Don’t miss out on the Dollywood experience if you’re going to be coming through the Pigeon Forge/Great Smoky Mountains area during the summer. With a theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country Waterpark all on site, there’s something for everyone.
Based in the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park open nine months a year (late March through December) offering more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.
A family-friendly vacation destination, Dollywood recently just announced the addition of the new $20 million Wild Eagle steel wing coaster, the first of its kind in the U.S, for the 2012 season. Experiencing the freedom of flight, the new coaster’s innovative floorless design positions riders seated four abreast in a forward-facing position, with two riders actually seated on the “wings” along either side of the coaster’s track with nothing but air above and below them.
The Wild Eagle raises 21 stories into the sky atop Dollywood’s highest peak. Taking off from the Wilderness Pass area, riders will experience the sensation of flight as the coaster’s massive track swoops and soars around the park. Wild Eagle reaches a top speed of 61 miles per hour and maneuvers four inversions including a giant loop, a “zero-G” roll, and a giant flat spin. The two-and-a-half minute journey also includes a 135-foot first drop. Located 210 feet above the coaster’s loading station, the ride provides spectacular views of the Smoky Mountains.
Wild Eagle is yet another one of Dollywood’s award-winning lineup of high speed roller coasters. Thunderhead, twice named the world’s best wooden coaster, consistently ranks among the best in the world. Mystery Mine, a 1,811-foot-long steel coaster, was named Theme Park Insider’s best new theme park attraction when it opened in 2007. Not to be outdone, Dollywood is a two-time Golden Ticket Award winner for Best Shows and three-time winner for Best Christmas Event.
The Barnstormer, Dollywood’s newest thrill ride, was a huge hit when it opened this past summer and is situated on a ridge alongside Craftsman’s Valley. Passengers are seated back-to-back on two giant pendulums that swing 81 feet in the air. The journey to the treetops reaches a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and rotates 230 degrees. It’s big, red barn theme complements the Barnstormer’s barnyard setting which includes a large children’s play area. Lil’ Pilots Playground features a 22-foot by 16-foot wooden bi-plane while Granny’s Garden & Pig Pen offers play structures and water fountains.
As far as other attractions, there is no shortage of yearly festivals at Dollywood. It’s actually home to five of the South’s largest festivals including the popular BBQ & Bluegrass festival that usually runs mid-August through September.
For the Christmas holidays, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival features the wildly entertaining Christmas on Ice. The spectacular indoor ice skating production, with spins and spirals choreographed to the sounds of the holiday season, features the Ice Theater of New York. The show joins the park’s award-winning lineup of Christmastime shows, including the perennial favorite Christmas in the Smokies.
- Off Interstate 40, take Exit 407 toward Sevierville/Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.
- Follow TN Hwy. 66 South which becomes US 441.
- At Traffic Light No. 8 in Pigeon Forge, turn left and follow the signs to Dollywood.
GPS Navigation Systems
Use 1198 McCarter Hollow Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37862 to locate Dollywood’s entrance.