Between the thrilling rides, enchanting attractions, a wild water park and 2 amazing resorts, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is a world of fun and excitement waiting for you to explore. Whether you are taking the kiddos on a fun family vacation or having a little couples getaway, you want to make the most out of each and every day.

Our years of visiting Theme Parks have taught us that Time really does fly when you’re having fun. That’s why we’ve made a list of the best ways to maximize your time to get the most out of your visit, whether you’re enjoying the shows, screaming on the epic roller coasters, or simply relaxing by the pool – no judgments here!

Ready to plan your best vacation yet? 

Buy Your Tickets in Advance:

The last thing you want to do when you get to the park is wait in line to buy tickets. Save time by buying your tickets online in advance through Dollywood’s official website.

Maximize your time at the park by choosing between a regular admission ticket or Season Passes for extra perks, like discounts on food. You can also enhance your experience by adding on the TimeSaver Pass (fast pass) to skip the lines and minimize your wait times. (More details on that below.)

If You Can’t Stay On Property, Stay Close By

Staying nearby is the next best thing and are normally cheaper compared to Park resort options. Many of them even have complimentary breakfast buffets or grab-and-go options so you can head out the door in the morning ready to start your day! You can also enjoy the convenience of local restaurants, shops, and entertainment options in the surrounding area.

Arrive Ahead Of Park Opening

The shortest wait times are going to be bright and early at the beginning of the day and just before the park closes at night. Wait times always tend to peak mid-day, no matter the attraction. Get a head start in the morning and plan to arrive at Dollywood at least half an hour before the gates open, as staff members sometimes let guests in a few minutes earlier than the posted opening.

On our last visit to Dollywood, we arrived at the gate 30 minutes before park opening and strolled through the entrance to the heart of the park. Once the park opened, We were able to go on the popular rides  with almost no wait times during that early morning hour!

Eat Breakfast Before You Arrive

Even though there are on site locations to grab a quick breakfast or sit down restaurants, one of the smartest strategies is to fuel up before your Dollywood adventure. This simple step can save you valuable time once you’ve arrived and parked.

Get a Refill Mug 

Staying hydrated is a breeze at Dollywood, thanks to Dollywood’s Refill Mugs.
There are two options; First, there’s the All-Season Refill Mug, which is the best choice if you visit frequently, available for $31.99 plus tax. With this mug, you’ll enjoy FREE fountain refills and $2.99 frozen refills through the end of the season.

If you’re looking for a more affordable daily option, you have the Daily Refill Mug. Starting at just $16.99, this mug allows you to enjoy FREE refills on the day of redemption. If you visit Dollywood again a different day, you’ll get $1.99+tax fountain refills and $2.99 frozen refills all through the end of the season. 

What makes this a great time saving option is that you’ll find Freestyle machines all throughout Dollywood. You can just walk up to any machine and refill your cup instantly!.

Use the Single Riders Line When Available.

If you want to maximize your time at Dollywood without buying their Time saver pass, you should take advantage of the Single Riders or Groups of 2 lines, which are available at some attractions.

It’s important to know that by using the Single Riders or Groups of 2 line, you may be separated from your group.

Research Height Requirements in Advance 

Planning a visit to Dollywood with your little ones? You don’t want to get your kiddos all excited for a ride only for them to be turned away because they aren’t tall enough. Knowing height requirements in advance will help you tailor expectations for the whole family and make your day go a lot smoother, with a lot fewer meltdowns!

Even though it takes a few extra minutes, Dollywood has a measuring station and its free to use. You can find it between the Ride Accessibility Center and Rental Services on Showstreet ( after they scan your ticket, go to the left ). A host will measure your kid(s) and they will be given a color coded wristband which helps you see all the rides they are tall enough to go on. The coded wristbands match the color coded information displayed on the signs at each ride in the Park.

Prepare for Water Rides at Dollywood

Dollywood is home to two exciting water rides: Daredevil Falls and Smoky Mountain River Rampage. These attractions are perfect for those looking to cool off during the summer or just have a splashing good time.

If you’re planning to get on the water rides at Dollywood, It’s a good idea to bring along inexpensive ponchos and throw them on before getting in the queue, that way you wont get soaked and you won’t have to waste time changing clothes after you get off.

Take Advantage of Festivals and Special Events

Every year in the spring, summer, fall and winter, Dollywood has different amazing festivals!
Like the vibrant Flower & Food Festival, the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, the Harvest Festival and the magical Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival. They all bring special food, decor, entertainment and more to the park!

You can check which festivals are happening during your next visit here.

Download the Official Dollywood App

From checking ride wait times, confirming park hours and the park schedule, finding the nearest restroom, or finding rides on the park map, the Dollywood app will be your best friend during your visit. Virtually everything you need to know is just a tap away.

Since you’ll probably be using your phone all day, especially if it’s your first visit, remember to bring a fully charged portable battery. (You can find portable chargers in the park, but having one on hand will save you time.)

We hope these tips will help you make the most out of your Dollywood vacation!.
Do you have any extra tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

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