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Welcome To Dollywood


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Yasmeen Brogan



Welcome to Dollywood, a magical destination that combines thrilling rides, world-class entertainment, delicious food, and one-of-a-kind shopping experiences. Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Dollywood offers an unforgettable adventure for visitors of all ages.


Step into a world of wonder as you explore this 150-acre theme park owned by legendary country singer Dolly Parton. Named after its famous creator, Dollywood has been captivating visitors since its opening in 1986, with its unique blend of southern charm and thrilling attractions.


Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking the thrill of roller coasters or a fan of live entertainment craving toe-tapping performances, Dollywood has something for everyone. With its picturesque setting, welcoming atmosphere, and attention to detail, it’s no wonder that Dollywood attracts millions of visitors each year.


Embark on an adventure as you discover the rich history, thrilling rides, captivating live shows, mouthwatering dining options, and eclectic shopping opportunities that await you at Dollywood. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the fascinating world of Dollywood, providing you with all the information you need to plan an unforgettable visit and make the most of your time at this renowned theme park.


So get ready to immerse yourself in the excitement and enchantment of Dollywood, where lifelong memories are waiting to be made.


History of Dollywood

The story of Dollywood begins with its visionary founder, Dolly Parton, who grew up in the neighboring Smoky Mountains. With a deep love for her Appalachian roots and a desire to showcase the beauty and culture of the region, Dolly set out to create a theme park that would celebrate the spirit of her hometown.


In 1986, Dollywood (originally named Silver Dollar City) opened its doors to the public. Situated on the former site of the Rebel Railroad attraction, Dolly and her partners transformed the park into a place that would pay homage to the area’s rich heritage while offering thrilling entertainment options.


Over the years, Dollywood has grown and evolved, continually expanding its offerings and solidifying its place as one of the premier theme parks in the United States. Through strategic partnerships and investments, the park has added new rides, attractions, and entertainment options to cater to a diverse range of visitors.


One significant milestone in Dollywood’s history includes its partnership with Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation in 1987. The collaboration brought a wealth of knowledge and experience in the theme park industry, helping to further elevate Dollywood’s reputation and success.


Another notable moment in Dollywood’s history came in 2010 when the park unveiled the Wild Eagle roller coaster. This record-breaking ride became the first of its kind in the United States, featuring a winged seating arrangement that gave riders the sensation of soaring like an eagle.


Perhaps one of the most awe-inspiring aspects of Dollywood’s history is its dedication to philanthropy and community outreach. Dolly Parton, known for her charitable endeavors, established the Dollywood Foundation, which has made a significant impact in the local community and beyond. The foundation’s flagship program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, provides free books to children from birth to five years old, promoting early childhood literacy.


Today, Dollywood stands as a testament to Dolly Parton’s vision and enduring legacy. It continues to captivate guests with its unique blend of thrilling rides, world-class entertainment, and a celebration of Appalachian culture. As the park grows and evolves, it remains committed to offering unparalleled experiences that keep visitors coming back year after year.


Attractions at Dollywood

Dollywood boasts an impressive array of attractions that cater to all ages and interests. From exciting roller coasters to interactive exhibits, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top attractions that make Dollywood a must-visit destination.


One of the highlights of Dollywood is its collection of thrilling rides. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, you won’t be disappointed. The Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, offers an exhilarating experience with its lightning-fast speed and heart-pounding drops. For a unique twist, try the Mystery Mine, a thrilling and immersive indoor roller coaster that combines thrilling drops, twists, and turns with special effects and a captivating storyline.


If you’re visiting with young children, Dollywood has plenty of family-friendly rides and attractions. Take a spin on the Dizzy Disk, a swirling ride that combines spinning and tilting motions. The Amazing Flying Elephants is perfect for the little ones, allowing them to control their own gentle flight. And don’t miss the thrilling water attraction, River Battle, where you can board a raft and engage in an interactive water battle with your fellow riders.


In addition to the rides, Dollywood offers a variety of shows and entertainment options that are sure to delight visitors. Witness the incredible acrobatic feats and daring stunts at the Kingdom Heirs, a high-energy gospel music show. For a toe-tapping good time, catch a performance of My People, My Music, a show that celebrates the rich musical heritage of the Smoky Mountains.


For those seeking a more laid-back experience, Dollywood is also home to several unique exhibits. Visit the Chasing Rainbows Museum to learn about the life and career of Dolly Parton through interactive displays, memorabilia, and personal artifacts. The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is another must-visit spot, where you can observe and learn about the majestic bald eagles that reside within the park.


