‘Christmas at Dollywood’: Follow All of the Happy Bright Lights


A fan favorite for Hallmark, Danica McKellar returns as Rachel Lewis, a successful event planner whose work and life in New York is good. But as the last event of her season wraps up, her boss gives her some time off. Unsure what to do, Rachel decides to return home to Tennessee after a tempting work offer from her friend that would allow her to spend Christmas at Dollywood.

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Once back home, Rachel earns the job of planning the 30th anniversary celebration, but not without some help. The board believes Rachel alongside their long-standing employee Luke Hakman (Niall Matter) would be the perfect team to ensure this party goes off without trouble. Nick is busy trying to finally earn the GM position, while Rachel strives to put on the best event she has ever worked. The trouble is, some unexpected changes have them both re-thinking the future…

Christmas at Dollywood (2019) Hallmark Review

Alongside their parade of familiar faces, one of the most interesting things this network seems to be doing is filming at or highlighting iconic places. First, we visited Graceland, and now Dollywood, both favorite and beloved destinations of many. This one doesn’t showcase its locale in the way Graceland does, but we certainly are treated to many of the bright lights of this park; there’s digital-controlled décor that puts on quite the light show and the more traditional fluff that is sure to make you feel all the nostalgia. No matter what you prefer, there’s plenty of pretty to see.

While it’s sweet, same as always, I have to confess, I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas at Dollywood. It’s one Hallmark has given a great deal of promotion for given its iconic setting, but for me, it’s not one I’ll count as a favorite. The story doesn’t work as well as it could have, and because of this, some of the emotions don’t feel “authentic” in the way they could. That said, I know I’m going to be in the minority (and a very small one at that), and I can appreciate that the majority will thoroughly enjoy this. If you like the originals from this network team, or enjoyed Christmas at Graceland, I’m confident you’ll discover a sweet story in here.

There’s a host of familiar faces aside from its leads which includes Sarah Strange and Crystal Lowe from Signed, Sealed, Delivered. It’s always nice to see Niall Matter in another of these films, and the young actress who plays Ava is adorable. All of this inspires a strong sense of family, and home, which is the very foundation these stories build themselves on. In this world, it’s a refreshing change to see family ties that don’t break, no matter the miles between them.

If you’re ready for a parade of bright lights and visiting an iconic place, you’ll not wish to miss Christmas at Dollywood. Chances are, if you like Dolly Parton (who yes, don’t make an appearance), Danica McKellar or sweet Christmas romances, this is one you’ll enjoy watching.

Catch the debut of Christmas at Dollywood tonight, December 8, on Hallmark Channel.

‘Christmas at Dollywood’: Follow All of the Happy Bright Lights. Review of the Danica McKellar romance from the 2019 Hallmark lineup! #Hallmarkies #ChristmasatDollywood #ChristmasMovies Click To Tweet
‘Christmas at Dollywood’: Follow All of the Happy Bright Lights. Review of the Danica McKellar romance from the 2019 Hallmark lineup! Text © Rissi JC

Photos: Hallmark / Crown Media Press

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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