My oldest child was celebrating her 3rd birthday on our first trip to the Smoky Mountain area. It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating our 10th family visit in Pigeon Forge (only missing a few years after my son was born) this past Thanksgiving.
As we do almost every year, we spent Thanksgiving week in Tennessee and visited Dollywood the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It’s a popular day to visit Dollywood as the park is closed Monday, Tuesday and naturally Thursday on Thanksgiving week and we were ready to start our Dollywood adventure.
If you plan on visiting Dollywood more than one day, you should consider getting a Season Pass. The annual season pass pays for itself in less than 2 visits and comes with additional perks that can help save your family additional money. I’m looking forward to spending a week next summer in Pigeon Forge and utilizing Dollywood’s Season Passes as well as the newest park add-on, TimeSaver Pass.
Half way into our visit we realized TimeSaver Pass are the way to go! TimeSaver is an electronic line management system that reserves your place in line at select shows and rides while you enjoy all that Dollywood has to offer and is very similar to Disney’s Fast Pass option. For an additional $25 per person, the small electronic device fits in your post and is well-worth. Honestly, I could kick myself for not purchasing the add-on once I entered the park. Live & learn, right?!?
Buckle up because theirs a new sheriff is coming to town! Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster, will be debuting March 2016. We saw construction in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction and can’t wait to try the new coaster out!
On this visit however we did get to experience FireChaser Express which was recently added in 2014. FireChaser Express features a forward and backwards launch, includes six zero gravity moments and is suitable for families. Lines are longer for FireChaser Express but definitely worth the wait.
One of our favorite things to do in the Smokies is check out the musical and variety shows in the area. Traditionally our family will experience 3-5 shows in one week but each cost can be costly so this year we bypasses the shows and made it a point to experience the large selection of entertainment available at Dollywood.
All entertainment is included in the price on your admission ticket and offer multiple performances throughout each day. It’s just another reason why Season Passes are a must! Experience Dolywood’s rides and attractions one day, entertainment another day and everything else is lagniappe! Plus you’ll receive free parking and 20% of food and merchandise.
On this visit we started our adventure by attending the Kingdom Heirs performance and ended the evening with ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. There’s no use in denying it, I had a tear in my eye during ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. If you get a chance, you have to experience Dollywood’s live entertainment.
Dollywood Express is another family favorite! The authentic 110-ton coal-fired steam engine which takes you on a five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and boards several times a day. While we were waiting for the Express to roll through, I snapped a picture of my little ones in the Village portion of the park.
I can’t believe how much my babies have chanced over the years! It seems like only yesterday they were riding the Village Carousel and eating funnel cakes at Rivertown Junction. Wait, we did that this week! Some things don’t have to change.
Thank you Dollywood for the memories both new and old!
To learn more about Dollywood you can follow them on social media or visit their website listed below.