Did you see “Christmas at Dollywood” on Hallmark Channel yet?? You should! It has many things going for it: Dolly Parton, Dollywood, Christmas… You know, all the best elements to make a great movie. This rom com [aka romantic comedy] had my attention from start to finish, but because I received more than one text message asking if such-and-such is true, I thought it would be fun to fact-check a few things that come up in the movie. Below, I listed some circumstances that were presented in “Christmas at Dollywood” and I’ll tell you if they are true or false.
Dolly’s picture is EVERYWHERE in the Dollywood offices: FALSE
While it’s true we love and adore our Dolly, you’re more likely to see beauty shots of the park on office walls than headshots of our Dreamer-In-Chief. I will say, it’s not uncommon to find framed pictures of Dollywood hosts posing with Dolly because she always makes time to take photos with hosts. (And as much as I’d like to tell you I work in that beautiful office, those “Dollywood” office scenes were shot in Vancouver.)
Dolly visits Dollywood frequently: TRUE
She may not pop into new host orientation as “Luke” tells “Rachel,” but Dolly usually visits her park at least a few times a year. In 2019, she was at Dollywood five times for various public appearances. I would like you to know that we hosts usually refrain from running in the direction of where we hear she is. We play it cool—even if we are super-excited to see her back! And, YES, guests often see her on stage as you saw in “Christmas at Dollywood.” If she’s in town, she likes to introduce acts or even join in for a song or two!
Dolly whisks in and out of Dollywood via helicopter: FALSE
Dolly prefers her bus over just about any other mode of transportation. She never flies to Dollywood.
Our Glacier Ridge Christmas tree is on the fritz: FALSE
There has to be some tension point in the movie, right? Hold-your-breath-as-you-wait-kind-of moment. I’m happy to tell you that it is only true in the movie script. In reality, it’s one of the highlights our guests enjoy at Christmas. Did you know that it snows at the end of that show? Did you notice that in the movie?
Dollywood hosts drive golf carts to get around the park: FALSE
When Dollywood is open, hosts walk everywhere as our guests do. The only time you will see golf carts is when our medical team is responding to a call.
Our Parade of Many Colors features dancing candy canes and human snow globes: TRUE
It wasn’t just TV magic. Dollywood’s nightly Christmas parade is pretty great. It includes everything you saw in the movie and more. The parade route runs through Adventures in Imagination, Jukebox Junction, Showstreet, Rivertown Junction and The Village. It does not run through Craftsman’s Valley up to Glacier Ridge. That would be quite the trek—not a few minutes as “Rachel” radioed “Luke.”
All Dollywood hosts regularly go line dancing: FALSE
I conducted a very unscientific poll of my fellow marketing hosts. Of the ten people who were in their office when I came knocking, none had ever line-danced to a Christmas song—or had been line dancing in years for that matter. Everyone had tried line dancing at some point.
Hallmark shot and edited “Christmas at Dollywood” in a few weeks: TRUE
We’ve been talking with Hallmark for months and the original plan was to shoot in August, but that didn’t work out. Filming began in October in Canada, but the Dollywood scenes didn’t happen until Nov. 7-8. The movie premiered on Dec. 8! YES. They had a month to turn it once everything was shot!
Props seen in the movie are authentic to Dollywood: TRUE
To help the Hallmark team channel the Dollywood brand before the crew arrived in Tennessee, we sent them a box full of items we use at the park:
The Public Relations team was very excited to see “Rachel” carrying the Dollywood portfolio that we used as part of our 2019 media gifts.
The giant butterflies you see on the office walls were blown up from butterfly fans we sent.
We even sent them host name tags including Lloyd, Drew, Lila and Ashley—see if you can spot them!