Vacationing in Pigeon Forge and visiting Dollywood go hand in hand. The family friendly theme park is an inviting, 150 acres of adventure tucked into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. From entertaining shows to thrilling rides, talented craftsmen and engaging festivals, the Dollywood Theme Park’s award-winning tradition of hospitality, innovation and value are always on full display when I visit.
Depending on when I visit, my experience at Dollywood varies in the things to do, a lot of which is inspired by the shows and festivals being hosted at the time. What never changes, however, is the southern charm of the park’s employees – which is why the park has won the title of “Friendliest Park” again and again. That most likely has a lot to do with Dolly Parton. She has infused this park with her own childhood dreams, ideas and love of the Smoky Mountains. Along with this, the park has invested over and over again in attractions and shows for visitors to experience. In recent years, they’ve debuted thrill seeker rides like Wild Eagle while also keeping family and togetherness at the heart of Dollywood.
Much of the park’s entertainment and attractions are directly influenced by Dolly Parton’s childhood in the Smokies. Whether it be the rides that invoke the old fashioned fun her family would create or the productions which showcase classic sing-a-longs, heritage and country spirit. Much of the entertainment shifts regarding the current festival. That said, Heartsong, performed throughout the year, is a staple show I recommend to all visitors. It’s a story taken straight from the pages of Dolly Parton’s life, during which memories are shared and made. Be sure to catch show from Zambia Vocal Group and dances from the La Danza de Columbia during Worldfest, while over 250 free bluegrass concerts hosted at the Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival are a highlight of my spring visits. Of course, I can’t forget Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas shows. The holiday splendor of the season is celebrated at productions like A Christmas Carol and O Holy Night.Walking through the beautifully landscaped park, which is also relatively flat and easy to navigate, I always enjoy watching the local craftsmen work. I have to say, the glass blowers are my favorite. Normally, I pick up a unique item and have it saved at the front entrance parcel pickup. This way, I’m free to hop on my favorite rides and not have any shopping bags to worry about. Speaking of rides, I’m a bit of adrenaline junkie so I seek out Thunderhead, Tennessee Tornado and Barnstormer. To slow my racing heart, I like to take a ride aboard the Smoky Mountain Railroad. Of course, the delicious aromas wafting through Market Square. The home-style Big Skillet dishes are loaded with sausage, potatoes, peppers and other ingredients cooked up just like Momma used to make! Wash it down with a sweet lemonade for a scrumptious lunch. Save room for snacking later, though – Dollywood’s funnel cakes and berries ‘n cream are too tasty to pass up! Visit and see for yourself why Dollywood Pigeon Forge is a wonderful addition to any Pigeon Forge vacation. With so many things to do, the entire family will find the park the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.