Go Behind the Scenes at Dollywood's Drone Show

July 20, 2021, 3:05 PM · Dollywood's Summer Celebration wraps on July 31, meaning fans have less than two weeks left to see the park's first-ever drone light show.

The production is part of Dollywood's Sweet Summer Nights experience, which includes fireworks and an all-ages dance party in the park's Wildwood Grove land. I always have found drone shows fascinating, so I am happy to share this behind-the-scenes look at the show's production.

It's also great to hear that Dollywood isn't looking at this show as a one-off, but perhaps the start of a regular entertainment feature at the park.

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Replies (9)

July 20, 2021 at 3:46 PM

Amazing, and it will be exciting to see where they can take this technology.

July 20, 2021 at 5:14 PM

This is really impressive. Just watching videos of these shows and not having seen them in person is breathtaking. I hope this technology begins to replace fireworks. There are many people and animals that fireworks negatively affect. Once the units are bought I would imagine these shows would be cheaper in the long run.

July 21, 2021 at 1:12 AM

Disney should do a drone show over the lagoon at Epcot.

July 27, 2021 at 5:44 AM

Incredible. This is a great sight. Thank you very much for emotions. I haven't been so fascinated for a long time, since college, when I was finally able to publish my work with the help of a resource. I want to believe that such events will be held as often as possible and it will be fun, all without exception, not just an emotional student like me=). And what did you think, not only with books and essays we live)

July 21, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Having seen this show first hand, I can attest that it is truly incredible. I remember seeing the first application of drones to create a light show at the Super Bowl a few years ago, and it looked incredibly fake on TV. Even when you see videos of current shows, it looks like someone went back in the video and drew the lights in afterwards. You can only truly appreciate the scope, complexity, and wow factor of a drone show by seeing one in person, and it is quite the impressive sight.

I'll be covering the Dollywood drone show (including a full video) in my Pandemic Adventures series over on the Discussion Forum.

July 21, 2021 at 10:53 AM

I’m at Dollywood right at this very moment and really excited about the drone show! It will be great to see something different that just fireworks and projections. Really surprised Disney or Universal didn’t utilize this technology for their own parks first.

July 21, 2021 at 12:40 PM

@Twobits - If you're planning on seeing the drone show, make sure you're in Wildwood Grove @1 hour before showtime to get a good spot near the splash pad area. They start limiting capacity in the splash pad area @30-45 minutes before the show to allow space for the dance party, so if you're not in there before it's closed off, you'll be stuck being further back and potentially with an obscured view.

Also, Universal was already using drones in their various Hogwarts Castle shows over the past few years, so they were technically the first to use drones as part of a nighttime theme park show.

July 21, 2021 at 12:56 PM

Disney had its Starbright Holidays drone show at Disney Springs in 2016. (Calling TH to revive the "Disney Springs is a theme park" debate!) Universal used drones for the first time in its Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle show in 2019. I can't recall any other US theme parks using drones beyond those two examples, plus now Dollywood.

July 21, 2021 at 3:29 PM


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