The 2010 Applause Award winner, Dollywood is recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks. Spanning 150 acres and located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including the Thunderhead wooden coaster, the steel thriller Mystery Mine and Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the U.S. Dollywood’s entertainment is recognized worldwide, having received more trophies, 20, than any other theme park for its live entertainment which showcases country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Appalachian music. In 2012, Dollywood won five of Amusement Today's Golden Ticket Awards for Best Food, Friendliest Park, Best New Ride for Wild Eagle, Best Shows and Best Christmas Event. Daily demonstrations by more than a dozen master craftsmen offer a glimpse into the authentic artistry of the area’s rich heritage. In addition to mouth-watering Southern-style food offered throughout the park, Dollywood hosts five of the South’s largest festivals throughout the year bringing special performing groups and concerts. More information is available at Dollywood.com.
Dollywood’s Splash Country
Adjacent to Dollywood theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country water adventure parks, is situated on 35 acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Named America’s Must-See Waterpark in 2009, Dollywood’s Splash Country features a variety of water slides and attractions—from mild to wild. In 2013, RiverRush, Tennessee's first and only water coaster, marked the park's biggest expansion since opening in 2001. Dollywood's Splash Country features other attractions, such as 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; 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). The waterpark operates Memorial Day to Labor Day; visit Dollywood.com for operating hours.
Guests visiting the Great Smoky Mountains can stay just a stone’s throw away from Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country at Dollywood Cabins. Accommodations range from quaint spaces just for two to sprawling floor plans that sleep up to 30 people. Guests are treated to sweeping mountain views while some cabins actually overlook Dolllywood’s popular Craftsman’s Valley area. Amenities are much sought after by vacationers, and Dollywood Cabins more than deliver with such offerings as food lover’s kitchens, gas fireplaces, game rooms with pool tables, outdoor hot tubs, indoor whirlpool spas, state-of-the-art electronics, and more. Cabin guests receive exclusives such as free reserved parking at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country and complimentary admission to Dollywood’s Splash Country. In addition, cabin guests may purchase a Length of Stay pass which provides unlimited admission to Dollywood for the extent of the guest’s stay. Throughout the season, special packages are available for purchase include Dollywood admission.
Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction
Billed as “the most fun place to eat in the Smokies,” Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., features a four-course feast and a fantastic, stunt-filled show for all ages. The one-of-a-kind experience begins in the facility’s Carriage Room with the side-splitting comedy and hard-driving bluegrass and country music of Mountain Rukus. What follows is a friendly competition between the North and the South which unfolds inside the 35,000- square-foot main arena as expert riders guide 32 magnificent horses, including quarter horses and palominos, through barrel races, flame-engulfed hoops, trick riding and a pageantry, building to a patriotic finale featuring “Color Me America,” a song written for the show by Dolly. Dinner, the other star of the show, includes a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory smoked barbequed pork loin, Dixie Stampede’s original creamy vegetable soup, a homemade biscuit, corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, Dixie Stampede’s own specialty dessert and unlimited Pepsi®, tea or coffee. Vegetarian meals are available upon request. Christmas at Dixie Stampede, where the North and South Poles square off, is offered November through early January.