Dollywood Theme Park is the perfect combination of authentic family fun and unforgettable memories. This guide will give you all the details to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime
When was the last time you added some amazing vacation photos to your family album? Visiting Dollywood Theme Park will leave you and your family with nothing but mesmerizing experiences to cherish. This Smoky Mountain gem has a lot to offer, so being prepared is a must – you don’t want to miss out on any of its charms!
Are you ready to visit Dollywood Theme Park? Here’s how to plan an unforgettable visit:
Why travel Here
In 2014, Dollywood earned its third consecutive award for being the nation’s Friendliest Park – and for a good reason! This park is like no other; there is a sense of calmness and enjoyment that you can only feel once you set foot in its walls. At Dollywood, there is no better way to enjoy some family time, reconnect with your loved ones, and get a sensory-filled experience of the Smoky Mountains to the sound of great music and delicious food.
About the Park
Covering 160 acres across the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is one of the highest-ranked theme parks in the nation, offering world-class entertainment, a friendly atmosphere, and more than 50 world-class rides. Located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, this amusement park is a top destination for families who want to enjoy their vacation with music, good food, and endless laugher – great memories are guaranteed!
For more rides, please click here.
This special attraction lifts guests 20 stories above the Timber Canyon! At first, the ride slowly ascends, providing a breathtaking view of the Great Smoky Mountains, but in an instant, Drop Line quickly plummets to the ground, leaving a rush of excitement within each rider.
Dollywood Express Train Ride
Catch this 110-ton coal-fired Express Train for an authentic 20-minute excursion through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. You will enjoy beautiful nature views and unique pastoral sceneries. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more thrilling roller coasters experiences, please click here.
For more water attractions, please click here.
For more information about the latest attractions, please click here.
Wings of America
This unique show is a chance to experience the beauty of many birds and raptors and catch an up-close glimpse of some rare creatures. In July, The Plaza in Wilderness Pass showcases America’s National Symbol, the Eagle, revealing stories and secrets of this majestic animal.
For more shows, please visit here.
Dolly Parton Museum
Those who are interested in Dolly’s life, career, and interest in the theme park, can visit the Chasing Rainbows museum and learn more about her accomplishments.
Dollywood’s Dining offers a wide range of restaurants to meet the wishes of everyone’s taste buds. You can choose between buffets, fast foods, concessions, and even full-service food halls.
To learn more about menus and food options, please visit here.
Visit The Grist Mill to enjoy their famous cinnamon bread. This delicious dessert can be enjoyed with either icing or homemade apple butter. Don’t forget to explore other goodies like canned jelly and jams.
Other Food Options
25-Pound Apple Pie
Made from roughly 35 apples, this dessert became popular after being first offered for the park’s 25th anniversary.
The Meatloaf at Front Porch Café
If you are looking to experience some Southern-style comfort food, this is the place to be.
Granny Ogle’s Sampler Platter
Order the Fronie’s Sampler to taste a full course of smoked ham pit, pinto beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, pot roast, fruit cobbler, and turnip greens.
Secrets About the Park
Learn more about Dollywood’s intriguing secrets and see this iconic park with fresh eyes!
The Park Wasn’t Always Named Dollywood
Originally, the land was just a small tourist attraction named Rebel Railroad. During the 1970s, it was purchased and relaunched under different names, first Goldrush Junction and then Silver Dollar City. Several years later, Dolly Parton expressed a profound interest in the park, which was then rebranded as Dollywood by Herschend Enterprises in 1986.
There is a Secret Apartment
Dolly’s hidden apartment is located above Apple Jack’s sandwich restaurant. No one can find this secret place – except for Dolly, of course!
Dolly Parton Doesn’t Ride the Dollywood Rides
Dolly admitted to being afraid of roller coasters due to heavy motion sickness, so don’t expect of seeing her on any of your rides anytime soon!
The Park Jammed Traffic for 6 Miles
On opening day, in May 1986, the park attracted so many visitors that Pigeon Forge traffic was completely stopped for 6 miles! In just over five months, more than 1 million visitors had experienced the beauty of Dollywood’s atmosphere.
