Hey everyone! It’s Shawn here doing a little blog update about my overall experience at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Event this year. First off I want to say how much we appreciate all of you for using our site and forums as well as liking our facebook page. Without the Dollywood fans, we are nothing! Make sure to recommend the site and facebook page to your fellow Dollywood fan friends, we would appreciate it!
Now on to my experience. This was the first time I have ever been to the Smoky Mountain Christmas event, so everything was a new experience to me this time. Luckily I had Kirstin there with me to help guide me through what shows to watch and things like that, because I had no clue what was and wasn’t good. You wouldn’t ever imagine Dollywood would be any different during the event, but that’s not true at all. It’s a completely different park as far as atmosphere. Of course, it was cold, so that is most of what was different though. Usually when you go to parks, or at least when I get to, it’s hot, and the crowds aren’t too bad, but this time was much different. The crowds were heavy and the temperature was in the 40s all day. Although I expected it anyway, I was shocked at how many people were there. Luckily we had our Q-bots to save us from waiting too long, and mother nature did help out later in the day with a little rain, so the crowds cleared out pretty quick after that.
The rides were all running like usual besides the water rides, of course. We ended up getting a couple rides on Wild Eagle, and one ride on all the other major coasters and rides, mostly at night, which was a nice experience. All the major coasters in the night time are just spectacular. Thunderhead and Tennessee Tornado, being back in the woods a little bit, makes the whole back half of those rides completely dark. It’s spectacular! Mystery Mine is for the most part Illuminated to some degree, but one interesting part is the final drop into complete darkness and then those crazy inversions, which is quite a bit more fun than in the daylight. Wild Eagle is great as well being perched on top of a mountain with no light. You can’t see a thing up there besides the outline of some trees while flying toward them in the darkness. The new hours coming up this summer are going to be great with all those night rides. Blazing Fury was also very neat. One thing that some people may not know is that they actually decorate the scenes in Blazing Fury with Christmas lights as well. It’s a neat holiday twist to a great classic ride. One thing to mention is that riding these coasters at night in the middle of winter isn’t all that great when it comes to temperature. You leave kind of warm, but come back with icicles hanging from your nose, and your hands frozen to the restraints. Well…maybe not THAT cold, but it’s pretty darn chilly. Definitely bundle up quite a bit before heading out on a coaster in 40 degree temperatures, especially if it’s raining or snowing.
One ride in particular I’d like to mention specifically is Adventure Mountain. As some of you may know, this was the final season for the Adventure Mountain ropes course experience at Dollywood, and a few days before it closed for good, I got my first and last ride on the attraction. I never really payed much attention to it. I figured it would be there forever, but after this announcement I decided to try it out. Adventure Mountain is a super nice attraction that is both fun and thrilling. I would’ve never imagined myself balancing on a rope 20 feet in the air ever, but this definitely changed that! After navigating the ropes and things, I ended up really liking the ride, and I was kind of sad to see such a great family attraction leave so soon. But knowing Dollywood, I’m sure there’s something better in the works for that spot in 2014, and I’m anxious to see and ride whatever it is.
I only want to briefly touch on the shows during the event because Kirstin is working on a second blog on just shows alone that will be posted shortly. While there, I saw Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice, and Twas the Night Before Christmas . All three were spectacular, of course. However, out of the three, I only really liked Twas the Night Before Christmas. It seemed to me the others just lacked that wow factor, and turned out to be quite bland in my opinion. I was surprised the ice show didn’t impress me. I thought the ice skating would be really neat, and it was to a degree, but then it got really repetitive and I lost interest. It was also hard to watch the ice skaters and the people singing at the same time. Twas the Night was just hilarious and had an amazing story to it. I enjoyed the show quite a bit.
The main show wasn’t in any theater or included any actors, singers or dancers. It would be, of course, the beautiful lights that blanket the entire park. To say I was impressed by the lights would be an understatement. There’s just SO MANY, and in so many colors and forms, and they’re just everywhere on everything. Just a completely beautiful sight unlike I’ve ever seen. One of the most beautiful sights is the 5 trees throughout the park completely covered in lights from top to bottom on every branch. It’s a spectacular sight! While there we did watch the Carol of the Trees light show in Rivertown Junction at the pond. It was a 12 minute long light show synced to all kinds of music. Very interesting light show, but not the best I’ve seen. It seemed very repetitive. Pretty much the same patterns in different colors. I’m sure it was difficult to put together something like that anyway, but I’d like to see some variation with the lights in the future.
Overall the experience was spectacular. Great shows, rides and lights all into one package. I would absolutely recommend going to a Smoky Mountain Christmas Event, especially if you have never been to one before. It is a sight like none other, and really sets someone in that Christmas mood, even as an adult. We have taken many photos of the event, and we would love to have you view them in our gallery below. We have also posted them on our facebook page as well! Thanks for reading!