There are many appealing elements when it comes to visiting a theme park. Rides, of course, are at the top of the list. I do enjoy the thrill of my stomach dropping, the wind hitting my face and my feet dangling as I soar like an eagle. I love the feeling of being brave and conquering a coaster. But, sometimes, I feel like soaring a little closer to the ground. During some Dollywood visits, I like to ride Wild Eagle three times in a row. There are other days I’d rather not have my heart skip a beat at all. For those times, I have chosen a few of my favorite low-thrill rides for the entire family to enjoy and still feel like you didn’t miss out.
This one is a classic. Literally. This ride allows guests to get behind the wheel of classic ‘50’s-style cars and drive along a cute scenic road. As long as an adult is accompanying, there is no height requirement, so even the smallest guests can enjoy. There are no spins or sudden drops, and it’s actually quite relaxing. I love that my whole family can do this one together—even those who are like Dolly and don’t typically ride attractions.
Smoky Mountain River Rampage
Plan to get wet on this ride. Though you’ll see some white water on this journey, I consider it to be low-thrill. The height requirement for this one is 36 inches. While there are a few dips and twists, it’s not extremely fast and does not go upside down. One of my favorite memories of this ride is coming to the park with my extended family and our 80-something-year-old grandma getting on this ride and laughing the whole time.
Fire in the hole! This time-honored attraction—and also my favorite—opened before Dollywood was even named Dollywood. This is a dark ride (indoor coaster) that takes you through an 1800s town that is on fire. The animatronic characters are ready with some great one-liners as you pass by them.
Spoiler: There are three surprise drops, but they’re quick. There are no inversions. I tend to judge thrill level based on what my mom can handle without running for the chicken exit (which isn’t much, sorry Mom!), and she can do Blazing Fury several times in a row with no problem.
If you don’t mind a little spinning, twisting and shouting, you’ll enjoy this ride. I appreciate that it is close to the ground. Riders must be at least 36 inches tall for this one. I’ve loved it since back in the day, and it’s always sure to bring a great deal of laughs.
If you want to kick the thrill level up a notch to find out if you like to soar, you could try zipping around like a dragonfly instead of an eagle. Located in Wildwood Grove, this ride mimics the flight of the Smoky Mountain dragonfly. There are twists and turns and the ride reaches a speed of about 47 mph, but there are no loops. It isn’t a ‘baby’ ride by any means, and many people do find it quite thrilling in its own way. It is very family- friendly, and I would definitely recommend it to someone who might not be ready for Lightning Rod or Tennessee Tornado, but does want to ease into the rollercoaster world.
Whether you want to soar through the air, or stay closer to the ground, the park has something to offer for thrill seekers and non-thrill seekers alike. Every member of the family can enjoy time together and make memories at Dollywood!