Time Saver Pass
TimeSaver is a good investment if you want to get the most out of the many attractions offered at the park. The pass gives you expedited access to all participating rides and theater shows. Guest can choose between TimeSaver or TimeSaver Unlimited.
For more information about prices and pass availabilities, please click here.
Parent Swap is a program offered by Dollywood that provides easy boarding of attractions to those members of the group who do not meet the minimum height requirements. This involves one adult waiting with the child in a secure area while the rest of the group rides the attraction. The adults will then “swap” places with each other after the ride. In this way, everybody can enjoy the ride while supervising the young guest who is unable to board.
Best Way to Avoid Lines
To make the most out of your Dollywood experience, you can follow these simple tips:
Choose a Lighter Day
The park is mostly visited during the Fall and Summer seasons. While going on a low season is ideal, the best days to avoid lines during the busy months are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
It is best to arrive at the opening time, 10:00 am. Some areas of the park open at 9:30 am, so the earlier you get there the least waiting lines you will see.
Eat Earlier (or Later!)
Dining rush hour is between 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, so you may want to arrange your meals earlier or shortly after this timeframe.
Learn Height Requirements
If you are visiting with children, it is best to know what height is required by each attraction. This will help you avoid unnecessary lines and plan your activities accordingly.
For more information about avoiding crowds at Dollywood, visit the park’s main blog.
Set in the region’s foothills, the park proudly showcases its Appalachian legacy through local folk music, arts, and more. There are many ways to reach the Dollywood theme park: you can drive, fly, or even use public transportation!
Airport – Closest Airport
The closest airport to Dollywood is McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS), 12 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee. You can also fly to Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte and reach the park by car from any of these locations.
Other Options, Taxi, Uber, Local Train, Buses
Aside from catching a plane, Dollywood can be reached by public transportation as well.
- Trolley: Fun Time Trolley is the most popular, and affordable, transportation option. It has a line to and from Dollywood costing $0.50 one way or $2.50 for the whole day.
- Car: You can park for free and pick up the trolley at the trolley station at Patriot Park, traffic light #7 – Old Mill. Alternatively, you can park at Dollywood for $20 (standard-length vehicles) or $25 (oversize-length vehicles such as RVs and trailers).
Driving from Another State
Dollywood is located 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, Tennessee, at the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dollywood can be easily reached from the following cities: Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Birmingham, Roanoke, Cincinnati.
For more information on cross-state directions from any of the above-mentioned cities, you can visit the main site.
You will drive from Interstate 40:
- Take Exit 407 toward Sevierville / Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg.
- Follow TN Hwy. 66 South which becomes US 441.
- At Traffic Light #8 in Pigeon Forge, turn left and follow the signs to Dollywood.
Experience Dollywood’s Log Cabins:
Dolly’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
Just minutes away from the theme park, Dolly’s DreamMore Hotel was recently ranked as one of the top hotels and resorts for families. If you are looking to make your trip memorable, start by breathing the mountain air of this on-site oasis or by tasting some regionally inspired cuisine. You can also unwind by visiting their full-service salon and spa and pamper yourself with one of their many customized treatments.
- Save up to 30% per night on select dates January 2 – March 12, 2022.
- Book a Smoky Mountain Road Trip TODAY and receive up to 35% OFF per night at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa anytime October 1, 2021 – January 2, 2022.
- Book our Harvest Stay & Play Package at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa to experience the resort’s Harvest Happeningsand save 10% per night + receive TWO exclusively discount admission tickets to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival Presented By Humana (Now – Oct. 30, 2021).
- Book a stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa today and save 10% per night + receive TWO exclusively discounted admission tickets to experience Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Presented by Humana from Nov. 6, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022.
- Come to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa with our Christmas Tree In-Room Décor Package!
- Play Like A Kid, Pay Like A Kid when you add on a Pink Adventure Tour experience to any new or existing resort reservation!
- Off-site Hotel Packages
Staying at Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge is Dollywood’s hometown, located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. There is a great selection of lodging options, from popular hotels to family-owned properties to luxury condos. If you want to make your vacation even more unique, the town’s cabins and chalets are perfect for a secluded mountain getaway.
