Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a beautiful theme park with fun for the whole family. We recently visited the park over Spring Break and discovered a family destination we’ll enjoy for years to come. As our kids get older, we’re looking for new places to visit regularly for lasting family memories. Dollywood is practically in our backyard (less than 4 hours away) and hosts many rides and attractions our kids can grow into!
Spring Break is the perfect time to visit Dollywood, which officially re-opened for the season on March 18 with their Festival of the Nations in full swing. We enjoyed bits of world culture throughout the park including music, food and shows reflecting nations around the globe.
Because we visited early in the season, the park was much less crowded and the weather was perfect!
As you consider making Dollywood a top destination for Spring Break and Summer family fun, here are 5 things you should know about the theme park. . .
Dollywood is a wonderful theme park to visit with friends.
We invited my dear friend and blogging co-founder, Kristy and her family to join us on our trip to Dollywood. Our kiddos had a blast together and visiting Dollywood with friends proved to be very beneficial for our family. My children tend to be cautious when it comes to new things but Kristy’s kids are little dare devils. We found our brave in Dollywood as friends encouraged us to try new things. My son and I adopted this mantra for the day, “If Daniel (age 6) can do it, I can do it!” Daniel (and his brother) braved every roller coaster their 48+inches would allow them to conquer!
Other benefits for visiting Dollywood with friends:
- Although Dollywood features Parent Swap, which allows parents to take turns on the rides their children can’t (or won’t) ride, having friends along makes it even easier for adults and older kids to enjoy the coasters. I took the younger (or risk-averse) kiddos several times throughout the day while the others rode the big rides.
- Accountability will come in handy when visiting Grist Mill for Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread. I’m pretty sure we would have downed another loaf of this yummy treat if we were by ourselves!
- You’ll create lasting memories the kids will talk about for years to come. We’ll never forget how our friends encouraged us to be brave that day and the excitement we felt after finding the courage to ride the roller coasters.
Grab your friends and make plans to visit Dollywood this Spring/Summer season!
Dollywood is not only friendly, it’s family friendly.
We were extremely impressed by the family atmosphere we felt all over Dollywood. Yes, there are many big roller coasters (which actually makes the park perfect for families with older kids) but there is plenty for little ones to do, especially in Country Fair and throughout the whole park.
More proof of the value Dollywood puts on family:
- Dollywood strategically places a small, child-friendly ride or attraction next to every coaster, allowing each member of the family to find fun in every corner of the park.
- You can ask any Dollywood food vendor for a cup of ice water and they will gladly serve you for free. Free water may not seem like a big deal but we were incredibly impressed (and blessed) by this generosity. While most parks are looking to make as much money as possible as you spring for soda and bottled water, Dollywood recognizes that their guests (especially children) need to stay hydrated while enjoying the park on a hot day.
- Most rides require you to leave your personal belongings behind. Dollywood employees gladly take your items as you get on the ride, placing them in a secure, designated area. This is especially helpful for families with diaper bags and backpacks.
Dollywood is a company built on core Christian values so you can feel confident building family memories there.
I don’t expect every place I visit to share my values but it’s always nice when they do! My interaction with every Dollywood employee supported their obvious value of family, service, kindness and generosity. One store clerk even said, “God bless you” after she helped me make change for the penny press machine.
Dollywood is very affordable, especially compared to other, similar parks.
As far as theme parks go, Dollywood is very affordable. And with all of the exciting rides the park has to offer, you definitely get your money’s worth!
More proof that Dollywood is cost-conscious:
- Visitors can turn their one day ticket (currently priced at $67 for adults (age 12+) and $54 for kids (age 4-11) into a season pass by paying the difference before they leave the park. A standard season pass is currently $96 per child and $108 per adult (you get an additional $5 off each pass price when you buy 4 or more making it even better for families!). Season passes are valid opening day (mid-March) through December 31st, so you can return to the park several times per year. More discounts and deals are offered if you include Splash Country in your plans (the water park wasn’t yet open so we couldn’t visit it this year).
- The cost of food and souvenirs was noticeably less than other parks I’ve visited and with the free ice water feature, you can definitely save money throughout the day!
Right now you can save $40 on a family 4 pack of one-day tickets when you book by April 9th and visit the park April 10th-23rd for Spring Break!
Dollywood is constantly growing and expanding, making it an exciting repeat destination for your family.
Dollywood is always adding new rides, shows and festivals to their growing list of attractions. I’m told there is something super special planned for October (I’ll let you know when I find out more, it’s a bit of a secret at this point) and their Christmas festivities are a must-see. I’m already working on my plans to re-visit the park in December!
More new and exciting features Dollywood has to offer:
- Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort opened 2 years ago and boasts an amazing campus of accommodations, activities, shopping and more. Resort visitors get special treatment at the parks, too, including premium parking and a time saver wristband for little to no wait on the rides!
- Dollywood offers the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, Lightning Rod! Our friends, along with my husband, had a blast riding this one. I skipped it to hang with the little kids.
- This May, Dollywood will add three new rides to the parks including the exciting Dropline and Whistle Punk Chaser (another junior coaster, yay!) in the theme park and TailSpin Racer in the water park.
- The Dollywood app is a great tool to use while visiting the park including show times + ride wait times that we found accurate and constantly updated!
Our family will be returning to Dollywood, maybe later this year, but definitely in years to come. I am hopeful as my kids grow, their courage will grow too so we can eventually brave all the thrilling rides and roller coasters Dollywood has to offer, together!
Have you been to Dollywood with your family? What are you favorite tips for visiting the park?
I was given complimentary tickets in exchange for my review of Dollywood. All other trip expenses were my own. This is an honest review of our experience at the park. We loved it!
Another reason we were excited to visit Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountain region this Spring was to check on this beloved vacation spot after devastating wildfires swept through the area last fall. My husband and I honeymooned in the Smoky Mountains almost 15 years ago. We’ve been back several times since with family and friends. It’s one of our favorite road trip spots! When we followed the news coverage of the fires last year, Dave came across a photo on USA Today that looked like our honeymoon cabin. We went back this weekend and confirmed our cabin was, in fact, destroyed by the fires. It was such a sad image of the loss that the community has experienced. We are thankful for the wonderful memories we had there and will continue to pray for healing and restoration in the Great Smoky Mountains. Will you join us in praying?