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Dollywood in Pigeon Forge

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Dollywood sign

If you’ve never been to Dollywood – or if it has been a while, you should start making plans to go soon.

Dollywood has received numerous awards and it’s easy to see why – the folks that work there love their jobs and treat the guests just like they would like to be treated.  The park was the winner of the 2010 Applause Award, an award that is bestowed upon the park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired he theme park and attractions industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.  Dollywood’s awards also include Amusement Today‘s Golden Ticket Award for Best Shows (2009-2015), was twice named the world’s number 1 wooden coaster (Thunderhead), winner of Amusement Today‘s Friendliest Park (2012 – 2015), and so many more.

bakery at Dollywood

One of my favorite things about the park is the food. Dollywood’s delicious food was named the winner of Best Food by Amusement Today in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

large apple pie 25 Pound Homemade Apple Pie – yes, it’s real!

I could go on and on about the awards, but let’s take a look around the park.  Dollywood began operating on May 3, 1986 and is located near the Great Smoky Mountains.  It’s nestled among the trees on 150 beautiful acres.

Sweet Shop

Want to learn more about Dolly?  Be sure to make your way to Chasing Rainbows, the state-of-the-art museum that houses memorabilia from Dolly’s life and behind-the-scenes collections. Just outside of Chasing Rainbows is Dolly’s former tour bus.

Chasing Rainbows

There is a food truck which you can find in Jukebox Junction.

Food Truck
You just might hear Frannies famous fried chicken sandwich and legendary crinkle cut fries calling your name.

chicken sandwich and fries

Rather have a burger?  You can step back in time and enjoy one at Red’s Drive In.  In addition to old fashioned hamburgers, they also serve thick, creamy milk shakes.  (Fact:  Red’s was named after the restaurant where Dolly had her first hamburger.)

Red's Drive In

If you find that your phone or mobile device has a low battery, you can recharge it at one of these Coke bottle replica charging stations, located at Red’s Drive-In.

Coca Cola bottle charging station

Lightning Rod is be the world’s first launched and fastest wood coaster.   Lightning Rod races down a 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.

Lightning Rod ride

Want to see what it will be like to ride it?  Watch the virtual video below – it looks like this is going to be a really fun ride, especially for those who like “air time.”

For those who are seeking a milder attraction, the Rockin’ Roadway is located next door to Lightning Rod.  (Fact:  The cute used car lot is actually extra storage for cars for the ride.)

Used Cars

Throughout the park you may notice special “guests.”  There is even a spot by the bridge where you can purchase a handful of feed to feed the fish.

mallard duck

Walking through the park you will encounter the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon bread.

Old Mill

The park is beautifully landscaped with little touches throughout.

flowers

Below is a two-bedroom replica of the home in which Dolly grew up.  Can you imagine being one of 12 children living in this small house?

Dolly Parton's Tennessee Mountain Home

Guests of all ages enjoy riding the authentic coal-fired steam engine on a 20 minute journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.  (If you have sunglasses, put them on.  Remember, this is a real steam engine and you don’t want to get soot in your eyes.)  There are 2 engines that operate at the park.  In their former life, they both were in service in Alaska during World War II.

Train

A great place to rest your feet and learn about fascinating raptors is at the Wings of America Show.  Adjacent to the show’s venue is Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, a 30,000 square foot home for birds of prey that are cared for by the American Eagle Foundation.

bald eagle

If you are at the park on a Sunday, you can attend a non-denominational service at the chapel that was named in honor of the doctor who delivered Dolly.  Services are held at 11:30 during the regular season.

Chapel in the mountains

Walking through the park you will see artisans and master craftsmen hard at work.  Below is an example of hand thrown pottery made at Dollywood.

Pottery

The sundaes below may look good enough to eat, but they are actually candles.

Ice cream Sundae Candles

There are numerous gift shops to find gifts for your friends and family who weren’t able to make it to the park with you.

PigsThe cute firetruck below was for sale in Craftsman’s Valley.

Fire Truck toy

As you wander further into the park, you will see rides tucked into the trees.  Below is Daredevil Falls, an attraction that takes passengers over a waterfall down a 60-foot drop at a heart-racing 50 mph.

Daredevil Falls

One of my favorite rides is the Wild Eagle, America’s first wing coaster that takes riders on a smooth and thrilling ride 21 stories above Dollywood.

Screamin Eagle Roller coaster

If you are a thrill seeker, then Barnstormer will be up your alley.  It may look like a giant swing, but it is so much more.  Barnstormer reaches 45 miles per hour and rotates 230 degrees.  (My oldest child really loved it and rode it several times.  I rode it.  Once.)

Barnstormer

Further exploring the park there are even more rides to thrill and excite.  All told, there are over 40 rides and attractions.

Rides

It’s easy to work up an appetite at the park and just as easy to satisfy your hunger.  There are over 2 dozen locations to grab a bite to eat, serving everything from home made cinnamon bread to fresh pork rinds to a 12 pound pizza pie and everything in between.

Aunt Granny's

Dollywood is a great place to take the entire family to get away from it all and enjoy time together.

You can connect with Dollywood on Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | and Instagram.  Click here for the Dollywood website.

Looking for a sweet place to lay your head after a fun day at the park?  Click here to read my post about Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort.

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort - King Room with Bunk

I was a guest at Dollywood and was able to check it out for myself.  All thoughts, opinions, and grammatical errors are my own.


Ready to start planning your trip to Dollywood?  Great!  Now read these other posts to help you on your way:

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Elise

Friday 23rd of September 2016

I'm going to Dollywood with my papa for my first time along with my first time in Tennesse I hope I have a blast!

Lynda

Friday 23rd of September 2016

I hope you do, too! It's such a beautiful place and the people there are really nice.

Kat Balog

Thursday 21st of April 2016

I had a blast when I went to Dollywood on brandcation. It was so fun. I wish my kids had been able to see it too.

Katie

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

OMG look at the size of that pie!!!

Maria

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

The were building the new ride last time we went! I have to try the chicken sandwiches!! We normally hit the grilled sausage and onions as soon as we get there!!

patti Grant

Wednesday 20th of April 2016

Your posts really make me want to make a trip!