Roots, The Mistletones and the Candlelight Carolers, a new choral group who can be found performing on the steps of the Robert F. Thomas Chapel. More than 40 holiday performances currently are scheduled to take place each operating day during Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Glacier Ridge presented by Goo Goo Cluster fills Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wildwood Grove, Wilderness Pass and Upper Craftsman’s Valley with an expansive arctic experience sure to inspire and delight guests. Wilderness Pass Plaza serves as one of the highlights of Glacier Ridge thanks to the Wonderful Christmas! tree show, which features a 50-ft. tall animated tree that sparkles to life to present a fully-synchronized, dazzling light show throughout the evening. Inside Wildwood Grove, the Wildwood Tree tells inspirational Christmas stories each evening as guests explore this captivating area.
For the kids—and kids at heart—wondering what Santa is up to this year, Dollywood will shine a little light on Old Saint Nick’s home away from home. When he isn’t hard at work at the North Pole, Santa likes to visit East Tennessee and his favorite Smoky Mountain songstress, Dolly! Thanks to a brand-new experience, guests literally can see inside Santa’s cabin in the Smokies as he reviews…the list! Kids discover whether their name is on the naughty or nice list, and they even have their photo made as they peer through the window during this once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch Santa at work.
As always, guests can experience Dollywood’s world-class rides amidst the hustle and bustle of the park during the holidays, as most rides are operational during the Christmas season. Nothing compares to racing quickly through the night sky with millions of lights twinkling below.
No matter what activities are on the Christmas list this year, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is sure to shine a familiar light on holiday traditions that families will share and cherish for years to come.
For anyone searching for the perfect gift of unlimited family fun and memories, a Dollywood season pass is the solution! A season pass purchased during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with unlimited admission for Dollywood’s entire 2021 season. Guests should purchase their 2021 season pass online now or upgrade their paid one-day admission ticket on the day of their visit. Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket toward the purchase of a 2021 season pass.
For more information and a park operating calendar, please visit the park’s website or download the Dollywood app.