With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that visitors flock to Dollywood year after year. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a music lover, or a history enthusiast, Dollywood has attractions that will capture your imagination and leave you with unforgettable memories.


Entertainment at Dollywood

When it comes to entertainment, Dollywood truly shines. From live shows to musical performances, the park offers an incredible lineup of entertainment options that are sure to captivate audiences of all ages.


One of the most popular and beloved shows at Dollywood is the Festival of Nations. This annual event celebrates the diversity of cultures from around the world through music, dance, and other captivating performances. From traditional Irish music to African drumming, the Festival of Nations is a sensory journey that highlights the beauty of global traditions.


For fans of country music and live performances, Dollywood has you covered. The Celebrity Theater showcases some of the biggest names in country music, with live concerts by renowned artists. Get ready to tap your feet and sing along to your favorite tunes as you enjoy these unforgettable performances.


Dollywood is also known for its spectacular seasonal shows. During the Christmas season, the park comes alive with the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The award-winning production, “Christmas in the Smokies,” is a musical journey that celebrates the true spirit of Christmas. The park is beautifully decorated with millions of twinkling lights, creating a magical atmosphere that will leave you in awe.


In addition to the stage shows, Dollywood offers a variety of street performances and impromptu entertainment throughout the park. From talented musicians serenading guests to interactive character meet and greets, there’s always something happening around every corner.


And let’s not forget about the incredible talent showcased in the park’s daily parades. Watch as colorful floats, dancers, and performers take to the streets, creating a vibrant and energetic procession that will leave you smiling.


Whether you’re a fan of live music, theatrical performances, or festive celebrations, Dollywood’s entertainment offerings are unrivaled. Immerse yourself in the world of entertainment as you explore the park and discover the incredible talents that grace its stages.


Dining Options at Dollywood

One thing you won’t have to worry about when visiting Dollywood is finding delicious food to satisfy your taste buds. The park offers a wide range of dining options to suit every palate, from quick bites to sit-down meals. Get ready to embark on a culinary adventure as we explore the diverse dining options available at Dollywood.


If you’re looking for a quick and convenient option, Dollywood has several snack stands and food carts scattered throughout the park. Grab a delicious funnel cake topped with powdered sugar or indulge in a classic corn dog. You’ll also find popcorn, pretzels, ice cream, and other beloved park snacks to keep you energized throughout the day.


For a more substantial meal, Dollywood offers a variety of casual dining options. Sink your teeth into a mouthwatering burger at Lumber Jack’s Pizza, or enjoy a hearty BBQ sandwich at Red’s Drive In. Aunt Granny’s Restaurant serves up a delicious buffet-style feast, featuring Southern favorites like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade macaroni and cheese.


If you’re in the mood for something different, head over to the Front Porch Café, where you can savor Appalachian-inspired dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. From fried green tomatoes to country fried steak, you’ll experience the flavors of the region in every bite.


For a taste of international cuisine, visit Victoria’s Pizza for a slice of piping hot pizza, or grab some Asian-inspired dishes at Miss Lillian’s Smokehouse. From stir-fry to lo mein, these options offer a delicious change of pace.


If you’re looking for a memorable dining experience, consider making a reservation at one of Dollywood’s full-service restaurants. Song & Hearth: A Southern Eatery offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with a menu featuring Southern comfort food with a modern twist. The upscale restaurant, DreamMore Resort’s Song & Hearth, features a farm-to-table dining experience in an elegant setting.


Don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth by visiting one of Dollywood’s dessert shops. From handmade fudge to freshly baked cinnamon bread, the park is full of delectable treats to indulge in.


At Dollywood, you’ll find dining options to please every palate. Whether you’re in the mood for classic comfort food, international flavors, or upscale dining, you’re sure to find a restaurant or snack stand that will leave you feeling satisfied and ready for more adventures.


Shopping at Dollywood

While Dollywood is known for its thrilling rides and captivating entertainment, it’s also a shopper’s paradise. With a wide range of unique shops and boutiques, you’ll find the perfect souvenir or gift to commemorate your visit. Let’s explore the shopping options available at Dollywood.


One of the must-visit destinations for shopping enthusiasts is the Mountain Laurel Home. This charming store offers a variety of home goods, décor items, and Appalachian-inspired treasures. Browse through a selection of handcrafted pottery, quilts, and local artwork, and bring a piece of the Smoky Mountains home with you.


If you’re a fan of all things Dolly Parton, be sure to stop by the Attic, a store filled with Dolly-themed merchandise and memorabilia. From t-shirts and mugs to autographed memorabilia, this shop is a true treasure trove for Dolly Parton fans.


