Back Porch Bucket List Back Porch Bucket List

Back Porch Bucket List


July 12, 2023

Beyond thrills, eats and the friendliest hosts you’ll ever meet, Dollywood is renowned for its incredible line-up of live entertainment options. From Broadway-style show productions to top-tier music performances, the park offers something for all ages and tastes. I’m diving into my favorite live music venue at Dollywood - Back Porch Theater. This outdoor venue is one of my must-stops - call it a Dollywood bucket list item for me on each and every visit.

Let’s explore why you should consider adding Back Porch Theater to YOUR Dollywood bucket list.

Variety of Shows

You can expect to see a wide variety of live music performances over the course of a season at Back Porch Theater.

Once home to the Kinfolks show featuring Dolly’s family members and more recently for the Smoky Mountain String Band, the venue has presented the country music road trip “Back Porch Live” and more recently, popular music shows like Good Vibes and A Brighter Day. It also has hosted award-winning musical acts visiting Dollywood during the park’s festivals.

With this level of variety, it’s pretty easy to find a personal favorite.


Immersive Storytelling

The shows at the Back Porch Theater are more than just live music - they are storytelling experiences. Whether they take you on a summer road trip, tug at your heartstrings or inspire you to look to a brighter day, each performance will captivate your imagination. Through the seamless integration of music and choreography, performances at Back Porch Theater weave musical narratives that stay with you long after the last note.

World-Class Performers

Prepare to be impressed by the incredible talent on stage at Back Porch Theater. Dollywood attracts world-class performers, musicians and artists who bring their skills and artistry to every show. From seasoned professionals to rising stars, Back Porch Theater showcases the best in the industry. Witnessing their performances up close and personal is an unforgettable experience.


Intimate Atmosphere

One of the charms of the Back Porch Theater is its intimate atmosphere. The theater resembles a cozy Appalachian back porch, complete with a welcoming and rustic ambiance.

I recently spoke with veteran Dollywood entertainer, Josh Davis, about his experience performing over multiple seasons at Back Porch Theater. He spoke at length about how the intimate nature of the venue creates a connection between the audience and performers, a connection that he uses to drive his performance. He also described seeing the look of engagement on the faces of the audience to be the most rewarding part of being a performer at Back Porch Theater.

In my experience, no matter where you sit, you'll feel a sense of closeness and engagement. The venue’s layout ensures every seat offers an excellent view and a pleasing acoustic experience.


A Part of Dollywood History

Back Porch Theater has been a staple of the park from its beginnings as Dollywood in 1986. The theater has seen several renovations and upgrades, but it has always maintained its rustic charm and atmosphere that can be experienced today. Nestled in the Rivertown Junction section of the park near the tracks of the Dollywood Express, the Back Porch Theater feels perfectly at home. Here's an extra tidbit: it shares a building with a recreation of Dolly Parton's childhood home, adding a touch of magic to the experience.

Insider Shows Tips

Let me equip you with some Insider tips for a great Back Porch Theater experience:

Check Show Schedules: Before your visit, check the Dollywood mobile app for the day’s showtimes. Dollywood offers Back Porch Theater performances throughout the day, so you’re sure to find a showtime that works for you.

Be Mindful of Show Durations: Check the duration of each show and plan your schedule accordingly. Some shows may run for shorter durations, allowing you to fit more into your day, while others may be longer and require more time to enjoy.

Arrive Early: Shows at Dollywood can be popular, so it's best to arrive early to secure a good seat. Arriving 10-15 minutes before the show allows you to find a comfortable spot and avoid any last minute rush.

Interact: Don’t be afraid to join in and engage with the performance. It's all about having a blast, both for you and for the incredible performers on stage.

By following these tips, you'll be well prepared to enjoy a show at Back Porch Theater!


Beyond Back Porch

There’s no reason to end your list with Back Porch Theater! Expand your Dollywood bucket list with even more exciting adventures:

Break a Coaster Record: Challenge yourself to record-breaking ride counts on Dollywood’s iconic coasters.

Attend every Dollywood Festival: Check out the Dollywood calendar and plan your visits to coincide with park festivals. The more festivals, the better!

See all of the shows: Don’t forget about the other live entertainment options available at Dollywood - shows like Dreamland Drive-In, The Tones and the Kingdom Heirs to name just a few.

Go VIP: Take your Dollywood experience to the next level with a guided VIP tour. Gain insider knowledge and a deeper appreciation for the park's unique offerings. You'll feel like a true insider!

Stay at a Dollywood Resort: Make your visit unforgettable by staying at Dollywood’s  DreamMore Resort & Spa or HeartSong Lodge & Resort. Enjoy luxurious accommodations, stunning views and convenient access to the park.

Bucket List Item Complete

So, while you can add anything your heart desires to your Dollywood bucket list, make sure that seeing all the shows at the Back Porch Theater is at the top. The variety of shows, the unparalleled talent and the enchanting atmosphere make it an absolute must-see for anyone who appreciates the magic of live entertainment.

You might even call it a bucket list experience.


All Insiders Entertainment


All Insiders Entertainment

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