Dollywood’s 2024 will feature an expanded schedule and more interactive elements
Published 11:56 am Friday, January 12, 2024
For Dollywood guests, there’s more in store in 2024 including a busy operating calendar that brings even more fun to the Great Smoky Mountains. In addition to being able to enjoy the largest number of days ever during a season at Dollywood, guests also will be welcomed by the brand-new Dolly Parton Experience beginning in May 2024. The park’s 39th season offers 280 operating days, 23 more than in 2023. The park opens at 10 a.m. every operating day through the Harvest Festival, while the fun begins at 11 a.m. each day during Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Several new projects are set to entice park goers during the 2024 season. In May, the Dolly Parton Experience will kick off with several interactive elements to make guests feel as if they were alongside Dolly as she journeyed from Locust Ridge Tennessee to stages around the world. The entire Adventures in Imagination area transforms to create the Dolly Parton Experience. Housed in multiple buildings, the multi-faceted experience includes exhibits that span her iconic career, a look at the inspiration for and results of her biggest dreams, the importance of her family, and even a curated exhibit that highlights Dolly’s signature style through the years. Tthis interactive experience will be three times the size of the Chasing Rainbows Museum.
The Lightning Rod roller coaster will reopen with a new, high-speed chain lift that will provide guests with a more consistent and efficient ride experience. Despite the removal of the launch system, once the coaster trains reach the first drop, the ride experience remains identical to the current format revered by coaster enthusiasts around the world. The Lightning Rod is one of the largest wooden coasters in the world, and with speeds up to 73 MPH ranks as one of the top coasters on Golden Ticket awards annually.
The extended dates will also serve to lengthen many of the favorite festivals Dollywood offers each year. Guests can experience an updated version of the well-loved Paradise Road; a new show called Trio to celebrate the album of the same name which featured Dolly, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt; as well as an interactive singalong show that features some of Dolly’s biggest hits. The “I Will Always Love You” Music Festival takes place March 9-April 14, kicking off the season with a festive event commemorating the art of songwriting and the stories behind the songs. Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 19-June 9) blooms bright with iconic displays throughout the park. Floral sculptures will create an immersive atmosphere for park guests as they make their way through more than half a million blooms during this stunning festival. In addition, Dollywood’s culinary team showcases its world-class abilities with a menu full of delicacies that highlight the tastes of spring in the Smokies. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Food City (June 15-August 11) is everyone’s favorite summer tradition, and once again includes Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show every night. Another favorite, the “Gazillion Bubble Show,” returns to mesmerize guests in DP’s Celebrity Theater.
A family tradition for many, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 9- Oct. 28) celebrates the beauty of fall with thousands of carved pumpkins, spirited performances from talented singers, and the fun of Great Pumpkin Lumi Nights presented by Covenant Health. Great Pumpkin Lumi Nights, has been named the best theme park harvest event in the world and features elaborate displays that are fun for every member of the family. Creative culinary items, accomplished artisans, and fall fun in the Smokies make this a picture-perfect time to enjoy Dollywood. The industry’s Best Theme Park Christmas event – Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 1- Jan. 5) – concludes the park’s 2024 season with six million lights, festive holiday shows, and the warm Christmas atmosphere guests have come to expect during the holiday season. Wes Ramey, Dollywood’s Director of Public Relations, anticipates another big year for the park in 2024. “2024 will be a huge year for Dollywood with the new ‘I Will Always Love You Festival’ and three different shows to acknowledge Dolly Parton and her career. We will also feature the Dolly Sing-Along in the Pine Theatre which should offer a lot of fun for our guests,” Ramey shared.