This past weekend we joined the masses at the famous Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. A word to the wise, if you can avoid going on a weekend, please do so. It was packed! We were there mainly for the luminights. They were very pretty, but there was so many people, it was hard to try to maneuver around to see them all. And the rides? Looooong lines, some waiting over an hour. We rode the coal fired train that goes around the park, the merry go round, the water log ride, 1 roller coaster and saw a magic show. That took all day! Then the lights began at 7pm and the park closed at 9. Going on the weekend just didn’t seem worth the money. We were lucky because we got 2 free tickets thanks to being associated with Southern Highlands attractions via the NOC. But for a regular family (4 adults and 1 child) it’ll run you nearly $400 to get in! The children’s ticket price ends at age 10, so above that is the $74 adult price. Be prepared to spend more when you get inside the park. You can buy a souvenir cup for $14, then refill it the rest of the day for 99 cents each time. Yikes. And if you bring in a last year’s cup, it $4 a refill. We opted for free ice water. At least that’s an option. You’re allowed to bring in 1 drink as well. So, if you bring in a water bottle, look for the water fountains to refill it. And parking? What a nightmare. Its $15 to park in the lower areas and catch the trolley up. We opted to pay a little extra and reserve a preferred parking spot for $24. It’s a lot closer and short walk to get in. They also have valet parking for $34, but we weren’t that sophisticated. Waiting to get out into the street is worse than trying to leave a packed out concert.
Aside from the crowds and breaking the bank, it is a nice place if you like big roller coasters. If you go though, we recommend during the week. Some of the rides, including the train, still run at night, so that a unique experience. Taking our time to explore all the lights would’ve been better too. They have the pumpkin luminights until Nov. 2, then they have the Christmas ones. I can’t really say one way or the other if I would recommend Dollywood. It’s hard to judge by others’ individual tastes. We probably won’t go back, especially since our time with Southern Highlands has ended. But if you’ve got time to kill and money to burn, it might be a fun time for you. We hope you enjoy the pictures we took and a short video of the magic show (below) and soon we will post a video of the lights on our YouTube channel. We’re on the road now, so give us a couple of weeks to get the video up. Thank you for your support and for following along on our travel adventures.