When Things Don’t Go as Planned… When Things Don’t Go as Planned…

When Things Don’t Go as Planned…


October 07, 2022

In case we haven’t met, I’m Jeremy, and I am a planner. Weeks before we make the trek up the mountain to our favorite family vacation destination, I have our shows picked out, ride itinerary set and eating schedule prepared. Of course, our “plan” is different each time we go based on the season, current festival and our favorite foods (I’m not going to lie: our day at the park typically revolves around what we are planning to eat). Dollywood has great food, so I highly recommend you check out the festival foods on Dollywood’s app or website when planning your trip!

Insider Tip

If there’s a Festival Tasting Pass available when you visit, don’t pass it up. Trust me. Not only is it a great value, but also you get to sample a variety of seasonal treats.

But here’s the thing: no matter how early I plan or how strategic I am, there are certain things I cannot control—like weather, car trouble or too much cinnamon bread before riding Wild Eagle. Okay, maybe I have a little control over that last one. But what I want you to know is that when I don’t have a plan, Dollywood does! Here’s what you need to know when things don’t go as planned:


Often, vacations are planned months ahead of time. Tickets purchased--check, hotel booked--check, car loaded—check. Rain? That’s not on the checklist. What do you do if it rains during your Dollywood visit? My advice: carry on! I’ve been to the park many times during the rain and always have a blast! Check out this blog When It Rains on Your Trip to Dollywood for specific tips including being prepared with an umbrella or poncho, taking advantage of seeing the indoor or [under cover] shows, eat a good meal and splashing in the puddles like you did when you were a kid!


I was walking through Timber Canyon one afternoon when a child tripped and fell. The mother wasn’t sure what to do, so I stopped to see if I could help her find one of the First Aid Stations. She didn’t even know Dollywood has First Aid Stations, but before I could give her information, a Dollywood host appeared and immediately called for help. I later found out that the host was off work and headed home, still, she stepped up to help and stayed with the child and her mother until all was well. (So many reasons to love the Dollywood hosts). Here’s some helpful information—Dollywood has First Aid Stations in Jukebox Junction, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and The Village. Check out the park map when planning, so you are familiar with these areas in case you need a band aid.

Insider Tip

The First Aid Stations and several shops sell common over-the-counter medications, just in case the cinnamon bread/Wild Eagle combo does not set well. Sometimes, regardless of the plan, you forget something—no worries, you’ll find umbrellas, ponchos, sunglasses and even snacks in many of the merchandise areas at the park.

Worth the Read—Meet the Team: Dollywood’s First Aid

I Lost It. Did You Find It?

The minute I walk into the park, I am on the go and sticking to my plan. I love the energy and excitement generated by the atmosphere that Dollywood and its hosts create. I will admit though, that on more than one occasion, I have managed to lose something. That’s right. I’ve lost souvenirs, jackets and even my 5-year-old nephew—yikes! (That story is for another time). Thankfully, Lost and Found is easily accessible. Look for the Lost and Found window adjacent to Guest Services and Doggywood at the front gate. Or you can visit this link to fill out the online Lost and Found form: Dollywood Theme Park | Lost And Found | Dollywood Parks & Resorts *I should note here that I did find my nephew on my own without needing to fill out the form.

The Car Needs a Crank!

After a long day at the park, most of us just want to relax and relive the day’s memories on our way home. What happens if you get to your car, and it won’t crank? Dollywood has a plan for that, too. Simply find one of the parking attendants at a tram stop, and they will connect you with the park’s vehicle assistance program. Read More here: Did You Know? Dollywood and NAPA Offer Vehicle Assistance Program
UNPLANNED MOMENTS So, make a plan, but don’t stress if things don’t go as planned. Remember, sometimes our best memories are the little surprises that send us on unplanned detours.


All Insiders Trip Planning


All Insiders Trip Planning

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