When you think about Pigeon Forge, you might not think about water parks, but you should. Dollywood’s Splash Country is a hidden little gem tucked into the hills and it is great way to get your feet wet in the Smoky Mountains.
Just like Dollywood, this is a beautiful park. The 35-acre park is spotless and well maintained. It’s no wonder why it was the winner of the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions 2009 Must-See Waterpark Award.
People new to the park can get their bearings by using one of the maps that are posted around the park to help you navigate your way around the “hollow.” (You can click here for an online version and start planning your trip now.)
One of my favorite “rides” is the lazy river ride. At Dollywood it is called the Downbound Float Trip. The 1500-foot journey is a great way to cool off while slowly meandering through the park. Though the park was crowded when I attended, finding a float was not a problem.
There are several places around the park to get a bite to eat, such as Campsite Grill where you can order burgers, fries, chicken tenders, pizza, and child’s meals. (Gluten-free options are available, too – just ask!) Tip: Buy a refillable mug at the beginning of your day so that you can stay hydrated all day long. (Also, on very busy days they might sell out of the mugs!)
Splash Country has attractions for everyone. Little Creek Falls has a children’s pool, slides, and activity center for small children. The Cascades is another area designed for those under 48-inches and it includes a giant cascading waterfall, 2 Grotto Slides, active “geyser”, a contoured seating area, interactive elements, and water jets and bubblers.
There is an abundance of water rides for bigger “kids,” too, such as The Butterfly pictured above which plunges riders down 55-foot-long extreme slides. For the more adventurous, there is even more!
Before going to Splash Country, I would have predicted that my favorite ride would have been the lazy river. And truth be told, I really enjoyed Downbound Float Trip. I must have gone around 6 times while I was there. However, once I experienced Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, my new favorite ride is RiverRush.
The coaster twists, turns, and even goes up – just like a “normal” roller coaster. Except you get sprayed with water. (I highly recommend wearing goggles if you have them when you ride RiverRush.) And just like a roller coaster, I screamed and had a look of terror on my face, though I would not have known it had it not been for the cameras that snap pictures throughout the ride. It was thrilling and unbelievably fun!
And there is Fire Tower Falls ^^^ I admire those brave souls who dare to ride it and live to tell the tale.
For those who want to make the most of their day and are able, renting a retreat is the way to go. Each retreat has a table with six chairs inside, as well as a television, ceiling fan, secure storage, and lounge chairs. “Room service” is just a phone call away. (Retreat guests can use the phone in the retreat to order food and have it delivered.)
Dollywood’s Splash Country now serves BeaverTails® – pastries that are made whole wheat and hand-stretched. They are cooked fresh and served piping hot and you can choose to have them topped with favorites such as Classic Cinnamon & Sugar or chocolate hazelnut spread topped with Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter. My Canadian friend told me that Dollywood is one of only 4 places in the US that you can get these delicious treats.
I have some good news for you! Dollywood recently announced that it is adding 5 extra days to this year’s operating season for both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. The award-winning water park now will be open daily through Aug. 21 and on weekends through Labor Day.
I was a guest at the Dollywood’s Splash Country and was able to check it out for myself. All thoughts, opinions, and grammatical errors are my own. Your visit may differ than mine, but I bet you will have a fantastic time at the park.