15 Dollywood Tips and Tricks for Saving Money at the Amusement Park

Sign outside of Dollywood

Wouldn’t it be nice to know a few ways you could save money at Dollywood before you arrive at the park? We’re here to help! If you’re trying to save money, these Dollywood tips will guarantee you a more affordable day at the amusement park.

1. Arrive after 3 p.m.
The most common of Dollywood tips is to arrive the first day after 3 p.m. Dollywood runs a special, if you arrive after 3 p.m., the next day is free. So, you can get a few hours of time in before the park closes, then return with the same ticket, for a full day of fun the next day.

2. Avoid the parking fees by riding the trolley!Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge
Just to park, standard vehicles cost $12 and oversized vehicles cost $18. You can easily save that money by parking your car for free at Patriot Park and catching a ride on the Pigeon Forge trolley. The trolley only costs approximately $1 per person, you’ll get the experience of riding the trolley, plus they trolley will drop you off right at the main gate. When you park in the parking lot, you can either walk to the main entrance or wait for the tram to pick you up at one of the designated tram stops.

3. Buy a season pass.
If you want to visit Dollywood more than once in a single season, you’ll get the best deal by purchasing a season pass. For the cost of 2 day pass admissions, it would have been cheaper to purchase a season pass.

4. Consider purchasing a Gold Pass.
If you plan to visit Dollywood more than a time or two, you will definitely benefit from purchasing a Gold Pass. The Gold Pass is just an upgrade to your regular season pass that can save you up to 20% on purchases. There’s no minimum purchase required, so this can save you quite a bit of money. Take our advice, though–not everyone in the family needs to purchase a Gold Pass. As long as the Gold Passholder is present, you’ll save the money. If you have a Gold Pass, you park for free, too.

Purchase your Dollywood tickets through Visit My Smokies and you’ll receive free cancellation up to a certain date, unlike many other places where you may purchase tickets. CLICK HERE.

5. Choose water over soda.
The best part–water is free! You can stop by any food or beverage stand in the park and ask for a cup of water, and it’s completely free. There are also water fountains located throughout the park near any of the restrooms. If you absolutely must splurge on sodas, pick up one of the refillable bottles, so you save money throughout the day (or if you plan on visiting Dollywood regularly, bring it back throughout the season for cheaper refills).

Dollywood entrance sign6. Pack your own ponchos.
Is it possible that it will rain for a little while during your trip to Dollywood? Take your own ponchos with you, so you can save the money on them! Sometimes, unexpected rain happens, but if you see it in the forecast, you’re better off packing your own!

Don’t let a rainy day ruin your day at Dollywood, either. If it rains and rides have to shut down, you can request a rain check. Just visit the Season Pass Center and talk to one of the guests services representatives. They will give you a rain check that’s valid for the rest of the season.

7. Don’t forget zipper bags.
One of the best Dollywood tips to date: zipper bags. Those small plastic baggies come in handy when you’re riding water rides. The park sells these bags for less than $1, but save the few bucks and go ahead and bring your own to keep your belongings dry throughout the day.

8. Bring your own camera.
If you happen to forget your camera, disposable cameras can be purchased throughout the park, but we recommend bringing your own camera (or charging up your cell phone for taking pictures). You can save the nearly $10 on a disposable camera if you’ll just remember to pack yours!

9. Put sunscreen on before you arrive.Country Fair sign at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge
If you have small children with you, and you’re visiting on a hot, summer day, you may want to pack a small container of sunscreen, but also put sunscreen on before you arrive.

10. Avoid the lockers.
Unless you have a bunch of items you don’t want to carry around with you all day, avoid the lockers. Front gate lockers will cost $8 for a regular size or $11 for a family size. Instead, just don’t bring too much with you to the park. If you have items that need to be set aside while you are on a ride, there is a space available for riders to set their items off to the side. Of course, we recommend that you keep all valuables at your cabin rental, and only bring the necessities with you to the park.

Mother and daughter riding on a carousel at Dollywood11. Bring your own stroller.
If you have small children, odds are, you have a stroller with you just about everywhere you go. So, go ahead and pack up your stroller for your day at Dollywood, so you don’t have to rent one. Single strollers are $11 plus tax and double strollers are $14 plus tax. You can save this money, plus, chances are, your kids will be more comfortable in the stroller from home if you need it at the park.

