June 28, 2023
Oh, those sweet summer nights, nothing like them - especially if you are enjoying them with family and friends at Dollywood! The Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration festival (now -August 6) is one of my favorites. Celebrate the summer with amazing live entertainment—from the be-boppin’ Dreamland Drive-In to the unbelievabubble Gazillion Bubble Show. Enjoy the tastes of incredible summer-inspired foods (I highly recommend checking out the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration Tasting Pass) and feel the wind in your hair while soaring through the mountains on one of the many roller coasters! Which…is where I want to land in this blog.
I love all of the thrill rides at the park, but If I had to pick my favorite, I’m stuck between the classic wooden rollercoaster Thunderhead and the new Big Bear Mountain coaster, which is the longest ride in the park. I know - two totally different experiences. So, I ride them all.
Indulge me for a minute as I make a summer celebration recommendation. My family and I love to start the day out with food and shows and gravitate to the rides in the afternoon. We take on the smaller rides in the Country Fair area first, moving on to rides like Whistle Punk Chaser and the Barnstormer, and by twilight, it’s time to tackle the bigger rides in Timber Canyon and Wildwood Grove. There’s just something extra fun about riding these rides in the evening. Wild Eagle is an entirely different experience as the sun goes down. Imagine taking on the curves and loops 21 stories above Dollywood submerged in the mountain pines—in the dark. It’s so cool! There are different lighting experiences on the rides as well. I love that the Big Bear Mountain carts look like jeeps and have headlights and taillights for those nighttime bear-chasing excursions. And the Mystery Mine shoots you out of an abandoned mine shaft right into the starry sky. Even the trails that Benjamin Bear (on the popular kid’s ride Black Bear Trail, which adults love, too) explores just feel more fun. If you plan just right, you can hit up all of the coasters just in time to enjoy the Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show. This show in the sky is a “must-see experience.”
The Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show features incredible colorful stories in the sky from the shimmering lights of hundreds of drones while beautiful fireworks explode above them, all synchronized to music!
The big debate: Where is the best place to watch the Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show?
While the visibility is excellent near the Wild Eagle and Mystery Mine, the energy gathers at The Wildwood Tree in Wildwood Grove where moments before the show spectators get to join in on a fun dance party! Both locations are great, but honestly, you can enjoy the fireworks and drone show from almost anywhere in the park. In fact, if you “poop out” before the party, you can see the fireworks from Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.
Planning is essential so don’t forget about these three helpful options to make sure you get the most out of your visit:
So, what do you say? Will you accept my challenge and take on the sweet evening sky at Dollywood this summer?
All Insiders Trip Planning
All Insiders Trip Planning