I visit Dollywood as often as I can with my entire family. Knowing I typically have two (or more!) young children with me in the park, people ask me “How do you plan a trip with little kids? What makes the day easier?” I have a lot of suggestions for making trips run more smoothly with littles in tow, but something I suggest that people don’t often know about is Dollywood’s Parent Swap program!
A Secret Superpower!
If you have any children in your party, let alone multiple children of varying heights or interests, you may find yourself with your entire party unable to enjoy the same ride. Of course, you can split up with adults conquering different parts of the park at the same time, but it’s more fun to stay together and make memories as an entire family!
This is where Dollywood’s Parent Swap program saves the day! If not all members of your party can board a ride, but both parents wish to ride with the eligible children, the entire family will still enter the attraction’s queue all together. One parent will ride with all qualifying children while the other waits with those not riding. When the ride returns, the parents will swap positions and the eligible children get to ride again!
So how does this work?
The logistics are a little different for every ride, but the general idea is the same; simply tell the first host you see in the ride queue that you’d like to take advantage of the Parent Swap program. For smaller attractions like The Great Tree Swing, this will be the host helping you board. For larger rides like Wild Eagle, this is the host halfway up to the top. Regardless of the size of the attraction, the next step is the same—one parent will board with all party members enjoying the ride, and the second parent will wait with the non-riders.
For the smaller attractions, there is typically a designated area set aside near the ride exit where you’ll wait for your party. When the first adult to ride returns and exits, they will swap places with the adult who was waiting. For larger attractions, there may be more extensive directions. For example, Wild Eagle and Lightning Rod both have separate, larger areas that are not near the exit where you wait with non-riders before rejoining the rest of your party. At each ride, the host will clearly explain the process for each attraction- no need to worry about the process ahead of time!
And it’s as simple as that! Families enter the ride together, parents take turns riding with their children, and reunite after both parents have a chance to ride! Whether it’s mom and dad, grandparents, or aunts and uncles, the adults and children in your party will cherish staying together while making thrilling memories at Dollywood!