Is taking a toddler to Dollywood worthwhile? Absolutely! Although a toddler may not be able to experience all the thrills Dollywood offers, there is more than enough fun at the park to provide an incredible day for any age. While there is no wrong way to enjoy Dollywood, exploring the park in the following order has worked well for our family with toddlers in tow.
Starting Your Day
To take advantage of the shortest lines of the day, we try to arrive at the park as early as possible. If your child is at least 36 inches tall, you can begin your day with a junior coaster ride on Whistle Punk Chaser in Timber Canyon. This small roller coaster offers the perfect mix of fun and thrill for younger visitors!
When visiting with a toddler, plan to spend most of your morning in Wildwood Grove. This beautifully-themed area offers tons of fun for smaller guests, with both Treetop Tower and Frogs & Fireflies having no minimum height requirement. If your child is at least 36 inches tall, he or she can also enjoy the Great Tree Swing, Black Bear Trail and The Mad Mockingbird.
In addition to rides, Wildwood Grove is home to some of the best play areas in Dollywood. Hidden Hollow is a large, indoor playground with many elements for toddlers and older kids to explore. With a dedicated space for smaller kids, this place is toddler heaven! You can also find Wildwood Creek in this area, with water for wading and fun musical play pieces.
While the rides here may be a bit too extreme for most toddlers, stopping to play in the Plaza at Wilderness Pass is always a fun break for little legs. This open area offers a chance to get out of the stroller, and parents can find outlets for charging their phones here. Toddlers will also love the Firehouse Fun Yard, a play area that features water elements in warm months.
Craftsman’s Valley and Owens Farm
Craftsman’s Valley and Owens Farm are full of toddler-friendly fun! Check out the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and the bald eagles at Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, or catch a show featuring birds of prey at the Wings of America Theater. Young children always enjoy watching the blacksmith at work, and for an additional fee your child can go gem mining, pearl picking, or even dip their own candle. Before you leave this area, be sure to let your toddler explore the two play areas in Owens Farm—Granny’s Garden and the Lil’ Pilots Playground.
The Village and Country Fair
The Village and the Country Fair area are a toddler’s paradise! In The Village, you can find the Village Carousel and the Dollywood Express train depot. No toddler trip to Dollywood is complete without a ride on the Dollywood Express, an authentic coal-fired steam engine that takes you on a 20-minute ride into the scenic foothills. It’s been known to be a good power nap stop, too!
Country Fair offers a variety of rides with no height requirement including Busy Bees, Lemon Twist, Lucky Ducky, Piggy Parade and the Amazing Flying Elephants. Brave toddlers who are at least 36 inches tall can also take a turn on Shooting Star and The Scrambler.
And every little one loves carnival games! For toddlers, the balloon pop is a great option, as everyone wins a prize.
Jukebox Junction, Rivertown Junction and Showstreet
End your toddler’s visit by strolling toward the exit through Jukebox Junction and Rivertown Junction. Rockin’ Roadway is always a hit with kids—what child doesn’t want to drive their own car? And keep your eyes peeled for the real ducks that call Dollywood home!
On Showstreet, pick up a sweet of your choice to end your day. With Showstreet Ice Cream, the Spotlight Bakery and the Sweet Shoppe Candy Kitchen, the options for a tasty treat are endless!
Listing all the ways a toddler can enjoy Dollywood is impossible. Between the rides, snacks, sights, shops and shows, no one is too young to love the park! Remember, children younger than 4 get free admission at Dollywood, so bringing your toddler is a good choice all around.