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Dollywood in a Day Guide

I typically squeeze in my trips to Dollywood in one day, and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. The one time I took two days to visit Dollywood, I enjoyed it even more! Some would say three days is even better! For some of us, however, we are burdened by time constraints and all we have is one day at Dollywood. Yes, it can be done, but to have the most satisfying experience, it takes some strategic planning and prioritizing.

Here’s my guide and tips on making the best of Dollywood in a day:

First, know that Dollywood is more than roller coasters. Yes, the rides are fantastic, and some record-breaking, but Dollywood also has phenomenal live concerts and performances. In addition, there is the beautiful scenery and theming, food not to be missed and craftsmen performing their trades. So, here’s how I get started for Dollywood in a day.

Step 1: Check the Show Schedule

First, I check the daily schedule. Every day at Dollywood is unique with its shows and concerts. The daily schedule can be found here: https://www.dollywood.com/Daily-Schedule  and also on the Dollywood App. I create a list of shows I want to attend along with their showtimes. The shows are so good that sometimes I have gone to the park for the shows alone, especially during Smoky Mountain Christmas and the Harvest Festival.

Step 2: Consider the Rides

Decide what are the most important rides for you or your family to experience, and fill in your schedule between shows with rides. If you visit the park on a busy day, plan to ride some of the most popular attractions first thing or at the end of the day, just before closing, to avoid the wait and maximize your time. You also can purchase a TimeSaver Pass for prioritized access. Also, the Dollywood App can help you monitor ride times when you’re at the park.

Step 3: Plan a Meal

I don’t know about you, but for me, it is easy to forget to eat in all the excitement and entertainment going on around. Plan to eat while you’re at Dollywood. It is part of the full experience, and they have some great food options. I like to have one sit-down meal in the middle of the day and then leave room during the rest of the day to snack. My favorite snacks include kettle corn, cinnamon bread and taffy.

Step 4: Plan to Take it Easy

Sometime in the early afternoon, having already had a good fix of entertainment and rides, I like to slow down a bit, so as to not wear out from all the excitement. At Dollywood, you can slow down and not miss out. The slowdown is part of the experience. During this time, I consider the following things: 1. Taking a relaxing train ride up the mountain aboard the Dollywood Express. 2. Strolling through Craftsman’s Valley and watching glass blowers, carpenters or blacksmiths in their shops fashioning their products. 3. Going for a walk around the park, observing its unique theming, photo-ops, flowers and seasonal decorations.

Step 5: Shopping

If you are doing Dollywood in a day and are interested in bringing home souvenirs, apart from the unique creations made by the craftsman in Craftsman’s Valley, many of the souvenirs you see throughout the park also are available in the Dollywood Emporium; which guests walk through in order to reach the exit of the park. This is to say, if your one day in Dollywood becomes full of all the activities, and you’re concerned about that perfect souvenir, don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll find something great in the Dollywood Emporium just before you leave.

Lastly, if you’re like me doing Dollywood in a day, take advantage of the entirety of the operating hours. Plan to be there from opening to closing and “love every moment.”

By | 2022-04-11T17:06:57+00:00 April 11th, 2022|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Joshua Hodge (Dollywood Insider 2021-Now) is a teacher, writer and adventure-seeker from Danville, Kentucky. When he is not teaching children Spanish, penning his next book or adventuring through a national park, he finds time to escape to Dollywood and enjoy its unique charm. He first discovered Dollywood at Christmas time and was impressed by all it had to offer. He continues to visit and is now excited to share his insider tips with you. As an author, his literary works are diverse: a mystery novel, memoirs of traveling through the national parks, a Spanish children's book, a photograph collection from Tennessee and Kentucky, and a historical look into Theodore Roosevelt during the holidays. Learn more about his work at www.joshhodge.com.
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