12. Remember to bring cash.
If you’re anything like us, you don’t always carry cash on hand. While almost everywhere at Dollywood accepts debit and credit cards, it’s always best to have a little cash with you. If you plan to play any games, you’ll be glad to have that cash with you! This way you can avoid stopping at an ATM and paying the hefty ATM fees to get a few dollars out of your account.

13. Take advantage of group rates.Kids riding together on a swing ride at a theme park
Are you visiting Dollywood with a group of 15 or more? If you’re planning at least 2 weeks in advance, you can receive 1 complimentary ticket per 15 paid admissions. For more information, you can take a look at Dollywood’s group information: http://www.dollywood.com/GroupTickets/buy-group-tickets/General/Pricing/Dollywood.aspx

14. Stick to your budget.
Of course, another one of the easiest Dollywood tips–stick to your budget. Have a plan before you arrive at the park, and stick to it. Set aside the amount you plan to spend on souvenirs, games, extras and food.

15. Eat before you arrive.
Whether you’re planning to arrive first thing in the morning, or wait until the afternoon to start your visit, it’s a good idea to eat a meal before you arrive. That way, you don’t have to spend money on eating at the park right away. And you’ll be able to jump right in to riding rides and visiting the shops and attractions within the park. You won’t have to waste any time eating, and you’ll have more time for fun!

Cilck here for Tickets to Dollywood

Did you like this article? You may also like: Top 5 Secrets for Saving Money at Dollywood.

Do you know of any more Dollywood tips that can save you money while you’re in the park? Let us know about them in the comments below!

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  • Thank you for the Dollywood tips and tricks. You included some very valuable suggestions that can help families plan for an even better trip. I especially like your reminder that water is available for free – if guests simply ask for it.

    The focus of my blog is sharing activities with parents that they can do with their families in this region of Tennessee. I will repost your excellent advice.

    • Emily Arnwine

      Diahan, thanks for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed the tips and tricks! Keep following us and we’ll be posting more great ways to save money soon!

  • https: https://www.pineconer

    IN JULY 2015, WIL THEY BEGIN DOING COUPONS AGAIN. ? 1 TIME BEFORE , U COULD BUY A COKE BOTTLE AT A STORE AND IT HAD A COUPON ON IT. R THEY DOING THIS AGAIN OR ANY OTHER PROMOS? THANKS KARATES@COX.NET

    • Emily Arnwine

      We’re not sure about the coupons for July 2015, but we’ll keep our eyes open! Thanks for reading, and we hope to post more ways to save money soon…so keep checking back!

  • Stacie Slone Parker

    Remember that you can pack a cooler with lunch and leave it in your car and eat lunch in the parking lot

  • Crystal P

    These are great tips! I’ve been to Dollywood many times but never knew you could ask for free cups of water!

  • Austin McNair

    If you get a $1 tea at McDonalds, bring the cup and you can save $5 per ticket for 4 people. It should say it on the big styrofoam cup. I think it’s limited to a few months in the summer, but I’m not sure.

  • Tracey Harris Henson

    I was wondering if we can take a small backpack into the park instead of getting a locker?

    • Emily Wolff

      Hey Tracey, you are allowed to take a small backpack into the park! They do reserve rights to check purses, backpacks or any other items brought into the park and remember not to pack any snacks or foods in your bag since those are not allowed inside. We always find it helpful to pack things like sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera and small Ziploc bags to keep things like cameras and cell phones extra safe on any water rides that may splash your bag. Each ride does offer an area to set your belongings until you are finished with the ride (in case your bag is not secure on your body for the ride). We hope you’ll enjoy your trip to Dollywood! Let us know if you have any other questions – we’re happy to help!

  • Carol Ruth Baugh-Cruze

    I have a senior suggestion,
    I am 73 and don’t want to do rides or water parks lol but I would like to do the shops and other old folks activities.
    Would you possibly consider doing a discount for us and either stamp our hand or maybe a red rubber bracelet that shows no rides? That would be great!!