All the wonderful Fall sights, smells, and flavors have returned to Dollywood and we’ve been busy running amok around the park. That could only mean one thing. . . FALL IS HERE!! Which means that it is time to look at our BEST OF THE FEST!
Let’s begin by noting that to FULLY experience all the festival has to offer on a budget you should pick up the Fall Tasting Pass either by purchasing 24 hours in advance of your visit on Dollywood.com OR stopping by any Fall Food location around the park to purchase one.
The tasting pass is a GREAT value and will allow you to try 5 items from the fest for a reasonable amount of money! The 2022 tasting pass runs $34.99 plus tax and you can save $3.00 if you use a Gold or Diamond Season Pass when purchasing.
Most of the savory items and sweet treats are easily shareable so a family of 4 or less could easily get away with purchasing two passes. A word of caution though, if you or anyone in your party are a fan of the Fall drinks you may want to consider a pass for each person as those are not so shareable! Who wants to share all these amazing drinks anyways?
This season festival items can be found in numerous locations around the park including Show Street Bakery, Special Festival Booths, and at select quick service stops.
Number 3 – Loaded Sweet Potato
The Loaded Sweet Potato can be found in Market Square in the Festival Food Booth and features smoked Chicken, Smoked Pork Belly, and White Cheddar Cheese all piled on top of a baked Sweet Potato! Delicious right?!
This savory option is honestly the perfect portion for a small lunch or easily shareable between a couple of people as a snack.
The Potato was cooked perfectly and the chicken and pork belly was tender and juicy. The White Cheddar cheese definitely helps balance out the sweetness of the potato. This dish does not feature a lot of spice so it can definitely be enjoyed by most anyone in the family!
Number 2 – Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Are you obsessed with Mac & Cheese? Do you ALWAYS pick the Mac & Cheese option when you go out to eat? Well, here is some GREAT NEWS! This year the festival is featuring the Smoked Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, which can be found inside Iron Horse Pizza in The Village.
It features white cheddar mac and cheese topped with smoked butternut squash.
We found this to be an extreme portion size that could easily feed two-three people! We were pleasantly surprised at how big the portion size was when using the festival tasting pass.
The mac and cheese was very creamy and full of flavor and could easily be enjoyed on its own! The soft butternut squash was the perfect topping to bring this dish to Fall Comfort food level! This dish would definitely satisfy the younger members of your family, but you might want to remove the butternut squash if they aren’t veggie fans.
Number 1 – Apple Dumpling with Ice Cream
The apple dumpling is located at the Festival Food Booth in Market Square!
This amazing item features a dumpling made of pastry dough filled with baked apples and spice filling served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with warm caramel sauce.
We found this portion size to be a bit small, but it made up for that in deliciousness! This is definitely shareable between two people but let’s be honest… You’ll want it all to yourself!
The pastry was soft, and the filling was warm and full of flavor! The ice cream and caramel sauce put this dessert over the top. We will absolutely get this item every time we visit the park during the Fall fest it’s just too good!
ALL THE DRINKS!
So, what about drinks? While we don’t recommend using the tasting pass for drinks as it’s not a great value for the money, we do highly recommend you try at least one special festival drink!
Some of our absolute favorite items were the Pumpkin Pie Punch OR the Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew!
You can find Pumpkin Pie Punch at the festival booth in Market Square. It’s a delicious cold drink that features apple cider, pumpkin puree, cream soda, and pumpkin pie spices! It like drinking a pumpkin pie. . .LITERALLY!
If you’re in need of a little caffeine pick-me-up during the Fest you can also grab the Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew at Show Street Bakery! This drink features Starbucks Coldbrew, cold foam and pumpkin spice syrup. It’s great to get the day started OR to grab as you prepare to check out all the glowing pumpkins!
Now that you have been able to look at SO many amazing food items. Let’s look at some festival tips!
During the day you can find a rotating schedule of exclusive live Fall entertainment all around the park and shop numerous artisan craft booths. These artisans display all sorts of craft making expertise and are happy to explain their processes and even provide demonstrations! We could easily spend an afternoon checking out all the crafts!
When night approaches the park comes alive with Great Pumpkin LumiNights featuring thousands of Glowing Pumpkins, spooky music, and lighting. Fun Not-So-Spooky characters also take to the streets to delight all ages! We even found Dollywood testing a new 360 photo op during the recent passholder preview night so keep an eye out for that!
If you want to take your Pumpkin expertise up a notch you can participate in the “Behind The Glow” tour for an additional charge of $99.00 per person on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights during the fest!
This tour features a special behind the scenes look at LumiNights along with a special character meet and greet opportunity, VIP viewing of the Wildwood Grove Tree Show, a dip your own candle activity, and a collectible glow in the dark lanyard! Head over to Dollywood.com for full details.
This year’s festival is so much fun and it has just started!! There are so many things to do and so many things to eat! We hope you have an amazing time if you are able to make it!