[ Special Events & Festivals ]

Gatlinburg Hosts Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights

The Great Smoky Mountains offer a perfect Christmas getaway. Chilly weather presents the opportunity to bundle up in cozy sweaters, drink hot cocoa, and light a fire in a comfortable cabin retreat. All of the above sound intriguing? Head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Gatlinburg in particular hosts a variety of spectacular holiday events over the winter season, with the Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights leading the way as one of the best attractions. Read below for this year’s details.

Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Tour stop sign
Photo Credit: Visit Gatlinburg / Facebook

What is the Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights?

The Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights is a delightful 45-minute guided tour of the city. These whimsical tours take guests on a winter wonderland tour of the city to see the beauty of the holiday season throughout the Smoky Mountains. The light displays depict holiday characters, items, and scenes including Santa’s reindeer, elves, toys, trees, and so much more. Plus, keep an eye out for the LED light displays of Smoky Mountain animals such as deer, foxes, and rabbits.

Recently, the city has added a $1.6 million custom expansion to the Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights. This expansion includes custom-designed light displays and decor sprawled throughout downtown Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights: What You Need to Know

The Trolley Tours depart three times nightly from November 22, 2019 – January 25, 2020. Rides depart from the Gatlinburg Welcome Center at traffic light #5, near the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. All of the enclosed and heated trolleys take the same route along Hwy. 321 around the Gatlinburg Winterfest light displays.

During the holidays, visitors can catch the trolley daily at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. from November 22 until December 31. Moreover, trolley tours do not run on December 6, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. After the holiday season, trolley tours will run on Saturdays at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 until January 25, 2020.

Beginning in 2019, guests can enjoy a special costumed storyteller as their guide, a complimentary cup of hot chocolate, and a special Christmas token.

Trolley rides cost $10 per person. Children under the age of 3 are free if they are sitting on an adult’s lap. Note that outside food and drinks are not allowed within the trolley.

Plan Your Gatlinburg Trip Now

The Gatlinburg Winterfest Trolley Ride of Lights is one of the most popular Christmas events in the area. For the best experience, purchase your trolley tickets in advance and plan to spend at least a full weekend exploring the Smokies.

If you plan on visiting Gatlinburg this holiday season, reserve your Gatlinburg lodging now for the best deals.

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