The 2020 season at theme parks, resorts and travel destinations will be one that won’t soon be forgotten.
But with the hope that the country has started to turn the page on the COVID-19 pandemic, operators are turning their attention to what’s ahead.
Dollywood, the 160-acre theme park in Pigeon Forge, is gearing up for a busy 2021 season.
Several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debut when the park opens in March, including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits. Performances of all three will continue until the fall.
New during this year’s Flower & Food Festival (April 23-June 7), the Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspiring acts all appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and many more.
Dollywood’s culinary team continues to craft tantalizing treats for guests all season long. Among the team’s new offerings for 2021 is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Day Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple entrees at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event. Among the items available during the festival are lobster rolls, hand-breaded fish and chips, Cuban sandwiches with plantain chips and mango salsa, as well as mini-funnel cakes with Chantilly cream and drizzled lavender honey.
Guests visiting during the park’s warmer months can enjoy Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which is—just as the name implies—a celebration of family fun and laughter. With later nighttime hours, families can ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters all day and well into the night.
Later in the season, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival (Sept. 24-Oct. 30)—named by readers of USA Today as the best theme park harvest event in the world—provides bushels of fun thanks to everyone’s favorite Smoky Mountain tradition, Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood stays open late each evening, giving families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. During the day, guests can expect a packed concert schedule, with hundreds of performances across several genres occurring during the festival.
The season ends with the event that has set the standard for theme park holiday events, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022). It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit with more than five million holiday lights, festive and warm holiday performances, a traditional Christmas atmosphere, and the comforting tastes of classic holiday-themed food.
Crews also are undertaking a number of construction projects designed to enhance the guest experience. After modifications made late last season and during the winter, Dollywood’s Lightning Rod roller coaster opens this season featuring a hybrid track structure that includes both a wood stack “Topper Track” and a steel “Ibox” track installed by the ride’s manufacturer.