Our family had an excellent experience at Dollywood for our end of summer trip! Thank you to Dollywood for providing complimentary tickets for our family to enjoy the park.
The kids are back in school, and now I’m hanging on to our summer memories to get me through this back to school craziness. We took our last summer trip last week to Pigeon Forge, TN. Pigeon Forge holds a special place in my and my husband’s heart. We had a destination wedding there many moons ago, and we used to visit yearly, but that changed after we had the triplets. Having triplets makes it difficult to do many things, especially travel. I realized this year that the boys had never been to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, and I excitedly planned a last minute get away before school.
For those who have never been to Pigeon Forge, it is a great place for families to visit. There is a plethora of activities and great food, but the real attraction is Dollywood. I’ve been visiting Dollywood since I was a kid, and it has always been my favorite theme park. I was hoping that the kids would feel the same way, too!
As a mom of multiples, I know the hesitations that arise when taking elementary school aged kids to theme parks. Will there be enough shady spots to rest? Will the food be too expensive? Will there be enough rides that they will ride without being scared?
Luckily, Dollywood is an awesome spot for large families with multiple kids. And with the 2019 opening of Wildwood Grove, kids have plenty to do for their entire stay. Sure, kids are excited for the rides, but as a parent, we have much more to consider when taking kids to a theme park. Here are my favorite things features of Dollywood from the perspective of a mom of multiples:
–Family Restrooms: Large family restrooms are wonderful when visiting Dollywood. Multiple kids can have plenty of room for bathroom breaks, cleaning hands, reapplying sunscreen, or getting a diaper change with both mom and dad. While there are family bathrooms all around the park, Wildwood Grove has a great family bathroom located next to the indoor Hidden Hollow play ground.
–Parent Swap: The Parent Swap program allows one parent to wait with a child who does not meet ride height requirements while another parent rides with children who do. The ride host allows the waiting parent to stand in a secure area and then swap and ride after the second parent is finished. Click on the “Parent Swap” option on this FAQ page to learn more.
–Free water cups: Dollywood doesn’t allow food or water to be brought in from outside the park, but they do provide free water cups to all those in the park. The water cups are not those tiny cone shaped paper cones, either. They are either regular sized cups or plastic cups. We had no issue getting as much water as we wanted at any refreshment location. Pro tip: Bring along liquid water flavoring to add to water for those who may want a little extra taste with their water.
–Variety of food options: Dollywood offers a great selection of kid’s meals. I found them to be reasonably priced compared to many other theme parks. We grabbed lunch at the Grandstand Cafe, and all the kids were pleased with their food.
–Large selection of rides and attractions for all ages: Dollywood has greatly expanded their ride selection since I visited as a kid. The roller coasters are awesome, but as a mom of littles, I’m even more impressed with their variety of rides for smaller kids. We stayed at the park until it closed (literally, we were sprinting through the park to catch the last trolley of the day), and the kids never ran out of height appropriate and thrill level appropriate rides to enjoy. Wildwood Grove is a favorite place. Wildwood Creek has a fantastic splash zone, and the Hidden Hollow indoor playground and climbing area is right across the way. Black Bear Trail is another cute ride that the boys could ride on their own. My older daughter did catch a few of the roller coasters in the park, and the other classic carnival rides were a favorite, too.
We had a fabulous time at Dollywood, and I know that you will, too. If you are looking for a great place for family fun, check out Dollywood!