Holiday cheer comes to Dollywood for a Smoky Mountain Christmas

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Deck the halls! Though November has just begun, Christmas cheer is in the air at Dollywood as the park opens its Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration on Nov. 4, 2017. The festivities run through Jan. 1, 2018.

Get in the holiday mood with light displays, performances, food and of course, the Christmas spirit of Dollywood. The park's Parade of Many Colors returns for a second season, and shows like Christmas in the Smokies and It's a Wonderful Life will accompany the four million lights installed on site.

"There is no time of the year that is more special to me than Christmas," Dolly Parton said. "Some of the best memories of my life are from my time spent with family and friends celebrating Christmas together. It's when we all come together to enjoy sweet traditions and the warm love of family and to have those special experiences we'll always remember."

On Friday, Parton announced plans to build a new plaza in the Wilderness Pass area of Dollywood, which houses attractions like the Wild Eagle roller coaster, SkyZip zip line and the FireChaser Express roller coaster.

Parton said there will be three seasons of entertainment in the plaza. That will include more pumpkins for the "Great Pumpkin LumiNights" around Halloween. Parton said the plaza will be transformed into a glacier ridge for Smoky Mountain Christmas. Smoky Mountain Christmas showcases 4 million lights, 7 holidays shows and a lighted Christmas parade.

"Of course, Dollywood is Christmas. Everybody talks about our Christmas event — the best Christmas event in the past 10 years, did you know that?" Parton said. "I'll tell you, it makes us pretty proud."

During this season, the Christmas in the Smokies show will return to Dolly Parton's Celebrity Theater as the headline performance for the festival. During the show, guests will be able to experience a cast of singers and dancers performing hometown holiday favorites, accompanied by a band of live musicians.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer will also be back at Dollywood for the 2017 Christmas season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph’s Holly Jolly™ Junction. After meeting the characters, families can decorate Christmas cookies or play reindeer games in Clarice's kitchen.

Other shows taking place throughout the season include An Appalachian Christmas, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, O' Holy Night, My People and Christmas with The Kingdom Heirs. Santa Land will also be open and features a whimsical workshop where kids can share their holiday wish lists with Kris Kringle.

Dollywood is also adding holiday menu items to the park's list of delicacies, including the Thanksgiving Feast sandwich—a ciabatta roll filled with cornbread dressing, slices of oven-roasted turkey breast, topped with cranberry sauce and served with sweet potato tater tots. Other specialties include turkey and dressing, Christmas ham, chicken and dumplings, Cornish hens, center cut pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, hot flavored drinks like wassail, Mayfield hot chocolate and cider and more. Desserts include gingerbread man cookies, red velvet and pumpkin spice funnel cakes.

For more information or to book your trip, visit the Dollywood website or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.