Looking for unique apparel and accessories? The Dolly’s Closet boutique has you covered. With trendy clothing, accessories, and jewelry, you can update your wardrobe with a touch of Dollywood style.


For those with a sweet tooth, the Sweet Shoppe is a must-visit. Indulge in a wide array of handmade sweets, including fudge, caramel apples, and freshly baked cookies. You can also stock up on unique jams, sauces, and other gourmet treats to enjoy at home.


In need of some outdoor gear or apparel? Explore the Mountain Outfitters shop, where you’ll find a selection of outdoor clothing, hiking equipment, and camping supplies. Get everything you need to embark on your own Smoky Mountain adventure.


Don’t forget to check out the Dollywood Emporium, a sprawling store that offers a little bit of everything. From apparel and accessories to toys and collectibles, you’re bound to find something to suit your tastes.


As you wander through the park, you’ll also come across various themed shops that cater to specific areas or attractions. From the Dollywood Express Depot to the Craftsman’s Valley Woodcarver’s Shop, each store offers its own unique selection of merchandise related to its theme.


Whether you’re searching for a memento to remember your visit or looking for the perfect gift for someone special, the shopping options at Dollywood are sure to delight. From handmade crafts to one-of-a-kind souvenirs, each shop offers a unique experience that adds to the magic of your visit.


Tips for a Great Visit to Dollywood

A trip to Dollywood is an adventure filled with excitement and wonder. To make the most of your visit and ensure a memorable experience, here are some tips to help you navigate the park and have a great time.

  1. Plan ahead: Before you arrive, check the Dollywood website for park hours, show schedules, and special events. This will help you create a rough itinerary and make the most of your time.
  2. Arrive early: To beat the crowds and maximize your enjoyment, arrive at the park as early as possible. This will give you a head start on popular rides and attractions.
  3. Download the Dollywood app: The official Dollywood app provides real-time information on wait times, show schedules, and more. It’s a handy tool to have in your pocket to stay updated during your visit.
  4. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear: Dollywood involves a lot of walking, so dress comfortably and wear shoes suitable for walking long distances.
  5. Stay hydrated: Tennessee summers can get hot, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You can bring your water bottle and refill it at the park’s numerous water refill stations.
  6. Take advantage of FastPasses: Dollywood offers FastPass options for select attractions, allowing you to skip the regular lines. Consider purchasing a FastPass to minimize wait times and make the most of your visit.
  7. Enjoy the shows: Dollywood’s live shows are not to be missed. Plan your schedule to catch some of the incredible musical performances and entertaining shows.
  8. Try the local cuisine: Dollywood offers a wide range of dining options, including Southern favorites and international cuisine. Take the opportunity to savor the local flavors and indulge in some delicious treats.
  9. Take breaks: With so much to see and do, it can be tempting to keep going non-stop. However, it’s important to take breaks and give yourself time to rest. Relax, enjoy the atmosphere, and recharge before continuing your adventure.
  10. Capture the memories: Don’t forget to bring a camera or use your smartphone to capture the special moments and beautiful scenery. Dollywood is filled with picturesque spots that make for great photos and unforgettable memories.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a fantastic visit to Dollywood. Allow yourself to immerse in the magic, enjoy the thrilling rides, captivating shows, delicious food, and unique shopping experiences that await you at this enchanting theme park.



Dollywood is more than just a theme park—it’s an experience that immerses you in the rich culture, thrilling attractions, and captivating entertainment of the Smoky Mountains. From the moment you step foot in the park, you are greeted with warm hospitality and a sense of wonder that stays with you long after you leave.


With its diverse range of attractions, from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to engaging shows and exhibits, there is something for everyone at Dollywood. You can satisfy your cravings with mouthwatering cuisine, find the perfect souvenir at the unique shops, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


As you explore the park, take the time to appreciate the attention to detail and the dedication to preserving the heritage and culture of the region. From the locally sourced ingredients used in the dining options to the handmade crafts and local artwork available for purchase, Dollywood celebrates the beauty and spirit of the Smoky Mountains.


Whether you’re a long-time fan of Dolly Parton, an adventure seeker, or a lover of music and entertainment, Dollywood offers a truly unforgettable experience. It’s a place where dreams come true, where families create lifelong memories, and where visitors of all ages can find joy and excitement.


So, plan your visit to Dollywood today and prepare to be amazed. Immerse yourself in the charm, excitement, and magic that awaits you in this extraordinary theme park nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Let Dollywood transport you to a world of exhilarating rides, captivating shows, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable moments. Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime at Dollywood!