The 2010 Applause Award winner, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks. Spanning 160 acres and located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dollywood offers more than 50 rides and attractions, including Lightning Rod, Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster; FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster; as well as Thunderhead wooden coaster and the steel thriller Mystery Mine. Other popular attractions include the Dollywood Express, a 110-ton coal-fired steam engine. Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in park history, opened in 2019 and provides 11 thrilling new experiences for families to enjoy. Dollywood’s entertainment is recognized worldwide, having received more trophies than any other theme park for its live entertainment which showcases country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Appalachian music. Daily demonstrations by more than a dozen master craftsmen offer a glimpse into the authentic artistry of the area’s rich heritage with everything from hand-blown glass to blacksmithing. In addition to mouth-watering Southern-style food offered throughout the park, Dollywood hosts several of the South’s largest festivals throughout the year with special performing groups and concerts to celebrate each season. Dollywood operates from mid-March through early January. Operating days and hours vary; for more information visit Dollywood.com.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
From the excitement of giant water slides to the serenity of a poolside retreat, Dollywood’s Splash Country offers 35 acres of summertime fun for all ages. Adjacent to Dollywood theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Adventure Park is situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Selected A Must-See Waterpark and named by The Travel Channel as one of the country’s best waterparks, Dollywood’s Splash Country features a variety of water slides and attractions—from mild to wild—including the six-lane mat-racing slide, TailSpin Racer; RiverRush, Tennessee’s first water coaster; The Cascades™, an 8,000-sq.-ft. lagoon-style leisure pool; Fire Tower Falls™, the state’s tallest twin speed slides; Bear Mountain Fire Tower™, a multi-level interactive water adventure; Mountain Waves, a 25,000-sq.-ft. wave pool; Slick Rock Racer, a multi-mat slide; and the Downbound Float Trip, a relaxing lazy river as well as interactive children’s play areas. Available for rental, Riverside and Waterside Retreats offer privacy and luxury (park admission, linens and/or food not included with rental). Canopies with shade for two also are available for rent. The waterpark operates mid-May to Labor Day. Operating days and hours vary; visit Dollywood.com for more information.