Review: Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights is back this year and is somehow even better than last year! With new character meet and greets, plenty of photo opportunities, and clever decorations, this event is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Character Meet and Greets

My youngest, at 4, is not super outgoing with characters. He turns a little shy, even though he isn’t usually. But my 6 year old is all about it. He loves talking to people, and these poor characters are a captive audience! This year we ran into quite a few characters, and whether they were walking to their places or already staged, they stopped to chat with the kids and take photos. Dollywood has a lot of great talent, and these characters are no exception!


Photo Opportunties and Decorations

Whether you want a group shot or a character shot, the park is full of photo opportunities. The decorations are so cute and the pumpkins so plentiful, you can stop pretty much anywhere between Wilderness Pass and the VIP Parking exit and get spectacular photos.

By the way, this guitar has music that plays along with it, and the chords and notes light up accordingly. It is absolutely mesmerizing! The new spiderwebs especially make for fun photos, though I wouldn’t touch them for fear of messing them up! But it is fun to make funny faces and pretend to be caught.

The pumpkins are spectacular throughout the park, so leave plenty of time to look at them all. They’re gorgeous in daylight and at night, though they really *shine* at night.

Fun Tip: You get a great view of the park from many rides! Try the Great Tree Swing to get a bird’s eye view of Wildwood Grove, and Firechaser Express gave a sweeping view too!

Staying After Dark

The park closes at 9 p.m. through the end of October, but be sure to check the calendar before planning your visit.

From the way the moon looks over the Wildwood Tree to the glowing pumpkins, it’s definitely worth being there at night. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and it really starts to feel like fall as the sun goes down and the air cools.


Visiting Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights is a fun family activity that has some spooky-not-scary elements. It’s all good hearted fun, and even my scaredy-cat self and my crew don’t get scared. Plus, you’ve got the try the new Pumpkin Spice Funnel Cake!


Halloween costumes are also allowed this year! There are guidelines on the Dollywood website, but they’re common sense (like no accessories that are or look like weapons. Safety first, y’all!). I’m hoping to take my group back before the November 2 end date, so I can get some adorable photos of them in their costumes amongst the pumpkins.

Other special experiences we haven’t done yet include the glow face painting. I don’t know if my two can sit still for that long, but the artists are amazing. It’s a cool experience in itself just to see others walking around with the glow face paint.

The day we went the high was in the 90s, thus the tank tops and shorts. But now fall has finally arrived in East Tennessee, which will make experiencing Dollywood in the fall even better!

What’s your favorite fall activity at Dollywood?



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