Dollywood at Christmas time is absolutely magical! This was our first trip as a family to the Dollywood theme park, and I can’t imagine there being a better time to see it!
Dollywood encompasses more than 150 acres in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in the Great Smoky Mountains. There are over 50 rides (9 of them roller coasters), award-winning dining, and the best family-friendly atmosphere!
Dollywood at Christmas Time: Smoky Mountain Christmas
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas starts November 5th and runs through January 1st.
During this celebration, the park is decked out with over 6 million lights! Christmas-themed shows go on throughout the park, and the whole place smells like the Grist Mill’s world-famous cinnamon bread. I wish I could send the smell to you through the screen! It’s drool-worthy!
Be prepared to wait in a pretty decent-sized line if you want to get your hands on a loaf of cinnamon bread! But it’s worth it!
Can you see all of Dollywood in a day?
Dollywood is a big place! It would be impossible to see and do everything there is to do in a single day. But you can squeeze a lot of memories and fun into one day!
My tip would be to prioritize the things that are most important to each person, making sure everyone gets to at least do the main thing they wanted to do.
Something I love about Dollywood, as opposed to many other theme parks, is that it is so easy to navigate around. There’s really only one main loop to follow throughout the whole park.
According to the Dollywood blog, “a full walk of the entire park, from gate to gate through each themed land, tallies up to 1.5 miles”. But in that distance, there will be rides, shows, dining, shops, and other attractions!
The great thing is, the ticket prices get less expensive the more days you decide to stay. So if it’s important to you to see it all, consider multi-day or even season passes (It only takes 2 separate visits to justify the price of a season pass!)
Our day at Dollywood
We started our day at a glamping dome in Cosby, Tennessee, and arrived at Dollywood just after lunch, after purchasing our tickets that morning online. We opted to include the fee for parking in our online purchase, but you can also pay for parking at the gate.
As much as I love a good roller coaster, I couldn’t convince my 9-year-old to get on any of them with me, and didn’t want to ride alone. However, I was perfectly happy to just walk around experiencing all the magic of Dollywood at Christmas time!
Mike gave each of our kids $40 to spend however they wanted. We went into several shops (including a whole shop dedicated to Squishmallows, where we of course didn’t make it out without a new one), and stopped to watch Christmas carolers on the steps of the Robert F. Thomas Chapel (which was so amazing!)
Mike and Mason were super interested in the blacksmith shop, so we stopped and wandered around there a while, and watched as they made knives.
At the Handsville Wax Company, the kids held hands and dipped them into the wax to make a really cute little sculpture! We had it sent to the Emporium to pick up when we were ready to leave so we didn’t have to carry it around. You can do this with all your packages! It’s such a nice extra perk!
The kids wanted to play the arcade games when we passed by, so we got them each a few tokens to play.
At Lucky 7 Mine, Mason and I mined for gems while Ella got a bubble wand and entertained herself and other guests. 🙂
We grabbed a snack from one of the quick places to eat and sat down in the picnic area next to the bald eagles. There are at least a dozen bald eagles in the 30,000-square-foot aviary. The eagles are cared for by the American Eagle Foundation. (No, not the clothing store!)
We happened to be walking by right as they were beginning a Wings of America show. It was fun to learn about the different birds of prey and watch some of them do tricks!
For dinner, we stopped at Granny Ogle’s Ham and Beans. This is a sit-down restaurant serving southern comfort foods. Aside from ham and beans, there is the meatloaf stacker, chicken pot pie, loaded potato soup, and more.
Dessert at Granny Ogle’s is made from scratch, a choice of pecan pie or banana pudding. It was really tempting but we didn’t try either one.
Kid’s meals are also available.
We thought the food was pretty good, and it has a 4.5-star review on Google!
Later, Mike and the kids got ice cream while I stood in line at the bakery to get some of that cinnamon bread! I couldn’t be stopped after smelling it throughout the entire day!
Although we only did one ride- the Rockin’ Roadway, we really had a great time! Dollywood at Christmas time is perfect for just strolling casually around without a plan!
Other things to love about Dollywood
Did you know Dollywood offers a dog boarding service? It’s located next to Guest Services and the hours are the same as regular guest hours.
*Doggywood Reservations are recommended to ensure you get a space!
Time Saver Line Management Passes
If waiting in line for a ride isn’t for you, there are Time Saver and Time Saver Unlimited passes available for purchase. These get you into expedited entrances on the rides!
Vehicle Assistance Program
On our way out of Dollywood, riding the tram, it was so awesome to hear that if you get back to your car and have any minor car trouble (dead battery, flat tire, keys locked in car, etc.) Dollywood will actually take care of it for you, for free, through their partnership with NAPA Auto Parts!
It’s just another reason Dollywood is TripAdvisor’s “#1 Theme Park in the United States.”
Dollywood Ticket & Hours Information
This information is correct as of December 2022.
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd.
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
- 11am-9pm most days (select Mondays and Tuesdays are closed)
- CLOSED Thanksgiving Day
- CLOSED Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Dollywood Ticket Pricing
One Day Passes
Adult – $89 (age 10-61)
Child – $79 (age 4-9)
Age 3 and under – FREE
Senior – $79 (age 62 and up)
Two Day Passes
Adult – $109 (age 10-61)
Child – $99 (age 4-9)
Age 3 and under – FREE
Senior – $99 (age 62 and up)
Season passes come in Silver, Gold, or Diamond and start at $154/adult. Water park access can be added on for $55.
Pre-K children can get a Pre-K Imagination Season Pass for FREE!
(Trams run from parking lots to the main gate)
Standard vehicle: $25
Oversize-length vehicles (such as RVs & trailers): $30
Standard parking is free with a Gold or Diamond season pass (including oversize-length!)
Preferred parking is $45 (discounts available for Gold or Diamond pass holders).
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If you’re planning a future trip to Dollywood, please pin this post for later!