Christmas in the Smoky Mountains must be magical and never more so than this year as Dolly Parton’s Dollywood added a new attraction to it’s award winning Christmas Festival, Glacier Ridge! In a special event on Saturday Dolly Parton herself welcomed guests into the park for the Christmas light switch on, the day before in torrential rain Dolly hosted a media day where she answered questions about Glacier Ridge and press witnessed the final touches coming together in the park. Smoky Mountain Christmas is celebrating it’s 11th consecutive Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event (the first and only winner of the award) and with this new addition the Park now boasts five million Christmas lights for guests to enjoy. The centrepiece is a 50ft animated tree which, every 30 minutes, presents a dazzling light show telling stories set to your favourite holiday hits.
But before we go into more details about Glacier Ridge, lets find out more about Dollywood itself! Located in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge Tennessee where Dolly Parton grew up, it is home to a theme park and water park and the DreamMore Resort and Spa. Throughout the year it hosts concerts and musical events featuring Dolly herself as well as local artists. The park opened as Dollywood in 1986 and a big part of Dolly’s dreams and ambitions for the park was to boost the local economy and provide jobs for people in that area, a goal which she has successfully achieved many years ago. Parton continues to be heavily involved with the running of Dollywood and year on year the park welcomes more and more visitors and continues to grow.
“Christmas is so important to me for so many reasons,” Dolly Parton said. “I’m so thankful that it’s a time when our family comes together to share stories, remember old times, and make new memories we’ll take with us through the next year and beyond. There’s a lot of laughin’ and a whole lot of love when we all get together. I want those folks who come to experience Christmas with us at Dollywood to feel like they’re part of the family, making those memories and sharing those special times. I know the fun they’ll find in Glacier Ridge will help them create brand new memories and traditions.”
The new addition to Smoky Mountain Christmas encapsulates all that Dolly loves about the holiday season. The display is inspired and creative, one entrance to Glacier Ridge from Timber Canyon is called the artic passage, a 130ft long programmable light tunnel. Once in Glacier Ridge those guests will be greeted by Polar Bears whilst if you enter via Craftsman’s Valley you will experience a one of a kind light installation that aims to mimic the aurora borealis (the northern lights). Whilst experiencing Dolly’s answer to the Northern Lights, music plays in the background, bringing it to life in true Dolly Parton fashion! All the usual award winning festivities are back again this year as well, Dollywoods Parade of Many Colours and shows such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies.
A season pass purchased during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with unlimited admission for Dollywood’s entire 2019 season, including the introduction of Wildwood Grove. To ensure the lowest prices of the season, guests should purchase their 2019 season pass online now or upgrade their paid one-day admission ticket on the day of their visit. Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket toward the purchase of a 2019 season pass.
With five million lights, award-winning entertainment, the addition of Glacier Ridge and much more, one thing is for certain: Dollywood truly captures the essence of Christmas!
With special thanks to Molly Brown and Shanna Snow.