It’s Christmas at Dollywood and it is like stepping into a fantasy.
My husband and I recently enjoyed a trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We were provided with 2 complimentary passes to enjoy a day at Dollywood however the opinions here are our own.
Let me just be 100% honest with you. It was below freezing during our visit to Dollywood. It was sleeting with a snow mixture which made it marvelous and miserable at the same time. We laughed about how we will certainly look back on this visit to Dollywood some years from now. We loved every minute of it.
Dollywood is a 150 acre theme park nestled amongst an abundance of mature trees providing shade in the summer and gorgeous colors in the fall. You will find Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennessee just a few miles from Gatlinburg. In fact you can catch a trolley from Gatlinburg to Dollywood. The park is named for it’s owner Dolly Parton who is from the Great Smoky mountains. Dollywood pays homage to the artisans and craftsmen associated with the Great Smoky Mountain region.
One of the attractions in the theme park is the area known as Craftsman’s Valley. You will enjoy watching artisan’s as they make by hand item’s such as glass works, leather goods, wagons, candles and so much more. We stopped in to watch as the artisan in the picture below crafted a beautiful work of blown glass. He explained each step in the process as he was working. It was quite fascinating.
Dollywood has lots of rides including America’s first wing coaster known as Wild Eagle. It stands a magnificent 21 stories tall. If you are a coaster enthusiast, you will not want to miss this experience. I prefer to watch from the ground. Enjoy a virtual experience with this video filmed with a GoPro.
As I mentioned, it was really cold while we were at Dollywood. We dressed in layers and had scarves and ear wraps but my ear wrap was pinching the arm on my glasses so we stopped in Dolly’s Closet over in the Adventures In Imagination area. Let me just say that we were pleasantly surprised at the affordable prices! I got a beautiful crochet hat with matching scarf for only $12! (I’m wearing them in the last photo below) I then wore both scarves and put the head wrap in my purse.
There are as many as 9 shows going on at any given time during Christmas at Dollywood. We very much enjoyed Christmas in the Smokies at the Showstreet Palace Theater. The talented cast sang and danced with a beautiful Victorian Smoky mountain Christmas backdrop wearing period clothing. They brought a happy family Christmas celebration to life complete with snow!
We left the Showstreet Palace theater and strolled through the streets of Dollywood. It really felt like we had stepped right into a Hallmark movie set. There is not a single bush or shrub which isn’t covered with Christmas lights.
We kept stopping and looking around at just how beautiful everything was. The photo below is the Craft Shop with it’s grassy roof, all decked out with blue lights. Don’t you just love that stone wall along the pathway! Dollywood is not your typical theme park.
There are many choices for dining including dinner with Santa at the Backstage restaurant. The cinnamon rolls are quite popular around Dollywood. You can even get them to go.
One of my personal favorite things to do at any theme park is to ride the train. I like it because it takes you behind the scenes. The train was completely full of passengers on this visit, most singing along with the Christmas carols as we journeyed through Dollywood. The engineer even made the whistle sing!
On the way to the train depot you will pass Holly Jolly Junction where exclusively at Dollywood, you can meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius.
There is lots of fun and games at Holly Jolly Junction. It’s a great place to make some Christmas memories. The children will get to decorate Christmas cookies at Clarice’s kitchen too! Since Rudolph is one of our favorite Christmas programs every year, we very much enjoyed Holly Jolly Junction!
From now until January 2nd, if you arrive after 6pm, you will get the next day FREE at Dollywood! That’s a great reason to visit Dollywood for Christmas.
A very nice lady was kind enough to take our photo as we were about to leave. Don’t we look cold!
This was our first time visiting Dollywood at Christmas but it won’t be our last. We didn’t even mind the freezing temperatures while we strolled through the winter wonderland on the Christmas streets of Dollywood. We stayed in a cabin while on this visit to Pigeon Forge but I want to share with you that Dollywood has a new hotel opening in the summer of 2015, Dream More Resort. You can register to become a member of the founders club for exclusive offers here. Start planning your visit now!
A special thanks to Dollywood for providing the most beautiful photos (lake view, train and parade) in this post.