Seeking Dollywood Advice for a 1st timer

We love disney but need a break. Have tried Universal but rides are too extreme and confining for us. Plus we are a bit older, pooh sized and I’m clausterphobic, so I don’t like being clamped down so tight at Universal. I actually had a bit of a panic attack at Universal with their seat belts. Can you advise on rides at Dollywood? And is this the kind of place where you need a car to get around or can you just be in the bubble? And lastly, I hear there are things to do in the area besides Dollywood. Can you tell me? Thanks in advance!

Welcome back! I bookmarked this recent TR. (Dollywood Trip Report 10/22-10/24)

Dollywood is phenomenal but I would definitely try and rent a car - even staying in the “bubble” at Dreamore (love it there highly recommend) you won’t need car for transportation to the park but there is a lot to do see in the area - and there is nothing in walking distance…and a Lyft Uber if your coming from Tyson McGhee (Knoxville) airport is semi reasonable bout an hours drive- not sure how much luck you’d have getting one from hotel to say dinner show ect…we are almost local lol so we drive

DW does have some pretty big coasters- I head right to them- I don’t do most of them Universal hulk ect my back can’t handle it…DW has some pretty smooth ones.

Was there a particular ride/restraint you didn’t enjoy at UO? so could give ya a little better insight to narrow it down…seriously give me a reason to head up there this week!

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Regarding Universal’s ride restraints, I found many very similar and the seats too, unlike Disney that custom designs more for each ride. I never rode Hulk, Velociocoaster, etc. as we’re not into extreme rollercoasters anyway. I’m talking about the Harry Potter FJ, Spider Man, Minions, Simpsons, etc. You know I never worried about the restraints at Disney, especially on the family rides like Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, 7 Dwarfs, Pirates, etc. Yet at Universal, even on ET, I noticed the ride operators needed to make sure the bar was super tight next to you.