Never been to Dollywood before? It was even better than we imagined! Our daughter just started seventh grade, and we wanted to do something special for her as an end of her elementary school chapter and a celebration of her entering junior high. She loves theme parks and water parks and is always up to try something new. We decided to head to Dollywood for a few days, and we were already planning our next trip before we even left. It’s so hard to capture even a fraction of the magic in one post or one video, but here are the top 10 reasons to visit Dollywood!
DreamMore Resort & Spa
- The Attention to Detail :: There are butterflies and hints of Dolly’s charm across ever inch of that resort! It was so fun to try and spy all of the little touches. You can see some of them for yourself in the image gallery below.
- DM Pantry :: This is not your typical hotel pantry; this is a full-on breakfast shop, Starbuck, ice cream parlor, Coke Freestyle machine, and more, in addition to your standard grab-and-go food and beverage items.
- Camp DW :: This is one of the best things! Dolly wanted it to be a cohesive family-fun experience, and it hits on every level, especially with Camp DW. There are crafts in the mornings, lemonade in the afternoons, s’mores in the evening, and story time at night, to name just parts of it. We had so much fun trying a little bit of all of it, no matter our ages!
- Southern Hospitality :: From the moment you pull up at the resort, you feel like part of the family being welcomed home. The entire stay was flawless on the hospitality front, and they all had that Southern charm.
Affordable Souvenirs & Gifts
- You can get a whole variety of souvenirs and gifts at very affordable prices. I was expecting everything to be like when we visit our usual theme parks across the country, but Dolly really did a great job trying to make Dollywood a place where “her” people felt at home.
So Many Rides!
- We spent two days at the theme park and one at the water park, and we barely scratched the surface on all there is to see and do there. We can’t wait to go back, and I can’t stress enough the value and importance of getting a season pass!
- I’ve already touched on this, but it really is a place where the whole family gets to be together, be entertained, and have the space to spread out when you need it (c’mon, moms – we all know we need our space sometimes – cue a plug for the SPA part of the DreamMore Resort & Spa…).
- Riding on a veteran and being immersed in the history of how where Dollywood Parks & Resort all began was an unforgettable experience. The whole ride was about 22 minutes, you saw breathtaking views of the mountains, wildlife, the whole park from up high, listened to some history and Dolly Parton’s music, and sneak peaks at the new roller coaster that is coming in 2023. There are two trains, but we got to ride on Cinderella. (Watch the YouTube video to learn more.)
- We say constantly how there seem to be less and less butterflies in Cincinnati, but I think a few even followed us back up North after our Dollywood visit! Everywhere, we saw gorgeous real live butterflies, and Dolly put her signature butterfly touches all across the parks and resort. It all brought so much joy to my heart.
Everyone Can be a Kid
- I did water slides, floated down the lazy river, did the wave pool, took pictures with the characters around the parks, ate (too many) s’mores, and whatever else my inner child felt like. It was awesome!
ALL The Food!
- Oh, goodness, I would need an entire post just dedicated to the food around the parks and the resort. The buffet at the resort was some of the best Southern/soul food we’ve ever had. The first night, my hubby exclaimed, “Dolly is putting Paula Dean to shame here!” See some of the food on the video or in the image gallery, but just know that vegetarians and gluten-free folk (like I am) will have PLENTY to eat during their visit.
Easy Day Drive
- It was about 4 1/2 hours down and the same back. You never know exactly what you’ll get on 75 North getting close to Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky, but we lucked out, and it was a really enjoyable end-of-Summer drive.
Because, Dolly Parton, Duh!
- You can’t help but just fall completely head over heals for her, and all the staff that has met her say she is just as nice and wonderful in real life. Even though she was shooting a movie down there, we didn’t get to catch a glimpse of her. It was enough just being close to such greatness and a true American treasure!
These were our top 10 reasons to visit Dollywood. What are yours? Leave your comments below OR on the YouTube video!
At Dollywood Parks & Resorts, there are the Dollywood Theme Park, Dollywood Splash Country Water Park, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. In addition, there are cousin companies and dinner shows all there in the Smoky Mountains.
Make sure to read our post on all the other attractions located around Dollywood and learn about their season passes (a must-have!):