Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tips for Visiting Dollywood

12 Tips for a Successful Dollywood Visit:

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Clothes: Dollywood is big...150 acres, and you are going to be walking most of that so make sure you have on comfortable shoes!  I always wear tennis shoes to theme parks because I don't want to lose a flip flop and they just aren't as comfortable.  There are a few water rides at Dollywood so if you plan to ride them make sure your clothes are quick drying. 


Here's my outfit of the day for Dollywood, workout leggings, comfy shoes and my small Vera hipster. 

2. Take precautions against the sun: The park does have lots of shaded areas but you are still out in the sun for a lot of the day.  Make sure you have sunscreen on! 

3. Weekdays are generally less busy: We have only ever been on weekdays (Wednesday, Thursday, and a Friday) and they have not been very busy at all.  We have hardly had to wait for a ride and it just makes everything so much more enjoyable.  

4. Be informed about their specials: If you plan on going more than once a year look into upgrading to a Season Pass/Gold Pass (you get a discount at the stores with a Gold Pass).  Also in the summer if you arrive after 3:00 on the first day you get the next day for free, it's 6:00 in the winter.  This makes for a great deal so you can scope out the park the first day and then really hit it hard the next day.  

5. Locker Rentals are available if needed: We were a little disappointed to find that they had done away with the old lockers and have replaced them with $6 all day lockers.  If you have  a lot of stuff and don't want to carry it around or risk it getting lost or wet this might be a good bet for you.  With the exception of the water rides most of the rides are going to have a bin to place your purse, hat, sunglasses whatever in and you can pick it up on your way off.    

6. Right for Small, Left for Big: When you enter the park most people will generally go tot he right by the layout of the buildings.  This will take you down Show Street working your way up to the bigger rides.  If you go left for the get-go you have to walk through a little park area but then you come to the big rides first.  We went left first and hit all the big roller coasters within an hour of being in the lines.  

7. For a cool down, watch a show: Dollywood is known for its entertainment available at the park.  There are lots of different shows you can catch (many of them air conditioned!).  This makes for a great time to get a snack, rest and cool down.  

8. Be prepared to shell it out for food: It is a theme park so with that comes some crazy food prices and trust me it just goes up by the year. If you can share food do it!  You can also bring your own food in, just plan for it! 

I picked a HUGE corndog and the curliest of fries. 
9. Just don't pay for drinks: Don't waste your money on soft drinks that aren't good for you or thirst quenching instead ask for a complimentary cup of water at any of the food booths and you're all set.  

10. Make use of the package pick up system: My husband and I stumbled upon some Dolly Parton for President T-shirts on clearance that we decided to pick up halfway through the day.  We didn't want to carry them around so we used the free package pick up system.  You fill out a piece of paper with your information and then someone comes to the shop to pick it up and take it to the Emporium which you have to go through to exit the park anyway.  Go to the package pick up there and show them your piece of paper and off you go. 


11. Look for reasonably priced souvenirs: Now ya'll know I am the clearance queen and I even found clearance at Dollywood.  We picked up 2 t-shirts for less than $5 total.  They also had clearance sections at a good number of gift shops around the park so keep your eyes open.  If you collect the smashed pennies (you know the machines that put a design on them) they have those around the park as well and they make a nice cheap souvenir.   

Seriously how cute are these shirts??

12. Ride the Fun Time Trolley: Instead of parking in the Dollywood parking lot which will cost you about $10 take the Fun Time Trolley instead for $1.  You park in the Patriot Park (in Pigeon Forge) and hop on the Trolley that says Dollywood.  It will cost you 50 cents per ride.  It then drops you off at the Dollywood entrance.  All you have to do is wait at the trolley pick up (NOT the tram) at the front of the park for a ride back to your car.  This is a whopping total of $1 per person.  

My Dollywood tickets were supplied free on the basis of providing a review of the park.  All opinions are my own.  

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