Planning a trip to Dollywood? Here’s some ideas on how to save or splurge on this fun family destination! Thank you to Dollywood for providing tickets for our family to enjoy the park.
I’m still missing our time at Dollywood. From the DreamMore Resort to the Dollywood theme park, our family vacation was a fantastic time of many memories. Since coming home, I’ve had several friends ask about our trip, particularly when it comes to cost compared to the value of visiting the park. I always tell them that Dollywood can be as affordable or as expensive as each individual family makes it. Families may choose to save or splurge when heading to Dollywood, and today I’m sharing ways that visitors can do either.
Save– Dollywood does not allow outside drinks in the park. However, they do provide free water cups to everyone all throughout the day at most refreshment stations. We had no problem grabbing a refreshing cup of water whenever we needed it.
Splurge– Purchase a souvenir refillable Dollywood mug either inside the park or at DreamMore Resort. Fountain drink refills within the refillable mug are $.99 throughout the entire Dollywood season.
We did a mixture of the two options above. Since we have six people in our group, I did not want to keep up with refillable mugs all day at the park. We utilized the free water in the park, and I purchased the kids their own kid sized refillable mug at DreamMore for them to have during our time at the resort.
Save– Dollywood also does not allow outside food to be brought into the park. To save on meals, pack sandwiches and have a parking lot picnic. Note that there are no picnic tables outside of the park.
Splurge– Because it is an additional cost, I’m including purchasing meals inside of the park as a splurge. However, we found the meals inside Dollywood to be reasonably priced. There is a large variety of food choices to meet all tastes inside the park.
We ate inside the park for lunch, and then we grabbed ice cream for a late afternoon snack. The food and ice cream both were priced comparably to other restaurants and ice cream parlors in Pigeon Forge.
Save– Skip the TimeSaver Passes to save money.
Splurge– Skip the long lines for the most popular Dollywood rides with the TimeSaver Pass. There are two TimeSaver Pass options: unlimited and ten select expedited entrances. Each one is a different price, but they are both a great way to save time in the park by skipping the lines for certain rides.
We stayed at the DreamMore Resort. TimeSaver Passes are complimentary for those staying at the resort. Those not staying at the resort may purchase them. If your crew plans on riding all of the popular roller coasters, the TimeSaver Passes are an excellent splurge.
Save– Take your own photos with your smart phone.
Splurge– Purchase a day or season photo pass. Those special photo opportunities with Dollywood staff will be added to your photo pass with unlimited digital downloads.
We did not purchase the photo pass, but I will probably consider it at our next visit. When looking back at our Dollywood photos, I realized that I’m not in a single one! The photo pass is a great way to secure photos of the entire family without leaving one person always behind the camera.
Save– Pay the least expensive parking price at the park with standard parking.
Splurge– Upgrade to Preferred Parking and skip the long tram rides. During especially busy times at the park, the parking and tram rides can be quite extensive! Preferred parking allows for an exclusive entrance and no tram rides.
As DreamMore Resort guests, we were able to ride a shuttle from the resort to the Dollywood entrance. Our experience with skipping the main entrance and tram rides is one that I will always want to repeat. If not staying at the DreamMore Resort, Preferred Parking is the way to go.
If you’ve visited Dollywood, leave your favorite tips and tricks (as well as ways to save or splurge) below!