Big hair, big voice, big personality, and big…well, let’s just say Dolly Parton has made her mark BIG in Pigeon Forge, TN! As a Smoky Mountain native, Dolly comes back from time to time to celebrate the music, food, people, and all she loves about her home. Wanting to share her mountain roots with the world, guests to the area can have fun year-round at Dolly’s greatest creation in Pigeon Forge: Dollywood! Offering live musical shows, cookies bigger than your face, epic roller coasters, kiddie rides, carnival games and prizes, local crafting, and oh-so-much more, the fun theme park is a favorite with families, honeymooners, friends, and groups of any size!
Not your average theme park, the entire attraction is themed after various aspects of Dolly’s life, so keep your eyes peeled for all the sweet details of her past and persona. Get ready for 40+ world class rides, a multiplicity of shows, 5 huge festivals during the year, and endless smiles only minutes from the main strip of the Parkway. On top of everything, Dollywood offers convenient guest services, like valet parking, purchase pickup, pet sitting, and nursing stations, to make your visit simpler and more enjoyable. From the food, shops, and rides to the exciting events and special sections at the park, Dollywood is Southern charm and a memorable Smoky Mountain experience at its best!
Rides & Attractions
With something for almost every age, the 40+ rides and attractions at Dollywood outshine most. Adults and teens will scream for joy on the roller coasters while the little ones have a blast on the kids’ rides scattered throughout the park. Busy Bees is a fun ride around the beehive for younger kids while Daredevil Falls will take you on an exciting adventure through an abandoned logging camp and over a 60-foot waterfall! On Mystery Mine, zoom through an old coal mine before experiencing an adrenaline-pumping drop: 85 feet at 95 degrees! And that’s only the peak of the mountain…get it?
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 (shown below). 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.
Lightning Rod: 2-time world record breaking champion!
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. Ready to slow things down a bit? Stop in at Calico Falls Schoolhouse, the Chasing Rainbows museum (full of Dolly memorabilia), Dolly’s Home-on-Wheels (yes, it’s her original tour bus 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, like The Village, Jukebox Junction, and Wildwood Grove (a major addition in 2019). 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 to the Dreamland Drive-In for 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.
While there are plenty of shows to see year-round, Dollywood also offers special seasonal and holiday performances, like Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors when fireworks dot the night skies in summer. Appalachian Christmas, O Holy Night, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, and Christmas in the Smokies are just a few more 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. Check out the Dollywood Eagle Nest Cams for a sneak peek!
Events at Dollywood
Throughout the year, Dollywood hosts events that add to the ever-growing fun of the theme park. At the springtime 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 Harvest Festival, featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights with 1,000s of carved jack-o-lanterns. And from November to January, celebrate the holidays with the always-popular Smoky Mountain Christmas!
Restaurants, Cafes & Desserts
Even if you don’t like roller coasters, a ticket to Dollywood is more than 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 cocoa craving with mousse, truffles, cupcakes, brownies, and so much more.
Of course, desserts aren’t the only food you’ll find at Dollywood. Have your pick of quick cafes for lunch or sit-down restaurants for something heartier. Whether you’re here with 2 or 20, there’s something to satisfy every taste, including traditional Southern favs! Delicious Dollywood eateries include:
- Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet
- Blue Ribbon Cones
- Country Cookers – Kettle Korn
- Crossroads Funnel Cakes
- Dogs N Taters
- Front Porch Café
- 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 Skillets
- Midway Market
- SkyView Snacks
- Spotlight Bakery
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. Pretty convenient, eh?
And don’t forget to watch the master craftsmen at work, creating one-of-a-kind pieces day in and out at their crafting stations in Dollywood. Witness a blacksmith forge a hammer, see the Grist Mill (one of the few working mills in TN) grind corn into meal, gaze at the intricate work of hand dipping candles, study how leather becomes apparel, and watch as a piece of wood is carved into a beautiful art piece for your living room.
If you’re going to be at Dollywood for a special occasion (like a honeymoon, anniversary, or birthday) or you just want to add a something extra special to your day, book the VIP Tour of Dollywood. It’s all the fun of Dollywood — plus more! The VIP Tour requires a minimum of 2 guests, begins when the park opens, and includes:
- A personal tour guide throughout the park for the whole day
- Access to the front of ride and show lines
- 1 meal (your choice!)
- Valet parking
- Delivery of all purchases right to your car
- And a special gift from Dolly!
Convenient Guest Services
Dolly Parton has thought of everything for her guests at Dollywood, from convenient parking to saving time in line to caring for special needs.
At Dollywood, there is plenty of parking right at the park, along with complimentary shuttles that take you to the front gate. Yay — you won’t have to worry about driving around to find a spot or walking too far to get to the park! FREE parking is yours if you buy a Dollywood Gold Season Pass. Traveling in an RV or bus? Large vehicle parking is available. Prefer your own entrance, a separate ticket window, plus no tram rides? Opt for Preferred Parking. Better yet, go for the best of the best with valet parking!
When you get inside, cut down the wait time with your TimeSaver pass that allows you to reserve a spot in line at select shows and rides. 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! An unlimited version of the TimeSaver pass is also available, lifting the 10-ride limit and giving you total freedom to pass others in line!
Special Needs | Nursing, Dietary & Accessibility
New moms will appreciate the Baby Care Center and 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 Front Porch Café, where the chefs can whip up menu items customized to specific needs. Plus, there are many gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options available throughout the park.
Visit the Ride Accessibility Center for Boarding Passes for guests with special accessibility needs. The passes are tailored to the individual and explain which rides are safest and offer accessibility entrances.
Experiencing sensory overload? Head to the Calming Room that provides soothing items, like a weighted blanket and a tipi, so you or a loved one can take a break and reset before exploring more of the park.
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 pets (except for service animals) inside the park. However, they do offer Doggywood, a fun, safe, and comfortable place for your precious pups to play while you enjoy the park!
Located at the front gate next to Guest Services, Doggywood features kennel runes and cottages on a first come, first-served basis, unless you make a reservation. They open 30 minutes before Dollywood opens and close 15 minutes after the park closes, so you can spend a full day in the park while your doggies unwind and frolic in good care.
Pet-Friendly Cabins for YOU
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.
Where to Stay | Cabins for YOU
Speaking of Cabins for YOU, we’ve got the perfect cabin (ranging from 1-16 bedrooms and budget friendly to luxury) for your fun Smoky Mountain stay in Pigeon Forge or nearby Gatlinburg, TN. Plan to hang out at Dollywood all day, then return to your cozy cabin retreat for a splash in the private indoor pool or more play in the rec and theater rooms. Soothe tired muscles after walking for hours in the steamy hot tub on deck with sunset views across the rolling Smokies.
Top off the night with a glass of wine and a chat about the day’s good times in the living room. Then, draw a hot bath in the master suite’s jetted tub, followed by snuggles in the king-size bed. After dreaming sweetly, wake up to morning mountain views and a hot breakfast with a mug of joe in the fully equipped kitchen. Now, you’re more than ready for day 2 at Dollywood Theme Park in the Great Smoky Mountains!