Since you’re here browsing the Dollywood Blog, I’m pretty sure you already know we have an affinity for Christmas. You know, it’s our jam, our gig; it’s what we do. We just earned our 11th consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, and when you look around, it’s no doubt why.
If you’re looking to get in the Christmas spirit, join us Nov. 10- Jan. 5 for our Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana. We’ve made the biggest addition since the festival started in 1990 with our new Glacier Ridge. In fact, it’s so much bigger, we’re adding about one million lights. Yes, that makes our total more than five million twinkling lights throughout the entire park. Clark Griswold has nothing on us.
With the addition of Glacier Ridge, you’re going to experience the Smokies at Christmas in a way you’ve never been able to before. The immense new experience adds numerous displays and interactive elements to an already festive environment. Glacier Ridge can be found in the areas of the park known during the regular season as Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and the upper portion of Craftsman’s Valley.
As guests near Glacier Ridge, they’ll feel as if the Smokies have frozen over thanks to cool and icy color tones throughout the area, a 50 ft. tall, fully-animated Christmas tree, a number of new displays and a mesmerizing atmosphere sure to make you say, “Wow, these folks go all out for Christmas.” The Plaza at Wilderness Pass transforms to a winter wonderland, complete with the animated tree which is the focal point of the area. The tree also is synchronized to holiday hits that will have you singing along. In fact, all of the vibrant LED lights at the Plaza are synced to allow for a massive new immersive experience.
If you enter Glacier Ridge from Timber Canyon, the Arctic Passage, a 130-ft. long programmable light tunnel, transports you there in a dazzling array of light and color. Once emerging from the tunnel, you’ll be greeted by polar bears who have made a home at Drop Line. Because the Smokies have frozen to create Glacier Ridge, these friends from the north are able to spend time with their Smoky Mountain cousins.
Those coming to Glacier Ridge through Craftsman’s Valley experience a unique new light technique that creates a light pattern similar to the aurora borealis. Guests can walk through Dollywood’s version of the northern lights which is programmed with music to help guests feel as if the northern lights have come south, even if for just a few weeks.
From the cheer and joy of the Parade of Many Colors, to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Smoky Mountain Christmas fosters family memory making for guests. I grew up coming to Dollywood at Christmas with my parents and grandparents, and now we’re able to bring our kids with their grandparents so we can make those same memories for them. When you wander through the spectacular scenery, it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many.
Be sure to check the schedule before you plan your day. We have longer hours on the weekends, and are closed on Mondays in November, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.