The Ultimate Guide to Dollywood Theme Park

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Dollywood is set in the spectacular Smoky Mountain and offers the perfect backdrop for a family weekend getaway with theme park rides and attractions. 

Heart stopping roller coasters, adventurous water excursions, family and kiddie rides are all available at Dollywood.

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 Although Dollywood doesnt have all of the bells and whistles of a Universal Studio or Walt Disney World it is still well worth the drive. 

You could easily spend a minium of two days of finding things to do at Dollywood including hanging out at Dollywood Splash Country water park. 

Now that Dollywood offers world class luxury accomodations like the DreamMore Resort, Dollywood should be on your Tennessee bucketlist. 

The rides at Dollywood include everythng from roller coasters, water rides and some of the best rides for the smaller babies so they wont feel left out.

If you don’t like rides at Dollywood there are plenty of things to do at Dollywood to keep your family entertained so keep reading my guide for things to do at Dollywood and directions to Dollywood. 

things to do at dollywood - Pigeon Forge Tennessee

Directions to Dollywood

Dollywood is conveniently located 35 miles southeast of Knoxville, Tennessee in scenic Pigeon Forge at the gateway of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

You can get to Dollywood from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Tennessee.

Below are the directions and map Pigeon Forge, TN plus a map of where is Gatlinburg and where is Sevierville along with directions to Dollywood from these destinations.

Where is Pigeon Forge, TN?

Are you looking for directions to Pigeon Forge or need a Pigeon Forge map? Pigeon Forge, TN can be accessed via Interstate 40 from exit 407.

Follow the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway (Highway 66 to U.S. 441 to the Great Smoky Mountains) and you arrive in Pigeon Forge between Sevierville and Gatlinburg. The nearest commercial airport is McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, about 45 minutes’ drive west of Pigeon Forge, TN.


Where is Gatlinburg, TN?

Gatlinburg, TN is just a short drive from Pigeon Forge and rests on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along U.S. Highway 441, which connects Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina through the national park.

Gatlinburg can also be accessed via Interstate 40 from exit 407. Follow the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway (Highway 66 to U.S. 441 to the Great Smoky Mountains) at which you will follow the parkway through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and into Gatlinburg.


Where is Sevierville, TN?

Sevierville, TN can be accessed via Interstate 40 from exit 407. Follow the Great Smoky Mountains Parkway (Highway 66 to U.S. 441 to the Great Smoky Mountains) and you will arrive in Sevierville. Continue ahead to go to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

Things To Do at Dollywood

Dollywood is organized into 11 themed areas:

  1. Showstreet – Attractions include Showstreet Palace Theater, Celebrity Theater, and Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.
  2. Rivertown Junction – Attractions include Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home, Back Porch Theater, and Smoky Mountain River Rampage whitewater rafting ride.
  3. Craftsman’s Valley – Attractions include Dollywood Grist Mill, Valley Theater, Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, Wings of America Theater, Robert F. Thomas Chapel, Calico Falls Schoolhouse, Tennessee Tornado coaster, Blazing Fury coaster, Daredevil Falls flume ride, and craft exhibits.
  4. The Village (formerly Village Square) – Attractions include the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Dollywood Express steam train, Heartsong Theater, Village Carousel, and Costner and Sons Magic Shop.
  5. Country Fair (formerly Fun Country) – Rides include Dizzy Disk, The Amazing Flying Elephants, Lemon Twist, Shooting Star, Sky Rider, The Waltzing Swinger, Piggy Parade, Busy Bees, Lucky Ducky, Dolly’s Demolition Derby, and The Scrambler.
  6. Timber Canyon (formerly Thunderhead Gap) – Attractions include the Mystery Mine coaster, the Thunderhead coaster, Drop Line, Whistle Punk Chaser, and Lumberjack Lifts.
  7. Jukebox Junction – Attractions include the Rockin’ Roadway car ride and Pines Theater. Also featured is Lightning Rod, which holds the record as the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.
  8. Owens Farm (formerly Daydream Ridge 1987–1999, Dreamland Forest 2000–2010) – Attractions include Barnstormer, a barn and plane styled giant swing attraction. It also includes soft play areas and a splash pad.
  9. Adventures in Imagination (formerly Dollywood Boulevard) – Attractions include Dolly Parton’s My People! show at Dreamsong Theater and the Chasing Rainbows Museum.
  10. Wilderness Pass – Attractions include the SkyZip zip line attraction, The Plaza at Wilderness Pass, Wild Eagle – America’s first winged coaster – and FireChaser Express, a dual-launch coaster that launches forward and backward.
  11. Wildwood Grove – Opened in 2019; attractions include the Dragonflier,a suspended family coaster, The Mad Mockingbird, a swing ride, The Wildwood Tree, a 50-foot-tall (15 m) lighted tree, and Till and Harvest, a Mexican-inspired restaurant.

Dollywood Kiddie Rides

Families vacationing with children prefer to take it easy and enjoy rides that the kids will love too!

Dollywood practically specializes in kid-friendly rides that are appropriate for children of all ages. From water rides to playgrounds, carousels to spinning scramblers, everyone will be delighted by the variety of rides that this Pigeon Forge amusement park has to offer.

Let’s start off with the kid-friendly water rides – the perfect way to cool off and beat the summer heat!

One of the little one’s favorite attractions is Beaver Creek, a lazily winding stream where children can wade in and splash in the water.

Check out the leaf races or the Beaver Creek Boat Float for a rocking good time! 

After the water rides, board the spin cycle of the Lemon Twist! Climb into one of the nine spinning lemon cups as you revolve around a pitcher in the center. 

