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Your Guide to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Welcome to the enchanting world of Dollywood, where the Christmas spirit is alive amidst the stunning Smoky Mountains! If you are seeking the ultimate holiday getaway in the mountains, look no further than Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival from now to January 6, 2024. This event has been hailed as America's Best Christmas Event for over a decade! So, come on over and embrace the festive cheer and dive into a world of dazzling Christmas lights, heartwarming holiday entertainment, and thrilling adventures for the entire family.

Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas display

A question you might ask is, "Are the Dollywood rides open in December?" Yes, they are! Picture all the fun and thrilling roller coasters like Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod, and Mystery Mine amidst countless twinkling Christmas lights, festive foods, and holiday shows. Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas offers an ideal setting to enjoy the Christmas season with your entire family.

The Rides at Dollywood

As mentioned, the rides at Dollywood are open during the Christmas event. However, adverse weather conditions such as lightning, snow, extreme cold or heat, and high winds may lead to closures of rides and attractions. In the colder times of the year, select attractions can only operate above specific temperatures.

Mystery Mine rollercoaster facade with Christmas lights

Here is a listing of the roller coasters available at Dollywood:

Moderate Intensity Roller Coasters:
- Blazing Fury
- Dragonflier
- FireChaser Express ®
- Big Bear Mountain, an All-New Roller Coaster at Dollywood and the Longest One at the Park

High Intensity Roller Coasters:
- Lightning Rod ®
- Mystery Mine ®
- Tennessee Tornado
- Thunderhead ®
- Wild Eagle ®
- Drop Line®, Tower Drop Ride
- Daredevil Falls and Smoky Mountain River Rampage, Water Rides

There are also plenty of rides for toddlers, families, and those who enjoy less intense activities. For a complete listing of all the rides and attractions available, check out the Dollywood website.

Holiday Shows

Green Christmas trees and Snow covered Christmas trees

Indulge in the joyous holiday spirit at Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas with an array of captivating shows that embody the essence of the Holiday season. From enchanting tales to soul-stirring music, these heartwarming performances are set to delight visitors of all ages, adding an extra sparkle to your festive experience.

Appalachian Christmas

Appalachian Christmas Band

Experience the rustic charm of an acoustic Christmas with talented bluegrass musicians, filling the air with melodies that echo the spirit of the Holiday season.

Candlelight Carolers

Discover the true essence of Christmas as a new choral ensemble uplifts the atmosphere with traditional Christmas hymns, spreading joy and warmth through their harmonious voices.

Christmas in the Smokies

Christmas in the Smokies Show

Celebrate the holidays with a vibrant cast of fourteen singers and dancers, accompanied by a live band of nine musicians, as they bring beloved holiday favorites to life in an energetic spectacle.

Christmas With The Kingdom Heirs

Dollywood’s award-winning Southern gospel group, The Kingdom Heirs, serenade audiences with Christmas classics and their chart-topping hits spanning over 30 years.

Heart Of The Holidays

Heart Of The Holidays Show

Be captivated by a new generation of Dolly’s family as they perform songs from Dolly’s latest Christmas album, "A Holly Dolly Christmas," adding a modern twist to cherished holiday tunes.

Holiday Wild Roots

Immerse yourself in the infectious holiday melodies that invite everyone to dance, sing, and revel in the joyous spirit of Christmas.


Mistletones, Acapella Group

Elevating old Christmas standards to new heights, this talented acapella group mesmerizes audiences with their enchanting vocals and reimagined holiday classics.

O' Holy Night

Embark on a heartwarming journey through the Christmas story as a little girl searches for an angel as three shepherds follow a guiding star, culminating in a touching tale of Christmas spirit.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas Show

Join the Baxter family and their larger-than-life mouse friends in an enchanting tale of Christmas miracles that will leave hearts aglow with holiday magic.

