Kingdom Heirs

Kingdom Heirs

We arrived at Dollywood in time for the park’s opening at 11:00 A.M. and immediately made our way to check out the Kingdom Heirs, a Country Gospel quartet that was an incredible experience. This quartet has been with Dollywood for 27 years and has been nominated for many awards. One of our favorite parts was the incomparable piano playing of Andy Stringfield. Andy has been nominated Favorite Young Artist for the past 5 years, and it’s not hard to understand why.
Christmas in the Smokies

Christmas in the Smokies

Additionally, this quartet does a different show for each of its 3 performances, so one could attend more than once and experience new songs.

From there, we went to see Christmas in the Smokies, a beautiful song and dance segment with lots of holiday spirit. We had plenty of time to explore before the next show, so we walked through the Timber Canyon area to the Craftsman Valley where they have an Eagle Mountain Sanctuary containing the country’s largest collection of Non-releasable eagles. They are truly an amazing sight to behold!

Beautiful bald eagles

Beautiful bald eagles

We then went to see the Appalachian Christmas, which was an outdoor theatre (cold!), but offered a string trio, consisting of a banjo, guitar, and upright bass. It was another taste of good ol’ country and Christmas music. Close by, we went to Dolly’s Heart Song movie, which tells a bit of Dolly’s childhood using a movie with a few 4-D effects (smells and rain.)

Appalachian Christmas

Appalachan Christmas

Since we had a bit of time before the next show, we explored the County Fair section of Dollywood, which offers all the typical County Fair attractions from Ferris Wheels to games you can play to win stuffed animals.

O Holy Night

O Holy Night

We headed off to see O Holy Night, which is a charming play combining a modern Christmas experience with the Biblical version. We got out in time to take the train, which takes visitors on a loop around the park and through the grounds. We thought it would be a good opportunity to see the lights of the area. It definitely was, but it was also a freezing ride!

We had planned to see another of the shows, but since we were so cold, we opted to go to Dolly’s Chasing Rainbows Museum, which displays many photographs of Dolly with other performers, items from her childhood and youth, and a huge array of dresses she’s worn. It was a neat opportunity to understand a bit more of who Dolly is as a person and an entertainer.

Lights of Dollywood

Lights of Dollywood

Finally, since we missed the other show and didn’t feel we needed to see the lights display, we decided to go see Christmas on Ice again. It was just as good as last night, if not better, due to a more lively crowd. Additionally, a few of the skaters changed routines, so we got to see a bit different show.

All in all, we had another amazing day (despite the cold), and think Dollywood is definitely worth the price of admission!

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