The Scrambler offers a similar type of fun, shuffling and spinning you around as you giggle and laugh.

Kids and adults alike love the gentle up and down, round and round motion of the Amazing Flying Elephants.

Get caught up in circles of fun as you ride the Busy Bees, Lucky Duck and Piggy Parade.

Additional Things To Do at Dollywood

1. Watch the Incredible Shows

You could easily spend the whole day at Dollywood just enjoying the park’s wonderful entertainment!

The most popular shows at Dollywood include the Smoky Mountain String Band, Dreamland Drive-In, Little Engine Playhouse, Kingdom Heirs Gospel Quartet, and the My People Show.

The theme park also hosts a number of seasonal music festivals that bring hundreds of international entertainers, classic bands, bluegrass performers, and gospel singers to Dollywood.

3. Play Games at the Country Fair

The Country Fair section of Dollywood is filled with classic carnival games that are always a hit with kids. Your little ones will love going home with stuffed animals that they won themselves!

As usual the Country Fair comes with every fried food imaginable.

4. You Kids Will Love the Playground

If your kids just want to run around and play, Dollywood has got you covered!

Take your children over to the Lil’ Pilots Playground at Owens Farm or the Firehouse Fun Yard at Wilderness Pass and let your little ones explore.

Be warned that your kids might get wet if they take advantage of the Firehouse’s pop-jet water features.

5. See the Majestic Birds at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary

Dollywood is home to the nation’s largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles.

Visitors will love getting an up-close look at the beautiful birds on display at the 30,000-square-foot aviary house known as Eagle Mountain Sanctuary.

6. Ride the Dollywood Express

Although it may technically be considered a ride, the Dollywood Express is no scarier than any normal train.

This coal-fired steam engine takes guests on a beautiful 5-mile tour through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Riding the Dollywood Express is a can’t-miss activity for families with children.

7. Live Music

More than 30 shows are performed almost everyday at Dollywood and for country music fan this has to be the top reasons to visit Dollywood.

8. Splash Country

Splash Country is a 35-acre water attraction, shops, and restaurants.  This is a great family fun attraction with loads of water fun options.

 They have gift shops and concessions, so if you forget something they probably have you covered. They have rides and play areas for all ages.

They also have private cabana you can rent for the day to store your stuff and hang out in for a reasonable prices.

9. Ijams Nature Center

12 miles of wooded trails; a natural playscape for children; river, stream and pond board walks; a small lake with summer paddle craft rentals; off-road biking trails; a tree-top canopy adventure course.  What more could you ask for?

Dollywood Splash Country

Nothing beats the Tennessee summer heat quite like cooling off at Dollywood’s Splash Country or one of the dozens of waterfalls throughout Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.

Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood’s Splash Country was named America’s Must-See Park by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions.

Dollywood Splash Country also was listed as one of America’s best water parks by The Travel Channel.

Enjoy Thrilling Water Rides and Slides

There are giant water slides, family rides, and splash pools for the little ones – there is fun for the whole family including mom and dad, grandparents, teens and the little ones.

Take a load off unwind in the lazy river, have fun in the Bear Mountain Fire Tower which is a multi-level interactive attraction that includes racing down the Fire Tower Falls slide or hanging out in the the 25,000-square-foot wave pool.

Relax in a Private Waterside Retreat

If your family is not into crowds they find a little quiet time at Splash Country’s Riverside and Waterside Retreats.

These spaces offer privacy and luxury with seating, television, and a sun deck so guests can relax in the shade or soak up the sun.

Canopies are available throughout the park for guests to cool off in the shade. Guests should call ahead to reserve canopies and retreats.

Things to do at Dollywood

Where To Stay in Pigeon Forge

Whether you are visiting Pigeon Forge for a “girls trip”, family trip or just a getaway and you are looking for the best hotels at the Island in Pigeon Forge. 

When planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s important to pick a hotel, cabin, or campground  that fits your style.

The Island offers both luxury and budget accommodations with premier amenities and resources to best fit you and your family.

  • 1. Margaritaville Island Hotel
  • 2. Margaritaville Island Inn
  • 3. Courtyard By Marriott
  • 4. Riverstone Resort and Spa
  • 5. Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • 6. Tru by Hilton
  • 7. Dollywood Dream More ResortClick here if any of these hotels are right for you.

Ready to plan your trip, grab my FREE  Vacation Planner to help you plan your trip in the time it takes to watch your favorite TV show!

Travel Guide

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  1. I don’t have a fav theme park because I barely go to them but I’m sorta dying to go to Disney World lol But this sounds really cool for a weekend getaway for my fam and boy do I need one of those. Sigh

    ~ Sanaa

  2. I’d love to visit Dollywood some day with my family – looks amazing! I wish Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program was available in my area. Our favorite theme park is Disney because well…Mickey & Minnie!

  3. I’ve never heard of Dollywood, but it sounds like so much fun! I will have to put this on my list to visit one day!

    I also don’t have a favorite theme park. I’ve only been to Disney World and Universal. So I have to stretch my horizon.

  4. My son would LOVE the water park. If I am ever on that side of the world, I will be sure to visit. Thanks for the tip!

  5. My husband has been wanting us to take a drive to Dollywood. Our girls will love it. I think we will make it happen this weekend.

  6. One of my BFF’s went a couple years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. I don’t know when I will get a chance to go but it is on the list for sure.

  7. I love Dolly Parton. I used to work at Stone Mountain Park as a teen and we would play here music all the time. I would love to visit Dollywood!

  8. I was raised listening to Dolly, Barbara Mandrell and Patsy Cline.
    My Dad was a huge country music fan. I wish he was here and we could visit Dollywood together.

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