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Brighter Days Are Here—With Some Changes!

We can finally say that brighter days are definitely here: Dollywood is open! And I’m sure I can say that we are all excited about that! Luckily, we were able to reserve one of the opening days for Season Passholders. This gave us the chance to see all of the new changes at Dollywood firsthand. So, if you’re on the fence about reserving your Dollywood visit, let me show you all of the new procedures that we experienced so you can put your mind at ease and know that you can still have a great time at Dollywood.

Arrival

Once we drove through the parking tolls and found our parking spot, we put our masks on and made our way to the tram stop. Before entering the tram, you will go to a small tent where your temperature will be taken. After it is determined that you have a temperature of 100.4 F or lower, you will answer four health-related questions and be given a wristband to wear before entering the tram. These are simple questions and quick to answer. After we answered, we were able to get in line for the tram ride to the main gate. Social distancing guidelines are in place on the trams with empty rows in between each family. We were not permitted to ride with any other family but our own so this made us feel more comfortable and secure.

Note: You will be required to wear your wristband while inside the park. This ensures that all staff knows that your temperature was taken and you were cleared at the health stations.

There are many new “touch-free” procedures throughout the park now. The turnstile arms have been removed and doors to restaurants and shops are opened to reduce contact points. We didn’t have to open or touch any doors during our visit.

Insider Tip

Remember to bookmark your reservation confirmation on your phone or print it out! You must have your confirmation for admittance! I couldn’t find ours on my phone and had to go to Guest Services for assistance. They were so helpful in finding our reservation and printed our confirmation so we could enter the park.

Our Day

Our day consisted of restaurants and rides so we saw lots of signage with CDC guidelines. All restaurants provided hand sanitizer for us to use before we stepped inside. We saw all food service hosts were wearing masks and gloves. Social distancing signage was in place as well. The signs informed us about decreased capacity, closed tables to allow for social distancing and sanitizing after each use.

These practices were evident on the rides as well. We were given hand sanitizer before we entered a ride and after we got off. Seating was spaced out with empty seats in between each row of guests. Again, we were only allowed to ride with our own family.

There are many signs throughout the park that serve as reminders to social distance, limit touching and to wear your mask. Hand sanitizing stations and portable sink stations (with foot pedal!) have been added throughout the park as well. I forgot my hand sanitizer so it was nice to have it readily available while there.

Masks are required while you’re at the park, but there are instances in which you can take those off. You don’t have to wear a mask while on dynamic rides or while eating. And if you need a longer break from wearing your mask, there are various mask-free zones throughout the park where you can rest from your mask. For more information, check out this page.

Insider Tip

With decreased capacity in the restaurants, you may have to wait for a table. We had to wait for about 30 minutes for Aunt Granny’s Restaurant, so just keep that in mind if you’re like us and like to eat. Haha!

Leaving

This is always the saddest part of the day, right? As we made our way out, we stopped at the Sweet Shoppe to grab a few goodies for the ride home. The hosts were as friendly as ever with their masks and gloves on. We then made our way to the tram with a final squirt of hand sanitizer as we walked to get in line. The final tram ride of the day was the same as earlier: groups were separated by empty rows and you were only seated with your own family. We exited the tram and made our way to our car.

Even though Dollywood visits look a little different during the phased reopening, we still had an amazing time. And with all of the changes and procedures in place, it just reassured me that Dollywood is taking every precaution to ensure our safety while still helping us create memories that will last a lifetime. Our visit did that for us and I can’t wait to visit again!

By | 2020-06-17T15:27:30+00:00 June 17th, 2020|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Angie Fischer (Dollywood Insider 2019-Now) is a Southeast Kentucky native where she resides with her husband and three teenagers. She is a nationally published photographer, a published children's author and a self-taught artist. You can find her work and studio paintings at http://www.angelafischerphoto.com where she frequently blogs as well. Angie's family is always up for a good road trip and Dollywood is one of their favorite places to visit. She is excited about being a Dollywood Insider and is looking forward to sharing her experiences with you.
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