There’s no doubt about it: Dollywood is a truly magical place full of fun, excitement, and wonders of all kinds. Whether you drop by regularly or are planning your first trip, there’s always something new to learn about this popular Pigeon Forge amusement park and water park. As you learn all the top fun facts, you can share your knowledge with the world, making every visit feel even more special than the last. Here are 12 awesome facts to help you learn all you need to know about this park.
Dollywood Got Its Start as Rebel Railroad
Before Dollywood got its start in 1986, it was known as Rebel Railroad, a popular Western-style theme park. This venue featured many excellent attractions, like a classic saloon, blacksmith, and a steam train complete with Civil War reenactments. Although the train remains to this day, it was rebranded as the Dollywood Express and skips the reenactments in favor of a leisurely 2.5-mile trip to the top of the mountain and back.
Millions of People Visit the Park Each Year
More than three million people come to check out all the attractions, shops, and restaurants across Dollywood every year. From toddlers to seniors, people of all ages have plenty of amazing things to do at this amusement park and water park all-in-one. You can trust you will be well-rewarded for your journey with tasty food, a whole lot of fun, and memories to last a lifetime.
Nearly 50 Rides and Attractions are Available
With nearly 50 rides and attractions at this amusement park and water park, it usually takes at least a weekend to experience each one just once. There are roller coasters, thrill rides, and interactive playground experiences galore on the amusement park side. The Splash Country water park has lazy rivers, raging rapids, wave pools, and so much more.
A Shopping Mall’s Worth of Stores Await Your Arrival
Whenever you need to catch your breath, you can skip on over to the many stores set across the park space, including:
- Dolly’s Closet
- Cozy Bear Cove
- Hillside General Store
- Gazebo Gifts
- Hi-Octane Shop
Artisan goods are available all across the park as well, such as handmade jewelry, airbrush t-shirts, caricatures, custom glassworks, and blacksmith creations.
Dollywood Boasts Southern Cooking at Its Finest
As you explore all that Dollywood has to offer, you’re sure to work up a big appetite. Thankfully, you can get whatever promises to satisfy your cravings at the many restaurants all across the park.
The onsite restaurants boasting some of the best southern cooking in the land include:
- Aunt Granny’s Restaurant
- Crossroads Funnel Cakes
- Front Porch Café
- Hickory House BBQ
- Lumber Jack’s
Don’t forget that you can also get dinner and a show if you prefer a little entertainment with your meal.
Special Events Happen All Throughout the Year
There’s never a wrong time to visit Dollywood, but their special events make it even more worthwhile to swing by. Throughout the year, they hold many spectacular festivals and more, like the Summer Celebration, Harvest Festival, and Smoky Mountain Christmas. New events hit the calendar all the time, so be sure to keep watch to avoid missing out.
A Replica of Dolly’s Home Sits in the Park
Dolly Parton grew up in a two-room log cabin in the heart of Sevierville before becoming a big country music star. To remember where she came from and give visitors a glimpse into her humble beginnings, she has recreated her childhood cabin right near the park entrance.
Her brother, Bobby, built the cabin replica from the ground up and her mother, Avie, designed the interior to match the original. As you gaze upon the cabin in wonder, you’ll get to see all their family treasures, including old photos, plus imagine what it was like to live without electricity and running water.
Grist Mill Pays Homage to Historic Practices
As another nod to the way things were, the Grist Mill promises to take you on a lovely trip through the past. Built using practices from over 100 years ago, this mill continually grinds wheat and corn using its gigantic water wheel. Then, the staff brings it all together by using those milled delights to create cinnamon bread, grits, and everything in between.
Bald Eagles Proudly Call the Park Their Home
Although Dollywood is a great place to have fun and get away from it all, they also focus on serious business, like helping save the eagles. Deep on the rocky hillside in the park, you can find a 400,000-cubic-foot sanctuary for bald eagles that are not able to be released into the wild. You’re welcome to look around the edges of the sanctuary and join the handlers for live demonstrations in the open-air theater.
Season Passes Pay for Themselves in Just a Few Visits
If you live anywhere near Dollywood, you can save a lot of money by grabbing your season pass each year. Available for both their amusement park and water park, this pass pays for itself by the third visit. They even offer payment plans to make it even more affordable.
Add-Ons Can Make Your Visit Even More Magical
Whether you buy your tickets one by one or get a season pass, opt-in for the add-ons to make your visit even more magical. The TimeSaver add-on lets you reserve your spot at their shows and speed through the line for your favorite attractions. At the same time, the All-Season Refill Souvenir Mug enables you to get unlimited fountain drink refills at every visit. There are also meal packs, photo packages, and so much more.
The Cabins Let You Gaze Upon the Beauty of the Smokies
If you cannot break away from Dollywood at the end of the day, extend your stay by getting a rental cabin. From the rocking chairs on the front porch, you can gaze upon the beauty of the Smokies all evening long. Then, you can get up early and hit the park once again to have a blast with your friends and family.
Now that you know 12 fun facts about Dollywood, don’t hesitate to share them with the world. You can share them on social media, talk them up as you travel to the park, or yell them out as you soar along on the Wild Eagle and other thrill rides. No matter how you plan to share these facts, you’ll undoubtedly have a great time helping everyone learn new things about this popular amusement park.