Dollywood’s Christmas in the Smokies

Dollywood’s Christmas in the Smokies live show is one of the highlights of the Pigeon Forge theme park’s Smoky Mountain Christmas every year.

The show will bring back all your Christmas memories in one fabulous show. The holiday musical Christmas in the Smokies is a production apart from the rest of  Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. Christmas in the Smokies features a 12-member cast of actors and actresses performing those holiday favorites heard in hometowns across the country.

Along with the annual presentation of Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas will drape the popular theme park in millions of Christmas lights, operate a giant Santa’s workshop, holiday rides for the kids, and shops and restaurants decorated tot he “nines” in Christmas attire. Dollywood should seem like a twinkling wonderland to most, at least that’s the goal.

Come be a part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas and the millions of Christmas lights that shine throughout the park during the month of December.

“I’m thrilled that my Smoky Mountain Christmas festival won its third Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event, and it means the world to me that families get to enjoy the smiles and squeals of the little kids — and the big kids, too — as they spend the holidays together at Dollywood,” said Dolly Parton, following the announcement of the Golden Ticket Award last year. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is annually recognized as one of the best holiday events in the south.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas includes more than 20 rides and attractions in its winter wonderland, including the Thunderhead and Mystery Mine roller coasters.

You should also know about the dining opportunities at Dollywood during the holidays including a number of special buffets. Diners at Aunt Granny’s restaurant are joined by the Coca-Cola Santa each operating day through Dec. 23. In addition to oven-roasted turkey, pulled ham, cornbread dressing and other familiar favorites, new items offered only during Smoky Mountain Christmas include the Spotlight Bakery’s 25-pound pies in four holiday flavors — cranberry walnut, brown sugar pecan, white chocolate, and oatmeal and cranberry apple pies — each available by the slice.

Dollywood’s Appalachian Christmas

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain String Band is back this year with their presentation of an Appalachian Christmas at Dollywood. Come hear some of your favorite holiday tunes and Christmas melodies at the Back Porch Theatre at Dollywood.

The annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood, which includes Dollywood’s Appalachian Christmas, is a month-long Christmas spectacular set against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountains. Guests will be privy to nearly 4 million Christmas lights and over 20 rides and attractions, including Wild Eagle after dark. Celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Smoky Mountains during the 7-week festival that goes until Dec. 30.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Miniature Railroad debuts at this year’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. Guests can see this at the Wings of America stage area in Craftsman’s Valley. This model train display is 1,000 square feet of electric fun. In all, it’s 6 model trains running over bridges and around a working waterfall.

“Singing Christmas carols, eating great food and enjoying the company of family and friends is what the holidays are all about,” Dolly Parton said. “My Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood is that special place where folks can do all of that while they make their memories and celebrate their own traditions with the ones they love. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.”

In addition to An Appalachian Christmas, Dollywood’s stages are set for holiday performances like Christmas in the Smokies, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice!, O’ Holy Night, and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Come see Carol of the Trees, The Polar Express 4D Experience and the nightly Parade of Lights (through Dec. 23). Santa’s Workshop will be open until Dec. 23.

Dollywood’s Carol of the Trees

It’s a fact that there is no shortage of Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge this year, especially when you take in the millions of lights that make up the town’s Winterfest celebration each year. While it’s truly an amazing sight, there’s just something about Dollywood’s Carol of the Trees that makes it stand out among all the lights in the area every year.

Carol of the Trees begins at dusk among the millions of Christmas lights hung in and around Dollywood. Look for the trees surrounding Rivertown Lake as they take center stage in the evening. Thousands of lights on the trees join lighted toy soldiers and more in a celebration of music and lights. It’s a 15 minute show that you don’t want to miss at Dollywood.

During the Carol of the Trees show, holiday lights are synchronized with Christmas music and really creates a holiday show for the senses as some would say.

Dollywood’s Carol of the Trees is a part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 10 – Dec. 30), an annual event put on at Dollywood that features  over 4 million Christmas lights and includes shows you’ll remember from years past. Of course, one of the most talked about is Dolly Parton’s all-time favorite Christmas in the Smokies. Dollywood is a safe and fun place to bring the kids or the whole family this Christmas season. Stop by and take in a few, or even all of the performances put on by Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Dollywood’s Christmas On Ice

Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice! is back again this year as a part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, which includes such popular shows as Carol of The Trees, Appalachian Christmas, and The Polar Express 4-D Experience.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas features a dazzling display of over 4 million colorful Christmas lights, holiday shows, and events aimed at highlighting such a magical time in the Smoky Mountains.

Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice! presents the Ice Theater of New York, the nation’s premier ice dance ensemble. The cast also includes six singers who perform a variety of Christmas favorites—“Snow,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “O’ Come All Ye Faithful” and much more.

This festive indoor ice skating production showcases skaters performing daring spins, spirals and fancy footwork in a genuine ice rink that will be created and frozen on the stage of DP’s Celebrity Theatre. With colorful costumes, Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice evokes a magical sense of Christmastime pageantry and celebration.

Smoky Mountain Christmas invites guests to also enjoy more than 20 rides and attractions, from Dollywood’s award-winning Thunderhead and Mystery Mine coasters to Country Fair’s family rides.

Santa and his hardworking elves can be found in Santa’s Workshop until Dec. 23. Stop by and tell him what you really want for Christmas. In Santa’s Workshop, guests also find an incredible display of larger-than-life-sized toys! A very busy guy this time of year, Santa makes his way through the park each evening (weather permitting) in the much-loved Parade of Lights, where brightly colored floats are accompanied by a cast of fun characters. Plus, Aunt Granny’s restaurant hosts daily dining with Coca-Cola Santa through Dec. 23.

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park located in Pigeon Forge, Tn at the footsteps of the Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood itself is open 9 months out of the year from late March through December. The theme park offers guests over 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a number of East Tennessee crafters.

For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit

Dollywood’s Adventure Mountain

America’s Largest Challenge Course

In 2010, Dollywood took adventure and their attractions in an entirely different direction when it opened Adventure Mountain.  Adventure Mountain is part ropes course, part obstacle course with three different course and varying degrees of difficulty.  It is one of the few attractions in Dollywood that is different each and every time you go through the course, choosing your path depending on if you think you are up to the challenge.

Here is the basic idea behind Adventure Mountain.  You step into line, you get fitted for a harness, this harness has a lead rope that will be hooked into the rail system that runs over all of the course, you then get to pick your course and you slide the rope along with you.  The rope and harness keep you safe and makes choosing the harder challenges much easier – because you know that you are safe and secure.  As you walk through each course, you will find that there is always a sturdy, though narrow walkway that is fixed and un-moving – this is for the less-adventurous out there.  But you can also choose the more difficult way to cross that section of the course.  This might be on lilypad like steps that are suspended in the air with no handrail, tires that you have to step across or a tightrope like walk from one side of a ledge to another.  But remember that you are always securely tethered to the course itself.

Adventure Mountain is divided into three distinct courses.  From easy to expert, the challenges that you face not only get more difficult, but they also go higher up the side of the valley in which Dollywood resides.


  • Geyser Gorge – This is the lowest portion of Adventure Mountain.  This is a great place to start, and it is also a good place to get your feet wet… literally.  One of the main features of this particular course is a geyser that goes off periodically as you try to traverse the gorge.  Imagine, you are walking along a narrow pathway, and all of sudden you get drenched with gallons of water.  This is the easiest course of the three and has the least climb in elevation.
  • Black Bear Cliff – This is the mid range course.  Set between Geyser Gorge and Rocky Top Trail, this course has, as its main feature, a vertigo inducing cliff that you can choose to surmount to get to the next portion of the course.  Remember that you are always in complete safety but, you can choose the easier route as well if the idea of the ledge is a little too much for you.
  • Rocky Top Trail – This is the expert trail.  You are are literally 90 feet above the ground, walking along shaky rope bridges, attached to the steel structure of Adventure Mountain.  Not for the faint of heart but the view from the top is out of this world so it is recommended to give it a try.

Adventure Mountain is a great stop during your day at Dollywood.  Turn the kids loose, knowing that they are in one area and that they are completely secured the entire time.  Or maybe you attempt to take on the tallest trail as a family, cheering each other on as you climb higher and higher.  Spend 15 minutes or spend hours as you explore all three of the courses and get your heart rate up as you take on Adventure Mountain.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 10 – Dec. 30)

If Christmas lights and good, old-fashioned holiday songs are what jingles your bells, then don’t miss out on Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas and its many events over the next few months.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas has become as much of a Christmas tradition in Pigeon Forge as catching the Salvation Army at Wal-Mart. Between Dollywood’s two-month and Winterfest, the town is literally covered in Christmas lighting from November until New Years. Some residents even keep decorations up through the winter nowadays.

