Picture this: five million dazzling Christmas lights, award-winning holiday entertainment, fireworks, delicious Christmas favorites and SANTA! Believe me when I tell you that Christmas in the Smokies is where you belong. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana is the 13-time and only winner of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event and now has been nominated in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for Best Theme Park Holiday Event. The contest, which now is live, runs through Monday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 a.m.
A page with a link to the voting page can be found at www.dollywood.com/vote. Anyone is eligible to vote and may do so once per day, per device. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts, which includes a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, expert contributors and more.
If you need more reasons to vote for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas than the ones I listed above, allow me to elaborate on why Smoky Mountain Christmas is the best theme park Christmas event.
Millions of Christmas Lights
More than five million Christmas lights glisten and gleam throughout the park. Each themed area inside the park has its own unique lighting design, which means teams put a lot of thought and detail into every area.
On Showstreet and into Adventures in Imagination, guests are greeted by the traditional, rich jewel tones that they enjoy each year. Jukebox Junction feels like Christmas in the 1950s with classic multi-colored C-7 bulbs adorning the area. In Rivertown Junction and lower Craftsman’s Valley, The soft glow of amber sets a tone of reverence preparing guests to experience the season’s true meaning at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and Valley Theater’s “O Holy Night.” The Village’s theming is inspired by Santa’s Smoky Mountain Village with beloved red, green and white lights. Country Fair transforms into Peppermint Valley as it glistens in white and red lights, reminiscent of children hanging candy canes on the Christmas tree. Upper Craftsman’s Valley, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and Timber Canyon ice over again this year with the blues, whites and other cool tones of Glacier Ridge.
Heartwarming Holiday Entertainment
Dollywood’s family favorite shows will be lighting up both indoor and outdoor stages. The festival’s headline show, “Christmas in the Smokies,” has been a must-see for families every Christmas season since it began more than 30 years ago. Families also can enjoy “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “O’ Holy Night,” “Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs,” “The Mistletones,” “Appalachian Christmas with the Smoky Mountain String Band” and more.
Merry & Bright
Returning for its second year, the “Merry & Bright!” fireworks display is a sparkling ending to a Christmas-cheer filled day at Dollywood. “Merry & Bright!” fills the sky above Dollywood with dazzling lights set to the rhythm of upbeat contemporary holiday hits. The show—which was only on weekends in 2020—was so popular that guests now will be able to experience it every evening of operation during the festival! Families can dance and sing along to favorite Christmas songs as the fireworks shine and shimmer above, allowing families to create one last special memory before leaving the park.
Holiday Feasts and Treats
Warm Christmas memories are made sweeter and warmer with delicious holiday tastes and treats. Our award-winning Culinary Team is preparing a variety of comforting foods and confections sure to put them at the top of Santa’s nice list. From creole-roasted turkey breast and smothered pork loin to braised beef short ribs and lobster bisque, a number of hearty favorites are sure to remind guests of Christmases past. A number of unique items abound including egg nog cheesecake, hazelnut churros, Santa’s chilled cocoa and more.
Santa’s List… Naughty or Nice
Last year, Old Saint Nick allowed visitors to watch him hard at work in his little cabin in the woods at Dollywood. For the kids—and kids at heart—wondering what Santa is up to this year, he enjoyed his time in the Smokies so much that he has returned to his new home away from home. Most people don’t know that when he isn’t hard at work at the North Pole, Santa likes to visit East Tennessee and his great friend, Dolly! Guests who visit Santa’s cabin can literally see inside as he reviews…the list! Kids discover whether their name is on the naughty or nice list, and they might even have their photo made as they peer through the window during this once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch Santa at work.
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is a beloved Christmas tradition for families every year. It is no coincidence that it is the only park to be awarded Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event. But even more than that, families, including my own, choose Dollywood to spend one of the most special and magical times of year.
Don’t forget! You can vote everyday now through Monday, Dec. 6 at 11:59 a.m. by visiting www.dollywood.com/vote. Merry Christmas!