As you might expect for a park themed to the country music icon, Dollywood offers plenty of live music and lavish stage shows. In fact, it may have more stages and live entertainment than any other theme park. As you might not expect, it also offers some great thrill rides, including the record-breaking launched wooden coaster, Lightning Rod.
While she's the inspiration, the park that bears her name doesn't focus exclusively on Dolly.
The Smoky Mountains and its people also take center stage. Blacksmiths, glass blowers, and other craftspeople demonstrate the area's traditions. And the region's southern delicacies, including cinnamon bread, fried chicken, and freshly prepared pork rinds elevate Dollywood's food a notch above typical theme park fare. Dollywood has a well-deserved reputation for its overall guest experience and is frequently cited for its friendly park staff.
The park features a lot of festivals and special events, including country music concerts, a Festival of Nations, KidsFest, and a National Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Although it is a seasonal park, Dollywood has one of parkdom's longest seasons. It generally opens in late March and remains open through the end of December with its Smoky Mountain Christmas holiday celebration.
The property is growing as it evolves into a multi-day destination resort.
In 2013, it embarked on an aggressive 10-year, $300-million expansion plan. The first phases of the plan included the dual-launch coaster, FireChaser Express, which opened in 2014, the 300-room hotel, Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, that debuted in 2015, and the thrilling coaster, Lightning Rod, which opened in 2016.
(The innovative coaster opened late, and had a technical difficulties that led to a lot of downtime in its first year of operation.)
Discover the eight best things about Dollywood.
The park features a great assortment of coasters and attractions, including:
- Lightning Rod launched wooden coaster. Read my review.
- Mystery Mine themed roller coaster
- The wing coaster, Wild Eagle
- Thunderhead wooden coaster
- Tennessee Tornado steel coaster
- Blazing Fury water coaster
- The launched family coaster, FireChaser Express
Dollywood also offers a lot of musical performances, shows, and Smoky Mountains exhibits, including:
- Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame
- Smoky Mountain Home- Replica of Dolly Parton's childhood house.
- Heartsong- 4D film about Dolly Parton
New at the Park
New for 2017: Whistle Punk Chaser kiddie coaster and the drop tower ride, Drop Line
Open during the warmer months, the outdoor water park, Splash Country, requires a separate admission.
Passes to the theme park include admission to the ride park only, not Dollywood's Splash Country water park. Combo day passes that include the water park are available. Dollywood offers discounted tickets for seniors (60 and older) and children (4-11).
Children under 3 admitted free. Season pass tickets are available online and at the park.
Location and Phone
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Guests at the DreamMore Resort receive great perks, including parking, early park admission, devices that let them skip ride lines, and reduced-price 2-day park tickets all included in the hotel rates.
Find discount rates for Dollywood's DreamMore Resort at TripAdvisor.
I-40, to Exit 407 toward Gatlinburg / Sevierville / Pigeon Forge. TN Hwy. 66S which becomes US 441. Left at eighth traffic light in Pigeon Forge. Follow signs to Dollywood.
McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville.