In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, an hour’s drive from McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Dollywood is a theme park in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.   It’s the site of numerous rides and attractions including Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster (winner of the Golden Ticket award for best new attraction of 2012), and Thunderhead, consistently ranked among the top ten wooden coasters in theUSA.  Mystery Mine is one of the most innovative and unusual coasters to be found anywhere, while Tennessee Tornado is a wonderful looper with video cameras in the first three rows, enabling riders to view their videos and upload them onto YouTube.

Among the many rides are Daredevil Falls (log flume), SkyZip (zip line), Rockin’ Roadway and Wonder Wheel, to name just a few.   There is also a dual launch family coaster and kiddie coaster.  Other attractions include a bald eagle sanctuary and museum containing exhibits from Dolly Parton’s illustrious career.

For a minimal upcharge, park guests can avail themselves of the Q2Q electronic device, commonly known as the Q-bot, which waits in the ride queue for them so that they don’t have to physically wait in the queue.

Dining options are plentiful, with an emphasis on southern cooking.   The park also features entertainment with an emphasis on live performances.   Auditions are held periodically.

As of 2013, a one-day admission ticket cost $57.00 but Dollywood does offer a very good deal in that guests who enter the park after 3pm can return the next day for no additional charge.  Parking is reasonably priced at $10.00 and unlike many parks, Dollywood offers rain checks.  The adjacent water park, Dollywood’s Splash Country, is not included in the price of admission to the main park.

Dollywood is a friendly and scenic theme park which makes excellent use of its mountainous terrain.  (This is especially evident with Wild Eagle.)  5 out of 5 stars.  For more information about Dollywood, visitwww.dollywood.com/‎

IMG_0924.JPG