Household name Dolly Parton has made her mark on Pigeon Forge. As a Smoky Mountain native, Dolly comes back over the years to celebrate the music, food, and all she loves about the area. But year-round, guests to Pigeon Forge can have fun at Dolly’s greatest creation in Pigeon Forge: Dollywood! The theme park is a favorite with families, honeymooning couples, and groups, offering live musical shows, cookies bigger than your face, roller coasters, kids’ rides, carnival games and prizes, and more!
Dollywood is not your average theme park, either. The entire attraction has been themed after different aspects of Dolly’s life, so you’ll see her personality and her past in all the details. From the food, shops, and rides to the different sections of the theme park, Dollywood is Southern charm and a Smoky Mountain experience at its best.
The theme park, just minutes from the main strip of the Parkway, boasts more than 40 rides, 15 shows, and 5 huge festivals during the year that rival some of the largest in the South. And on top of the rides, shows, and other attractions, Dollywood offers lots of convenient guest services to make your visit more simple and enjoyable.
Rides & Attractions
There is something for almost every age when it comes to rides at Dollywood. Adults and older kids will love the roller coasters while the little ones try out the kids’ rides. Busy Bees is a fun ride around the beehive for younger kids while Daredevil Falls will take you on a fun ride through an abandoned logging camp and over a 60-foot waterfall! On Mystery Mine, take a ride through an old coal mine before experiencing an adrenaline-pumping drop: 85 feet at 95 degrees!
Dollywood also stands out as a trailblazer, boasting the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster – FireChaser Express – and the nation’s fastest and first launched wooden coaster – Lightning Rod. And if you want a wild ride in the beautiful setting of the Smokies, head over to Thunderhead. The classic wooden coaster features a 100-foot drop and takes you flying at speeds up to 55 mph.
And although Dollywood’s Splash Country (Dolly’s waterpark next door) has the most summer water fun, Dollywood does offer a few water rides and splash pads with water features that the kids (and kids at heart) will absolutely love on hot days. You can also stop in at Calico Falls Schoolhouse, the Chasing Rainbows Museum (full of Dolly memorabilia), Dolly’s Home-on-Wheels, a re-creation of Dolly’s mountain home, the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Robert F. Thomas Chapel.
Shows & Entertainment
One of the most unique features of Dollywood is that the entire park has different themes throughout. Those themes continue into the live musical shows, where you’ll find talented performers singing and dancing to some of your favorite hits across many genres. Cruise in to the Dreamland Drive-In for the top hits from the 50s and 60s, listen to your favorite gospel music, or two-step to Country Crossroads for classic, traditional, and contemporary country songs. You’ll also find shows devoted to Dolly Parton’s life and America’s greatest hits throughout the decades.
There are plenty of shows to see year-round at Dollywood, but they also offer some wonderful holiday specials. Appalachian Christmas, O’ Holy Night, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, and Christmas in the Smokies are just a few favorites. Looking for something beyond the music? Eagle Mountain Sanctuary has 30,000 square feet of aviary houses where you can see bald eagles and watch them interact with members of the American Eagle Foundation.
Events at Dollywood
All throughout the year, Dollywood hosts events that just add to the fun of the theme park. At the Festival of Nations, guests can take a virtual trip around the world, trying foods, watching dances, seeing art, and listening to music from many different countries. In May, nosh on smoked meats and listen to toe-tapping music at Barbeque & Bluegrass, a free concert series held in the park. In fall, enjoy the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. And from November to January, celebrate the holidays with the always-popular Smoky Mountain Christmas!
Restaurants, Cafes & Desserts
Even if you didn’t like roller coasters, a ticket to Dollywood would be worth it just for the desserts! All the restaurants offer something sweet to eat, and several dessert shops offer nothing but chocolates, candy, ice cream, and sugary creations. You can get a slice of their famous 25-pound apple pie, snag a cookie that’s bigger than your face, or satisfy that chocolate craving with mousse, truffles, cupcakes, ice cream, brownies, and so much more.