Pick a Hotel Here
There are many incredible hotels in Pigeon Forge. Explore the best accommodations in the area that will make your vacation to the Smoky Mountains unforgettable:
- Last Minute Hotels in Pigeon Forge from Trip Advisor
- Top Hotels in Pigeon Forge according to Expedia
- Most Recommended Hotels in Pigeon Forge according to Kayak.com
Things To Do
Aside from being home to the state’s top theme park, Pigeon Forge is famous for its more than 200 specialty stores and outlets and bursting of activities for people of all ages. You can test your skills with mini-golf competitions, racing on a go-kart track, or going on an outdoor adventure in the Smoky Mountains. If you are up for an extreme adventure, you can choose between rafting, whitewater, or zorbing.
Together with its endless entertaining options, Pigeon Forge offers unique dinner show attractions. These iconic locations combine spectacular performances with Southern-classic feasts. You can enjoy a wide range of dining options and local menus while watching your favorite show right in front of your eyes!
If you are looking to bring your family adventure to the next level, join the Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN. From horse-riding stunts and musical productions to the spectacular open-air tables, your night will be filled with endless fun and a mouth-watering four-course feast!
Dolly’s Pirates Voyage
The Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show will immerse you in the fight between the Sapphire and the Crimson crews led by Blackbeard, the most famous pirate, and Calico Jack, his quartermaster. You will be amazed by tropical birds, beautiful mermaids, and unthinkable acrobatic tricks. Let’s not forget about the fabulous four-course feast made of a pork chop, sweet potato souffle, fried chicken, creamy vegetable soup, and much more! Kids can even get their faces painted before the show by visiting the Pirates Treasure before the show starts.
Dollywood Splash Country
Adjacent to the main theme park, Splash Country is a 35-acre water park, one of the most well-known waterparks in the Smoky Mountain area, located just 25 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Guests of all ages can enjoy a variety of water attractions during the warmest months of the year, from May through September, including lazy rivers and waterslides.
Yearly Weather / Local Festivals
No matter what time of the year you choose to visit the Smoky Mountains, there are always plenty of things to do, from outdoor festivals to shows and family entertainment.
Here are some suggestions for the Fall season:
Depending on the season, you can enjoy diverse weather and the beauty of the landscape.
This is a great time to experience the fall foliage, which occurs from October to November. Mountain slopes turn to stunning shades of gold, yellow, orange, and red, anticipating the cold season that will come.
During the cold season, visitors like to explore local towns like Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg and experience the beauty of the first blanket of snow.
As temperatures warm up, visitors can enjoy the local flora starting to bloom all around.
This is perhaps the best season to visit the Smoky Mountains and Dollywood Theme Park. The sun shines long into the evening, and the hot summer weather is perfect to enjoy the myriad of activities offered.
- Harvest Festival by Humana
- Smoky Mountain Christmas by Humana
- Flower and Food Festival by Covenant Health
- Summer Celebration
Fall Shows & Entertainment:
Travel To The Area
Located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, Dollywood is one of those family destinations that should be visited at least once. Whether you live nearby or will cross states, the following links will show you the best way to reach your final destination effortlessly:
How to Get to Dollywood – from Dollywood Blog
Flying to Dollywood – from Dollywood Blog
Travel Information – from Trip Advisor
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Convention Visitor Bureau
Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains can be the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you are looking for a personal getaway or an exciting family vacation, Sevierville has exactly what you need. National parks, theme parks, local experiences, Southern-style food, and authentic celebrations – this is what a vacation to the Smoky Mountains will offer and even more!
If you want to learn more, you can visit the Visitor Bureau’s main page.
Located at 231 Dollywood Ln, Pigeon Forge Chamber of Commerce can assist you with pricing, hours, and directions for all your favorite Smoky Mountain destinations.
For more information, you can visit their main page.
Compared to most American theme parks, Dollywood is unique in every form or fashion. You can feel the Southern breeze of the Smoky Mountains, the thrill of a roller coaster ride, and the taste of a traditional dining experience- all in one place! If you are ready to make your next vacation memorable, this guide is all your will need.