Dollywood attractions are more than just the world class theme park. Over the past 35 years, Dollywood has built a family vacation destination in the mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
I will be the first to admit, I really thought Dollywood was just the park. Last week I was a hosted guest, and learned that there is so much more than coasters and cinnamon bread. Have you ever seen a chicken sing during your breakfast? Well you can in Dollywood!
Dollywood is home to not one but two world class, award winning theme parks. These parks celebrate the best of life, and truly do embrace the “Love Every Moment” theme. With the Smoky Mountains as the backdrop, they bring outdoor family fun to a new level.
This park is a slice of heaven, I have never been to such a photographic theme park, and I have traveled to all of them. I love the fact that the park is tucked back into the mountains so you cannot see it unless you are a guest. Without even riding anything, you can stroll through the stunning park and enjoy the warm Smoky Mountain feel. From banjo music playing to live music on the Back Porch, Dollywood is magical in so many ways.
Don’t let the tranquil setting fool you, Dollywood is home to some of the best thrill coasters I have been on! Hands down, Thunderhead took me by complete surprise, this is NOT your typical wooden coaster. Once I caught my breath, I really had to process what I just rode, it was that surprising. Mystery Mine is another unexpected coaster, I won’t tell you what happens, but if you love coasters, ride it!
The park has done an outstanding job of hiding the coasters in plain sight, meaning the mountains are always the backdrop, and often times you really can’t see the coaster, unless you ride it. You may catch a glimpse from the ground, but not all of it. If you are a coaster enthusiast, get to Dollywood!
If thrills aren’t your speed, that’s ok, you can slow it down with a ride on the Dollywood Express which gives a beautiful view of the gorgeous mountains the park calls home.
Little ones in the family will find magic in Wildwood Grove, a place built just for them. Should they need to cool off, Wildwood Creek is just the spot to make some music, and wade through the creek. Be sure not to miss Hidden Hollow, a secret play area near the Wildwood tree. There are also fun rides and attractions for them to enjoy.
If you are a Dolly Parton fan be sure not to miss the Chasing Rainbows Museum, where Dolly has many of her most memorable moments on display. Through notes, pictures and keepsakes, you can follow Dolly’s path from the mountains of East Tennessee to the stages and screens she has appeared.
Looking for live entertainment? There is no shortage at Dollywood. From Heartsong where Dolly takes you on a journey of her mountain home, to Good Vibes on the Back Porch. There is a plethora of entertainment not to be missed. You may even come across a few strolling entertainers as you make your way through the park.
You are sure to work up an appetite exploring the park. And there is no shortage of food to be had. From the famous Grist Mill Cinnamon Bread, to Aunt Granny’s Buffet, and fresh pork rinds fried to order, Southern Fare abounds. Save room for dessert as well, there is a giant slice of apple pie waiting for you!
No matter how you choose to spend your day, you won’t be disappointed in this Smoky Mountain theme park. I felt as though I just scratched the surface of this amazing park, and cannot wait to go back.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
Splish Splash the day away in this mountainside oasis in the sun! From relaxing down the winding lazy river to flying down Raging River Rapids with the family, this water park offers a full day of play. Open from Mid May through September Splash Country is a Dollywood must do.
If you really want to escape, rent a private retreat and enjoy your own private space for the day. Be sure to reserve these in advance, as they do book up quickly. We had the Lazy Day retreat located in the back of the park by The Cascades and Fire Tower Falls.
Each retreat offers:
- A 32-inch satellite television (select programming)
- Ceiling Fan
- Dining table with six dining chairs
- Four lounge chairs
- Secure storage
- Delivery of entrees and bottled drinks purchased using the phone inside each Retreat.
- ADA Accessible Retreats (3/4 of a mile from front gate)
While the Grandma’s relaxed the day away, the teens and I hit up all of the amazing water rides. We absolutely loved RiverRush, a water coaster, with lots of air time. We raced down the all new Tailspin Racers and fought the waves back in the wave pool. When we wanted to cool off near the retreat, we took a dip in The Cascades, a quiet oasis in the back of the park.
There is no shortage of food and snacks at Splash Country. We ordered from Campsite Grille and dined on burgers, fries and wraps. I was bummed that Berries and Cream wasn’t open, as I had been eyeing up their ice cream for a month. Oh well, gives me reason to go back next summer.
When the weather warms up in the Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s Splash Country is the place to be!
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
When it comes to live shows, Dolly really hits it out of the park, or should I say stables. This family friendly show and feast is perfect for the entire family.
Offering a friendly North and South competition, get ready to STAMPEDE and cheer your team of riders to victory. This special show includes thrilling horse riding stunts, special effects, musical productions and a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with dessert!
- A Mouth-Watering Tender Whole Rotisserie Chicken
- Delicious Hickory Smoked Barbecue Pork Loin
- Stampede’s Original Creamy Vegetable Soup
- Scrumptious Homemade Biscuit
- Hot Buttered Corn On The Cob
- Tasty Herb-Basted Potato
- Stampede’s Very Own Specialty Dessert
- Unlimited Coca-Cola®, Tea Or Coffee
This show is timeless, and the finale will have you cheering for the Red, White and Blue!
If horses and pageantry aren’t your thing, you can take on a swashbuckling adventure only at Pirates Voyage dinner show. Here is where you will join Blackbeard, and his quarter master, Calico Jack, as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crews in a battle on land, on deck, in water and high above full-sized pirate ships in an indoor hideaway lagoon.
Me Hearties Feast
- Buccaneer Biscuit
- Voyager Creamy Vegetable Soup
- Cracklin’ Pan-Fried Chicken
- Swashbucklin’ Sugar-Cured Ham
- Corn on the Cob
- Herb-basted Potato
- Walk the Plank Peach Turnover
- Unlimited Coca-Cola®, Tea Or Coffee
Landlubbers will be dazzled by mermaids, tropical birds and of course, Pirates! While I didn’t see the show in Pigeon Forge, I have been to another one and it’s a sea worthy good time.
Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe
I never knew breakfast could be such a hoot! In my stock show world, I know frizzle chickens as show chickens, with their curly and fun feathers. But here at the café, the chickens are literally the star of the show every day.
Located on Parkway next to the comedy barn, is the most unique dining experience in Pigeon Forge. Home to 100 animatronic singing chickens, you may come across Dolly PartHEN, Jim HENson and even Tanya Clucker. These legendary chickens serenade you with live shows every 20 minutes. singing everything from YMCA to Bohemian Rhapsody. Get ready to be entertained with this wholesome fun for everyone.
And let’s not forget about the food. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe’ has everything from pancakes, to the best chicken tenders in town. I enjoyed the Chicken and Waffles, I actually wish I had an order right now. The girls ordered the Cinnamon Roll pancakes, and let me tell you, this is desert on a plate. I have never had such a good pancake before! Even if you aren’t there for breakfast, order this and share it among the table.
Frizzle Chickens simple down home menu won’t break the bank, and you get a one of a kind experience.
There is no shortage of fun to be had at any of the Dollywood Attractions Parks and Shows. Be sure to make your way to Pigeon Forge and experience this family fun destination.