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Sweet Summer Nights at Dollywood

As a longtime East Tennessee resident, I spent many summers growing up in the Smokies and at Dollywood. To this day, whenever I smell hot funnel cakes near Market Square or hear laughter on Smoky Mountain River Rampage, I’m taken back to a lifetime of precious childhood memories.

Now that I have children and a family of my own, I’m thrilled to make even more sweet summer nighttime memories at Dollywood! However, summer is now bigger, better and brighter than ever! Now through Aug. 7 you can enjoy everything Dollywood’s Summer Celebration has to offer. And while there is plenty to enjoy during the day (Foam Zone, Noodle Takeover, Lazy Loungers, Giant Spinning Tops and more!) I’d love to tell you about our family’s favorite part of the celebration: Sweet Summer Nights!

Insider Tip

If you want to take in this incredible experience, I recommend heading to Wildwood Grove around 7:30-8 p.m. The party doesn’t kick off until 8:45, but why not hop on a few more rides, refill that lemonade or take a spin on the Giant Spinning Tops?

Beginning at 8:45 p.m., you’ll get to watch (and participate in!) the most energetic and electric dance party in the Smokies. The party takes place in Wildwood Creek, under the Wildwood Tree. If you walk by during the day you’ll notice several prop pickup trucks where the splash pad is normally running; this is where you’ll want to be. With a dynamic and engaging DJ nestled in his booth under the Wildwood Tree, Dollywood hosts lead dances down with the crowd and in the back of pickup trucks and a fog/laser light display, you are guaranteed to feel those sweet summer vibes!

This dance party is truly so fun for all ages! The Dollywood dancers lead the crowd with simple but engaging dance moves while the DJ spins Taylor Swift, YMCA, classic line dance songs, Footloose and more! The dances take a short break around 9 p.m., but then keep the party going again around 9:15 p.m. You can keep dancing the night away after the break or head out of Wildwood Creek to find the perfect spot for your family to watch the fireworks and drone show.

Insider Tip

My favorite spot to watch the show is near the waterfall in Wildwood Grove, near Black Bear Trail. There really isn't a bad view in this area, but this is our favorite! You can see the fireworks anywhere, but the drone show is best viewed close by.

Around 9:40 p.m., the dancers and the DJ count down to an incredible firework display and drone show. If you enjoyed the drone show last year then you’ll LOVE this year’s spectacle! It is truly bigger, better and brighter than ever before. There are new songs, new formations and more drones in the sky! Pictures and videos cannot do these formations justice: this is truly a must-see event! When the drones retreat, Dollywood closes out the program with a colossal firework display set to music. The sky lights up, the tunes blast and there are smiles on every face in the park!

Summer has always been a magical time at Dollywood, but this year the park is immersive, whimsical and more lively than ever. Make sure to schedule a trip (or two!) and plan to stay late in the park for the Sweet Summer Nights celebration. There’s something fun for everyone and a million memories to be made!

By | 2022-06-24T20:18:21+00:00 June 24th, 2022|Attractions|0 Comments

About the Author:

Lindsay Bell (Dollywood Insider 2021-Now) was born in Illinois but moved to East Tennessee in 1986 just months before Dollywood opened for the first time. Lindsay finished her K-12 education in Knoxville and then enrolled at the University of Tennessee. After finishing her Bachelor's and Master's degrees, Lindsay started her dream job of teaching high school chemistry. Lindsay's husband and two young daughters are always up for a Dollywood adventure, and Lindsay is happy to plan the trip! When Lindsay isn't at school or in Wildwood Grove, she enjoys serving her community as a sustainer with the Junior League of Knoxville, cheering on the Vols or on the lake with her family.
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