Dollywood, with its world-class shows, outstanding food and wonderful family-style attractions, is an incredible place to visit with families. But what about a group of guys who want to tackle Dollywood’s seven big roller coasters and other thrill attractions, like Drop Line? Well, that means it’s time for a guys’ trip to Dollywood!
Now, we’re not talking about a laid-back trip with the family, but a high-energy, thrill-inducing, over-the-top adventure with your friends. So, first up? Get there early. This isn’t vacation; you’re here to conquer the coasters. Try to get a hearty breakfast and be at the parking lot well before opening. Since Dollywood opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, be parked and waiting on the tram by 9:30.
First thing—head for Lightning Rod, which is the world’s fastest and only launched wooden coaster. This will start your day off right! After your 73 mph trip over a ridge and through some valleys, cross back to the park entrance and head up to Timber Canyon to get to Thunderhead—Dollywood’s powerful wooden coaster that features a station flyby. While we’re in the area, let’s hit Drop Line, the free-fall tower that stands 220 feet and drops you quicker than 77 mph. And what a view!
Once we’ve landed, it’s just a short walk to Mystery Mine, a Gerstlauer euro-fighter coaster that takes you on a trip through a spooky mine. Who knew that a roller coaster could have a theme song and special effects?! Then we’ll make our way through Wilderness Pass. Let’s check out FireChaser Express. Although it’s billed as a family coaster, this dual-launch roller coaster packs a lot of thrills and a surprise or two!
Next up is Wild Eagle, which was the first B & M wing coaster built in America. Your seat extends from the track like a wing! Wild Eagle is one of my favorite coasters in the park and is great for a night ride. Make sure to pay attention to Dolly’s song as you wait in the queue.
Tennessee Tornado is one of the oldest coasters in the park and takes advantage of the terrain. There’s no steep lift hill, but the mountainous terrain lets the coaster offer some loops and hills.
Right around the corner is Blazing Fury, one of the most unique rides that you’ll find in any theme park. It was built in 1978 by the park and is part roller coaster and part dark ride. Blazing Fury is a lot of fun and is a must-do! FIRE IN THE HOLE!
As we’re roaming the park and taking in the coasters and thrill rides, don’t forget to feed your belly! Dollywood has the best theme park food, and you can choose a sit-down meal or grab some food on the go. If it’s a busy day, I’d opt for the sausage at the Market Square Big Skillet Steak Sandwiches or Dogs N Taters to get a foot-long corndog (both in Rivertown Junction). You can also stop by Frannie’s Food Truck near Lightning Rod to grab a fried chicken sandwich.
If you want something to stick to your ribs and you need a break, then look no further than Granny Ogle’s Ham n’ Beans for some great home-style food and cornbread—the cornbread is astounding! You can also spend some time and get your grub on at Aunt Granny’s All-You-Care-To-Eat Buffet, which even features a taco bar!
After filling up, it’s time to hit your favorite coasters again and try some of the other thrill rides like the Barnstormer, Daredevil Falls and the Smoky Mountain River Rampage. Don’t forget to line up for night rides on Thunderhead and Lightning Rod; those coasters feel completely different in the dark.
Oh, and stop by the Grist Mill on the way out to take home some cinnamon bread for the friends and family who weren’t able to go on the guys’ trip to Dollywood. And maybe an extra one to eat on the way home!