December 16, 2022
One of my favorite perks of being a Diamond Season Passholder this year has been getting to participate in Dollywood's Golden Events. When I first learned about these exclusive Season Passholder only opportunities, I immediately marked my calendar to plan a visit or two to make sure I didn't miss out. One of the options immediately sparked my interest: Priority Seating and Meet and Greet with the cast from "Christmas in the Smokies." "Christmas in the Smokies" is my favorite thing to do at Dollywood, and I know it's a beloved tradition for many other families like mine. So many of my own Christmas memories are tied to sitting in the seats of DP's Celebrity Theater, just waiting to hear the train whistle blow (which signals the start of the show). I jumped at the chance to experience one of the special Golden Event opportunities that showcased my favorite show that is now in it's 32nd season at the park. While these special Golden Event opportunities are available for Gold and Diamond Passholders, you must register in advance to participate. You can find more information on the Dollywood app or you can follow Dollywood social media and email updates on when these events are happening. This particular event saved us reserved seats for the 2 p.m. Sunday show, and we had from 1:30 to 1:50 p.m. to enter the theater through the TimeSaver entrance. When I registered for the event online, I received an email with a separate ticket including a QR code that had to be scanned when I presented my Diamond Season Pass. We were then escorted to the reserved section, where we had fantastic seats for the show.
After the performance, we had been instructed to stay in our seats until the theater was emptied. Once it was just the registered passholders in the audience, two of the cast members came out to greet the audience. For the Nov. 13 performance, we were excited to have Jeremy Reasoner and Nicole Polizzi as our featured cast. Jeremy and Nicole took a few minutes to tell us about their musical background and how they became performers at Dollywood. Jeremy introduced himself as the "park entertainment floater" and that he swings between shows during the holidays as he knows the tracks to several of the on-property shows. In fact, we had just seen him performing at the Mistletones show by the train station in The Valley just a few nights before, so it was fun to hear from him, knowing that seeing him in this show was a rare occasion.
Nicole is in her second Christmas season at Dollywood, and she is a recent graduate of Belmont University. She told us that she had former dreams of being a meteorologist, but her heart for performance led her to Dollywood. In fact, she said that she knew she wanted to be a Dollywood entertainer when she watched "Christmas in the Smokies" from the audience a few seasons ago and was entranced by the show. We then were able to ask the cast members a few questions. When Jeremy and Nicole were asked about their favorite part of being in this Dollywood classic, Nicole answered first by saying that she loved getting to sing "Hail, Favored One" as Mary each day.
Jeremy said that he looked forward to performing as "Billy" when he was swung into the show because it touched on his own personal experience. As fans of the show know, the older son, Billy brings his girlfriend home for a tender Tennessee Christmas where he proposes in front of the family. Jeremy said that the show mimicked his life in a way as he proposed to his wife in front of his family after bringing her home for Christmas, and he loved getting to recreate that moment for the audience. We finished up our time together with a group picture with Jeremy and Nicole, and we thanked them for taking the time to speak with us. It was a delight to hear from these very talented entertainers, and as different cast members are featured at each Christmas in the Smokies Golden Event throughout the holiday season, I know that each meet and greet will offer new insight into the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the show.
Currently, this Golden Event opportunity is full, but you can check back here throughout the holiday season to see if availability has opened.
And don't forget to get your Gold and Diamond passes for the 2023 season where Dollywood will have even more special Golden Events like this one to help you, as another beloved song in the show says, "make a memory this Christmas."
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