Of course, there’s much more than desserts at Dollywood. You’ll have your pick of quick cafes for lunch or sit-down restaurants for something more hearty. Whether you’re here with 2 or 20, you’ll definitely find something to satisfy every taste. Some great choices within Dollywood include:
- Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet
- Backstage Restaurant
- Blue Ribbon Cones
- Country Cookers – Kettle Korn
- Crossroads Funnel Cakes
- Dogs n’ Taters
- Eagle’s Frozen Lemonade
- Granny Ogle’s Ham n’ Beans
- Hickory House BBQ (voted best pork BBQ in U.S. theme parks by Amusement Business magazine!)
- Lumber Jack’s Pizza
- Market Square Big Skillet Steak Sandwiches
- Midway Concessions
- Spotlight Bakery & Sandwich Shop
- World of Flavors
Shops and Arts & Crafts
Handmade glass ornaments, leather goods and belt buckles, hand-poured and dipped candles, hand-forged steel, pottery, wood carvings, beautiful jewelry, Dolly-style clothing…find it all and so much more in the shops found in Dollywood. You’ll find tons of authentic Smoky Mountain pieces, along with places to get a commemorative airbrush t-shirt, take an old-timey photo, or get Dollywood-logo gear. Plus, you can have it all delivered to the Dollywood Emporium at the front of the park (via the complimentary Package Pickup service) for you to grab before you head out of the park.
If you’re going to be at Dollywood for a special occasion (like a honeymoon or birthday) or you just want to add a little something extra-special to your day, book the VIP Tour of Dollywood. It’s all the fun of Dollywood, plus more! The VIP Tour includes:
- 1 meal
- A personal tour guide throughout the park for the whole day
- Access to the front of ride and show lines
- Valet parking
- Delivery of all purchases right to your car
Convenient Guest Services
Dolly Parton has thought of everything for guests at Dollywood. To start, there is plenty of parking right at the park, along with complimentary shuttles that take you to the front gate. You won’t have to worry with driving around to find a spot or walking too far to get to the park. You’ll also get FREE parking if you buy a Dollywood Gold Season Pass. And if you’re traveling in an RV or bus, they have large-vehicle parking available as well. If you like the best of the best, check out the Preferred Parking, where you’ll have your own entrance, no tram rides, and valet parking.
When you get inside, check out the TimeSaver pass ($); you can reserve a spot in line at some shows and rides to make your wait time shorter. You can grab a bite to eat, play games, or check out other parts of the park and just head over to your ride or show when you get a buzz!
New moms will appreciate the nursing stations found throughout the park, which feature private rooms with comfortable gliders, changing tables, and space to nurse and rock babies. Those with special dietary needs can head over to the Backstage Restaurant, where the chefs can whip up menu items tailored to specific needs. There are also many gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options available throughout the park. Dollywood also has a Ride Accessibility Center that offers Boarding Passes for guests with special accessibility needs. The boarding passes will explain which rides have accessibility entrances for the safest experiences. You can find more information about this on their Accessibility Information Page.
Doggywood for Furry Friends
Just like Cabins for YOU, Dollywood knows how much you love your 4-legged friends – because they love them, too! For the safety and comfort of guests and pets, Dollywood does not allow them (except for service animals) inside the park. They do, however, offer a fun, safe, and comfortable place for them to play while you enjoy the park.
Doggywood is located at the front gate next to Guest Services and features kennel runes and cottages on a first-come, first-served basis (or make reservations). They open 30 minutes before Dollywood opens and close 15 minutes after the park closes, so you won’t miss out on any of your day in the park.
If you are traveling with your pets, be sure to check out our pet-friendly cabins. They’ll give you the same great amenities you love in our cabins – like big screen TVs, cozy living rooms, fireplaces for those cool mountain nights, relaxing decks, games, and more – without the worry of boarding your pets or leaving them at home.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
If you’re in Pigeon Forge during the summer, make plans to spend a day at Dollywood’s Splash Country. There are exciting water rides, fun water features, and splash pads for the little ones. It’s a great place to play and cool off during those hot summer days in Tennessee. And be sure to check out our Pigeon Forge cabins, where you can relax in cool living rooms, make drinks and snacks in full kitchens, play in rec rooms loaded with games, watch movies in private movie theaters, and even splash around some more in private indoor pools!