Dollywood at Christmas Time is Just Magical

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Looking for something new this Christmas season? We sent KAG Contributor Kristina Hernandez to Pigeon Forge to check out Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood. You’ll find reindeer games, a live nativity, 5 million lights, and so much more Christmas cheer! Read on to find out all about Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood and add it to your list of things to do this Christmas season! 

Pigeon Forge

The Christmas season, from those first lights that go up in early November to city tree lightings to entire towns decked out in lights and trees and places to enjoy hot chocolate, can be something other wordly. After all, we are celebrating something completely other worldly on Christmas, so why are we surprised when a little heavenly celebrations sneak into our own lives this time of year? Enter Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood.

I received media tickets in order to write about Dollywood but this post contains my honest opinion about our trip.

Find a place to stay near Dollywood. This article contains Stay22 affiliate links.

Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood

Dollywood, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, captures the essence of Christmas in a big way, one that the entire family will find unforgettable – and likely want to do over and over again every Christmas.

The famous theme park becomes a mecca of over five million lights draped across every single building. Shows like It’s A Wonderful Life play throughout the months-long festival. And a Christmas parade is held nightly at 8:15 pm, an engaging entertainment show full of lights and colors.

Throughout the park, there are stops you can make as you trek up to Glacier Ridge, where you’ll stroll through a 130-foot tunnel where lights fall from the trees, creating an ethereal effect as you walk along.

Things to do at Smoky Mountain Christmas

You can grab cookies and play Reindeer Games at the Holiday Junction first, where the characters from the 1964 version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer await. They are quite accurate in their portrayal of the characters actually! Budget for some spending money inside the park as the games and treats are extra costs.

Also on the way up to Glacier Ridge is the Live Nativity show, a beautiful and captivating show – with music – about the very first Christmas. Both my kids sat spellbound the whole time watching the characters and enjoying the beautiful music.

One of my favorite parts of the Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood was the life-size snow globe. The professional photographer wasn’t there the night I went so I stood outside to get shots of my own kids traipsing around the inside of the globe. It was really cool!

A winter wonderland awaits at The Plaza at Wilderness with a 50-foot animated tree. You can sing along to the dazzling show, which comes to life every thirty minutes in that area of the park. Many of the rides in the park are also open so you can enjoy those during the day and the lights in the evening. There are plenty of places to eat in the park as well.

As you walk along the theme park’s streets, you can find all sorts of neat things to look at and do. There was a glass blower who offered patrons the opportunity to blow their own glass ornaments. There were handmade pottery for special gifts. A blacksmith worked on creative iron pieces and another artisan was making leather belts.

Our Review of Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood

The entire experience of Dollywood felt authentic and the staff were all very welcoming and kind. The Smoky Mountain Christmas is part of Winterfest, a huge festival in Pigeon Forge that encompasses shows, lights, and unique experiences, throughout the winter months.

On our way out, we checked out the homemade fudge, candied apples, and delicate chocolate marshmallow delights that sat tempting us behind the glass counters. Everything looked delicious, even better than Willy Wonka’s famed chocolate factory. The ladies there told me they make many of the desserts in house, including the apple butter – I can’t believe I didn’t walk out with hundreds of dollars of fudge and butter.

If you are thinking of a special way to celebrate Christmas, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is the place to go. It’s authentic and unique and easy to see how thoughtful the park was in putting everything together in such a way to create an incredible experience for their guests.

Want to go to Smoky Mountain Christmas?

Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood runs now through January 5, 2019. During the Christmas season, hours are Monday – Friday 2 pm  – 9 pm and weekends from 11 am – 9 pm. From December 15 – January 5, excluding December 24-25, hours are 11 am – 9 pm.

Tickets are $70 (adults, 12 – 59), $57 (child, 4 – 11), $65 (senior, 60 and older), free (under 4). If you know you are going to Dollywood more than this one time, definitely look into the season passes. You can put your ticket prices towards those if you decide to buy them when you are at the park. Parking is $15.

See our review of Dollywood during the regular season.

2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN

About the Author
Kristina Hernandez is a mom of two girls, freelance writer and photographer. Originally from New Jersey, she is in love with the Upstate and could not imagine raising her kids anywhere else. She enjoys hiking to waterfalls, kayaking, camping, cooking, and exploring all that Greenville has to offer. And she really loves baby goats. Follow her on Instagram at @scadventurer.

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