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7 Tips for Making the Most of One Day at Dollywood

There is so much to see and do at Dollywood that you could easily spend your whole vacation at the theme park! While more time at Dollywood is always better, you can still fit a whole lot of fun into just one day at Pigeon Forge’s top attraction. The Knoxville News Sentinel recently interviewed Dollywood’s Public Relations Manager Wes Ramey about how to make the most of a single visit to the park. Read on to learn Ramey’s best tips (along with some of our own advice) for enjoying the ultimate day at Dollywood.

1. Get the Dollywood App

Anyone with a smartphone will definitely want to download the Dollywood app! When you visit the theme park, this convenient app will let you know what the current wait times are for all the rides, so you can plan accordingly. The app also features a handy schedule for Dollywood’s shows.

2. Check the Park’s Festival ScheduleA giant pumpkin at Dollywood during the Harvest Festival.

Throughout the year, Dollywood hosts a number of hugely popular festivals. Featuring visiting performers, themed decorations, and special food, these annual festivals make the theme park even more fun than usual. As you plan your vacation in Pigeon Forge, try to make sure that your visit to Dollywood coincides with one of these amazing celebrations. The park’s festival schedule is typically as follows:

  • Harvest Festival (October)
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas (November and December)
  • Festival of Nations (mid-March through mid-April)
  • Barbeque & Bluegrass (May)
  • Summer Lives Here (June through early August)

For more precise dates and details and on this year’s events, check out our Dollywood Festival Schedule.

3. Arrive Early

One of the best ways to beat the lines is to arrive early to the theme park. If you’re a thrill-seeker, head directly to the Timber Canyon section of the park, as this is where most of the rides are located. Mornings usually aren’t as busy as the afternoons, so early birds should try to fit in as many coasters as possible before lunch. Check out the Top 6 Ways to Avoid Lines at Dollywood for more time-saving strategies.

One of the Dollywood trains pulling into the station.4. Map Out Your Day

To make the most of your time at Dollywood, it helps to have a plan. Before you visit the park, consult with your family or friends and decide which rides, shows, and other attractions you definitely want to experience. Then, download this printable map of Dollywood and come up with a tentative schedule for enjoying everything on your list. Knowing Dollywood’s layout will ensure that you don’t waste time running from one side of the park to the other.

5. Hit Up a Buffet for a Variety of Foods

In this year’s Golden Ticket Awards (the Academy Awards for theme parks), Dollywood took home the award for best food! If you want to sample a variety of the park’s tastiest dishes in one place, try visiting Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet or the buffet at Miss Lillian’s Smokehouse and Fried Chicken. Both restaurants serve mouthwatering Southern cuisine with all of your favorite sides and desserts.

6. Experience the Park’s Top Rides

While everyone has their favorite rides at Dollywood, the park is home to a handful of iconic coasters that you definitely don’t want to miss. In the Knoxville News Sentinel article, Dollywood’s PR Manager shined the spotlight on these popular rides:

  • Lightning Rod – the world’s fastest wooden coaster
  • Wild Eagle – America’s first winged coaster
  • Thunderhead – ranked among the top 10 wooden coasters on the planet
  • FireChaser Express – the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster
  • Whistle Punk Chaser – a great junior coaster for guests taller than 36”

7. See the Park’s Most Popular ShowsA trio playing bluegrass music at Dollywood.

The annual festivals at Dollywood bring a variety of special shows to the theme park. Some of the seasonal entertainment at the park includes gospel music, Christmas shows, international performers, and bluegrass concerts. There are also a number of shows that run at Dollywood for most of the year, including:

  • Gem Tones – an a cappella group specializing in hits from the 50s and 60s
  • Smoky Mountain String Band – an incredible bluegrass band
  • Live at the Back Porch – a fantastic concert featuring contemporary country music

Ready to start planning your day at Dollywood? To get the best deal on Dollywood tickets (and free cancellation), click the green box below:

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