During the peak season, Dollywood is extremely busy! With millions of visitors in and out of the Pigeon Forge amusement park in a single season, it’s obvious that you’ll have to wait in a few lines during your visit. To help you avoid long lines at the park, we’ve put together a few Dollywood tips for spending your day at the park:
1. Visit on Less Crowded Days
Of course, the best days to visit Dollywood vary based on the time of year. If you’re looking to see fewer crowds at the park in the peak summer months, try visiting on Wednesday or Thursday. In the fall and winter season, weekdays are best, and in the spring, Thursdays are typically less busy.
We recommend arriving at the park early, so you have an entire day to enjoy the park. This way, you’re not rushed, and you can experience everything you’ve been looking forward to.
If you arrive in the late afternoon, you can take advantage of the ‘After 3 p.m., Next Day Free’ promotion (you will be allowed entrance to the park the following day for free, with the same ticket, if you arrive after 3 p.m.), but you might have to face some of the lines if you wait to arrive in the afternoon. If you’re taking advantage of this promotion, make sure to arrive early on the 2nd day!
Here’s a park operating schedule, so you can choose which days are best for you this year:
2. How to Avoid Lines to Buy Tickets
If you have to buy a single day ticket to the park, you have to wait to buy a ticket at the main entrance to the park. So, there’s a couple of easy Dollywood tips to avoid these lines:
Buy a season pass. Season passholders get to bypass the ticket counter and head straight to the entrance gates.
Purchase tickets online. If you’re only planning on visiting the Pigeon Forge amusement park once during the season, it’s best to buy your tickets online, so you can avoid the ticket counter lines and go straight to the entrance gates.
Click here to purchase Dollywood tickets before you arrive and receive complimentary free cancellation on any tickets you buy.
3. Plan with a Guide Map and Entertainment Schedules
Planning your trip to Dollywood is just as fun as planning your vacation to the area! There’s so many things to do while you’re in the park, so you don’t want to miss out on anything because you’re waiting in lines. You can pick up a copy of the guide map and entertainment schedule, then plan your day based on which rides are on your ‘must ride’ list and which shows are a ‘must see.’
One of the best Dollywood tips for avoiding lines is to start your day at the back of the park. Instead of following the flow of traffic from the entrance, to the back of the park, and back to the front, go your own way! Enter the park, head straight to the back (toward the Tennessee Tornado or Thunderhead roller coasters) and work your way back to the front. While everyone else is headed toward the back of the park throughout the day, you will be avoiding the crowds. If you arrive at the park early enough, this could even mean you get to ride some of the rides a few times before many others get to that spot!
Are you visiting with children? You can save time from standing in line by figuring out the height requirements before you arrive. If you’re with kids, you don’t want to wait in any line before realizing your kids may not be tall enough to ride yet! So make your plans based on the rides your kids can experience. And if you’re not sure if your kids are tall enough, Dollywood has height requirements posted at the entrance to each ride.
5. Know the Dollywood Symbols
As you walk throughout Dollywood, you’ll notice there are symbols on the signs for each ride. Dollywood uses 3 different symbols to help you decide whether or not you want to ride. This way, you can easily avoid lines for rides that you may not want to participate in.
Black diamond: High thrill intensity
Blue square: Moderate thrill intensity
Green circle: Mild thrill intensity
So, if you have kids who may be a little afraid of heights, high speeds or similar, you probably don’t want to stand in line for any ‘black diamond’ rides.
6. Bring Necessities from Home
This is one of our favorite Dollywood tips because it saves you lots of time AND money! All the little things like ponchos, sunscreen and stroller rentals really do add up quickly. So, to save a little money, and avoid waiting in lines at the shops for these items, bring what you can from home. You’ll be glad you did!
If you liked this article, you may also like: 15 Dollywood Tips and Tricks for Saving Money at the Park