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Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas 2023 Guide

Picture of Christmas tree at Dollywood with words "Dollywood smoky mountain Christmas"
Photo by media/blog.dollywood.com, photo collage by A Roberts/discoverthegreatsmokies.com

Smoky Mountain Christmas

Going to Dollywood this holiday season? We are sharing our guide that includes everything you need to know about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas including the special seasonal foods, Christmas decorations and Christmas light displays, a visit with Santa Claus, and holiday shows.

Christmas is said to be the most wonderful time of the year and the same can be said for the holiday season at Dollywood. Every year, Dollywood puts up their Christmas best and celebrates with their Smoky Mountain Christmas. Dollywood is a beautiful sight during the holiday season with 6 million twinkling lights!

There are so many reasons that Smoky Mountain Christmas has been America’s Best Christmas Event for over a decade. During Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, the park is not only decorated for the Christmas season, but features unique seasonal foods, drinks, treats and special entertainment. Dollywood is surrounded by the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of the most wonderful time of the year.

picture of christmas cookies
Photo by @Dollywood

Smoky Mountain Christmas Food

During Smoky Mountain Christmas, the food at Dollywood gets a Christmas makeover. Many of Dollywood’s popular dishes now include some of your favorite Christmas flavors.

A few of the food items that you will see at Dollywood this holiday season includes a Pork Belly Skillet, Pot Roast Mac & Cheese, Red Velvet Whoopie Pie and Chipotle Turkey Nachos.

Smoky Mountain Christmas Beverages

Cranberry Orange Drink : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116A

Holiday Limeade : Market Square Potatoes | Map #115

Peppermint Cold Brew : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Smoky Mountain Christmas Savory Bites

Christmas Toastie Sandwich : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116A

Chicken Pot Pie Bread Cone : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116A

Pork Belly Skillet : Market Square BIG SKILLET® | Map #114

Sweet Italian Sausage Skillet : Market Square BIG SKILLET® | Map #114

Chili Potato Tornado : Market Square Potatoes | Map #115

Three Bean Chili : Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner | Map #69

Pot Roast Mac & Cheese : Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner | Map #69

Turkey Campfire Skillet : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116B

Chipotle Turkey Nachos : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116B

Stuffing Stacker : Seasonal Culinary Booth | Map #116B

Loaded Potato Soup : Iron Horse Pizza | Map #82

Margherita Flatbread : Iron Horse Pizza | Map #82

Smoky Mountain Christmas Sweet Treats

Red Velvet Whoopie Pie : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Gingerbread Cookies : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Holiday Sugar Cookies : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Hot Cocoa Cupcake : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Eggnog Cupcake : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Red Velvet Peppermint Cupcake : Spotlight Bakery | Map #23

Eggnog Milkshake : Showstreet Ice Cream | Map #21

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich : Showstreet Ice Cream | Map #21

Red Velvet Funnel Cake : Crossroads Funnel Cakes | Map #111 & Splinter’s Funnel Cakes | Map #43

Smoky mountain Christmas Tasting Pass

A fun way to taste your way around the flavors of the holiday season is to purchase a Smoky Mountain Christmas Tasting Pass. It allows you to try up to five festival foods for one low price. You can purchase your Smoky Mountain Christmas Tasting Pass ahead of time on the Dollywood website or on their app. Gold and Diamond Season Passholders save $3 off on the Smoky Mountain Christmas Tasting Pass!

photo collage of Christmas shopping at Dollywood
Dolly Parton shirt & mug photo and Christmas kitchen gifts by media/blog.dollywood.com, Dollywood Christmas shirts photo by media/insiders.dollywood.com, snowman glass ornament photo by media/dollywood.com. Photo collage by A Roberts/discoverthegreatsmokies.com

Christmas Shopping At Dollywood

It’s so hard to find the right Christmas gift each year, as you want each gift to be unique and special (and not another pair of socks or a gift card). Well, luckily, Dollywood has you covered. Dollywood has an array of unique and special gifts for everyone.

During its Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, Dollywood gets array of Christmas gifts and decorations in their shops. In the shops you will find tons of Dolly Parton memorabilia, Dollywood souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, pottery and home décor, Christmas ornaments, specialty foods, and sweet treats all themed for the Christmas season.

There are also many unique items that are made on site by talented artisans. You can watch these artists as they create Christmas themed hand blown glass items, hand carved wood carvings, hand-tooled leather items, hand-forged steel items, and handmade candles. With so many unique options, Dollywood has special Christmas gifts for everyone on your list!

picture of A Christmas In The Smokies Show at Dollywood.
Photo by @Dollywood

Smoky Mountain Christmas Entertainment

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without enjoying Christmas music and Dollywood gives it its all. Wherever you go in Dollywood during Smoky Mountain Christmas, wonderful holiday tunes are sure to accompany your visit. Also each of Dollywood’s wonderful shows gets a Christmas makeover.

The most popular show during Smoky Mountain Christmas is Christmas in the Smokies. This Christmas musical takes you back to the early years when families came together in the Smokies. It’s one of Dollywood’s favorite Christmas traditions and a classic among park goers.

