Dollywood After Dark: A Fun Family Experience

I have two toddlers, so it’s rare that you find us in line for Dollywood in the morning when they open. Our favorite time to visit is after naptime; we love to get to the park in the mid-afternoon, catch a sunset, grab dinner and tire the kids out so they fall asleep on the ride home. We’re local, and the main reason we do our Dollywood day trips this way is to see the park all lit up at night! Dollywood after dark is truly a magical experience for my kids every time – and it’s just as wonderous for adults, too! My top five reasons we love being at Dollywood in the evening are below. Can you add to my favorites?


If you visit during the summer and/or Christmas season, you can enjoy fireworks lighting up the sky as Dollywood closes for the day. Be sure to check out the posted calendar to see when fireworks are happening. This year, even Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa is hosting a New Year’s Eve fireworks show!

Insider Tip

The best spot to watch a fireworks show is Wildwood Grove. In the summer, Dollywood has fireworks AND drones. You definitely need to be in Wildwood Grove to see both elements of the nighttime show.

Beat the Summer Heat!

It’s no secret that it can get hot in East Tennessee. Hanging out at the park after dark is a great way to beat the summer heat and still enjoy all Dollywood has to offer!

Insider Tip

To beat the heat any time of day, you can get a complimentary cup of water at any drink location that has a soda fountain.

Coasters at Night

If you’re an adrenaline junkie like myself, then you’ll love riding all the roller coasters at night. There’s just something extra-fun about flying through the air in the dark! The anticipation gives you butterflies (in a good way!), and as you ascend you can see all the park lights.


Dollywood always has lights to offer at night! Whether it’s during Smoky Mountain Christmas, Great Pumpkin LumiNights, or even the 3D Drone Show during the summer, if there’s anything Dollywood knows how to do, and do well, it’s LIGHTS.


There is pure magic in Dollywood after dark. Wildwood Grove is especially enchanting at dusk. My kids love chasing bubbles after the sun goes down, and we always make sure to check out the Wildwood Tree. The way the butterflies dance with light is special to take in.

Insider Tip

Catch the sunset from Wild Eagle. It’s the best view in the park!

If you’ve never seen the park in the dark, I highly recommend it! Dollywood after dark is an unforgettable experience everyone in your family will enjoy.

By | 2021-12-22T11:07:40+00:00 December 31st, 2021|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Born and raised in the Florida Panhandle but slowly learning to “bleed orange,” Jordan (Dollywood Insider 2021-Now) resides in the foothills of the Smokies just a few miles from Dollywood with her high school sweetheart and two children. When she isn’t busy trying to navigate motherhood, you can find her writing, on an adventure in the mountains, traveling, swinging on the front porch or napping. Jordan grew up visiting Dollywood with her parents and she loves getting to continue the family tradition with her own children. She hopes to bring you helpful, family-centered blogs and local tips that will make your Dollywood experience even better! You can follow along here, on her blog and Facebook page, or catch her in the cinnamon bread line at the park.
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux