Water parks can be a vacation’s Great Family Divider: kids love them, parents can see them as an endless stretch of sunburns, snack whining, and missed naps. I understand how some families don’t see the value in paying a full day’s water park admission, especially with smaller kids or older family members. Stay with me when I say that the value at Dollywood’s Splash Country is maximized by spending a little extra – I think you’ll see what I mean.
Dollywood’s Splash Country is a big water park. With more than 25 water attractions spread over 35 acres, it can absolutely be a full day of family fun. Splash Country’s variety doesn’t disappoint, either; the park has everything from a fantastic multi-level interactive attraction for the littles, to wild slides for the adventurers, and a lazy river for those looking to relax.
With all this fun to be had, guests who want to get the most out of their tickets need to be wise about finding places to hydrate, rest, recharge, and reapply sunscreen. And while finding a lounge chair and claiming it for the day is a good stopgap solution for all of these needs, the real secret to being a Splash Country pro is renting a retreat.
Tip: Rent a Retreat
First things first: What is it? A retreat is 200 square feet of shaded space and 100 square feet of private sunny patio that has a ceiling fan, a dining table with 6 chairs, four lounge chairs, a television with select satellite channels, and the option to have food and beverages delivered right to you. I recommend sharing the space and splitting the cost with family or friends. For around $200 for the entire day ($170 if you’re passholders!), your entire family can rest, relax, and recharge in a Splash Country retreat. From experience, I can tell you, it’s money well-invested.
Not sold yet? If you have kids of any age, a retreat is a lifesaver. You can pull the curtains around your building and take a little nap or use the patio as a lookout while the kids splash nearby. You can sit down together for lunch without waiting for a table somewhere and have your food delivered, knowing that you’ll all be able to sit together. You can visit your favorite rides all the way across the park and know that your valuables will be safe in secure storage and your chairs will be waiting for you when you return. You can cool down in your shaded retreat with a ceiling fan when temperatures soar, or watch a quick rain shower pass while you catch some cartoons. In short, you can use every minute the park is open to focus on having fun with your family instead of worrying about the logistics. How does that break down? Dollywood’s Splash Country is open for 8 hours a day during the season. That’s 480 minutes of fun with 0 minutes of worry.
It’s recommended (but not mandatory) that guests wishing to use retreats make reservations. Retreats serve up to 10 people, with extra guests adding $10 to the reservation price per guest. ADA-accessible retreats are available within ¾ of a mile of the entrance. Guests may not bring their own food and beverages into the retreats, but a phone is available in each building to make it easy to order snacks, meals, and drinks. You can even decide what you want for lunch when you first arrive and schedule when you want lunch to be delivered.
To make a retreat reservation, call 1-800-365-5996 or visit this link. My favorite retreats are those by the Cascades, marked with letters I through T on the map below. All the retreat locations are on the map below, with blue being ADA-accessible retreats and pink being standard layouts.
Traveling with just a couple of people? You can book a retreat, or go with a smaller Canopy option, which offers 65 square feet of shaded space, two lounge chairs, and personal secure storage space for $45 a day ($40 for passholders!). Either way, for a little extra money you can take your Dollywood Splash Country visit to the next level of fun for the whole family and be a total Splash Country Pro.
Book your Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park vacation by calling (800) 365-5996 or visiting their website. Dollywood Annual passholders receive special offers and discounts throughout the year, so consider becoming a park passholder for this and other benefits.