While in Pigeon Forge for the National Quartet Convention, we had the opportunity to visit Dollywood. What a great time the family had! Since I have a lower back injury my husband and I pretty much wandered the shops and watched the girls on the rides. Dollywood is right in Pigeon Forge, which is near Gatlinburg, so if you are planning on visiting in the area, add Dollywood to your must see list.
We headed in early and had beautiful weather. First stop was to purchase their re-fillable drink cups. You can use them all day at the park and re-fill for just .99. They had a special of two cups for $20, so we all pitched in and shared them throughout the day. Next stop was to purchase our leather bracelets for each of us girls with their initials and NQC15 on them. The girls each purchased one last year too.
While we waited for the bracelets to be engraved some of the crew headed for their favorite water ride. I like to watch and occasionally pay the quarter and try to spray them with the water gun when they go buy. They are really soaked by the time they have been on the ride 3-4 times in a row. While there we often stop to feed the ducks.
At this point we separated for awhile so they could ride the coasters. It is so much fun to wander the shops. I found the perfect bag for carrying my camera! I love it! I also like that you can actually see product being made at several of the shops. There is a glassblower, which I watched for a short time. I love how delicate the glass is. There are also wood carvers, pottery shops, leather shops and many others.
Of course there are many places to eat and buy snacks, including candy, fudge, ice cream, and other treats. One thing the girls like to purchase is the cinnamon bread.It smells so good that it usually does not make it out of the park without someone tasting it! I managed to bring back a piece of fudge that I can have a sliver of. (I am diabetic.) While at Dollywood, my husband and I split one of the pulled pork BBQ sandwiches. I pulled some of the meat off, and he ate the rest of the sandwich and fries. I had a small side of cole slaw. It was VERY good.
Dollywood has a new ride opening in 2016, called the Lightning Rod. I took a few pictures of the construction site. I know my daughters will be excited to try it when it opens.
Information below is from the Dollywood Press Release:
Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.
Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, Lightning Rod rockets riders around its massive wooden structure on an adrenaline-charged lap through the trees in the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. During the ride, guests experience nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.
The girls rode the Wild Eagle, Tennessee Tornado, and Thunderhead. They had a blast! They also rode the Waltzing Swinger and the Scrambler. My oldest daughter does not care for the rides as much so she went along to hold their purses, cameras, etc. and then took off exploring on her own.
There are also many unique sites to see as well as their fall displays. The Chapel and Old Schoolhouse were a couple of our personal favorites. I found a few ducks eating in one of the fall displays. See if you can find them!
A game area, like the games you play at country fairs is also in Dollywood. You can shoot baskets, throw basketballs through the hoop, and shoot water to move your piece to the finish line before your competitors.
Oh, and another thing Dollywood is known for are their great southern gospel performances. We have seen Triumphant Quartet at Dollywood previously and several of the quartet we know perform there throughout the year.
Dollywood also has an area where you can see some wild birds, including a Bald Eagle. Most of these birds have been rescued. They do a small show telling people about the birds.
So, make sure you have added Dollywood to you list of places to visit when you go to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee. There is something fun for everyone.
Be sure to follow Dollywood on their social media.
Facebook - HERE
Twitter - HERE
Pinterest - HERE
Thank you Dollywood for allowing us to visit and share our time with our neighbors here, At the Fence! See you soon, and thank you for stopping by.