We took a fresh, new approach to our daytime Harvest Festival décor this year. And, let me tell you: I’m here. for. it.
After scrolling through several Pinterest boards and flipping through some of my favorite magazines, I’d say Dollywood is on the cutting edge of this trend. For decades, the word “fall” has conjured up images of cornstalks and straw bales, scarecrows and cornucopias. This year, for those planning on things to do this fall, Dollywood is reframing it. Rather than the typical fixtures, you’re going to see more live plants in some non-traditional (for fall) colors.
I’m going to give you a peek behind the curtain here. Our Product and Planning Team does a fantastic job of intentionally planning every detail of every festival. This is one of the two zones they mapped out specifically for Showstreet.
Notice the colors. This guide is very specific about the colors and textures you’ll see. One of my favorite leftovers from our Flower & Food Festival is the creeping jenny groundcover that has beautifully spilled over the landscaped beds on Showstreet. (Likewise, look for the chocolate chip groundcover in our Rivertown area of the park—I love it!) We took learnings from the plantings our team did for that brand-new flower festival earlier this year and put it toward enhancing Dollywood in all seasons.
Another thing I want to point out for you is obvious to veteran Dollywood visitors: The Product and Planning Team decided to hold back pumpkins from view at the entrance. In years past, you’d be greeted by pumpkins as soon as you walk through our turnstiles. Not this year. At Dollywood this season, your first glimpse of pumpkins is in Market Square when you see our colossal gourds! That’s intentional, and it makes a grand statement.
Perhaps my favorite new décor approach is in Craftsman’s Valley. While not a full departure from traditional fall scenes, there’s clearly a contemporary look. With the Robert F. Thomas Chapel as the inspiration, check out this mood board the Product and Planning Team created.
Now, take a look at some of the pictures I took in this area. Nice, right?!
From the rust, orange and yellow you see as you walk Showstreet and through Rivertown, you’ll appreciate this zone of deep purples and whites.
This has been a year for flower enthusiasts, and our guests are loving it. The decision to move from dried décor to fresh flowers and unexpected colors is bold and has a big payoff. Let’s just say, when I went shopping for my own fall décor this past weekend, I didn’t purchase a single straw bale or corn stalk. And the color palette I selected included a lot more purples and whites. It’s a new look, and I’m not sorry.