What we’re talking about is 4 million lights, all wrapped around every pole, roof, tree, and bush in the park. It really is a winter wonderland. Most of the same shows you’ve enjoyed in years past are back this year including Dolly Parton’s all-time favorite Christmas in the Smokies. Looking for a safe and fun place to bring the kids this Christmas season, come see a few, or all of the performances put on by Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas.

While you’re there, make sure to check off Santa’s Workshop from your list. Everyone loves the life-sized toys as well as the 18-foot-tall Christmas tree – a park favorite. Your mouth will drop once you see the giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and all the other Christmas goodies sitting under the tree. Santa and his elves will be trying to put the finishing touches on what should be a Christmas to remember for a number of little boys and girls. Miss out on Santa while you’re at the park? You can also catch him in the Parade of Lights, along with a number of brightly lit floats and colorful characters.

Here are all the big events taking place during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas this year:

Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice
The Ice Theater of New York performs Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice.

Christmas in the Smokies
Featuring a 12-member cast and seven-piece band, this Christmas tradition at Dollywood includes performances of local holiday favorites that celebrate the joy of the Christmas season.

Appalachian Christmas
The Back Porch Theatre puts on an acoustic Chrsitmas show every year called Appalachian Christmas that is not to be missed. Everyone loves Christmas music that takes you back to a simpler time.

Carol of the Trees
Thousands of lights synchronize with holiday music each night during the holiday season to transform our Rivertown Lake into a symphony for the season.

Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs
The Kingdom Heirs lift your spirits as they perform a Southern Gospel Christmas with your favorite Christmas hymns and songs.

Dolly’s Christmas Chapel
The Robert F. Thomas Chapel hosts worship services at 5:30 p.m. each Sunday throughout Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

O’ Holy Night
Live out “The Christmas Story.” Three wise men help a little girl looking for an angel.

Parade of Lights
Dollywood’s daily Parade of Lights features Christmas floats of every shape and size adorned with brightly colored Christmas lights. Don’t miss this parade!

“The Polar Express 4-D Experience”
THE POLAR EXPRESS 4-D EXPERIENCE is the popular book set to life at Dollywood. A young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole and along the way discovers the true meaning of Christmas.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
A mysterious, white-bearded stranger helps one family find a Christmas miracle in this delightful musical featuring a five-piece band and a 12-member cast.

For a few helpful tips on Dollywood, check out our suggestions for Dollywood visitors. Whether you’re riding the coasters or lounging in the lazy river during the summer, or checking out Santa’s workshop in December, they’re applicable for the season ticket holder and first time guest alike.

Fall Events in Pigeon Forge

A list of all of the Pigeon Forge events for the fall season. Experience why fall in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is arguable the best season to visit the Great Smoky Mountains!

The season of fall in Pigeon Forge, TN is one of the most popular, if not the most colorful, times to visit town. With all the leaves changing color in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the crisp & cool air, you could say it’s the most beautiful time to visit. Take into account the variety of events in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and you’ve got a season like no other. The Annual Pigeon Forge Harvest Festival lasts from September 28 to October 29 and features all sorts of events that display the very essence of autumn in the Smoky Mountains. Here are just some of the events that are sure to interest you and everyone else in your family or group.

Fall Displays Throughout Town – Each year, numerous businesses create displays along the parkway that feature scarecrows, cornstalks, pumpkins, flowers, gourds, etc. Many of these are definitely worth taking pictures of as the creativity poured into these are sure to turn your head!

Shades of the Past Car Show – This is the annual Rod Run is the precursor to the following week’s Grand Fall Rod Run along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. But don’t let anyone fool you, the Shades of the Past Rod Run is just as shiny and desirable as the big daddy. Running September 7-8, this gearhead event is sure to bring out the ’57 Chevy’s, Ford Mustangs, Pontiac GTO’s and Dodge Chargers of yesteryear.

Grand Fall Rod Run – This is the car show people mark on their calendars to start the year. If you’re a classic car lover, enthusiast, looking to buy a piece of Detroit muscle, or that hard to find old part, the Grand Fall Rod Run in Pigeon Forge is THE car show to attend. The Parkway in Pigeon Forge as well as in Gatlinburg and in Sevierville are where you’ll find participants in the Grand Fall Rod Run, September 14-15.

