Dollywood's Biggest Season Ever Kicks Off with Festival of Nations

Dollywood's Festival of Nations

A lot of exciting things are happening during Dollywood's 34th season, especially with the most significant addition in Dollywood's history, Wildwood Grove!    This award-winning theme park will have unique festival offerings, spectacular shows, and memorable experiences make this the best year yet to experience the spirit of the Smokies!

Dollywood's Festival of Nations

Dollywood kicked off the season with the Festival of Nations with captivating entertainment from around the world with the celebrations of music, dance, food, and art.  The festival is from March 16th- April 14th, and it can not be missed!

The festival is a great way to learn and celebrate new cultures without needing to jet set around the world.  Several sections around the park have different countries to explore.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations

We were all about the food during this Dollywood trip, so we grabbed a food passport and traveled around the park trying different tasty International cuisines.

My family and I couldn't wait to sink our teeth into all the foods from around the world!  It was hard to choose which dishes we wanted to try out first.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Italy

First stop, Italy!  Michelle had a sweet tooth and got her chocolate fix by eating a cream filled, chocolate dipped cannoli.  She had a cannoli before, and she told me that this treat is by far the best one she ever had!  The creamy-center can make or break the taste of a cannoli, and the cream was prepared just right!

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Italy Cannoli

Right next door from Italy is Germany.  Some of you may know this, Lauren is learning German in school and speaks the language fluently.  She loves the culture and eats their traditional dishes, snacks, and likes to buy gifts that are imported from Germany as well.  Lauren's eyes lit up when she saw the Germany booth.  She and I grabbed two cold Gluehwein drinks to try, and it tasted like an apple cider that's heavy on the cinnamon.  It was a bit different than any drinks we ever had, but we would have it again.  We would prefer it warm, well at least I would.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Germany

Next, Michelle had her eyes on Canada's favorite dish after she finished her sweet cannoli.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Canada

Who doesn't like french fries?  Well, these fries are different than what you would find in the US.  Poutine, southern comfort food that originated from Quebec is loaded with gravy and cheese curds.  Now that's a different combination, but Michelle loved it!

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Canada Poutine

After Lauren and I drunk up our German drinks, we wanted a taste of Havana, Cuba by eating Arroz Con Pollo, a traditional dish that features grilled chicken, rice and beans.  The meal to me lacked in seasoning, but from what I heard, Cuba doesn't use a lot of seasoning for flavor like how we season our food here.  But overall, the Cuban dish was still delectable.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Cuban Arroz Con Pollo

Dollywood Festival of Nations Food

For dessert, Ecuador was calling our names with their cinnamon-coated Arroz Con Leche; it's a simple rice pudding with raisins.  It's served cold, but it's also delicious served warm too!

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Ecuador Arroz Con Leche

There was more we checked out at the festival, like authentic artisan merchandise, and different performances.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations Authentic Artisan Merchandise

Dollywood's Festival of Nations

We couldn't make all the performances, but the one I was looking forward to is Cuba Vibra!  Ms. Alfonso’s Havana-based company show celebrates the development of Cuban music and dance from the 1950s to the present with the aid of 18 dancers and an onstage big band.

Dollywood's Cuba Vibra

Dollywood's Cuba Vibra

Cuba Vibra dances are steamy hot and remind me of Hot Havana nights at the club when men and women dance the night away together that I have seen on TV.  The dance style looks like a mixture of Spanish and African rhythmic dances, so it just shows that all cultures have influences of each other.

Dollywood's Cuba Vibra

I'm happy that Cuba Vibra showed that there is more to Cuba than old cars, eclectic architecture, tobacco, rum, and beaches.  This dance company for more than half a century been showing the world young Cuban art.  They help open peoples' mind to experience the real passion, energy, and soul of Cuba.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations

Dollywood's Festival of Nations was an excellent way for us to experience new worlds all in one place!  There was so much more we didn't get to see because time was not on our side.  The Festival of Nations requires several visits to see the whole thing, so I highly recommend you get a season pass or multi-day tickets, especially since Dollywood has a variety of events happening throughout the season.

Check out 2019 Dollywood Season

Bluegrass fans know Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 24-June 2) provides them with 10 days of toe-tappin' music served up alongside some of the tastiest pulled pork, barbequed chicken and traditional sides anywhere! This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Dailey & Vincent are just a few of the headliners who make this annual traditional music to the ears! With the tantalizing treats from Dollywood’s award-winning chefs and the sweet sounds of bluegrass, Dollywood guests have the perfect recipe to kick off the summer!

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22-Aug. 4) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with the family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! With the opening of Wildwood Grove, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life when the sun sets. Each evening ends with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza that lights up the night sky. High-energy music and shows like Dreamland Drive-In make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is an excellent reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with the new Smoky Mountain tradition, Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every evening allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. Several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists make the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s most significant event in America. Grammy nominees The Isaacs and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound already are set to perform. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the unique harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Named the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide for more than a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 9- Jan. 4, 2020) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families into the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than five million holiday lights, enjoy the festive holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Glacier Ridge returns to transport guests to the arctic with the Northern Lights, the Arctic Passage, and a 50-ft. tall animated tree. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in this merry environment. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.

For more information about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit or call 1-800-Dollywood.

Disclosure: I am Dollywood's 2019 Contributing Content Writer, so I was provided free access to event.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Make sure to check out all my other Dollywood content!

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