Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States of America
Dollywood was renamed as such after the legendary country singer, Dolly Parton, became a part owner of the business in the late 1980′s. Parton initially became involved in the venture because she wanted to bring jobs and boost the economy in a region of the US that has long suffered from economic hardship. Dollywood is located in Tennessee in the United States and remains one the country’s most popular theme parks, receiving some three million visitors every year.
Dollywood has all the major attractions of a theme park but also has a distinct musical influence, which is hardly surprising considering who owns the park. There are numerous theatres and musical related attractions. The park is set in beautiful grounds and unlike many theme parks is kept immaculately clean. What many visitors will enjoy about the park is it has a much more laid back feel than some of the other theme parks in the US (think Disneyland).
Fans of Dolly Parton will delight at the museum that is dedicated to her career. There are many collections, including some of the costumes that she has worn for performances over the years. The park also hosts the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame, which gives a fascinating insight into the history of the genre.
The park, as you would expect, is also excellent for children of all ages. One of the most notable things about Dollywood is that the park is efficiently organised, meaning there are very short wait times for the rides. This will mean that you will be able to make the most of your day, rather than spend it waiting in line with frustrated children. There are thrilling roller coasters at the park that can compete with some of the best in the US. There are dry and water based rides, as well as those which are more suitable for younger children.
There are numerous live music performances all year round by many artists performing a wide variety of music. Be sure to check online to see what performances are happening when you visit the park. Dollywood has many different themes that change throughout the year and visiting at one time of year will be very different to another; again, check ahead to see what is happening when you visit.
Food at the park is excellent and really takes a lot of influence from the state in which it is located. Amusement park food has a bit of a reputation for being over priced, but at Dollywood you get great value for your money.
Dollywood is a beautiful theme park in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, known both for its rides and shows. Although it certainly boasts its fair share of thrill rides, there are also a number of water rides, as well as other types of rides the whole family can enjoy; even those less adventurous members of your party.
Dollywood’s newest attraction, though, is definitely in the ‘thrill ride’ category and is called the Barnstormer. Essentially, the ride is a giant swing in which riders are seated back to back, with the arch of the swing being 230 degrees. The top speed is 72 kmph (45 mph) and the maximum height is almost 25 metres (81 feet).
Dreamland Drive-In is the name of one Dollywood show with extremely high production value. Chart topping hits from the fifties and sixties are sung in the context of a charming coming-of-age story in this must-see crowd-pleaser.
One of the most popular water rides in the park is called the Smoky Mountain Rampage. Unlike other round raft, river rides, this one starts out with a small, but fun, drop!
Dollywood is known for having rather expensive tickets, however, and it would be well worth a visitor’s time to investigate discounted options online. If you shop around a bit you will probably find a way to get a ticket at a cheaper than face value price. Even if you don’t find a discount, the ticket includes many things you won’t get at other theme parks, such as the opportunity to see excellent live music, so it is well worth the cost.