Saturday we packed up the car, made a pit stop to grab my mom, and headed to TN towards Dollywood. It’s been on my list for a long time and Wyatt is finally tall enough to ride most of the rides. In fact, at 42″, he can ride all but the tallest rollercoasters in the park. 

Riding the tram from parking

The weather was next to perfect: neither too hot to be enjoyable nor too cold to want to go on the water rides. We arrived right as the gates were opening.

The park is in a big circle and we headed clockwise to see what kind of trouble we could find. I love rollercoasters, but the hubby and my mom are less enthusiastic so I was prepared to skip most things and just enjoy what Wyatt could ride. 

The park put a lot of effort as thought into things beyond just the rides. Each section had lots of things to do and look at. I’m sure it all cost a fortune.

The park itself is really nice. Everything was sparkling clean and the employees were really nice and friendly. Wyatt was in a hard in between stage: too big to enjoy the little kiddie rides and while tall enough to ride most of the big rollercoasters he was too little to enjoy them. Even with that we found plenty to do. 

The park is broken into sections and each was well decorated. I enjoyed the ambience of each although the 1950s styled section was my favorite. If I could live in any other era it would be the 50s with the sock hops, wonderful music, cool cars and relative prosperity. I was really good at taking pictures in the first section we hit, but after that the phone was placed in protection from water as we did a lot of water rides in the heat of the afternoon. Then I forgot all about it. 

We missed out on the entire central aspect of the park and I think Wyatt would have found plenty to do there, but it was getting late and everyone was tired and ready to leave. 

The day was really enjoyable. We rode plenty of rides with Wyatts favorite being the raft water ride although he was a bit too small to get much of the water spray.

There would only be two complaints I would raise about the park. First, the food was ridiculously expensive. It was bad enough to shell out $67 per ticket but all the lunches were $11 a pop. For chicken nuggets. A regular sized hot dog was $6! For a hot dog! I hate feeling ripped off. Second, the entrances to the rides were really difficult to find. We ended up waking around the outside of many rides just trying to figure out where to enter. 

Wyatt rode this coaster which was pretty insane. He was tall enough and even though he saw how tall it went (one of the largest coasters they have) he said he wanted to go. We ended up in the very front car. I felt bad because even though I warned him it was faster and taller than anything he had done before, I realized later that this wasn’t even in his realm of possibility. He just didn’t understand having never experienced anything like it. He was terrified the entire time and I basically just held on to him and covered his eyes. Near the end of the ride the cars go into a small shed where fire works are. Fire lights up and the car gets blown backwards along the track. It was a lot of fun but he shrieked the entire time. Afterward he announced to everyone “I am never, ever riding that ride again. Ever!” He never cried though. It did make him more cautious going forward with rides.

I’d love to go back. Everyone was whooped when we left and Sunday was spent recuperating at home. Wyatt played play dough for a solid 8 hours. Next time I hope to get him on more rides as I was a bit sad walking past some of the coasters and not being able to go on. Dusty and I snuck away one time to ride the Mystery Mine coaster while my Mom took Wyatt on a different one, but other than that we stuck together. 

Having been to Disney, Cedar Park, Six Flags in Ohio and Kennywood I’d say in comparison this one is like a mini Disney with all the scenery and then beautifully built rides. It wasn’t just steel coaster after steel coaster. There were a few really big steel coasters to go on for adrenaline junkies but most of the rides were more toned down and fun. Much more my style. I would recommend it for anyone in the area. 

8 thoughts on “Dollywood”

  1. Yay! Dollywood is awesome! I can’t wait to take Jensen to these places. I was born and raised in Bristol, TN so we had season passes. I actually only moved down her in 2014. The food is insane there though, it’s a borderline insult with the prices. 🙂


  2. Yay! Hubby and I are going in July for our 10th anniversary. It wasn’t a planned trip (Dollywood that is….we planned on going to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge) but he won 2 tickets at his company picnic last weekend! I haven’t been there since I was a young teen! Like you, it’s a relatively quick drive (2ish hours) but ticket price always stops us. Glad y’all had fun!


  3. Have you been to Carowinds yet? They have a lot of fun rides and a huge water park area. I haven’t been in ages (except during Scarowinds) so not sure on the younger kid fun activities but I’m sure there are plenty of things Wyatt would enjoy!!! There’s at least a couple roller coasters that I think he would like bc they’re fast but not to fast or scary.

    But glad you had a great time at Dollywood!!!


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