Dollywood’s Splash Country is open and ready for summer fun. To help you be ready I recently hung out with veteran lifeguard Brianna and asked her all kinds of questions about what to wear at her water park. Let’s just say the No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service rule does not always apply.
I prefer flip flops because they are so easy to take on and off. Brianna said shoe type isn’t that important, any flip flop, Chaco, water shoe you want to wear to protect your feet from the hot concrete is good. And she is right—the walkways between rides and attractions can get very hot in the summer sun so you will want shoes. When pressed, she sided with Chacos for comfort and staying put on rides that permit shoes.
You cannot wear shoes on the body or tube slides where you are going down feet-first. That means no shoes may be worn on the Mountain Scream, Wild River Falls, SwiftWater Run, The Butterfly, Fire Tower Falls or Bear Mountain Fire Tower. It is a major safety issue and Brianna and her fellow lifeguards are serious about safety. A shoe sole is likely to catch a dry spot on the flume, and let’s just say your body is likely to keep going—not a pretty picture, is it?
So, what do you do with your shoes once you get to the top of the slide? Just hold on to them. If you happen to drop them or if they come off on an attraction that allows shoes, more than likely they will just follow you down the slide then you can retrieve them. If not, a lifeguard can help you.
DO wear sandals or water shoes on your trip to Dollywood’s Splash Country. If you don’t remember where you can and cannot wear them, don’t worry. The friendly lifeguards will let you know at the attraction. Just be prepared to take your shoes off when asked.
If you want to go down a body slide at the park, you cannot wear a cotton or loose fitting shirt. Body slides refer to attractions where your body is the “vehicle” as opposed to a tube or a mat carrying you down. Again, wearing shirts on these type of slides is a safety issue and there are no exceptions. Tight-fitting rash guard shirts are permitted on all attractions. Again if you don’t remember where shirts are allowed just be ready to take your shirt off when asked by a lifeguard.
Only swimsuits are allowed on the water attractions. No swimsuits with buckles, rivets, or any sharp objects are allowed. These things can damage attractions but more importantly are a safety concern.
When it comes to shorts, the same rule applies: nothing with buckles, rivets, or any sharp objects. That means no denim or any kind of corduroy or cutoffs are allowed in the water. In the event of an emergency, these materials are heavy and cumbersome. Again, it is safety first.
Life vests are provided free of charge for use at Splash Country. Outside floating devices like rafts or baby floats are not permitted, so leave those at home with the snorkels and pool toys which are also not allowed. I am a parent of littles, so it was noteworthy to me that puddle jumpers are ok, but water wings or donut floats are not.
Brianna’s other tips for a great day at Dollywood’s Splash Country: 1.) Wear sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen! 2.) No cameras are allowed on attractions, even GoPro-type cameras that you can “wear.” So, just leave those at home or with a friend to catch some pics of you as you come down the slide.