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Dollywood opens on March 13, 2021!  All the information you need about spring festivals, special park procedures during COVID-19, brand new attractions, and more can be found here.  

Dollwyood Express and Grist Mill at Dollywood Theme Park.

Dollywood Opening Date 2021

Similar to Dollywood’s 35 season back in 2020, reservations are encouraged for park entry this year as well.  While the park opens for all guests on Saturday, March 13, 2021, season pass holders had their chance to register for a special Friday preview day.  Also, guests with reservations will be subject to COVID-19 screenings before entering the park.  Here’s the rundown of everything you need to know before making your reservation to see Dollywood on opening day in 2021.  

  1. Daily capacity is limited.  Reservations or pre-purchased tickets are required. 
  2. Face masks or face coverings are required for all guests aged 2 and older. Guests are not required to wear a mask while eating or on certain attractions in the park.  There will also be mask free break zones where guests can remove their masks as long as social distancing of 6 feet between other groups can be maintained.  
  3. Guests will have temperatures screened before entrance.  Any guest with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent to a rescreening area with their entire party.  Entry will not be permitted and refunds or rain checks may be offered. 
  4. Guests will also undergo a four-question health screening.  
  5. Social distancing at the park is practiced at Dollywood, and signage and floor graphics help remind guests to stay 6 feet apart
  6. Kindness is cool – guests who are disrespectful to employees or other guests will be asked to modify behaviors or leave the property. 

Want to know more about how Dollywood is keeping your family safe in 2021?  Check out all their safety and sanitation measures over on their website.

What’s New at Dollywood in 2021? 

As is tradition, lots of hard work went into Dollywood during the winter months.  This year, Dollywood brings a few upgrades sure to appeal to guests. 

Expanded Outdoor Seating Areas

Dollywood heard guest feedback loud and clear from 2020 – people want more places to sit and enjoy their tasty treats.  Two large outdoor seating areas have been added in Dollywood this year.  Dogs N Taters in Rivertown Junction, as well as Hickory House in Craftsman’s Valley give guests a great place to take a break and savor their meals.  

Ride Upgrades

Dollywood's Lightening Rod rollercoaster

Two popular rollercoasters saw some upgrades in 2021.  The Lightning Rod reopens in 2021 with some track replacement.  The replacement results in a smoother ride for guests.  While the coaster is now not 100% wooden, a smoother ride is sure to be a crowd pleaser when Dollywood opens in 2021.  

Check out this footage from one of the test runs: 

Also receiving upgrades in 2021 is Mystery Mine.  New sections have been added to the outdoor portion of the track to make one of the rougher parts of the ride a little more enjoyable.  

A Favorite Shop Relocates

Dollywood’s famous blacksmith shop moves in 2021 to make way for the Hickory House dining space we mentioned above.  Don’t worry though – the Blacksmith & Foundry will be open for viewing on opening day.  Later in the spring, a new experience at the shop opens for guests.  You can make your own knife in 2021!  There will also be a brand new retail space for the shop as well.  

Spring Festivals at Dollywood in 2021

umbrella sky at dollywood

This year, Dollywood’s first festival begins April 23rd.  Flowers and Food Festival returns for its second year!

Last year, stunning floral displays with multiple types of shrubs, plants, and flowers added color and whimsy to the theme park.  Butterflies, bears, and even raccoons took form in all shapes and sizes.  Some of the mosaic designs last year included up to 5,000 plants a piece.  

Another mainstay of the festival in 2020 returns for 2021 – the Umbrella Sky installation.  Talk about a photo op!

Of course, the food is a headliner here too.  Guests can nosh on all types of cuisine from around the world.  Try a Cuban sandwich with plantain chips and mango salsa, lobster rolls, or even mini funnel cakes topped with Chantilly cream and a drizzle of lavender honey.  

A pork sandwich at Dollywood's Flower and Food Festival

Some of the featured dishes last year included pork sliders with sweet & salty pineapple chutney, Greek orzo with lemon & garlic vinaigrette, or miniature blueberry tarts served with a lemon slice.  You can pre-purchase your dining pass and try five different food items for one low rate.  More details coming soon on their website.  

We can’t wait to see what’s in store when Dollywood opens in 2021!

Will There be Shows at Dollywood in 2021?

The 36th season of Dollywood brings back indoor and outdoor performances.  Show schedules for all attractions change weekly, so be sure to check out the weekly schedule before your visit.  Social distancing precautions will be in place for all indoor theaters.  

Guest Favorite for many years – Heartsong, also returns in 2021.  New for this year, A Brighter Day.  This inspiring show features uplifting favorites from Back Porch Theater.  Dolly’s family also returns in a new show debuting this March called Harmonies of the Heart.  

The Tones sing acapella hits every single day starting in March.  Catch their act in The Village.  

During Flowers and Food Festival a concert series called Melodies of Spring graces your ears.  Contemporary Christian artists, southern gospel groups, and other acts take up residence in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater.  Some of the acts scheduled to perform in 2021 include Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, I AM THEY, and many more.  

You’ll have plenty of options for shows at Dollywood in 2021.  

Ready to Book Your Trip?

A colorful sunset in the smoky mountains at all that jazz

If you’re planning a trip when Dollywood opens in 2021, you’ll want to find a cabin close to Dollywood.  American Patriot Getaways can help.  Our professionally cleaned cabins are all over the Smoky Mountains, and we have plenty of cabins close to Dollywood to choose from.  Booking a stay in a private cabin is even better than choosing a hotel!  Browse all of our cabins over on our website, or give our friendly Reservations team a call at 800-204-5169 and let them help you create the vacation of a lifetime.

We look forward to you booking your mountain vacation with us in the Smokies again soon!  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest area news and happenings.

Check out our Smoky Mountain Travel Guide for more adventures. Be sure to check out all of our vacation guides for planning your Smoky Mountain getaway.


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