Dollywood like a liner?

Long-time lurker, occasional poster. :slightly_smiling_face: I am heading for a Smoky Mountains vacation with the family (4 of us, 12-year old twins) in early August, and we plan to do 1 day at Dollywood – the amusement park, not the splash park. It will be our first time there. Looking for some tips from ye experts who have been on how to get the most out of our 1 full day there.

We are ready to rope drop. Our focus will be on rides/roller coasters more than shows. We are ready to spring for the express passes, but do we need to? Should we head to a certain part of the park first? Best food choices?

I’ve already studied the map and read up on attractions (I mean I am a liner). But looking for any insight from those who have been. Any and all tips and advice welcome! Thanks!




We’ve been talking about going to the Smoky Mountains with a trip to Dollywoood! Are you gonna do a trip report?


Happy to. Although not a live one - yikes. But first I need a little help. :slightly_smiling_face:


I love the Smokey Mtns!!! If you have time, check out Gatlinburg and all the little shops… not necessarily the main drag.

There are sooooo many nice trails to hike there too


Excellent! Our cabin is in the Gatlinburg area. So, good to know and that will happen. Also hiking is our jam, as the kids say. So, YES!


The Smokey Mtn Visitor Center has some really easy nice trails and it’s just beautiful inside. I’ve not been there in a while. I know the last time I was there they were talking about banning all POVs and only allowing buses to take ppl in/out of the park. I don’t know how that would work if you wanted to get to a certain trail but the visitor center will have all the deets on that and recommended trails


We were there back in May.

Parking has an uncommon setup since it goes around the mountain so it really pays to do priority parking. It’s the only place I’ve seen that priority is actually closer than the handicap spaces.

The other advantage is that priority parking will put you right in the “backdoor” entrance which is key to tour effectively. This is also the “resort” entrance. As soon as you enter you want to make a hard left up the trail to get into Timber Canyon. It isn’t that well marked and that early in the day it will be dead empty so you might confuse it with a service road but rest assure it is the path to Timber Canyon. Look at google maps to get yourself ready.

Since your twins are older you can safely skip Wildwood Grove and just hit the coasters starting in Timber Canyon and continue touring the park clock-wise. If you RD and follow this plan you will be done in no time.

After you are done with Tennesse Tornado you will have to make a decision whether to continue touring or skip and go to Lighting Rod at Jukebox Junction. Since this will be around lunchtime there will be some crowds if you keep it for later.

At one point take a break and buy a freshly baked cinnamon bread. It is out of this world.


Great stuff! Thank you! We will absolutely do the priority parking.

Sounds like maybe you didn’t get express passes? Any thoughts on that?

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I didn’t even know express passes were offered. They were not needed when we were there. If you want to sleep in and tour carefree then yes, maybe get them. We are one-and-done type of visitors and we don’t do repeats but if you want to do some of the more popular coaster more than once then yes.


Another attraction we really liked when we visited TN was MagiQuest. It seems like your run of the mill tourist trap but it is a very fun scavenger hunt with wands. Give it a try if you have some free time.


Wow, great intel!

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We were there on May 9th. However, I didn’t ride anything (can’t do big coasters). :joy: We were there to hear The Hall Sisters sing because they’re good friends with the couple we were traveling with. I loved being there during the flower show.


The Titanic museum is very well done and worth it.


I might have missed it but when are you planning on going?

So it’s been really packed lately and reports of hour long lines for food ect…Timesaver ride passes may definitely be worth it but - BUT it does not function well in conjunction with disability access…

We went to Gatlinburg for Spring Break, but not Dollywood. Our favorite things were Anakeesta, Laurel Falls, and the Aquarium. Several of the trails were still closed for winter, but next time I want to do Roaring Forks and Clingman’s Dome. My husband has done the SkyBridge before and thought t was cool, but it is kind of pricey and I don’t like heights. Walking on the strip was nice, but I don’t know that I would do it more than once. I thought most of the things in Pigeon Forge were touristy and overrated. We actually mostly stayed in Knoxville because my husband had to be there for work and it is a pretty cool city.

On a side note we rope dropped Holiday World in Southern Indiana a couple weeks ago and DS7 and hisBFF were super excited to be first in line for the Scarecrow Scrambler. :slight_smile: It was so hot we spent most of the time at the water park.

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We are planning to go Monday, Aug. 8. Which is actually the first week that the Dollywood schedule goes back to every other day between the amusement park and the water park. Presumably because it’s a slower week as schools begin to start up. :crossed_fingers:

I am currently leaning towards getting the express passes, at least the 10 each, if not the unlimited.

Thanks everyone for all this great feedback!

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The Pugh Two (normally Universal Vlogers) were just there and made 2 videos if you’re interested. They always do good reporting.


Awe that sucks your gonna miss summer festival drone show by 1 night…

But yeah school at least around Nashville will be back in session…

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I’d love a trip report! I’ve never been but got season passes this year for numerous money saving reasons. So I have one trip planned during the Halloween/Harvest Festival and one during the Christmas Festival. I’ll be pregnant so I’ll have to pass on the fantastic roller coasters, but I’ll still follow along to see how long you have to wait in line for cinnamon bread. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I heard on the Dollywood Junkies Facebook group that lines for cinn bread are getting out of control