I get it. Going anywhere with a big family can be a challenge. If your family is like mine, it seems like everybody wants to do something different and no one can agree on any one thing. Well, at Dollywood there is something for everyone and if you know a few little tips and tricks, everyone will have the best day ever!
Plan Before You Go
No one knows your family better than you, so a little pre-planning can save a lot of time.
Visit Dollywood.com to add things like strollers, electronic convenience vehicles (ECVs), TimeSaver passes and other things you and your family might need while at the park.
Also, before you go to the park, download the Dollywood app on your phone because it will be your best friend when it comes to all the things that Dollywood has to offer: show times, ride wait times, dinning, crafts, shops and even the park map.
Starting Your Day at Dollywood
Once you get into the park, be sure to get a family photo in front of the Dollywood sign. It will be a keepsake that you will always enjoy.
If your family is like mine, you’ll have kids of different ages and heights with you. So, after you have your family photo taken, head over to the Ride Height Measuring Center—between the Ride Accessibility Center and Rental Services. This is where children will be measured and given a color-coded wrist band indicating what rides he/she can do. That way you know up front and can avoid tears at the ride entrance.
Right next door to the Ride Height Measuring Center is where you can rent ECVs, wheelchairs and strollers, if needed. (Yes, you may use your own if you prefer.)
Time to Have Fun!
Now that everyone in your family has what they need, it is time to explore the park. If you have adrenaline junkies like we do, you may want to head up through Timber Canyon (that is, go left after you enter through the turnstiles) and hit some coasters first. Or, you may decide you want to catch a few shows and craft demonstrations first before working your way around Dollywood. There is no wrong way to go. That’s for sure. We usually wait until midafternoon to catch a show. That way the kids can rest and everybody can enjoy some AC. Another breaktime option is to catch a ride on the Dollywood Express.
When it’s time to eat, there are a lot of great options to choose from, but I highly recommend going to Aunt Granny’s Restaurant. This is a sit-down eatery that’s served family-style and is sure to have something that everyone will like including some amazing desserts.
If you’d like a quicker mealtime stop, I’d recommend you pick up some fresh-made Kettle Corn, a funnel cake or some tasty treats from the Spotlight Bakery. These are shareable items, too! Whatever you do, do not forget the cinnamon bread. The cinnamon bread could be shared, but you’re not going to want to. Look for it at the Grist Mill or the Spotlight Bakery.
While there’s no wrong way to enjoy a day at Dollywood, I hope these tips helped you plan. Pace yourselves and have a great time. Be sure to take a lot of photos because there are tons of photo ops throughout the park.