Smoky Mountain Christmas 2015 at Dollywood

Two members of the Coaster101 team met at Dollywood last weekend for the park’s kickoff weekend for a Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Nick: This was my first time experiencing Smoky Mountain Christmas. I had heard good things, it’s won the Golden Ticket Award for Best Christmas Event seven years in a row, so my expectations were high.

John: This was my first visit to the park during the Christmas season as well. Reviews of the event were glowing, so I was excited to see if the decorations and overall presentation were just as glowing in person. (they were)

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Nick: I really liked all the numerous, fun photo opportunity areas. You can get your picture taken inside a snow globe, inside a giant wreath in front of the train, under a mistletoe, with Santa Claus or a character from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.

The park was decked with Christmas decorations – even in areas where you wouldn’t expect them.

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The Dollywood Express station area featured some appropriate train-themed Christmas scenes.

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Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph are busy hanging the last of the FOUR MILLION lights strewn about the park.

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Be sure to visit the Timber Canyon section of the park to get your Christmas tree fix.

A video posted by Nick (@ntweisen) on


The former Timber Tower ride platform is now home to a towering Christmas tree and light spectacle.

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The Dollywood sign and illuminated Palace Theater made for a popular photo backdrop.

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Nearly all of the buildings in the Craftsmen’s Valley area were decked in twinkling white lights.

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Tennessee Tornado’s station was shrouded underneath an intricate design of red, green and yellow lights.

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Can you spot the hidden University of Tennessee “UT” logo in the above photo?

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Even Mystery Mine was decked out for the festive occasion.

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The Showstreet area of the park (the first area you’ll see upon entering Dollywood) is by far the brightest.

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Nearly every building was blanketed in strings of twinkling Christmas lights.

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I appreciated the fact that the decorations in each section of the park generally reflected that area’s overall theme. The Showstreet area’s light colors reflected the buildings’ mainstreet-style, pastel colors.

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Don’t miss the illuminated mini trees on the trail leading to the Timber Canyon area of the park.

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The lights at Dollywood aren’t thrown up haphazardly.

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This type of intricate lighting design takes time and skill.

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Tip: Stay until the end of the night where you might get another opportunity to see Rudolph and maybe catch a few “snowflakes” falling from the sky.

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Smoky Mountain Christmas lived up to it’s lofty expectations! It’s tempting to put off your Dollywood trip in anticipation of Lightning Rod, but if you have the opportunity to you should definitely check out the park during the holiday season.

Learn more about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas here. Stay tuned for our DreamMore Resort review and photo tour.

Have you visited Dollywood during the holiday season? Share your thoughts about the park in the comments section below.

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