15 Must-Do Experiences at Dollywood

Dollywood is a a theme park every single family should visit at least once…or twenty times. :)

We just came back from their Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival and highly recommend visiting during this event! However, it’s ALWAYS a good time to visit Dollywood!

Our family of eight enjoys meeting the friendly staff and enjoying the attractions, music, thrill rides, and fun food during each season at this theme park.

Before you take your first or third visit, be sure to dig into this list of “absolutely have to try at least once” list so you make the MOST out of your Dollywood theme park adventure!

We’re a family of 8, so we’ve got almost every age covered in our list!

#1: Dollywood Express.

We just rode this intriguing train ride in the beautiful Smokey Mountains this past weekend.

Fun insider tip: During Christmas, the train’s horn whistles Jingle Bells! :)
This is a fantastic way to see the Christmas lights at night! Be sure to wear a jacket or coat if you’re riding at night during Christmas. It can get chilly!

#2: Dollywood Shows.

Download the Dollywood app so you can see times, locations, and an overview of the show.

All shows are included in your admission ticket!

#3: Roller Coasters.

Our family LOVES going on the roller coasters at our favorite theme parks.

Dollywood doesn’t disappoint in this area!

They mix creativity and adventure in every coaster.

This theme park has roller coasters for young kids, teens, and adults!

Everyone can ride a coaster!

Our favorite roller coasters at Dollywood:

  • Mystery Mine. This coaster is incredibly creative. It has a “scary” feel as it dives into dark mines.
  • The Wild Eagle. This is the smoothest roller coaster we’ve ever ridden! The dangling effect makes you feel like you’re flying! It’s an incredible experience for the daredevils in your group!
  • Firechaser Express. I just rode this on Friday and totally forgot it starts off with a “BANG” as you rush to a fire. this is a super creative roller coaster that highlights firefighters. It’s a “must see” and one of our top favorite attractions in the entire park.
  • Lightning Rod. This super fast coaster is normally one you’llmwant to head to as soon as Dollywood opens. lines stay long all day, so get this one done FIRST!
  • Dragonflier. This is in the kids section of Wildwood grove, but our teenagers LOVED it! It’s got some fun curves and twists!

#4: Tasting Passes.

At the time of this post, the tasting pass is $34.99 per person.

It covers any 5 items from the seasonal menu.

The employees scan your pass when you order.

Our food was ready in just a few minutes!

It’s fun for a large group because you can grab one and everyone can head off to different serving places to grab any item on the tasting menu.

We shared 4 passes between 8 people and it was just enough for lunch and dinner!

Insider Tip: I recommend purchasing your drinks separately and only using the passes for food items.

For the Christmas tasting menu, our favorites were:

  • Pulled Pork Nachos
  • Gingerbread Funnel Cake
  • Sausage and Potato

#5: Caricatures.

These are fun for couples, families, and besties!

They’re ready pretty quickly and you can purchase frames as well.

#6: Barnstormer.

This isn’t a roller coaster….it’s like a HUGE swing and is one of the best thrill rides.

There’s rarely a line for this ride, but we ride it every. single. time. we go to Dollywood.

We take our friends who visit Dollywood for the first time as well.

It’s a “can’t miss” attraction for sure!

#7: Demolition Derby.

Better known as “bumper cars.” you’ll find this fun attraction in the carnival area.

Kids can go on this ride several times as the wait times are normally quite low.

We love to see our kids and teens enjoy this classic!

#8: The Scrambler.

This is a ride we never skip too! watch out, because you’ll definitely squish the passenger with you! :)

#9: Eagle Mountain sanctuary.

I love that Dollywood invests in rescuing eagles and even owls who are hurt and helps them become rehabilitated.

They even have a fun bird show dedicated to learning more about this program in Dollywood.

Be sure to visit the eagle mountain sanctuary as well as the show “Wings of Prey” to learn more!

#10: Lumberjack Lifts.

This is definitely an underrated attraction that’s perfect for kids or teens who are too scared to ride the “thrill” rides.

One of our kids LOVED this adventure.

It’s great for a parent’ child adventure as they work to lift themselves up to 25 feet in the air and then release the cable for a “kid-friendly” free fall.

#11: Rockin’ Roadway.

This is fun for all ages as everyone gets turn to drive a classic Corvette, Thunderbird, or Cadillac on a whimsical highway themed after the 50s!

#12: Grist Mill Pictures and Cinnamon Bread

You absolutely cannot leave Dollywood without taking pictures by the Old Grist Mill.

Plus, Dollywood is incredibly famous for their cinnamon bread and icing.

Insider Tip: Purchase two cinnamon breads. One for the park, and one to take home!

#13: Shopping.

I’m not one who normally shops during a theme park visit, but Dollywood is a completely different story!

There are lots of little shops throughout the park that offer unique gifts and souvenirs.

My favorite is Dolly’s closet.

I’ve grabbed sunglasses in here, perfume, and earrings! We love finding Southern themed or faith themed gifts for friends and family!

#14: Seasonal Decorations

Whether it’s Spring or Christmas, Dollywood always sets up amazing seasonal displays that are perfect for photo shoots and selfies! We highly recommend spending time to take in all the Christmas lights (over six million!) during the Smokey Mountain Christmas events!

#15: Dolly’s Home on Wheels

Dolly’s bus is parked in front of Chasing Rainbows museum in Adventures in Imagination®.

Designed by Dolly’s longtime road manager, bus driver and friend Don Warden, and his wife Ann, the 1994 Prevost features hand-tooled leather from Germany on the sofa and chairs, cherry cabinets and brass fixtures.

It’s definitely worth checking out!

More Dollywood Theme Park News

Why You Should Visit Dollywood During Christmas
Dollywood Big Bear Coaster

Must Know Tips for Visiting Dollywood