There are so many good reasons to visit Dollywood, it’s impossible to list them all. We’d probably break our servers if we did. So you’re stuck with just our top, non-negotiable favorite reasons to visit Dollywood in 2021. If you’ve been on the fence about heading to Dollywood this year, this list might just convince you to stop hesitating and go ahead and book that trip. If you don’t want to be convinced, you might not want to keep reading.
1. Fabulous Multi-Day Rates
You don’t have to break the bank to visit Dollywood for more than one day. As a matter of fact, it just makes sense to spend two or three days (or more) exploring your favorite amusement park. This year, it costs just $20 more to add one extra day to your admission rate, or just $30 to add two extra days–as long as you use them all within a 5-day span. You could also opt for a season pass, which is a fabulous deal if you’re planning to come back to Dollywood again before the end of the year!
2. The Rides
Dollywood is home to some of the best rides east of the Mississippi, including roller coasters well-suited for every type of adrenaline junkie. The first wing roller coaster in the U.S., the Wild Eagle, resides at Dollywood–and features a section where riders are suspended in air, with no track beneath the cars. Other roller coasters include the FireChaser Express, the Lightning Rod, and the Tennessee Tornado. Lower-key rides like the Dollywood Express locomotive (a relaxing twenty-minute ride through lovely scenery) and the Smoky Mountain River Rampage (a river rafting ride perfect for cooling off) are family favorites.
3. The Food
If you don’t love Southern cuisine, you’ve probably never really tried it. And Dollywood is the place to try it. From Southern-style biscuits and gravy to chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, funnel cake, to-die-for fried chicken and mashed potatoes, apple pie, mac and cheese, kettle corn, BBQ to end all BBQ wars… we rest our case. No matter what your particular flavor preferences, you’ll find your Southern food style here. Don’t worry–there are plenty of non-deep-fried options at Dollywood’s many restaurants, as well.
4. TimeSaver Perks
Hate waiting in line? Investing in a TimeSaver makes it easy to skip much of the crowd and hop to the front of the lines at your favorite attractions. It also garners you unlimited reserved seating at many of Dollywood’s most popular theaters and shows–no more showing up early and hoping for a spot, when you can just step right in. TimeSaver pricing makes it easier to make the most of your time in Dollywood so you can savor every single moment.
5. Fabulous Show Lineup
The concert lineup for 2021 is pretty impressive, even by Dollywood standards. And at about 30 shows per day, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from! Take in an Ole! performance for some stunning guitar playing and eye-popping guitar tricks. You’ll laugh, you’ll applaud, you’ll want to come back to see them again. Other stellar performers include Wild Roots Band, Invaders Steel Drum Orchestra, Heartsong, Atahualpa, and others–a diverse lineup including something for everyone. Of course, you’ll also find events perfectly suited for the youngest visitors, as well as folk/americana music throughout the year that brings the ethos of the Smoky Mountains to the stage.
6. Splash Country
During the hot summer months, adding on a visit to Splash Country is a no-brainer. An oasis full of refreshing fun, Splash Country has it all: wave pools, water rides, relaxed river rafting paths, waterfalls, and water slides–some for the youngest adventures, some for only bravest of heart. Enjoy rides the entire family can experience together, relax in the summer sun, or take in the screams and giggles as the younger set run out their energy.
7. Military Discounts
For active-duty military, disabled veterans, reservists, retirees, and dependents, Dollywood and Splash Country offer a generous 30% discount. It’s their way of supporting the military and saying thanks to those who serve our country, and it makes a Dollywood visit possible for many military families that otherwise might not be able to swing the trip–even for spouses whose service members are deployed.
8. Smoky Mountain Scenery
There’s more to the Gatlinburg area than just Dollywood (of course). Enjoy some of the most spellbinding mountain views in America by taking a scenic drive through the Smokies–the perfect way to unwind after a day or three exploring Dollywood and Splash Country. Even if Dollywood is the purpose and highlight of your vacation, taking a little time to explore Gatlinburg will enrich your vacation with a local flavor and sights you won’t find anywhere else in the country.
9. Eagle Mountain Sanctuary
The only avian sanctuary just for eagles in the U.S., Eagle Mountain Sanctuary features 30,000 square feet of space that’s home to dozens of non-releasable American bald eagles–more than any other aviary in the U.S. A stroll through the aviary allows visitors to learn more about these one-of-a-kind birds of prey. You could also stop in to the Wings of America theater for a birds of prey show to see the birds show off their skills. After the show, you can also opt to visit the stars of the show up close and personal.
10. The Festivals
Plan your visit during one of Dollywood’s festivals, and you’ll be blown away by the atmosphere of celebration. From the Festival of Nations in March to the BBQ and Bluegrass Festival, the Harvest Festival in September, with many more in between, nothing beats the festival atmosphere of a fest day at Dollywood. Check the website for event schedules as you plan your trip if there’s something you want to make sure to hit during your Dollywood visit.
These are just a few of our favorite reasons to visit Dollywood in 2020. Plan a visit, and you’ll quickly build your own list of favorites–along with a handful of really good reasons to come back again.