Dollywood to Focus on Entertainment Lineup in 2018

Earlier today, Dolly Parton announced a massive entertainment lineup for Dollywood’s 2018 season, which the park is dubbing the “Season of Showstoppers.” The Dollywood 2018 season will see an investment of $1 million more than any season-long entertainment schedule in the park’s history.

One of the most noteworthy additions (requiring construction) is a new show venue that will occupy the land where River Battle once stood in the Wilderness Pass area:

New show venue for Dollywood 2018 season

The yet-to-be-named venue will change based on the seasonal events, such as the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas:

New show venue for Dollywood 2018 season

“Music is the universal language that unites all of us,” Parton explained.

“It celebrates our people, our families and our communities. I’ve made music my life’s work because I feel each and every one of us has a special song to sing. I’ve made sure that here at my Dollywood, we use music to encourage and inspire those songs in each and every one of our shows.”

Combined, the headlining Dollywood 2018 artists have 42 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, 30 Grammys, 14 Country Music Association Awards, 10 American Country Music Awards, five American Music Association Awards and 62 Dove Awards.

That’s some serious talent.

The park also revealed dates for its annual festivals and other events along with their respective entertainment offerings:

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations 2018

March 17, 2018 – April 9, 2018

Festival of Nations kicks off the show-packed season with global headliners including National Dance Company of Siberia, The Flamenco Kings starring Los Vivancos, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Hailing from South Africa, internationally-known Grammy award-winning group Ladysmith Black Mambazo — who worked with Parton on her 1996 album Treasures — has teamed with Paul Simon, Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris and many more.

The all-new Spring Mix music series takes place in April and features performances by Dollywood entertainment alumnus Bogguss, Sheppard, Pam Tillis, Gayle, Connie Smith and Shenandoah during the first week of the event. The second week plays host to artists such as Amy Grant, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Larnelle Harris, David Phelps and (family-friendly) comedienne Chonda Pierce.

Classic artists like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, Debby Boone, The Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall, and Al Stewart will entertain park guests during the final week of the event.

Individual concert dates and show times will be announced at a later date.

Dollywood’s Barbecue & Bluegrass 2018

May 25, 2018 – June 10, 2018

The park is adding another week of concerts to its Barbeque & Bluegrass event, which will feature hundreds of live bluegrass performances during the festival with headline shows from Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent and many more.

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration

Families can enjoy an array of shows and more throughout the summer:

  • iLuminate (finalists on America’s Got Talent in 2011) bring “electrified glow-in-the-dark costumes to DP’s Celebrity Theater to perform dynamic dance routines and illusions.”
  • DRUMLine Live! will feature “riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy.”
  • Speed painter Dan Dunn brings his innovative and mesmerizing PaintJam show.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival 2018

September 28, 2018 – November 3, 2018

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival provides fall family fun with the expansion of the new-for-2017 Great Pumpkin LumiNights and the largest Southern gospel event in America. The event features “several hundred performances by Southern gospel royalty take place during the day, while at night, thousands of carved pumpkins illuminate the dark with an expanded number of displays and activities for families to enjoy.”

In true Dollywood fashion, guests will be able to enjoy the “spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team.”

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas 2018

November 10, 2018 – January 5, 2019

Even more shows and other entertainment will debut later in the season for the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas event, which features four million lights, classic live entertainment — including Christmas in the Smokies and It’s a Wonderful Life — Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Friends and the Parade of Many Colors.

Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas 2017

Dollywood’s live entertainment is world renowned: the park won the 2017 Golden Ticket from Amusement Today for Best Entertainment at any theme park in the world — its ninth consecutive triumph for the park in that category. With Parton’s commitment to entertainment in 2018, Dollywood looks to lead the way in securing its 10th victory in the category.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2018 plans, visit the park’s website.

Looking for discounted Dollywood tickets? Now through January 1, 2018, use the promo code “DWINSIDERS11” for $5 off general admission when you buy your tickets online at

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1 Response

  1. Zachary says:

    Looks pretty neat!