With four million dazzling lights, award-winning entertainment and delicious food options, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 8- Jan. 3) certainly features something for every member of the family. This year, however, it may be the festival’s special visitors which put smiles on guests’ faces.
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the beloved Christmas television special, comes to life with an exclusive visit to Dollywood this holiday season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits. After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice’s kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games! Guests even can make their picture in a giant snow globe featuring Sam the Snowman. Returning this year is the groundbreaking production of Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, which uses holographic technology to bring Dolly Parton to the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Last season, guests marveled at the lifelike appearance of Parton and the other holograms featured in the production.
“I’m so glad we’re able to add Rudolph and his friends to our Smoky Mountain Christmas,” said Parton. “With all of the beautiful lights and decorations, it truly is the most special time of year at my Dollywood. Why they’re even going to bring back that hologram of me! I’m still not sure this world is ready for two Dolly Partons, but I’m excited folks can see ‘the other Dolly’ help ole Scrooge understand what truly makes the holidays special.”
Parton’s Ghost of Christmas Past, Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Present and Future are life-sized holograms, marking the first time four actors appear via the cutting-edge technology in the same theatrical production. This heartwarming tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge features a 16-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks and period costuming.
A seven-time winner for Best Christmas Event, Smoky Mountain Christmas continues through Jan. 3, 2015. Operating days and hours vary; visit Dollywood.com for details. Several other beloved shows return, including Christmas in the Smokies, An Appalachian Christmas, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, O’ Holy Night, Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs and Carol of the Trees. Guests also can experience the nightly Parade of Lights, a festive procession of larger-than-life toys and characters, as well as Santa’s Workshop, where the smallest guests can share their wish list with Kris Kringle. Dollywood’s popular Smoky Mountain Miniature Railroad returns with a multi-level display featuring several model trains snaking through an elaborate and beautifully decorated miniature landscape. This kid-favorite attraction pulls in to the station at the Wings of America stage in Craftsman’s Valley. Families can finish their visit with a traditional Christmas meal as several of Dollywood’s menus feature holiday-themed items. Among the favorites are roasted turkey breast, Cades Cove pit ham, sweet tea baked chicken, sweet potato casserole and cornbread dressing. Holiday desserts available throughout the park include pumpkin pie, red velvet cake, sweet potato pie, pumpkin rolls and homemade fruit cakes.
Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2015 season pass for just $30 (plus tax). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a one-day ticket ($59) toward the purchase of a 2015 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2015 season. (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only.) Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park’s next operating day.