Jad Abumrad’s Dolly Parton’s America podcast has been taking the world by storm, with the compelling nine-part series taking a personal deep dive into the history and background of one of the most prolific and talented songwriters in history.

So what better time than the present to plan a trip to Dollywood, as the sprawling Tennessee theme-park devoted to all things Dolly gears of for its special Christmas festival.

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Dollywood becomes a winter wonderland at Christmas time © Dollywood

Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and spanning 150 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is a truly unique theme-park that not only hosts special music performances and cabaret shows, it also includes 40 rides, as well as restaurants, resorts and a dedicated water park. Voted the best theme park festival event in America for 12 consecutive years, Christmas at Dollywood is a big deal. During the festival, the park boasts more than five million lights, as well as Christmas themed entertainment and special holiday meals.

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Dollywood includes many restaurants and cafes, some of which offer special festive dishes at Christmas © Dollywood

The park’s winter wonderland is called Glacier Ridge, and includes a 50-foot video motion Christmas tree. Every 30 minutes the plaza of Wilderness Pass (where the tree sits as a focal point) sparkles to life, presenting a fully-synchronised light show complete with holiday hits. The park also includes the Arctic Passage, a 130-foot long light tunnel that transports guests to another world. After they have emerged from it, visitors are greeted by polar bears. Guests can also walk through Dollywood’s version of the Northern Lights, brought to life with music. 

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The 50-foot video motion Christmas tree in the park © Dollywood

“There’s nothing like Christmas in the Smokies. I’ve been a lot of places and seen a lot of things, but the feeling of being home with the people I love at Christmas really is one of the most special things in the world to me. It’s my hope that the people who come experience my Dollywood at Christmas make those same sweet memories they’ll be able to share forever. I also hope we’re able to help them start some brand new Christmas traditions right here!” Dolly Parton said.

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The FireChaser ride at Dollywood © Dollywood

Other guest favourites include the Parade of Many Colors, and traditional holiday shows It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, while most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions also operate during the festival. Dollywood celebrates its 35th anniversary season next year with the new Flower & Food Festival. 

More information is available at the official Dollywood website.

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