Dollywood: Making Christmas Dreams Come True, One Guest at a Time

By: Ellen Liston

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…”

One of my favorite Christmas songs is really just a holiday wish, especially for a Southern girl who usually doesn’t see much, if any snow until at least January. And no offense to Irving Berlin, Bing Crosby, or any of the other countless singers who make this sound like such an idyllic holiday setting. My dream for Christmas this year is to make my perfect holiday a reality (meaning actual relaxation and family time for me and mine). That’s why I’m planning on taking up residence at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. To understand why, let’s start with Thanksgiving because if I’m dreaming of the perfect holiday season, I might as well start with Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Feasts

The joy of Thanksgiving is that it combines two of my favorite things: the deliciousness of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and my family. When you put those two together and add the bonus of not having to cook, that might just be the perfect holiday dream! Imagine Thanksgiving ham, turkey, prime rib, and too many dessert choices to comprehend. That’s exactly what’s on the Thanksgiving feast menu at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

Afterwards, I can send my family over to Dollywood on the resort trolley to enjoy the shows, rides, and hot chocolate, while I take a much-needed nap and watch some football. That sounds like more than a dream, that sounds like heaven. Making a reservation for the bountiful November 23rd dinner is the only task have, aside from deciding what to have for second and third helpings.

Christmas Festivities

As I emerge from the food, fun, family, and festivities of Turkey Day, I realized that the menu of things to do at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa only gets better. With so many Christmas activities, it’s hard to decide what to do first. Should I watch the nightly Christmas tree light display on the event lawn and then take the kids to a breakfast bonanza with Santa the next morning, or should I do it all in one day? Decisions, decisions…

Hint: Beginning November 24, you’ll have multiple opportunities to see the famous nightly tree “shows,” which take place daily from 5:30-9:30 on the hour. As an added bonus, Santa hosts the tree lighting ceremony himself on the first day!

One of the best ways to relax during the holiday season is by sitting and enjoying the sights and sounds of the twinkling lights and decorations that adorn the holiday trees. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa delivers spectacularly in this area, with décor that perfectly combines elegance with classic country Christmas. The brightly lit trees radiate our way to the entrance, gigantic wreaths welcome us upon arrival, and the 30-foot tree stands joyously by the grand staircase.

Entertainment at the resort takes a holiday twist with nightly storytelling in the living room area and plenty of holiday favorites. The smell of s’mores radiates the outdoor fire pits, and Camp DW offers loads of Christmas activities, including holiday crafts, cider to sip, and visits with Santa and his elves to go over Christmas wish lists. I plan on checking out their classic holiday movie schedule and can’t wait to be serenaded by the resort’s carolers. Just thinking about listening to my favorite holiday tunes on the grand piano in the lobby puts me in Christmas heaven.

With so many things to do, I’ll need to schedule a spa appointment to recover from all the festivities! Nothing a Merry Winter Facial or a Peppermint Mani-Pedi can’t fix. I wonder which one I can work in during my resort visit? Ok, who am I kidding? I’m booking them all– everyone else will just have to wait or start the Dollywood day without me.

Speaking of which, I found that the best way to experience Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is to start and end your day at the resort. Just hop on your own exclusive trolley (it’s really for all the guests, but this is about my Christmas dream so please humor me), get off at the entrance, have all the fun you can manage at Dollywood, go back for a short nap and snack at the resort, hop back on the trolley, and repeat. The perfect Dollywood experience!

Ringing in the New Year

When 2017 comes to a close on New Year’s Eve, I’m headed back to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. Again, the biggest “problem” I’m having is deciding exactly what to do. Do I head up at dusk and kick it off with a buffet dinner or just start with the Countdown to Midnight Dance Party? So many choices and just one night!

The Perfect Holiday Resort

Whew – I’m exhausted from all the possibilities. With everything that happens during the holiday season at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, it’s no wonder it’s the star of my holiday fantasy. To make your Dollywood holiday dreams come true, book a room at  Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa online or call 1-800- DOLLYWOOD. As for me, I’m going to take some tried and true Dolly advice – I’m going to dream more (meaning it’s time for a nap)!

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