“My family was given admission to Dollywood, but our love of Dollywood is genuine and all opinions are our own”Dollywood is on of my family’s favorite places to visit. We go every year and the last 3 years we have been privileged to be invited to opening day to see Dolly herself kick-off the season. Dollywood 2016 is going to be amazing!
Festival of Nations March 19- April 18, 2016
Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival- May 13-22, 2016
Great American Summer Festival- June 11-Aug 7, 2016
National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration- Sept 30- Oct 29, 2016
Smoky Mountain Christmas– Nov 5, 2016-Jan 4, 2016
We have been to each of these festivals in the past and we love each one.
The kids loved seeing and hearing Dolly sing and make the announcements. I am especially excited about their new Christmas show “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the kids are super excited about the new wooden roller coaster about to open, “Lightening Rod”
A few fast facts about Lightening Rod: It is the world’s fastest wood coaster with a top speed of 73 mph. The top of the lift hill is 20 stories above Dollywood and you plunge more than 16 stories! There is just under 500,000 board feet of southern yellow pine lumber in the construction. It is the first wood launch coaster and the track is nearly 2/3 of a mile! It sounds super fun and I can’t wait for the finishing touches to be done.
After seeing Dolly we were treated to lunch at Red’s Diner. This has always been a favorite spot for us to eat. They have amazing hamburgers, cheeseburgers and shakes. They also have a Coke Free-style machine where you can enjoy over 100 flavors of soda. I love that they have a bar where you can dress your burger as you want. The food was amazing and the kids gave everything a thumbs up. Plus the shakes were a special treat met with lots of smiles. With Lightening Rod just across the way Dollywood upgraded, enlarged and freshened the restaurant this year. In fact all of Jukebox junction has gotten a facelift and it looks fabulous.
After eating we hit some of our favorite rides in the park. We have to do the Rockin’ Roadway at least once. Everyone always loves to drive their own mini car. This is popular with smaller children too, where they can drive their own classic car around the track rockin’ to 50’s tunes.
It was the Festival of Nations when we visited and they have so many wonderful shows. The girls and I went to see “Mother Africa” and it was simply amazing. Stunts, dancing and singing kept us thoroughly entertained for a full 40 minutes.
Other favorite rides are Daredevil Falls and LumberJack lifts. Be prepared to get wet on Daredevil Falls, but it is always super fun and a classic ride. And at Lumberjack lifts you can pull yourself to the top using your own arm strength. The kids always like to have a competition here.
Dollywood is such a family friendly place. There is something for everyone, thrill rides, kid rides, shows and food. If we are not enjoying a ride or a show, we just enjoy walking around looking at the sites, listening to the music and enjoying it all. We also must always stop at the pond to feed to ducks and fish.
If you ever are in Pigeon Forge you must take the time to visit Dollywood. You will not be disappointed. Every time my family visits we leave exhausted from having so much fun but with smiles on our faces and lots of memories to talk about.