As a lover of all things food and thrill rides, I tend to forget about all of the amazing entertainment options that Dollywood has to offer when it comes to shows. In the past, I have mainly visited shows when I needed to cool down or warm up (depending on the season), if it was raining, or if I was visiting the park with someone who did not like to ride the attractions. By doing this, I miss out on many great acts. As a result, I decided to make it a goal to visit Dollywood with the sole intention of watching shows around the park. No matter what your preference for entertainment is, you are guaranteed to find a show that tickles your fancy while visiting the park. Here are some tips if you are headed to Dollywood with only shows in mind:
Plan ahead. You can view the show schedule on the Dollywood website and plan ahead of time what shows you plan to watch while in the park. If you are like me and decide at the last minute to catch several shows, you can grab a park guide upon entering the park to see a list of all show times and locations. You can also access show times on the Dollywood app so that you can keep tabs on what shows are coming up soon during your time at Dollywood.
Know the theater type. The entertainment at Dollywood has a variety of locations throughout the park-some theaters/performance areas are inside while others are outside. If it is unusually cold or hot outside, you may want to make plans to watch all of the indoor show options in order to stay cooled off or to warm yourself up while taking a break from the weather. During the spring and fall seasons, I love watching shows in the outdoor theatres. Knowing the type of theatre that the show performance is taking place in will help you decide the show schedule you create for yourself.
Get in line early for the best seats. Queuing for each indoor performance begins 10 minutes after the showtime for the prior performance. If you are someone who cares about having the best seat in the house, get in line early so that you can have the best viewing experience. In my experience, every seat at Dollywood is a good seat, but if you prefer closer to the front, make plans to hop in line as early as possible.
Step outside of your comfort zone. Everyone has preferences for the types of shows that are most entertaining to them, but don’t miss out on a show just because it does not sound interesting to you. Over the summer, I took a friend to the park who openly said that they were not a big fan of Southern Gospel music. I took her to see the Kingdom Heirs and by the end of the show, she was a newfound gospel-loving girl. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try shows that you may not initially be drawn to; chances are that you’ll end up being surprised, and it could become your new favorite show.
Visit the same show during each season. Several shows are offered year-round that change their content with each season and festival. For example, the music you hear with the Kingdom Heirs in the summer will be different from the music you hear from them during Smoky Mountain Christmas. Also worth noting, the group called The Tones become The Mistletones for the holiday season with different musical selections (and perhaps some new faces). I highly recommend visiting all the shows during each season.
So, whether you are someone who typically comes to the park to ride the biggest rides or you are someone that would rather just visit the theaters, you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable experience with the variety of entertainment options available at Dollywood. On your next visit, I challenge you to try a show you have not seen before and prepare to be amazed.