Wings of America Birds of Prey

While not a Christmas show, witness the mesmerizing aerial performances by Dollywood's captivating birds of prey, offering a fascinating and thrilling experience for visitors of all ages.

Joyful! Season of Light

When the sun goes down, the winter sky shimmers to life! Watch as hundreds of festive drones dance to festive tunes, lighting up the night with Christmas cheer in a new holiday spectacular your whole family will love.

Fairy Princess meet and greet at Wildwood Grove

Festival Foods

Indulge in the festive flavors and holiday delights awaiting you at Dollywood during this Smoky Mountain Christmas! Savor the hearty holiday dishes featuring delectable options like the renowned pork belly skillet – a warm holiday feast combining candied pork belly with white potatoes, onions, and peppers. For a sweet finish, relish in treats such as the Peppermint Cold Brew and the indulgent eggnog cupcake, perfect to satisfy your seasonal cravings.

Christmas Tasting Pass

Embark on a culinary adventure with the Christmas Tasting Pass, specially curated for the Smoky Mountain Christmas event. For just $39.99, non-pass holders can enjoy up to five festival foods, including the beloved Sweet Italian Sausage Skillet and refreshing Holiday Limeade. Gold and Diamond Dollywood Season Passholders can save $3 on this Festival Tasting Pass.

Inside the Robert F. Thomas Chapel in Dollywood

Santa’s List…. Naughty or Nice

Discover your status on Santa’s list, whether you are on the naughty or nice side, and seize the chance for a memorable photo opportunity while peeking through Santa's window during this interactive North Pole experience at Dollywood. Located conveniently near the Country Fair area, where fun rides await with rides for all ages, do not miss the chance to check in with Santa Claus!

Dollywood Express Train Depot

Hop aboard the Dollywood Express Train Depot for a thrilling 20-minute ride through the Great Smoky Mountains' foothills! Feel the thrill as an authentic coal-fired steam engine leads the way on a five-mile journey, treating you to breathtaking views and a nostalgic trip back in time to the mountain travel days of Pigeon Forge. Enjoy the scenic landscapes and the charming history of train travel while you soak in nature's beauty along the way.

Holiday Lights

Experience Dollywood's holiday magic with over 6 million twinkling lights that transform the park into a Christmas wonderland! Take a leisurely stroll and immerse yourself in the seasonal vibes as each area narrates its vibrant story through a spectrum of colors.

Christmas lights in Dollywood

From the classic reds and greens of Santa's Village to the cool blues and whites of Glacier Ridge, let the festive hues lead you on a magical journey. Feel the warm glow in Craftsman's Valley and be amazed by towering Christmas trees, standing up to 12 feet tall, evoking the delightful childhood wonder that defines this special time of year.

Lodging Options at Dollywood

Immerse yourself in the heartwarming spirit of the season with on-site lodging options that promise a home away from home during this magical time. Choose Dollywood's DreamMore Resort & Spa for a truly indulgent experience, offering door-to-door transportation, complimentary TimeSaver Passes, an array of dining options, and more to elevate your Christmas getaway. Alternatively, discover Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, crafted to encapsulate the essence of the Smokies, inviting you to uncover your own heartsong and embrace the wonders of this special destination in the Smoky Mountains.

Wishing you a joyous season!

Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas wreath with a pine tree on both sides

Whether you are establishing a new family tradition or continuing an old one, Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas is an unmissable holiday experience that promises great times, heartwarming moments, and the true essence of Christmas cheer in the heart of East Tennessee. Come, be a part of America's best Christmas event, and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Have you been to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas? If so, let me know in the comments below - I want to know about your favorite experience! If you have not gone, are they on your bucket list of places to visit now? Let me know in the comments below, and share this article with the person or people you want to go with! Either way, SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

For more ideas on what to do in Tennessee for Christmas, check out our blog post, 21 Best Things to Do for Christmas in Tennessee.

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*This article is not sponsored by the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, any of the other above-mentioned businesses, or their affiliates.*

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