Hey! Heading to Dollywood! Amount of planning I have done on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.
I found that it was cheapest to buy 1 gold season pass which allows for 4 BAF (bring a friend) tickets. These mean I can “bring a friend” for free with me and my season pass. These have black out dates, which is great for me because they blackout dates are for Dollywood’s busiest days anyway. So no Fridays or Saturdays, no fall break (Oct 3-16), and nothing from Thanksgiving to end of the season (Nov 26-Jan 1). Dollywood closes for the winter and reopens in March. So the season passes will allow for my friend and i to go for this two day trip, and then my family and I to go for a two day trip next month (pending how this trip goes) and we won’t actually spend anymore in ticket media than the one season pass. My husband will get in with my BAF tickets, my 2 year old gets in for free, and all 4 and 5 year olds can register for a free season pass (how many people do you think don’t realize this?!?) so my oldest son also has a season pass, which was free. Pretty fantastic. The gold pass includes standard parking and also 15% off merchandise and food sales. All good things.
Hours searching for date-based pricing, amenities, reviews, driving distance to Dollywood. Dollywood has an on-site resort called the DreamMore which includes the Dollywood Fastpass, but I knew it was out of my budget so I didn’t even look at it. My focus was on nice, clean, off-site, reasonably priced hotels. My friend and I are landing at Inn on the River which has a beautiful fire pit, beautiful walking path along the river, free popcorn in the evenings, free apples in the lobby, and an included hot breakfast. Yes please!
Touring Plan: 1
I mean, is 0 an option? (It isn’t: I made the scale. It’s 1-10) I am pregnant. Dollywood rides are a big thing for many people. They won’t be for me. I told my friend I’m happy to wait in line with her for any rides, and I really am, but idk if she’ll take me up on it. I dedicated a couple minutes to looking at the different attraction options, but as far as a touring plan goes, we’ll start at one end of the park and make our way to the other, taking it all in. That’s the plan.
I’m on a tight budget so wanted to know approx what to spend for food. There is a Harvest Festival Tasting Pass available for $35 (less with the gold pass discount) which allows you 5 different menu choices from, like 30-40 options, including drinks, desserts, and entrees. I’ll get 5 entrees to get the most bang for my buck. I’ll pay cash for drinks and desserts. I cross-checked a blog which explores the menu options and decided exactly what I want to get. We’ll see how closely I stick to that.
We’ll see about rides, but I definitely want to hit up the bird show and the steam train. And I hear the fall/Halloween lights and decorations are stunning!
I know there’s so much to do in the Pigeon Forge area, but I’m really trying to maximize time catching up with my friend and minimize money spent, so we’ll likely spend 100% of our time at the hotel and Dollywood.
My sweet husband will be holding down the fort with DS(4) and DS(2). And i’ll be taking care of DCU (dear child unknown) and spending sweet sweet time with my friend.
Ooo, can I take a minute to brag on these sweet sleepers I made for this baby?! Pics: