When the mercury starts dropping the lights start going up at Dollywood and you know it’s time for Smoky Mountain Christmas.
We live within an easy drive of Dollywood and it continues to be one of our favorite amusement parks. We’re not alone as they won numerous Amusement Today Golden Ticket awards this year including Friendliest Park, Best Shows, Best Food, and Best Christmas Event. One thing we like about the park is that there is always something for everybody in our party to enjoy whether they are 2 or 102.
Speaking of Best Christmas Event, even the general public seems to agree as the park is very busy during November and December. Keep reading to find ways to get the most from your visit to Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Dollywood is a perfect place to bring your motorhome. While there are no hookups and no overnight parking, there is a parking lot area reserved exclusively for RVs. Like all parking areas at Dollywood, it is conveniently located near a tram stop that will take you to the main entrance. You should be aware that the parking lot access road can get narrow in a few places which is exacerbated by the flow of traffic into the park. You’ll want to arrive early to beat some of the traffic.
While we’re on the topic of arriving early, you’ll want to plan to enter the park close to opening time and also be there at the end of the day near closing time. Those times tend to have the least amount of people in the park. Since one of the allures of Smoky Mountain Christmas is the millions of lights that adorn nearly everything, the crowds really pick up as daylight turns to night. The most popular attractions are best to hit early in the day before the crowds hit their peak.
There is too much to see and do at the park to take it all in over the course of a single day. Smoky Mountain Christmas is a great time to purchase season passes. By purchasing season passes now, you can visit the park for the remainder of this year as well as all next year. One of your family members should also purchase a gold pass. It comes with free parking, a 20% discount at most shops and restaurants, and more! A gold pass quickly pays for itself.
If you are trying to cram everything into a single day, you will want to consider renting a Q-bot for the day. It is a line management system that will hold your place in line allowing you to get the most from your day at Dollywood.
The park is nestled in the Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. While the setting adds to the character of the park, it can also be a challenge for mobility impaired individuals. Dollywood does a great job of making itself accessible to all guests regardless of their ability. You will want to pay close attention to the park map, however, as there are a few areas that are tough to navigate if you are in a wheelchair. Alternate paths are available to most areas you can still enjoy everything the park has to offer.
The shows are extremely popular, especially during Smoky Mountain Christmas. Be sure to pick up the show schedule as you enter the main gate and decide which shows are a must see as they fill up quickly. Arrive early to the corresponding theater – there will surely be a line started.
Wild Eagle – This is Dollywood’s newest roller coaster and the first wing-rider coaster in the United States. It is tame enough for most members of your party to enjoy yet wild enough for even the biggest thrill seekers in your party to have a great time riding. Our special needs son doesn’t particularly like roller coasters that go upside down but he loved riding Wild Eagle.
Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice – As the name implies, this is a Christmas themed ice skating show inside one of their great theaters. Everybody in our party truly enjoyed this show. Back to the topic on lines, while there may be an extremely long line to get into this show, the theater is large so chances are if you are in line there will be a seat for you.
Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet – Breaking from tradition is not always a bad thing. One thing you’ll be hard pressed to find at Dollywood is traditional prepared amusement park food. Aunt Granny’s has a quality buffet with reasonable prices. One of the reasons that you’ll want to check out this restaurant is that Saint Nick himself comes around and spends some time with each table. This adds a nice personal touch and is more than the traditional sitting on his lap, although if you ask he’ll be happy to have his picture taken with you. From our dinner here we learned that Santa was once a coaster enthusiast. Perhaps that will help me stay off of his naughty list.
Craftsman’s Valley – Many parks have gone away from the traditional craftsmen that create their wares on site. Dollywood has kept this traditional fare and you can experience expert craftsman make their wares in front of your eyes.
Amusement Today calls Dollywood the Friendliest Park. We have traveled to many amusement/theme parks and have had good experiences with most. Dollywood takes it a step further with their staff going out of their way to ensure that you have the best experience possible. They truly are glad that you’re here.
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