April 27, 2023
If you’re planning a trip to Dollywood for the first time or the first time in a while, you may be scouring the internet or asking around to find out what items you definitely must bring, you are (or aren’t) allowed to bring and whatever else you’ll need to know.
As a local and as a season passholder, here’s a list of items I’d recommend to anyone to not do Dollywood without so you can have the best experience.
There’s so much to see and do at Dollywood. Since you’ll likely be there all day (or two), a backpack is probably one of the best bags to bring if you must bring something. Better than a purse, carrying a bag on your back will keep you hands-free and give you an extra place to store your beverage, keys and keepsakes. Just make sure it’s lightweight since you’ll be doing a lot of walking. Plus, you’ll want to make sure it’s one on the smaller side in case you need to leave it in a locker.
Dollywood is a pretty sizable theme park and a bit hilly. You’ll want to make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes to move around all day. Bonus if you don’t mind them getting wet from a couple of water rides! If you don’t like wet shoes, you can pack a set of flip flops for the water rides to be safe.
You can refill your own water bottle without waiting in line at a food location. The water refill stations can usually be found near any bathroom around the park. You may also opt to purchase Dollywood’s Unlimited Refillable Mug for free fountain drink refills that day or for the entire season.
Even if it’s not a sunny day, sunglasses come in handy all year long. For example, if riding the Dollywood Express, which is a real steam engine train ride around the outskirts of the park, sunglasses can help protect your eyes as there could be some debris.
You will want to take pictures, and the battery on your phone will die before the day is out if you don’t bring a portable charger. You don’t want to have to stop the fun to find an outlet to charge your phone. You’ll want to be able to charge while on the go.
Download the Dollywood app! It will make your life SO much easier, especially when trying to catch certain shows, find the nearest bathrooms, see wait times and navigate from one ride on your wishlist to another. The app is really all you need when it comes to planning your day and not getting lost!
As mentioned above, Dollywood is a bit hilly, which could be a lot for young park-goers. Strollers are great not just for babies and toddlers, but also for school-aged kids who get tired of walking after a while too. If you don’t bring your own, they are available for rent near the entrance at Rental Services. You can rent a single or double stroller, wheelchair or ECVs all inside Dollywood to help make your visit smooth for everyone.
Although you’re not allowed to bring food into the park, when I visit with my toddler, I usually pack a light zip-lock bag of snacks for her – which is okay. If breastfeeding, there are restrooms with nursing stations found throughout the park. There is also a Baby Care Center facility located in Showstreet where you can privately nurse and change diapers.
If you’re like me and you want to be prepared in the event of anything, you may also consider packing these unsuspecting items depending on the weather (or to have just in case).
Snag a few from the dollar store and keep in its original packing to conserve space. Whip these out in the event of rain or if you don’t want to get splashed while on the Smoky Mountain River Rampage. And if you’re feeling extra, you can also pack a change of clothes for you or your little ones in an airtight Ziploc-style bag.
An empty grocery bag comes in handy to hold random loose items you gather (or take off) throughout the day.
Obviously, this list isn’t mandatory, but having some of these items on hand sure can help you have a seamless experience. If I had to scale back and only pick a handful of items from what’s been mentioned above, I’d definitely make sure to grab the essentials.
Were there any items you didn’t think to bring? Or any items that are a must for you that I didn’t mention? If you want to share, I’m curious to find out in the comments below. You never know who it could help!
Hope you have the best visit.