• Dollywood 2020 Opening Date

    We’re happy to announce that Dollywood has unveiled its long-awaited opening date for 2020 with a statement as follows:

    “Dollywood Parks & Resorts will begin a phased reopening on June 15.

    Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country reopen June 17, with Season Passholder Exclusive Days on June 15 & 16. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa opens June 10.

    During this unprecedented time, we are implementing a number of new safety measures based on the guidance of health officials including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and appropriate government agencies. The safety and well-being of our guests and employees are our top priorities and guide our decisions.” ~ statement.

    Dollywood, for probably the first year in a couple decades, will not be opening the operating season with Festival of Nations, however, Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is still scheduled to go on from June 20th to August 2nd for 2020 as of now.

    See more on Dollywood’s re-opening information and Summer Celebration at www.dollywood.com.

  • The Advantages of Staying Between Sunday and Thursday

    We all know that weekends are the nationwide preference for vacation time and this is only natural as most have commitments that hold them to a Monday through Friday work and school schedule.

    However, if you do get the opportunity to have some time off between Sunday and Thursday, we’d love to encourage you to use that time to vacation here in the Smokies! There are several advantages (at least!) to booking some time with Deer Ridge during the early or mid-week:

    1. Less traffic to and from attractions. It’s only during the peak season of the Autumn colors and certain holidays that require the numerical date itself, such as the 4th of July, as opposed to a “traditional” time of the year, such as Thanksgiving or Easter that don’t fall on certain numerical dates, and even then it’s only holidays that focus more on travel as part of the festivities. Apart from that, normal traffic in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas are a fraction of what they normally are; both on the road and in line. Also a great time to visit Dollywood!

    2. More availability and cheaper prices at some restaurants. Most are fairly consistent in what prices they offer and only separate them out between lunch and dinner, but we do have some that only offer certain menus and therefore prices during the weekends or discounts for certain days that aren’t peak periods of business.

    3. There are more condo units available at Deer Ridge during the weekdays. Why is this important? Other than it means a greater chance of securing a vacation with Deer Ridge, each condo unit is decorated and accommodated differently – no two units are alike! This means you can find a condo unit that fits your personality and desires much more easily at Deer Ridge.

    There are other smaller reasons to visit the Smokies during early-mid week days, but those you’ll need to discover for yourself once you get here!

    If you’d like to explore the prospects of an early-mid week stay with Deer Ridge, you can reserve by phone toll free at 877-333-7743.

  • Upcoming Winterfest Kickoff Events

    While Halloween and the peak colors of the mountains get closer in our month of October, we wanted to take a minute to look ahead at the next truly big event coming up in the Smokies – the Winterfest kick off!

    Most of you know that all three cities have a party within very short dates of each other, some years had them all on the same day. In this article, we’ll give you some beginning information on all three since it’s still a little while before the event will take place and some information hasn’t been detailed yet. Let’s look:

     

    Sevierville Winterfest Kickoff 2017
    November 6th at Sevierville Community Center and Civic Center
    From 3:00PM to 9:30PM

    More information TBA. Stay tuned at http://visitsevierville.com/.

    The 28th Annual Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff
    November 8th at Patriot Park
    From 5:00PM to 7:00PM

    MyPigeonForge.com writes:

    “Draped in more than 5 million lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for locals and guests alike to enjoy during the city’s annual Winterfest celebration. The lights of Winterfest shine from early November through the end of February.

    From winter light displays to captivating holiday shows and so much more, here are just a few of the fun ways you can experience the delightful Winterfest Celebration.

    Visit Dollywood to see more than 4 million lights shine during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, when the park is filled with holiday music, plenty of rides, a nightly Parade of Lights and much more to celebrate the season. Dollywood recently announced the addition of Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors, featuring new floats, specialty characters and songs. The park also adds a new show to its entertainment lineup with the stage production It’s a Wonderful Life.

    Old Mill Square features a light display depicting its own version of a covered bridge, one made of thousands of twinkling lights that lead to one of the most historic areas of Pigeon Forge. The Smoky MountainOpry is decked out for the holiday season with giant trees, wreaths and more, all covered with sparkling lights. You might even catch Old Saint Nick making a rooftop delivery.

    Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede pulls out all the stops when it comes to decorating for the holidays. One of the highlights is their 60-foot-tall tree, adorned with colorful lights, ribbons and sparkling ornaments from the very bottom to the twinkling star on top. Another must-see is The Island in Pigeon Forge with all new decorations including approximately 40,000 ornaments, half a million lights and more than 5,000 feet of garland. Guests are treated to three new Christmas trees, including one that stands 40 feet tall and allows guests to walk through. Santa and Mrs. Claus greet guests at their new workshop while roving carolers fill the air with Christmas music.

    And the best way to take in the beauty and splendor of all the light displays throughout Pigeon Forge is on the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights, which begins at the north end of the Parkway.

    Whether this is your first time to visit Pigeon Forge, or you’re making a return trip, Winterfest is the perfect occasion to share special memories with family and friends.”

    See more on Winterfest events in Pigeon Forge at www.mypigeonforge.com.

    Gatlinburg Winterfest Magic Kickoff
    November 8th in Downtown Gatlinburg between Ripley’s Aquarium and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum
    From 5:00PM to 8:00PM

    From Gatlinburg.com:

    Offering mouth-watering recipes of homemade chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the City of Gatlinburg hosts its annual Winter Magic Kickoff and Chili Cookoff on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown.

    City dignitaries will signify the start of Gatlinburg Winter Magic with a ceremonial lighting of more than 3 million lights throughout the city.”

    Participants in the Chili Cookoff will be competing for the coveted People’s Choice Award, Best Booth Presentation. While the street event is free, tickets for chili sampling are $10. There is also a special edition t-shirt available for purchase.

    See pictures of Chili cookoffs from yesteryears at https://www.gatlinburg.com/event/winter-magic-kickoff-chili-cookoff/.

     

    We’ll report again on the Winterfest Kickoffs as it gets closer to the event times. until then, enjoy your Harvest Festival here in the Smokies!

  • Were All the Attractions and Downtown Gatlinburg Destroyed in the Fire?

    No, in fact, contrary to reports and social media posts, an overwhelming majority of downtown Gatlinburg and the attractions and restaurants in and around the area were never hit by fire damage.

    As we posted in some of our other posts in the topic, this remains the official list of relevant attractions and restaurants that were affected by the wildfires of 2016:

    * Alamo Steakhouse (Gatlinburg location). Destroyed.
    * Arrowmont. Damaged but recovered and back open to the public.
    * Cupid’s Chapel of Love. Destroyed.
    * Dollywood. Slightly damaged but recovered with all events and plans for 2017 on track.
    * First Baptist Church of Gatlinburg. Damaged, but main church building intact.
    * Gatlinburg Church of Christ. Destroyed.
    * Hillbilly Golf. Damaged. Reconstruction underway and expected to re-open for Spring 2017.
    * Hollywood Star Cars Museum. Minor damage. Recovered.
    * The Lodge at Buckberry Creek. Largely damaged. No longer in business.
    * Mountain Lodge Restaurant. Destroyed.
    * Mysterious Mansion. Previously believed destroyed, the attraction is fully intact and undamaged.
    * Roaring Fork Baptist Church. Destroyed.
    * Southland Car and Jeep Rentals. Destroyed.

    To say it short and sweet, if it’s not on this list, you can expect it will be open and conducting business as usual either now or once the tourism season fully begins in March 2017.

    This Smoky Mountain wildfire update is provided to you by Deer Ridge Mountain Resort.

    Last updated: 2-22-17