Dollywood is a 150-acre theme park in the mountain town and vacation area of Pigeon Forge, TN
, owned and operated by country music icon, businesswoman, and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The park hosts over three million visitors each year from around the world and offers food, fun, and festivities to all who pass through its gates.
Founded in 1961, the park has experienced many changes over the years and finally found a solid footing when Parton purchased it in 1986. Offering more than 40 rides and attractions, from scream-inducing roller coasters to family-friendly rides, and organized into ten themed areas, the park offers events and activities sure to please visitors of all ages from all corners of the globe.
And when you stay in one of our conveniently located Tennessee vacation homes, you'll be assured a comfortable home base with more privacy than any hotel can offer.
Where is Dollywood?
Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge, TN, near the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
. It is just six miles south of the historic city of Sevierville
and 35 miles southeast of Knoxville. When you need a break and some fresh air, the quick drive to the Smoky Mountains makes day hikes incredibly easy.
Rides and Attractions at Dollywood
Chances are, part of the reason you're at Dollywood is to check out the park's many attractions and rides. From 13 roller coasters - like Blazing Fury, Tennessee Tornado, Thunderhead, and Wild Eagle - to other rides like the Secret Mine Tour and Sideshow Spin, Dollywood boasts fun and games for visitors of all ages.
A 14-minute, family-friendly train ride up and down the mountain, as well as Splash Country, a water park with 27 water slides, will keep you and your family engaged and smiling for hours. Top off your action-packed days with the nightly fireworks show, a spectacular display of crackling, colorful bursts of light in the night sky, before returning to your comfortable vacation rental nearby.
Where and What to Eat at Dollywood
While in Dollywood, you'll be able to sample diverse fare from across the globe. Committed to giving guests an ethnically diverse experience, Dollywood offers notable food locations throughout the park. With Greek and Italian flatbreads, Chinese egg noodles, Japanese vegetables, Columbian and Mexican tacos, as well as a few different takes on the crepe (to name just a few), Dollywood will keep your taste buds satisfied and wanting more throughout your visit.
Wander the park and sample your way through with stops at the various food booths, or have a sit-down meal at one of your favorites. Both Aunt Granny's Buffet and Backstage Restaurant will keep your belly full and satisfied with Southern comfort food, while Hickory House BBQ offers award-winning BBQ with a twang. Take a nostalgic walk down memory lane and visit Red's Drive-In for burgers and shakes, diner style, while you listen to all the popular musical hits of the 50s and 60s.
Festivals at Dollywood
Dollywood's Festival of Nations showcases spellbinding entertainment from around the world and features dance, art, music, and food. The Barbecue and Bluegrass Festival offers visitors dance-inducing bluegrass music and mouthwatering barbecue. Come listen to a wide range of bluegrass groups and musicians, and savor some delectable Southern barbecue while you're at it.
Summer Lives Here gives guests a chance to, among other things, dance. Both the Daytime Dance and Light Up the Night Dance Parties give you an opportunity to show off your moves on the dance floor. And at the end of the day, you can sit back and relax while observing the nightly fireworks show or the Gazillion Bubbles Show, a light show spectacle of performers interacting with captivating laser light configurations.
Dollywood's Harvest Festival takes advantage of the cozy effects of autumn and offers a chance to experience free concerts and handmade arts and crafts, as well as uplifting gospel music, all wrapped in the gorgeous autumn scenery of the Smoky Mountains.
If you're fortunate enough to be near Dollywood around the holidays, treat yourself to the park's Smokey Mountain Christmas celebration. Witness performances from musical events and plays to re-enactments and your favorite life-size Christmas characters. This event is sure to bring a smile to young and old alike. Another well-loved holiday event is the Appalachian Christmas, an acoustic collection of Christmas favorites performed at the Back Porch Theater.
No matter the time of year you visit beautiful, diverse Tennessee
, you're sure to have a memorable time. And a reservation of one of our Dollywood vacation rentals will round out your experience nicely. Enter the gates of Dollywood, and enjoy an unforgettable and multi-faceted immersion into song, dance, food, and activity.
Photo Credit: Darryl Kenyon via Flickr