My Favorite Snapshots from Opening Day

Opening day at Dollywood is always exciting and today I was able to get a sneak peek of what’s to come during a special preview of the “Season of Showstoppers.” Ms. Dolly Parton made an appearance and Dollywood Insiders were in the audience with media and Season Passholders as she shared the exciting news of events to come during the 2018 season.

Dolly joins Ladysmith Black Mambazo for a song.

The season kicks off with the Festival of Nations, which runs until April 9. I remember hearing Dolly say at a previous event that she has had the opportunity to travel all over the world and is excited to bring a bit of that back to share with the people of the Smokies.

During this festival, the park is decked out with flags and colors from around the world.

The festival features world-class entertainers, food from around the globe and merchandise from the various countries that are represented.

Paella is one of the best foods I’ve ever eaten and during the Festival of Nations you can try this amazing Spanish dish in the Marketplace. Pack some extra money for food because you’ll want to eat your way through Dollywood this year.

One of my absolute favorite things I saw during the preview (other than Dolly) is the German stilt walkers from the Zebra Stelzentheater. They’re so fun to watch!

Janie Fricke (one of the Spring Mix artists) was a good sport when approached by the stilt walkers.

The large rotating globe outside the Marketplace is a great photo op for families. Look for it in Market Square.

Don’t let the line for the Celebrity Theater scare you, the theater holds 2,000 people!

You’ll want to pay special attention to the show schedule so you don’t miss any of the wonderful shows but you’ll also find entertainers throughout the park as you walk through.

Atahualpa (from Ecuador) play soothing sounds in the Showstreet Gazebo.

Here’s a picture of the speed painter who will be in the park this summer. Watching him create this painting upside down was pretty impressive.

Festival of Nations may be my favorite time to visit the park, but there’s a festival for everyone- Spring Mix Music Series, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass, the park’s Summer Celebration (which features iLuminate, DRUMLine LIVE! and Dan Dunn’s PaintJam), Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. 2018 is a great time to buy a Season Pass– you won’t want to miss a minute of the fun!

By | 2018-03-19T13:23:43+00:00 March 16th, 2018|Family Visits|0 Comments

About the Author:

Tonya Prater (Dollywood Insider 2017-2018) was born and raised in Ohio but could easily be convinced to call the Smokies her home. Wife to her high school sweetheart and mom to three young adults, Tonya is an author, travel blogger at TravelInspiredLiving.com, and owner of a boutique digital marketing business that caters to the world of travel. As a former homeschooling mom and full-time RVer, Tonya is passionate about the benefits of family travel and stepping outside your comfort zone to experience the world around you. Tonya fell in love with the wholesomeness and charm of Dollywood on her first visit in 2014 and is excited to be a Dollywood Insider.
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