June 05, 2022
Let's call this Retreat/Canopy 201. By now you already know why you want to reserve a shaded space for your next visit to Dollywood's Splash Country, but you need a little help with strategy for choosing your spot. Great. You've come to the right place.
The first thing to decide is the purpose of your visit.Who's coming with you and what do you want to accomplish? Reference this map and key:
Here are a few of my suggestions based on my years of visiting with my family and friends.
Is this a multi-generational group? I'd encourage you to be sure the spot you choose has easy accessibility. Notice the ADA Accessible Retreats in the map. There are two very close to the front of the park (Creekside Oasis and Water's Edge). I've rented one of these Retreats and I love how quickly you get in and start the day. I especially love being located on the lazy river. There are other accessible options around the park. Look at spots U-X around the wave pool; S-T and Q-R are further away but aren't hard to access. Just want a canopy? There are several around Little Creek Falls and the wave pool that fit the bill.
Are you traveling with tots in tow? I'd say you want to set up camp near either Little Creek Falls or The Cascades. As I mentioned before, I've enjoyed Water's Edge (H on the map) and it was quite convenient to Little Creek Falls. Retreats A-H are Deluxe Retreats. Those also are in great vicinity to Little Creek Falls. And, Deluxe Retreats are a hot commodity-they are reserved daily. If you want to enjoy this more luxurious option, book it as soon as you know when you're visiting! Bear Mountain Fire Tower and The Cascades are especially popular with the littles. If you're water parking with small children, you'll likely spend lots of time in one or both of these attractions. For that reason, I also recommend all the Canopies and Retreats in The Cascades-that's I-T on the map. Lazy Day and Great Escape (S and T) feel like they're off on their own and have a great view of folks racing down Fire Tower Falls. I've enjoyed Tadpole Place and Waterside Retreat before (that's K and N on the map). Both are fabulous. The Cascades, though at the back of the park, is a hidden gem. There's food, natural shade, a lagoon pool, and lots for young families to enjoy.
Are you hoping to set a new record for the number of times you slide down Fire Tower Falls or would you rather float the day away in Mountain Waves Wave Pool? If either of those strike a chord with you, I'd tell you to find a spot in the middle of the park-near all the action. I would tell you to look no further than U-X on the map when booking a Retreat. There are Canopies on the wave pool deck, too. This is the center of the park, which gives you quick access to just about everything. The central location is perfect for those who are wanting to maximize slide time.
Maybe the thought of being at the center of it all made you cringe. Perhaps your idea of vacation is something more low key. Then be sure you check out E and F on the map. These Retreats are located on the lazy river, but they are off on their own and have more of a private feeling. The walk over to these Retreats seems as though you're taking a path that's exclusive to you for the day. Just the way to unwind! You can book your Retreat or Canopy online, or you can call 1 (800) Dollywood and speak with someone on the Sales and Service Team if you have questions. I definitely recommend booking in advance because these amenities sell out often.
You can purchase a weather guarantee if you're concerned about committing far in advance.
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