So, you’ve heard all the hype about the AMAZING food at Dollywood, right? But, you have to eat a special diet, and you aren’t sure you will have a chance to try any of it? Believe me, I’ve been there. I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 15 years ago, and I know for a fact that even with special diets, you can eat well at Dollywood!
I spoke with Lynette, Dollywood’s Culinary Services Senior Business Manager. She told me all about the Start Fresh Training that each culinary host receives. It deals specifically with food allergies. This training educates Dollywood’s hosts about cross contamination and different food allergies. She also told me I can always ask the hosts at each food venue, and not only can the hosts answer my questions about food allergies, but they can also provide ingredient lists.
From their training, here’s what you can expect: hosts will not be able to tell you if a product is free from the allergen of concern, but they will provide you with the ingredient list so you can determine if it is safe. They provide the information. You make the call.
Here are some helpful things to know when going to any of the Dollywood properties with special dietary concerns:
Front Porch Café is the go-to restaurant for food allergies and special diets at Dollywood. This sit-down restaurant can accommodate multiple types of food allergies and a Junior Chef is almost always there to answer any additional questions you might have. For my gluten free friends, Spotlight Bakery has gluten free muffins, Victoria’s Pizza has incredibly good gluten free pizza, and many places have a dedicated fryer for French fries. My favorite gluten free snack is popcorn!!
Dollywood’s Splash Country
Campsite Grill at Dollywood’s Splash Country is the largest food location and can make the most accommodations for food allergies. For a list of other venues that have allergy accommodations at the water park, check this page. (Frozen bananas are a great treat!)
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa
Song and Hearth: A Southern Eatery is one of my favorite restaurants! It’s located inside Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. My experience has been that if I let the server know immediately about my food concerns, a chef will come to my table to talk me through the options that fit my diet. Just like at the parks, always let you server know about your special diet up front and see how they can help!
I know how hard and sometimes disappointing it can be to want to eat somewhere and not be able to because of your special diet. At Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, the food service team is well-trained and ready to help you out! For even more information on food and to join in a community that loves Dollywood and has special dietary concerns, head on over to Facebook and join in the fun or feel free to reach out to me! I’ve been navigating the life of special diets for a very long time!
Here are a few more resources: