A Family Owned Vacation Cabin Getaway!
1) Pay the extra $10 for Preferred Parking
This gets you in the bus lot right up next to the park on the back side. You will go into a park in a completely different entrance with little to no lines depending on time/season. You'll enter right by a path that leads to the big rollercoasters.
2) Buy the souveneer mugs.
Refills are only 99 cents and you'll get pleanty of them throughout the day. Almost all the rides have storage bins for your personal items while you ride, so taking them with you throughout the day is not a big deal. You can also buy lockers for the day if needed.
3) If you will be back in the same year, upgrade to the season pass
It's an additional $30 per ticket, but it will save you money, and upgrade to gold on at least one of the tickets to get you 20% off every thing you spend in the park. It is worth it.
Lots to Do and See
We went to Dollywood at the height of the summer, at the beginning of August, and it was HOT! Don't forget your sunscreen. The park had fans with mist spraying throughout the park walkways and on most of the ride lines to help keep you cool. What stood out the most to us was that the lines were very short compared to our experiences at other parks. Some rides had not line at all.
The Rollercoasters are very good, better than what you'd find at Disneyland, but there are only a handfull of them. There is a log ride and a river raft ride as well, and some other Amusement style rides and midway attractions.
There are lots of shops to buy souvenirs and various trinkets. We highly recommend stopping in and buying some fresh cinnamon bread at the Dollywood Grist Mill. We ate dinner at the 50s diner, which was not great, typical fair type food, but our expectations werent any higher. The price of the food was a bit higher than we expected though. There are several other places to eat which looked to be a bit nicer, and we'll try those later this fall and let you konw what we thought.
Overall we had a great time at Dollywood, and we purchased the season pass so we'll be going back in the fall. This is a "Must-Do" for the family while visiting the Gatlinburg - Pigeon Forge area.