The Stories Behind Dollywood’s Signs

Where would we be without signs? At Dollywood, signs guide us around the park from point A to point B and beyond. They send you to your next ride, show or meal. Other Dollywood signs, however, tell a story about the people and history of the park and the surrounding region.

I got some insight from seasoned Dollywood experts on the background of some of the signs you’ll find at the park.

Aunt Granny’s

Dolly Parton has earned the name “Aunt Granny” among her nieces and nephews, so it’s fitting that one of the tastiest places to grab a meal at Dollywood is inspired by this nickname.

Insider Tip

Bring your appetite (and then some!) when you visit Aunt Granny’s all-you-care-to-eat buffet!

Granny Ogle’s Ham & Beans

There’s certainly enough room for two Granny characters at Dollywood! In Craftsman’s Valley, you can sit down to a delicious plate of ham, pinto beans and more at Granny Ogle’s Ham & Beans. The restaurant is named after the grandmother of Judy Ogle, Dolly’s childhood best friend.

Cas Walker’s Super Market

In Jukebox Junction, don’t miss the sign for Cas Walker’s Super Market.

Orton Caswell “Cas” Walker was a household name in East Tennessee, opening grocery stores and promoting the talents of up-and-coming country music artists, Dolly included.

Reds Drive-In

If you’re a burger enthusiast like I am, you gotta pay Reds Drive-In a visit. The retro diner and burger joint is named after the restaurant where Dolly ate her first hamburger as a kid.

The Reds Drive-In sign is one of my favorites in the park. You can’t miss that shiny red glow as you stroll through Jukebox Junction.

Della and Howard: Longtime Dollywood Hosts

Many longtime Dollywood hosts have earned signs in their honor.

So if there’s a name attached to a sign – you can guess that there’s a very hardworking Dollywood host to thank! Then when hosts hit 30 year milestones, it becomes a really big deal. Read more here about how Dollywood honors their folks who have been with them for three decades.

Horse Buying

Legend has it that horses with dark hooves are stronger than those with white hooves.

While proven to be untrue, this sign is still fun to say out loud.

Buckingham’s Dye for the Whiskers

Many of Dollywood’s signs are historically accurate, such as this advertisement for “Buckinham’s Dye for the Whiskers,” a beard and mustache dye that was commonly used in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Rates of Toll

Likewise, don’t miss this “Rates of Toll” sign in Craftsman’s Valley – a likely historically accurate sign listing road tolls for common users who traveled through the region – from sleds to cattle.

If only tolls were still this cheap! The fine attention to detail as seen here is one of the many reasons why I love visiting Dollywood year after year – I see or learn something new every time.

When you next visit the park, see how many signs you can find. There are plenty more to see!

By | 2018-04-27T13:13:02+00:00 February 5th, 2018|Family Visits|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Stevenson (Dollywood Insider 2017-2019) was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and now lives in Nashville. He’s a devout roller coaster enthusiast and has been a frequent Dollywood visitor since 2001. That love for roller coasters led him to start Coaster101.com in 2005. Since then, the website has become a trusted source for the latest roller coaster news, educational articles, interviews with amusement industry leaders, and of course, all things Dollywood. The world record-breaking Lightning Rod is near the top of John’s list of favorite coasters, which is impressive considering he’s ridden more than 190 coasters across the United States! However, he’s been known to tout Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread as the park’s star attraction. He looks forward to sharing his passion for Dollywood with the world!
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