Old Mill Heritage Days – Come to Patriot Park and the Old Mill on September 22 for Heritage Days. Take a step back into the Smokies during a much simpler time as guests see quilt demonstrations, experience a petting zoo,  basket making, shop a farmers market and much more! It’s the best of early East Tennessee life in the 18th century as guests learn to make such early American staples as lye soap and apple butter. Bring the whole family to Heritage Days, it’s a town favorite for all ages.

Dollywood National Gospel & Harvest Celebration – Dollywood continues the fall festivities with amazing Southern Gospel throughout the park from October 3 – November 3 featuring over 250 free concerts by performers such as the Isaacs, Karen Peck & New River, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Gold City and so many more! October is absolutely one of the best months to visit Dollywood and the Dollywood National Gospel & Harvest Celebration is a huge reason why. The harvest celebration brings numerous craftsmen into Dollywood to showcase various Appalachian craftmaking such as basket weaving, spinning, fiddle making, wood working, glass blowing, and all sorts of other things sure to amaze all members of your family. Be sure to also check out our tips for visiting Dollywood as well.

As you can see, September and October has lots of events in Pigeon Forge for you and your family to experience the very best of fall in the Great Smoky Mountains. Come experience the cooler weather, colorful landscapes, scents throughout the air, expert craftsmen, and so much more. There are very few places in the world that you can experience a fall season such as this. Be sure to check out our list of the best hotels in Pigeon Forge or even the Pigeon Forge cabin section to find the perfect accommodations. After that, check out our favorite places to eat in Pigeon Forge, TN and experience the very best that Pigeon Forge has to offer!

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration (Oct. 3 – Nov. 3)

Dollywood’s Southern Gospel & Harvest Festival is the one event that brings talented performers and crafters alike to Dollywood for one huge fall spectacle.

Fall at Dollywood will lift you up with the biggest Southern gospel festival in the Smokies—four weeks featuring FREE concerts with the park’s National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration!  (All concerts included with Dollywood admission.)

Watch visiting crafters at work throughout the park as the country’s most talented artisans showcase their artistry with up-close demonstrations.  Handmade treasures for the home, unique collectibles and stunning artwork create an impressive craft exhibit you won’t find anywhere else.

Special dishes, all prepared with a taste of fall, showcase some of the harvest season’s most celebrated recipes, including a booth devoted to Dollywood’s signature fried green tomatoes.

Dollywood’s Harvest Celebration Southern Gospel event kicks off Oct. 3 with a night recognizing some of the best the gospel world has come to know and love with the Southern Gospel Music Association Induction Ceremony/Singing News Fan Awards. Tickets can be purchased at Over the next four weeks, performances will take place throughout Dollywood on five specialty stages – the Celebrity Theater, the Showstreet Theater, Pines Theater, on the Singing News Stage at the Valley Theater & Robert F. Thomas Chapel, and on the Praise 96.3 FM Stage at the Back Porch Theater.

Check out such acts as The Florida Boys, The Isaacs, Mark Bishop, and Guy Penrod at the Celebrity Theater in October. However, be sure to get there early in the month as the venue shuts down Oct. 22 to prepare for Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice. The Showstreet Theater will basically be home to widely renowned gospel group Kingdom Heirs in October with appearances by groups like The Browders and Tribute Quartet late in the month.

Meanwhile, Dreamland Drive-In will give performances at the Pines Theater through October 27 with acts such as Greater Vision, The Crist Family, and The Dixie Melody Boys rounding out a number of groups coming on at the end of the month through November 3. Billy Hodges will call the Robert F. Thomas Chapel home during October while groups like The Tiptons, Mountain Joy, Barry Rowland, and The Murray Family perform on the Singing News Stage at the Valley Theater. The park’s Praise 96.3 FM Stage at the Back Porch Theater will host a number of groups throughout the month, so your best bet is to keep a close eye on the schedule. From Michael Wayne Smith to Heritage Crossing to His Voice to Omega, there’s a wide variety of groups scheduled to be in town.

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration is sponsored by Humana. Be sure to take notice of the park’s colorful autumn decor when you’re aren’t listening to some of the best gospel performers around. Plus, Dollywood’s restaurants will be serving some of the finest seasonal fare to go around. Visit the park, eat some of the delicious seasonal offerings, peruse the local crafts, and stay for some great gospel.

Dollywood Nights

Dollywood Nights is back again this year as the park looks to close out summer with extended hours from July 30 to August 12.

Dollywood is bringing back the popular “Dollywood Nights” again this year – the annual end of summer celebration in which the park stays open through the evening hours so everyone can get their fill of rides, park food, and shows before settling in for the new school year.

For over one week, from July 30 to August 12, 2012, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge will operate on extended hours till 10 p.m. each evening. Each day, Dollywood will open at 10 a.m. during the Dollywood Nights celebration (except Saturday when the park opens at 9 a.m.) Most rides will operate during the extended hours. Aside from the evening hours during the park’s wintertime Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, Dollywood Nights offers a rare occasion to enjoy Dollywood’s rides, including the award-winning coasters Thunderhead, Mystery Mine and the new Barnstormer thrill ride — in the dark.

“Before school starts and everyone gets back into their routines, we thought Dollywood Nights would be a great time for families to visit Dollywood after work and enjoy the lazy dog days—and nights—of summer in the park,” said Barbara Joines, Dollywood Vice President and General Manager.

A special $25 (plus tax; no discounts apply) admission ticket will be offered exclusively for July 30 to August 12 which provides entry into Dollywood at 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Dollywood season passes and valid park admission tickets will entitle ticketholders to the extended hours as well.

The number one ticketed attraction in Tennessee, Dollywood is an award-winning 150-acre family adventure park located in Pigeon Forge near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Open nine months a year, Dollywood hosts four of the South’s largest festivals and offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including the new Barnstormer, Thunderhead, twice named the world’s No. 1 wooden coaster, and Mystery Mine coaster, Theme Park Insider’s 2007 Best New Attraction.

In addition to the 2009 Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows, Dollywood is the recipient of 15 Big E Awards in recognition of the park’s live entertainment which features country, bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music. The Golden Tickets’ 2007 Publisher’s Pick for best theme park, Dollywood also is a two-time winner of the Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event. In addition, a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region demonstrate daily. For more information, visit Dollywood’s operating days and hours vary. Visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD for more information.

Dollywood’s KidsFest

Dollywood’s KidsFest is packed with great shows to get kids laughing, learning and having a great time at Dollywood. It’s a fun for all ages show.

The Gazillion Bubbles ShowIt seems like Dollywood is consistently making itself over each year with a new show, roller coaster, addition to Splash Country, what have you. They really like to keep things fun, fresh, and kid-minded around there. With that in mind, every year the park turns its spotlight on its most valued customers with the annual KidsFest (June 22 – July 29) at Dollywood.

Blowing bubbles takes on a whole new meaning with The Gazillion Bubbles Show that will be a part of KidsFest throughout 2012 season. They’re not just for birthday parties and wedding receptions. This interactive show will present eye-popping displays filled with lasers, spectacular lighting effects, and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry.

Appearing on Dollywood’s Showstreet, The Gazillion Bubbles Show has been seen on every major television network and several cable news shows. This summer, you can see it at Dollywood six days a week. No shows on Monday.

Also headling this year’s KidFest will be Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience – a brand new show featuring the acrobatics of man’s best friend. Watch your head for the flying dogs as a dozen of America’s most talented canines defy gravity and perform incredible jumps, tricks and stunts as seen on such popular shows as the Oprah Winfrey show, Nickelodeon and Animal Planet.

This summer, Dolly’s Imagination Playhouse will feature the Penguin Players (June 15 – August 5). This talented group of actors and actresses will bring three popular kids stories to life onstage at Dolly’s Imagination Playhouse. These musicals last about 20 minutes and are filled with songs you can sing to, including some written by Dolly herself!

The first story is a classic that most of us have heard and some even grew up on – The Little Engine That Could. This determined Little Engine triumphantly pulls a train full of toys to the waiting children on the other side of a mountain, and all despite lacking in size than most trains. Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad is a tale about Lulu, a little girl who loves to dress up in her ladybug costume and use her imagination to turn every moment into an adventure. The final play, Otis, centers around a tractor who roams the fields after a hard day’s work and plays in the haystacks, but it’s his determination that shows there’s a place for everyone.

No matter what age you are, you sure to have a great at this summer’s Dollywood KidsFest. Bring a friend or 10 and get ready for fun times, laughs, and the best that Dollywood has to offer.