What A Year It’s Been!

If you had a chance to visit Dollywood in 2017, you know the “Year of the Family” certainly lived up to its name. With two great new attractions at Dollywood for families to enjoy, a new water slide at Dollywood’s Splash Country, amazing festivals, and so much fun, it is easy to see why this year is wrapping up as the best yet!

If you’re reading this on the day it posted (Jan. 1), you’re in luck. You still have two days to get in on the action. We’ve had so much fun this year, we wanted to give you a couple more chances to come see us to take part in the fun yourself. We are now open through Wednesday, Jan. 3, so come out and experience the magic of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival one more time!

This was an amazing season for our guests. The year began with world-class entertainment during Festival of Nations, which included old favorites like the Mother Africa show, as well as new friends in the Polish folk ensemble Slask. That was followed up by the Tokyo-based dance company enra, who visited during our Spring Break celebration. enra, was featured on America’s Got Talent in 2015 and mesmerized audiences with their performance.

To kick off summer, we opened Drop Line, our 230-ft. tall drop tower, as well as Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster for our younger guests. Both were very popular all season, with guests smiling and enjoying the experience provided by each ride.

Our Barbeque & Bluegrass festival featured a number of great performers, and The Gazillion Bubbles Show returned for summer to give families an “unbubbleievable” show full of amazing tricks and excitement. We were thrilled with the response guests had to the new Great Pumpkin LumiNights as part of our Harvest Festival, and we can’t wait to add even more pumpkins to that event next year. Smoky Mountain Christmas closed out the year and was awarded its 10th Golden Ticket for Best Theme Park Christmas event!

We’re not slowing down though, and with 2018 on the horizon, I’m excited about what is ahead. Dolly announced our plans for next year by calling it a “Season of Showstoppers.” In 2018, we are investing $1 million more than any season-long entertainment schedule in Dollywood’s history. The names performing here next year read like a nomination list from an awards ceremony.

It all starts with Festival of Nations (March 17-April 9) with headliners National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo—who worked with Dolly on her 1996 album Treasures.

In April, we will host the all-new Spring Mix music series (April 11-29). Dollywood guests can expect performances by huge names including The Marshall Tucker Band, Amy Grant, The Drifters, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Debby Boone, Suzy Bogguss, T.G. Sheppard, Pam Tillis, Crystal Gayle, Connie Smith, Shenandoah and many more!

Already one of the nation’s best bluegrass events, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 25- June 10) adds an extra week of concerts from the biggest names in the business. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration includes iLuminate (finalists on America’s Got Talent in 2011), international touring sensation DRUMLine Live!, and Dan Dunn’s innovative and mesmerizing PaintJam. Our popular Rock the Smokies moves to August 25 with TobyMac and Crowder serving as headliners, with a number of other Contemporary Christian artists performing throughout the park.

Our Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28 – Nov. 3) provides more fall family fun with the expansion of Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the largest Southern gospel event in America. Our 2018 season again ends with America’s favorite theme park holiday event, Smoky Mountain Christmas. Voted as the best theme park Christmas event for a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019) features four million spectacular lights, classic holiday entertainment—including Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life—Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends, and the heartwarming Parade of Many Colors.

It’s an exciting time to be part of the Dollywood family, and we’re glad you’re along for the ride. This season was great, but 2018 is going to have even more entertainment, more family excitement and more memories to last a lifetime.

By | 2018-01-01T17:30:04+00:00 January 1st, 2018|Festivals|0 Comments

About the Author:

While he is originally from Gate City, Virginia, Wes Ramey has long considered Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains region his second home. Many weekends of the year, he would travel with his parents and grandparents to the Smokies to enjoy some his favorite attractions in the area, including the Space Needle, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, go karts, and of course, Dollywood. Based on his love as a three-year-old for Dollywood’s Convoy ride (there is a picture on his desk), Wes first told his parents he wanted to become a truck driver when he grew up. He also enjoyed the Flooded Mine because: A.) it was the only ride his mamaw was brave enough to ride, and B.) she was usually scared halfway through! When Wes isn’t working to tell people about the awesome things you can do at Dollywood with your family (scaring your grandparents doesn’t count), he enjoys spending time with his wife Lyndsey and young children. Most of his days are filled with reading Imagination Library books and baking imaginary cupcakes for tea parties, but when he has time, he enjoys anything with wheels and an engine. While Wes doesn’t own his own race car (yet), he does enjoy watching the professionals do their thing each week. For now, he fulfills his need for speed on Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, Wild Eagle and the Rockin’ Roadway!
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