My most treasured Christmas tradition is spending time at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and Dollywood during the holidays with my children. Since we homeschool, we often sneak away before the rest of the world is on winter break to enjoy a nice, quiet getaway. This past winter, we discovered that the first week of December is a sweet spot. There are fewer crowds and the rates are very reasonable.
Here are some of our favorite Christmas visit tips:
- Consider a visit early in December. If you book your stay early in the month, it’s perfect for kids who love to ride coasters. My kids were the first on every ride and often the ONLY people riding!
- Sit back and relax. Dollywood’s resort is quiet with lots of room for play and relaxation. We like to sit by the fire outdoors and enjoy s’mores, grab a rocking chair on the porch, or kick back by the grand piano overlooking the pool and enjoy a perfect view of the outdoor synchronized light show.
- Baby it’s cold outside. Don’t be fooled, this place is super-fun even when it’s too cold to swim outdoors. We LOVE to sit by the fireplace in our jammies in the evening while playing a game of checkers.
- Mark your calendar. Don’t forget Dolly’s Hot Apple Cider at 4 p.m. each day in the lobby! It’s the perfect refreshment after a day at the park.
- Reserved Seats. When you stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, you receive TimeSaver passes which are a great way to watch your favorite shows from reserved seats. We NEVER miss “Twas the Night Before Christmas” or any of the other amazing shows.
- Holly Jolly Junction. We visited Holly Jolly Junction for the first time last year and my kids were hooked. We made cookies, played games, and won our favorite Rudolph character lovies. My kids are 9 and 11, and they still had tons of fun in this adorable spot. It’s a great area for kids to explore and enjoy the magic of Christmas.
- Dollywood Express. Grab your hat and hop aboard the Dollywood Express for an unforgettable evening ride. We love to ride after dark while enjoying lights across the park. We snuggle together to keep warm and sing Christmas carols aboard the Dollywood Express.
- Parade of Many Colors. If you want to watch the parade but not get caught in a huge line to exit, watch it from in front of the Southern Pantry or across from the Showstreet Gazebo. It’s the perfect spot to catch the parade on a wide turn and an easy exit after everyone passes. I highly recommend the parade for guests of all ages – and don’t forget to purchase a light-up Christmas-tree bulb necklace. They’re a super fun parade accessory!
- Shop ‘til you drop. There are limitless gift ideas during Dollywood’s Christmas festival from handmade blownglass ornaments to hand-dipped candles to personalized crafts. There’s something for everyone on your Christmas list. Don’t get bogged down with lots of bags. Take advantage of packages delivered right to your door – a perk for all resort guests.
- The Trolley. Oh, how we love the resort trolley. Direct drop-off and pickup makes coming and going a cinch plus we don’t have to worry about a late night drive home. My kids love the trolley drivers – they know them all by name!
Whenever friends ask for tips about Dollywood, I tell them to never miss the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. It is truly unforgettable! If you’d like a Season Pass, or a Gold Pass with even more savings, click here.