Here is a list of all the wonderful Smoky Mountain Christmas performances so you can make sure to not miss your favorites. 

photo collage of Dollywood at Christmas
Photos by @Dollywood, photo collage by A Roberts/discoverthegreatsmokies.com

Smoky Mountain Christmas Décor & Lights

Christmas at Dollywood wouldn’t be the same without Christmas décor. During Smoky Mountain Christmas, all of Dollywood is decorated for Christmas. The holidays wouldn’t be complete without the glow of Christmas lights. Luckily, Dollywood has you covered. During Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood is decorated with 6 million twinkling lights.

Each area of Dollywood is decorated with a different theme and with different colored lights. The Showstreet area is decorated with lights of traditional jewel tones. The Jukebox Junction has retro colored lights of turquoise and red. Rivertown Junction, Owens Farm and Craftsman’s Valley brings lights with a soft candlelight glow.

The Village Pass, which takes guests from the lower Craftsman’s Valley area to The Village, features a 130’ light curtain wall that includes programmed movement.

The Village, which is called Santa’s Village during the festival, is decked out in lights of classic red and green. The Country Fair, which is called Peppermint Valley during the festival, is decorated with striped red and white lights to look like candy canes.

The Wilderness Pass, Timber Canyon, Wildwood Grove and upper Craftsmen’s Valley areas are home to the popular Glacier Ridge during the holiday season. It has lights of icey blues and wintery whites. Wildwood Grove adds lights of pink and purple to Glacier Ridge’s icey colored lights.

The most popular décor item during Smoky Mountain Christmas is the 50 ft. Christmas Tree. This huge Christmas tree is the best photo opt during Smoky Mountain Christmas. This giant tree can be found in Wilderness Pass.

The 50 ft. Christmas tree is more than just a huge Christmas tree. Each night during the festival, the tree comes alive with lights that are synced with music. The lit up tree tells a story of a polar bear visiting his cousin black bear in the smoky mountains. The tree lighting show even ends with a burst of falling snow. The tree lighting show is called Wonderful Christmas and runs every 30 minutes from 6 to 8:40 p.m.

photo collage of Glacier Ridge at Dollywood
Photos by @Dollywood, photo collage by A Roberts/discoverthegreatsmokies.com

Glacier Ridge

Glacier Ridge is a beautiful part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

Glacier Ridge tells a heartwarming Christmas story; the Smokies have iced over so that Polar Bear can visit his cousin Black Bear for the holidays. Each night, lights of Icey blue and winery whites spawn across Wilderness Pass, Timber Canyon, Wildwood Grove, and upper Craftsman’s Valley, giving it the feel of a winter wonderland.

The most popular parts of Glacier Ridge are the Arctic Passage (Timber Canyon), The Northern Lights (between Tennessee Tornado and Blazing Fury), and of course, The Polar Bears (Drop Line Bay and Craftsman’s Valley).

picture of train at Dollywood
Photo by @Dollywood

Dollywood Express Light Experience

One of the best ways to see all of Dollywood’s amazing Christmas lights is on the Dollywood Express. During this 20 minute train ride, the Dollywood Express takes you all throughout Dollywood, including the woodsy back of the park. Guests aboard the Dollywood Express can enjoy a light show synced to classic Christmas songs. You can truly experience all the wonder of Dollywood’s 6 million Christmas lights in 20 minutes.

The Dollywood Express is also decorated for Christmas as well and runs throughout the day (and night). The train depot is located in The Village.

picture of Santa Claus look at list at dollywood
Photo by @Dollywood

Santa’s List… Naughty Or Nice

A Christmas Dollywood trip with kids isn’t complete without seeing Santa Claus. Luckily, Dolly Parton has invited her friend Santa to take a break from the hustle and bustle in his own cabin in Dollywood.

During Santa’s List… Naughty Or Nice Experience, kids get to write a letter to Santa Claus and watch as Santa checks The Naughty and Nice List. You might even see your name on The List.

Santa’s List… Naughty Or Nice Experience lasts 40 minutes and starts at different times during the day. We recommend checking the Dollywood app or the showtimes to see when the experience starts and get there early because the experience is very popular.

Santa’s List… Naughty Or Nice can be found in The Village.

Joyful! Season Of Light

New for 2023 is Joyful! Season of Light. Watch in awe as hundreds of festive colored drones fills the skys of Dollywood as they soar in the sky to holiday tunes.

The best place to watch this nightly show is in Wildwood Grove. Joyful! Season of Light starts at 8:30 each night.

When Does Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Start?

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival starts November 4, 2023 and ends January 6, 2024. The park will also have a limited operating schedule throughout the event, closing on select days. Dollywood will be open 11 am-9 pm each day of operation during the festival. Make sure to check the dates on the Dollywood operating calendar for days of operation when planning your trip during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Photo by @Dollywood

Christmas At Dollywood

Smoky Mountain Christmas is the time when Dollywood comes alive with Christmas spirit, features seasonal foods, beautiful Christmas lights, and special entertainment. The scents, sounds, and sights of Christmas in the Smokies brings a childlike wonder to the park. We hope that our guide to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas will help you have an amazing experience at Dollywood this holiday season!

Dollywood Christmas Video

Dollywood Tips

What to get more out of your Christmas trip to Dollywood? Check out our Dollywood Tips and our Dollywood Dinning Guide.

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