A “must do” at Dollywood is visiting the Grist Mill for cinnamon bread. If Disney World has Dole Whips and Universal has Butterbeer, the iconic must eat item at Dollywood is the hot, fresh, gooey cinnamon bread.
C.A. and M. also visited the old time photo booth. There was no wait and a plethora of costumes and backdrops to choose from. They made their own theme by mixing ‘southern belle’ dresses with a hot air balloon + a racoon and some weapons.
Our pro tips:
- We stayed at Riverstone Resort which is only 3mins from the Dollywood entrance. There are lots of hotels in pigeon forge.
- The blacksmith shop inside Dollywood is a working blacksmith studio and IF YOU HAVE CLOSED TOED SHOES you can make a small knife out of a screw, railroad spike, or horseshoe and take it home with you. But you gotta have the right shoes! Scott missed out this time because he had soaked his tennis shoes on the River Rampage ride and changed into flipflops – but it’s on his to-do list for next time! Prices for this start at approx $30 and the easiest knife project only takes about 20mins of your day. We recommend getting over to the blacksmith shop first thing if this is something you’d like to do, since the appointment slots book up.
- Don’t miss the cinnamon bread! You have to find the Grist Mill to get it. We like the apple butter with it.
- The bald eagles / bird show is also a “can’t miss” moment in the park, check the map for the schedule of bird shows. See their livestream here: https://dweaglecams.org/
- I think my favorite ride is the Mystery Mine – although there’s still a couple of coasters I haven’t tried so who knows! Coaster lovers with love this short ride with special effects, super fun loops, and two “straight up” pieces of track (my coaster nerd verbiage needs improvement, I know).
Fun fact: Dolly hasn’t ridden any of her own rides (except the train). “I don’t ride the rides. I never have,” she told The New York Times. “I have a tendency to get motion sickness. Also, I’m a little bit chicken. With all my hair I got so much to lose, like my wig or my shoes. I don’t like to get messed up. I’m gonna have some handsome man mess it up, I don’t want some ride doing it.”
Additional fun fact: Dollywood was on Forbes best employers list for 2021. They offer benefits like tuition reimbursement, scholarships for the children of employees, and a primary care health clinic.
You have an opportunity around the park to “round up” your purchases to benefit Dolly’s Imagination Library. If you have kids, check out this resource!
“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”– Dolly Parton