As the holiday season gets closer, it’s a perfect time to plan a trip to Dollywood. Dollywood is a special theme park located in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It’s a place full of wonder and offers an unforgettable experience, especially during Christmas. Dollywood is known for its joyful atmosphere, stunning decorations, and a variety of activities and entertainment centered around the holiday season. Families and friends who want to create long-lasting memories often choose Dollywood as their destination. In this article, we’ll explore the magical reasons why you should think about visiting Dollywood at Christmas in 2024.
What Is the Ideal Time to Visit Dollywood for Christmas?
Over the years, people have come to know that Christmas at Dollywood is a truly special event. Renamed Smoky Mountain Christmas, the park undergoes a complete transformation from early November to January 1st. During this time, you can expect to see a magnificent 50-foot animated tree, five million twinkling lights, and charming decorations that create a magical and joyful atmosphere. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into the famous Dolly Parton herself, as she often visits the park during this festive season. We highly recommend planning a holiday trip to Dollywood to experience this beloved tradition.
Are Dollywood Rides Available During Christmas?
You might be wondering if Dollywood is open during Christmas. Unfortunately, the park is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. However, the rides are still open during the winter season. It’s important to note that the Dollywood Theme Park has guidelines based on weather conditions. If the temperature drops below freezing, many rides and attractions may close. Additionally, four specific rides—the Whistle Punk Chaser, Mystery Mine, Lemon Twist, and FireChaser Express—do not operate if the temperature falls below 40°F.
But don’t worry, even if it’s cold outside, there are still plenty of things to enjoy. Leading up to the holiday season, Dollywood Parks & Resorts hosts a fantastic holiday celebration with a variety of activities. You can enjoy daily entertainment, go Christmas shopping, indulge in Festivus dining, and much more. The festivities culminate in a spectacular seasonal fireworks display. Dollywood has become such a special place during the holidays that it even inspired the Hallmark Channel to create a film called Christmas at Dollywood. We totally understand why it’s so appealing!
Why Visit Dollywood at Christmas in 2024?
There are several reasons why visiting Dollywood at Christmas is a special experience:
- Magical Atmosphere: Dollywood transforms into a winter wonderland during the Christmas season. The entire park is adorned with millions of dazzling lights, creating a magical and festive atmosphere that captures the spirit of the holidays.
- Spectacular Shows: Dollywood offers a lineup of incredible holiday shows that are sure to entertain and delight visitors of all ages. From heartwarming performances of beloved Christmas stories to live music and entertainment, the shows at Dollywood during Christmas are top-notch and showcase talented performers.
- Festive Decorations: The park is beautifully decorated with Christmas-themed displays, including intricately designed ornaments, wreaths, and festive adornments. These decorations add to the enchanting ambiance and create a visually stunning experience.
- Family Activities: Dollywood offers a variety of family-friendly activities during the Christmas season. Kids can enjoy meeting Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends, participating in reindeer games, decorating cookies, and even having a special visit with Santa Claus. These activities provide opportunities for memorable moments and create lasting holiday memories.
- Seasonal Treats: Indulge in delicious seasonal treats and traditional holiday fare available throughout the park. From hot cocoa and gingerbread cookies to warm roasted chestnuts, the culinary offerings at Dollywood during Christmas add to the festive experience.
- Unique Shopping: Dollywood features a wide range of shops and boutiques where you can find unique and handcrafted gifts, ornaments, and other holiday-themed merchandise. It’s a great place to do some Christmas shopping and find special souvenirs to commemorate your visit.
Tips for Visiting Dollywood During the Holidays
If you’re thinking of visiting Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains during Christmas, here are some helpful tips to consider:
1. Make Reservations Early
Dollywood is a popular destination during the holiday season, so it’s important to make your reservations in advance. Check the schedule of shows which include performances suitable for kids, concerts, and musicals. Look for showtimes and ticket prices, and book your spot. You can also consider purchasing a Dollywood season pass, which offers different benefits such as special ride times and discounts on accommodation, food, and merchandise. With a 2-Park Pass, you can also visit Dollywood Splash Country during the summer.
2. Prepare for Cold Weather:
The Smoky Mountains can be a winter wonderland. Mornings may be cool with frost on the ground, and afternoons are still chilly, so bring a jacket and gloves. It’s possible for snow to fall, so consider packing snow boots and hats. If you plan on engaging in snow activities, having a vacation rental with laundry facilities can be convenient for drying your clothes after sledding or building a snowman.
3. Book a Vacation Rental Early and Add Some Christmas Decor:
To find a suitable rental in Pigeon Forge that fits your budget, it’s best to plan ahead since this place attracts many visitors during the holidays. Make your rental feel more festive by bringing Christmas decorations. There are various cabin rentals available, so you can choose one near the action or in a quieter part of town. You might even consider cutting down your own Christmas tree at a nearby tree farm! Decorate the rental with your family or friends, sing Christmas carols, and enjoy the possibility of snowfall. Some cabin rentals even come with hot tubs or outdoor fire pits/fireplaces, so you can stay cozy inside and out. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suits if you have access to these amenities!
4. Be Prepared for Crowds:
Dollywood is a popular theme park, so expect crowds throughout the holiday season. Generally, the earlier you visit in the season, the fewer people there will be. Arrive before it gets dark to avoid the rush and fully enjoy the millions of brilliant lights that illuminate the park at night.
5. Plan Ahead for Food and Drinks:
Outside food, coolers, and beverages are not allowed in the park. There are several restaurants on the resort where you can purchase food and drinks, even if you’re not staying there. If you prefer to eat elsewhere, make sure to get your hand stamped for re-entry. Dollywood has water fountains available for hydration or you can purchase bottled water.
Are you ready to experience this cherished holiday tradition? Find a rustic cabin in the Smoky Mountains or a cozy bungalow with a mountain view, and prepare to be amazed by the incredible Christmas spectacle that awaits you.