Whenever I am in Pigeon Forge, Dollywood is at the top of my “must visit” list. Dollywood has something to offer everyone. Interested in like rides? Interested in crafts? Do you enjoy entertaining performances? How does eating some of the best food you will find in the area strike you? Dollywood offers all of that and so much more – and it all can be done in a relaxed, country atmosphere.
The Rides – Hold OnTight
Dollywood has some great rides. For the little ones, rides such as Amazing Flying Elephants will keep them entertained. This ride allows kids to sit inside the elephant car and go around and around – all while flying high or low. Other kid-friendly rides include Busy Bees (kids can fly around in Bumble Bee-themed cars), and Lemon Twist, in which kids cans sit in one of nine spinning “lemon cups”. One ride that I would highly recommend is the Rockin’ Roadway. This ride allows kids to sit behind the wheel of a miniature version of one of the classic cars from the 50`s. Parents can ride along, too. Don’t worry, parents. The speed and path of the ride are controlled, so you can feel free to let your kids “drive”.
Older audiences seeking adventure should take a look at Dollywood roller coasters. One example is the 1880`s Western-themed Blazing Fury, an indoor coaster that will have you holding on tight. And if you are looking for even more adventurous rides, then try the Tenessee Tornado, Thunderhead, Scrambler, or if you really want to experience action, take on Lightning Rod. This wood-structured coaster sends its passengers from 0 to 73 mph and includes a 165-foot drop. It is the fastest wooden coaster in the world!
And if you are into water rides, then I would recommend checking out Smoky Mountain River Rampage. You will experience some twist and turns, a few dips, and you will probably come out of it a little wet, but you enjoy it. It is one of my favorite rides.
There are age and height requirements for some of the rides. And depending on the weather, some of these rides may not be open. Naturally, if it is freezing cold outside then the water rides are not going to be operating. And in the event of a lightning storm, you can expect most rides to shut down. Luckily, this type of weather does not often occur.
Come See the Experts
Some of the best Blacksmiths in the country can be witnessed performing at the park. Usually, my wife has to drag me away from watching these craftsmen at work. The things that they can create with just metal is amazing. Another great exhibit can be found at Custom Glassworks. These artists create all kinds of glass ornaments and figurines, using what I like to describe as a “blowtorch”. That is probably not the correct term, but you get the understanding. I have several glass dragon figures that came from this shop. Yet another must-watch demo can be found at Mountain Blown Glass. I could sit and watch these guys all day as they turn out some of the finest glass pitchers and lamps to be found. Other remarkable crafts that can be found at Dollywood is leatherworking, amazing pottery, and candle makers that carry their craft to the next level. And for those of you that enjoy wood carving, stop by Valley Woodcarvers.
Music to Your Ears
I am not the kind of guy that is really into musicals. Having said that, whenever I am in the park I make it a point to watch several of the shows that are going on throughout the year. They are just that good, folks. Some of the best entertainment in the country can be found in Dollywood. Shows like Country Crossroads and Dreamland Drive-In will make you appreciate the amazing talent that calls Dollywood home. Also, depending on the time of year, Dollywood has several themed festivals, and these will include entertainers from around the globe. And don’t forget to catch the park`s nightly fireworks display.
Yum, Yum, Yum
Walking around the park will cause you to build up an appetite. Luckily, there are several really good places to dine. Aunt Granny`s Restaurant is always a good choice. The all-you-can-eat buffet has a wide assortment of food. You can usually find savory stews, fried fish and chicken, and some really amazing deserts. Good country cooking at its best. If that is not what you are looking for, then try Lumber Jack`s Pizza for a meal that will leave you smiling. Other notable dining options at the park include Hickory House BBQ, and Market Square Skillets, where you can find amazing steak and sausage sandwiches that are so good. If you just prefer a cheeseburger and fries, then Red`s Drive-In has you covered. I have eaten there many times, and it is always good.
If you find yourself craving something sweet later, you can find an assortment of treats around Dollywood, including glazed almonds and pecans (Showstreet Snacks), brownies and cinnamon rolls ( Spotlight Bakery ), and even funnel cakes ( Crossroads Funnel Cakes).
Admission – Open the Gate!
Dollywood is open each year from March to December. As of right now, with no discounts applied, adult tickets (ages 10 and up) are running $69 per day. However, Dollywood vacation packages and deals on Dollywood theme park tickets can usually be found by going to the park`s official website (https://www.dollywood.com/). Also, the season passes may be a good investment if you try the park, like it, and plan on returning again.
What`s Stopping You?
So go ahead, start planning that vacation. You know that you are over-worked and underpaid. You deserve a break. Get started planning by deciding where you want to stay in Pigeon Forge. The area has plenty of options. You could stay at one of the many hotels in the area, or perhaps you could even book a cabin for your visit. Another option would be to stay at the new DreamMore Resort, at Dollywood.
Best wishes in your travels. Perhaps I will see you there. Tell them that Todd sent you. Take care, and enjoy your vacation!