The Old Mill Est. 1830

The Old Mill Est. 1830

When we got our tickets for Dollywood, we were informed that it was possible to get two days out of a one day ticket if you go after 6 on holidays (after 3 during other times), so that’s what we decided to do.

We also decided that we’d take the trolley instead of paying the $8.00 parking. The trolleys are charming, and for 50 cents a ride, you can travel from Seviereville to Gatlinburg and lots of places in between. We chose to catch the trolley at the Old Mill stop (off light 7 in Pigeon Forge). Old Mill (or Patriot Park, as the trolley schedule references it) sports a number of fun shopping places. The old mill itself has been around since 1830 and is now family run. It’s gorgeous scenery and a great place to look around while waiting for the trolley.

Entrance to Dollywood

Entrance to Dollywood

We arrived in Dollywood around 5:20, and though the website said if you came after 6, you’d get the next day free, the park let us in after 5:35, which gave us time to orient ourselves before getting in line for a 6:15 show. The show schedule gives you both times and locations for the various shows playing. If the two we saw this evening are any indication, they alone make the price of admission worthwhile, especially compared to other shows in the area.

Christmas on Ice

Christmas on Ice

We first went to see Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice. This 45 minute program consisted of both ice dancing and an acrobatic show all accompanied by a sextet. If you appreciate ice skating, this is a must see. It was gorgeous in costumes, singing, and skating.

From there, we were able to explore a bit before heading over for the Twas the Night Before Christmas show. The lights of Dollywood are definitely an amazing spectacle to behold. Additionally, there are a number of shops and food places along the way. We also got to stop and watch a glass blower at work (which is a nice place to warm up in the cold weather) and walk through a replica of the cabin in which Dolly and her eleven siblings grew up. The cabin was made by one of her brothers and decorated by her mom, filled with many of the items from the Parton family cabin.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Finally, we went to Twas the Night Before Christmas, played at the Pine theater, modeled after the one Dolly used to attend as a child. This was a fun and creative play about “Christmas miracles.” It tells the story of two siblings who separately receive help from St. Nick himself to get home for Christmas while reinforcing the idea that Christmas is about caring for others. I’m definitely excited to see what tomorrow brings.

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