The end of any great Dollywood day is always a bit sad. Even after long days of fun at Dollywood, my kids often want to stay and experience “just 1 more!” and don’t want it to end. So, we started a tradition that makes the walk out of Dollywood almost as exciting as the walk in- visiting the Sweet Shoppe!
Dollywood’s Sweet Shoppe sits on Showstreet not far from the main entrance and exit. The Shoppe is full of delicious treats to enjoy or take home, and my family likes to make it the last stop of the day and we each choose a treat. It’s a large store with a working kitchen, and if you’re lucky you might see master candy makers dipping beautiful apples or mixing brittle on a stainless steel table, or making fudge on a large marble slab. There’s much to choose from and usually my treat is a huge piece of fudge. Fudge holds a special place in my heart and I’ve never met a flavor of fudge I didn’t like. As a girl, my great grandmother used to make a special penuche fudge each Christmas, and it was a treat we looked forward to all year. Like Nana’s, Dollywood’s fudge does not disappoint and they have more than a dozen flavors to choose from.
My kids head to the novelties where they sell fun Pucker Powder sticks they can fill themselves, penny candy and crazy-sour things my kids love. My husband usually chooses the ice cream counter. He’s a vanilla kind of guy, and a thick milkshake is his thing. Dollywood serves us Mayfield’s ice cream, and they bake their own waffle cones and bowls. Truth be told, more than once I’ve bought both ice cream and fudge!
In addition to the chocolates and candies you might expect, confectioners create regional favorites including potato candy, something called divinity which is made with egg whites and nuts, and a chocolate concoction called Smoky Mountain Mud. As it turns out, Smoky Mountain Mud was an accident. A confectioner messed up a recipe, but kept going to see how it would turn out—and it was a hit! It’s made with milk, Rice Krispies, marshmallows and peanut butter. Dollywood’s Sweet Shoppe also offers packaged gifts and goodies to bring home including taffy, jams and apple butter.
It’s a sweet way to end a day. Want to take a closer look at the Dollywood Sweet Shoppe?
The master craftsman at the Sweet Shoppe is Linda Rice. She’s been making candy for 35 years—longer than Dollywood has been around! She trains all park confectioners in the art of making taffy, fudge, candied apples, apple butter and countless other decadent creations. Stop by this Dollywood treasure to watch your favorite sweets being made—and be sure to take some to go!