Grist Mill at Dollywood, Tennessee
Grist Mill at Dollywood, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures
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Get ready to plan your mountain adventure to Dollywood! This country themed amusement park is filled with fun at every bend! Violet Sky has compiled a list of the top things you need to know when planning your trip to this one-of-a-kind theme park nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains!

1. Grab a Map

When you first enter the park, be sure to grab a map. Greeters typically hand them out as you approach the gates. These maps will come in helpful as they list all the important information you need to know about the specific day you will be there. These maps contain showtimes and locations, ride height requirements, restrooms and festival information (if applicable). The map is great source of information and small enough to fit in your pocket on rides.

2. Download the App

The Dollywood app is very helpful and similar to the map, but right in your pocket! The app features showtimes, live wait times for rides and other pertinent information to the day of your visit.

3. Be Prepared to Walk

While the Dollywood Park is not that big (it is definitely walkable in a full day at the park. Our group walked the park twice and still rode most of the rides despite the rain) you still should bring a comfortable pair of shoes.

Dollywood, Tennessee
Dollywood, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

4. Dress in Layers

Depending on the time of year you visit Dollywood, it may be warm or cool. Look at the forecast before you go. Also, Smoky Mountain Rain is a song for a reason, it may rain. When it does, it comes down hard. It is smart to bring a poncho or umbrella. Plus, if it does appear to rain the day you visit, try to plan out indoor rides or show times around the storm times. Be advised that if it is to rain, most indoor attractions will be busier too!

5. Bring a Change of Clothes (Or Wear Fast Drying Ones)

If you plan on riding one of the two water rides at Dollywood, you will most likely get wet. While the Daredevil Falls does not seem to get people too wet, Smoky Mountain River Rampage can definitely bring on the soaking! During our visit, I got stuck in the waterfall while the ride was unloading and was soaked! It was still a fun experience but it is always a good idea to bring a change of clothes, wear fast drying clothes or just plan to ride the water rides towards the end of your visit.

6. Lockers

Most rides at Dollywood have storage cubbies at the ride seating area that is supervised by staff so no need to necessarily rent a locker in the park. However, staff will not be responsible for lost items. It is best to leave valuables in a safe place rather than bring them to the park. If you still feel you need a locker, there are some available to rent.

7. Get There Early

Depending on the time of year, Dollywood can be busy. Parking can fill up quickly and wait times can extend. It is best to arrive earlier in the day to get the best experience. When we visited on a Friday in mid-May, it was not too busy and the longest wait time for the ride was only about 45 minutes! Most rides were seated within 20 minutes. Again, it can just depend on the day and amount of people in the park.

8. Seeing Dolly Parton

Dolly does make random guest appearances at the park. However, knowing exactly when she will be there is often not planned. There are some “Media Days” near the grand opening in the spring where you may get to see her and even listen to her perform a song. Christmas can also be a good time to see her. There are even rumors that sometimes Dolly goes incognito in the park too! Be on the lookout!

Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Tennessee
Lightning Rod, Dollywood, Tennessee | Photo Credit: Violet Sky Adventures

9. Parking

There are fees for parking, however if you are a Gold Passholder, you get free parking.

10. Accessibility

Dollywood does offer mobility rentals such as electric wheelchairs, push wheel chairs or strollers. All of the trails in Dollywood are paved which allow for easy navigation. Be sure to get a park map which has handicap accessible locations. Dollywood was also the first theme park in the nation to be Autism friendly.

11. Food and Drinks

No outside food and drinks are allowed, however you can bring in one unopened water bottle per person. Once you get into the park, purchase the refillable cups. These are great because you can refill them all day long! If you are a season passholder or are visiting for multiple days, the season cup is best because you can refill for every visit during that year. Also popcorn and Dip-n-Dots are also refillable. Popcorn Buckets can for a small fee be refilled with pork rinds. So if you are trying to save money during your trip, that can be helpful!

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited Dollywood before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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