Photos: Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is celebrating the season with their annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festivities.

The landmark in the middle of the Smoky Mountains transforms all their legendary entertainment offerings to feature Christmas shows and musical performances, and even includes strolling performers playing classic holiday tunes in the different sections of the park. The many theaters of the park play host to tellings of Twas The Night Before Christmas, as well as the story of Christmas with a living nativity, and the park’s classic Smoky Mountain Christmas Show that plays in the iconic theater at the park’s entrance. Most nights, the park also plays host to a special Christmas fireworks show in the sky above the park’s Wildwood Grove, but can be seen throughout the park. Carolers also sing live on the steps of the park’s historical chapel throughout the night, serenading those passing by, and even offer chairs outside of the chapel so guests can sit and enjoy. The shops of Craftsmen Valley also now feature holiday artisans who create wreaths and wood carvings appropriate for the season.

The big draw however, are the many colors of Dollywood as the park decks their halls in over 5 million lights, inviting you to slow down for a scenic stroll through the park.

Frequent park goers who know each land will recognize how each land tells a seasonal story through different hues and color schemes. For example,  Santa's Village (Country Fair) is home to the classic red and green, the crisp blues and whites of winter can be found in Glacier Ridge (Timber Canyon), and a soft candlelight glow illuminates Craftsman's Valley. Towering up to 12 feet tall, dozens of spectacular Christmas trees are found throughout the park in every area and along many of the pathways.

Subjectively speaking, the highlight of the event is a section of the park covered in the “Northern Lights.” Taking place on the pathway between the Blazing Fury attraction and the Tennessee Tornado roller coaster, hundreds of lights hang from the trees above while fog machines fill the area to allow the lights to cast a magical glow in the sky as passersby traverse the pathway. While gentle music plays and wildlife can be heard, you’ll likely want to stop and just stare at the lights above, which is exactly what we did and you can enjoy them in the video below.

The event has proven so popular this season that once again, the park is requiring reservations along with admission for the day. Those without reservations may gain entry into the park after 6:00 PM as capacity allows. The park gets dark shortly before that 6:00 point, so most people who are there to see the over 5 million lights displayed throughout the park likely will not be leaving prior to then, so definitely make those reservations.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is running now through January 2nd, 2022, when the park will close for the season and reopen next Spring. You can take a stroll through Dollywood with us in the replay of our livestream below!

To learn more about the attractions of Dollywood that are available throughout the year, check out Luke’s article ranking the Roller Coasters of Dollywood!