Sunday, July 14, 2024

Dollywood Debuts New Dolly Parton Experience in May 2024

In 2024, Dollywood is all set to offer its guests an expanded and vibrant operating calendar, bringing even more excitement to the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains. Apart from enjoying the longest season ever at Dollywood, visitors will be able to experience the all-new Dolly Parton Experience, commencing in May 2024.

Given the extended operating days in 2024, it’s highly recommended that guests consider acquiring a season pass for this park, which was honored as the world’s best during the 2023 Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. Dollywood will open its doors to season passholders on Friday, March 8, marking the earliest opening in the park’s history. The 39th season of the park will feature 280 operating days, which is 23 more than in 2023. Throughout the season, Dollywood opens at 10 a.m. on each operating day during the Harvest Festival, while the festivities kick off at 11 a.m. daily during Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun / Dollywood

The Dolly Parton Experience

Numerous exciting projects are on the horizon to delight guests throughout the 2024 season. In May, the eagerly anticipated Dolly Parton Experience is scheduled to debut, offering a range of interactive elements designed to immerse guests in the journey of Dolly Parton, from her roots in Locust Ridge to her global stage presence. The entirety of the Adventures in Imagination area will undergo a transformation to house the Dolly Parton Experience. Spanning across multiple buildings, this multifaceted exhibit showcases various facets of her remarkable career, delves into the inspiration behind her loftiest aspirations, emphasizes the significance of her family, and features a carefully curated display highlighting Dolly’s evolving style throughout the years. The Dolly Parton Experience promises to offer guests an even more special connection with Dolly, as it is three times the size of the previous Chasing Rainbows Museum.

Lightning Rod Updated for 2024

Lightning strikes twice next spring when Lightning Rod debuts with a new, high-speed chain lift that will provide guests with a more consistent and efficient ride experience. Lightning Rod closes for the season on Oct. 30 to allow crews the opportunity to add the new lift. Despite the removal of the launch system, once the coaster trains reach the first drop, the ride experience remains identical to the current format revered by coaster enthusiasts around the world.

Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

Festivals and Entertainment

Dedicated operating teams are putting in tremendous effort to expand the festival operating periods for 2024, with many festivals featuring extended dates compared to 2023. The season commences with the highly anticipated I Will Always Love You Music Festival. Following its resounding success with guests in 2023, park officials have chosen to bring back the event, incorporating new entertainment elements that will resonate with every Dolly fan.

Visitors can look forward to an updated version of the beloved Paradise Road, a new show called Trio, celebrating the album of the same name featuring Dolly, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt, as well as an interactive singalong show featuring some of Dolly’s greatest hits. The I Will Always Love You Music Festival runs from March 9 to April 14, marking the season’s start with a vibrant celebration of songwriting and the stories behind the songs.

Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival, presented by Covenant Health (April 19 – June 9), comes to life with stunning Mosaiculture displays across the park. Immersive and larger-than-life flower sculptures create a captivating atmosphere as guests wander among over half a million blooms during this spectacular festival. Additionally, Dollywood’s culinary team showcases their exceptional skills with a menu that highlights the flavors of spring in the Smoky Mountains.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, presented by Food City (June 15 – August 11), remains a beloved summer tradition and includes the nightly Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show. Another crowd-pleaser, the “Gazillion Bubble Show,” returns to captivate guests in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

For many families, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, presented by Humana (Sept. 9 – Oct. 28), has become a cherished fall tradition. The festival celebrates the autumnal beauty with thousands of intricately carved pumpkins, stirring performances by talented singers, and the enchanting Great Pumpkin LumiNights, presented by Covenant Health.

Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

Recognized as the world’s best theme park harvest event, Great Pumpkin LumiNights features elaborate displays that offer enjoyment for all family members. Creative culinary offerings, accomplished artisans, and fall festivities in the Smokies make this the perfect time to experience Dollywood.

Closing out the 2024 season is the industry’s leading theme park Christmas event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, presented by Humana (Nov. 1 – Jan. 5). This event features six million twinkling lights, festive holiday shows, and the heartwarming Christmas ambiance that guests have come to cherish during this joyous time of the year.

Season Passes

With an abundance of exciting offerings in 2024, it’s highly recommended that guests consider investing in a season pass to ensure they can savor all the fun! Dollywood offers three distinct season pass levels – Diamond, Gold, and Silver – catering to the diverse preferences of every guest. Moreover, the popular Pre-K Imagination Season Pass provides complimentary admission throughout the season for children born in 2019 or 2020.

Guests who possess a 2023 season pass are eligible to renew their pass for the 2024 season, and this renewal option is available until October 29, complete with exclusive pricing and benefits. Starting on October 30, season passes will become available for purchase by the general public.

Dollywood’s Diamond Season Passes offer an exceptional premium experience for guests. Alongside season-long admission, Diamond passholders enjoy exclusive perks, including Saturday Early Ride Time, four Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, complimentary general parking, the most substantial discounts on dining, merchandise, and lodging, an all-season unlimited refill mug per pass, as well as discounts on TimeSaver passes, VIP tours, and preferred parking. Furthermore, Diamond Season Passes provide access to Dollywood’s Splash Country for the entire season.

Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

The Gold Pass is a fantastic value for guests, offering Saturday Early Ride Time for the passholder, two Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, free general parking, and a one-day unlimited refill mug per pass, in addition to discounts on dining, merchandise, and lodging. Both Diamond and Gold passholders enjoy access to exclusive “Golden Events,” which are special events and activities exclusively designed for them. It’s important to note that only the named passholder can enjoy the privileges associated with each pass type.

Gold and Diamond passholders can also take advantage of a terrific perk known as daily “Golden Hours.” During the first operating hour each day, Gold and Diamond Season Passes provide the named passholder with expedited access to Dollywood’s world-class rides and attractions, including Big Bear Mountain, recipient of the Golden Ticket Award for Best Family Coaster.

For those seeking an alternative, Silver Season Passes are also available, offering two Bring-A-Friend Free tickets and a discount on Dollywood lodging. Some blackout dates are applicable to adult and senior Silver Season Passes and Silver Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, but Child Silver Season Passes do not have blackout dates.

For additional information about Dollywood’s 2024 season or details regarding season passes, please visit or download the Dollywood app.



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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides,, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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