I recently toured the new calming area at Dollywood’s Splash Country. As a mom of a child with sensory issues, I can tell you I instantly teared up. The area, while outside and not totally quiet, is well thought out and well equipped. Splash Country has managed to carve out a calm, peaceful place in the middle of the hustle and bustle that can easily become overwhelming for guests with autism or sensory issues like my son.
For me, the gesture of utilizing space and resources for this area speaks volumes about how serious Dollywood is about fun family memories. This is an effort to make all guest and families feel welcome and able enjoy a day of fun together.
Here are a few of the things you will find in the calming area:
Benches under shade trees
A tree with spiral wind spinners
A chest full of sensory toys
Weighted lap pad
Noise reducing headphones
Magnetic chalk board area with curtains you can pull for more shade or privacy
This area confirms Splash Country is a top destination for my family during the summer. My youngest son can get quickly overwhelmed by what my other children find exhilarating. So, while the rest of the family can enjoy the slides, music, sights, smells and non-stop fun of the park we can take a quick break in the calming area. He can have access to things that we may not take on a day trip with us, like a weighted lap pad and headphones that help him relax. Knowing this accommodation is available if we need it makes me more relaxed and excited about a family trip.
If you need to use the new calming area while visiting Dollywood’s Splash Country, simply stop by the Splash & Dash near the front of the park and a host will show you way.