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A train pulling into the station at the Dollywood theme park.

Everything You Need to Know for a Fun Weekend at Dollywood

When you visit the Smoky Mountains, taking a trip to Dollywood is on the top of the list of things you can do while you’re here. The popular theme park is full so many incredible experiences and fun that you can spread your time at the park out over a whole weekend! To help you make the most of your time at the theme park, we’re telling you everything you need to know for a fun weekend at Dollywood.

What to Pack

woman packing for a trip to dollywoodWhen planning a trip to Dollywood, you’re going to want to make sure you have everything you need for a weekend full of fun at the park! We recommend packing casual clothes like T-shirts, gym shorts, comfortable pants, sweatshirts and tennis shoes so that you won’t waste any time at Dollywood being uncomfortable. Shoes are the most important clothing item to consider when you pack because you’ll be walking a lot around the park and want to be comfortable! Some rides require shoes with heel straps. Also, make sure to bring sunscreen if you visit during the warmer months, your swimsuit if you plan on visiting during the summer and going to Dollywood’s Splash Country, sunglasses to protect your eyes and any other miscellaneous items you need on a daily basis!

What to Do

There is so much to do at Dollywood that it can be hard deciding what to squeeze into your trip. When you spend two days at the park, you’ll have a little more time to enjoy everything it has to offer. Whether you want to try exciting rides, see an incredible show, dine on delicious food or go shopping, you can do it all at Dollywood! Here are some of the best things to do while you’re there:


If you’re looking for a thrill, you’re at the right place. Dollywood has a number of thrill rides that will have your heart-pounding and adrenaline-pumping. Some of the most popular rides are the Wild Eagle, where you’ll feel like you’re soaring high above the Smoky Mountains with nothing but air above and below you, and Lightning Rod, where you’ll be launched from 0 to 45 miles per hour up 20 stories, make a 165-foot drop and race around the track at speeds up to 73 miles per hour. If you want a calmer ride, climb aboard the Dollywood Express, a steam engine that takes you on a 5-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. There are also rides for the little ones to enjoy, like Amazing Flying Elephants, where they’ll soar round and round in an elephant, or Lemon Twist, where you can ride as a family and spin yourself around for a fun adventure.


A giant pumpkin at Dollywood during the Harvest Festival.Dollywood holds a number of festivals throughout the year. At each of the festivals, there will be performers, decorations, special food and more. Some of the festivals include the Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival, which features award-winning performers and delicious Southern BBQ, and the Harvest Festival, which includes the Great Pumpkin Luminights. Check out our Dollywood festival schedule to find dates and more information about the festivals if you’re interested in attending one!


You’re bound to work up an appetite as you explore the park. Luckily, Dollywood is home to many delicious restaurants for you to try while you’re there! For a tasty all-you-can-eat buffet, head to Aunt Granny’s Restaurant, where you’ll be able to choose from unlimited helpings of salads, fried chicken, baked chicken, mashed potatoes, cornbread, dessert and more! For an authentic food truck experience, stop by Frannie’s Famous Fried Chicken Sandwich with a menu that includes 1/3-pound fried chicken sandwiches and crinkle cut fries. Before you leave, make sure the stop by The Grist Mill and try a piece of the world-famous cinnamon bread!


Carve some time out during your weekend at Dollywood to explore the shops in the park. As you browse the shops, you’ll be able to find the perfect souvenir to remind you of what a wonderful time you had at Dollywood! There are T-shirts, other clothing items, novelty gifts, candy, arts and crafts and more. Visit Dolly’s Closet for a unique blend of clothing, jewelry and accessories that represent Dolly’s style, just in your size! You should also make time to shop in The Dollywood Emporium for the ultimate Dollywood shopping experience.

See a Show

A Dollywood show with great live music.For an activity that’s fun for the whole family at Dollywood, make time to see a show! This year, Dollywood is hosting more shows than any other theme park. From incredible musical performances to plays, Dollywood has it all. One of the most popular shows is Gem Tones, which runs from March to October and features 5 friends who bring their own blend of musical fun to the streets with hits from the 80s and 90s. People of all ages will enjoy the shows at Dollywood!

Make your weekend magical when you spend it exploring all that Dollywood has to offer. Try new foods, get your adrenaline pumping on exciting rides or attend a show! No matter how you choose to spend your time at the park, you’re guaranteed to make unforgettable memories with the ones you love. Browse all the places to stay in the Smoky Mountains and start planning your vacation to Dollywood now!