Any day at Dollywood is a great day, but there is something special about fall at the park. From the cooler temperatures to the amazing festivals to the gorgeous scenery, fall is my favorite time to visit Dollywood. If you haven’t already planned a fall trip, let me share five reasons fall at Dollywood should be on your to-do list.
- Fall leaves in the Smokies. Dollywood is a beautiful theme park, and that beauty is never more evident than during the fall months. With trees throughout the park, the changing leaves of the Great Smoky Mountains are on full display from late September through early November. Surrounded by red, orange and yellow leaves, a fall day at Dollywood immerses you in the golden hues of the season.
- Cooler temperatures. I love a summer day at Dollywood, but let’s be honest—Tennessee gets hot. The cooler fall temperatures are a welcome respite from the sweaty days of summer. Walking through Wildwood Grove or Wilderness Pass on a crisp fall morning is a true delight.
When visiting Dollywood in the fall, bring layers. Mornings and evenings can be chilly, but afternoons might still get quite warm.
- Warm treats. Nothing beats warm snacks on a cool day! Some of my favorite Dollywood treats are served warm, making them the perfect foods for fall days. You cannot leave Dollywood without trying cinnamon bread from the Grist Mill or Spotlight Bakery, and this deliciously warm treat tastes even better on a cool day. Other favorite warm treats include funnel cakes from Splinter’s Funnel Cakes or Crossroads Funnel Cakes; corn dogs from Dogs N Taters; butterfly-shaped pretzels found at snack stands throughout the park; and cobbler from Aunt Granny’s Restaurant (though you’ll have to eat the whole meal to get the cobbler, which I promise you will not regret).
Dollywood restaurants do not serve breakfast, but cinnamon bread makes for a perfect morning meal or snack. Grab a warm loaf in Spotlight Bakery for a great start to your day!
- Earlier sunsets. Daytime at Dollywood is incredible, but being in the park after the sun has gone down is a different kind of [wonderful] experience. As a family with young kids, we cannot stay at the park too late, so we love the earlier sunsets that fall brings. With the sun setting in the early evening, our kids can experience their favorite rides in the dark, offering a whole new perspective. We love how the park lights up at night, and we enjoy the extra hours of nighttime fun that fall brings to Dollywood.
- Harvest Festival and Smoky Mountain Christmas. My favorite thing about fall at Dollywood are the two amazing festivals that happen during the autumn months—Harvest Festival and Smoky Mountain Christmas. With Harvest Festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights running Sept. 23 – Oct. 29, then Smoky Mountain Christmas picking up Nov. 5 – Jan. 1, fall at Dollywood is full of festival fun. Dollywood offers exceptional food and entertainment every day, but these festivals kick it up a notch with special food and beverage options, seasonal entertainment, exquisite decorations and so much more.
If you haven’t experienced Dollywood in the fall, I highly suggest you plan a trip soon. Fall in East Tennessee is a beautiful sight, and Dollywood has so much to offer during this special season.