Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge Tennessee, a paradise for some, and a nightmare for others. Pigeon Forge can be crowded and traffic horrible. If you know how to get around it, it's not so bad. We prefer to stay in Townsend which is convenient to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Elkmont, Cades Cove, and the National Park. Most importantly, when it's time to go home, Townsend bypasses all the traffic.

Dollywood is a surprisingly nice Amusement and entertainment park. The Tribe has made a tradition of visiting Dollywood between Christmas and New Years, and the lights, cool crisp air, hot food, and unlimited rides make it a spectacular holiday.

Dollywood has an area dedicated to small children, so there's plenty for everyone to do. The old steam engine winds through the park that features dozens of rides, shows, and games.

If there is a chance you might return before the end of the calendar year, a season pass is a good investment. It pays for itself on the second visit. Another clue, upgrade one of the passes to a "Gold" pass, and you'll get free parking too.

While we still recommend Townsend as a place to stay while visiting the area, we've since discovered an awesome RV park more convenient to Dollywood. Up The Creek RV Camp is less expensive than the KOA in Townsend (especially with kids), and it's just minutes from Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. It does not have the amenities or kids' activities of the KOA, but that doesn't really matter much in the winter.

Adventure Journal
Entry Date:
November, 2014
We decided that we'd get Dollywood season passes this year. It's very expensive (with four kids), but if you plan to come back several times, it's a pretty good entertainment investment. This year, all the kids are big enough to ride every ride! Woo hoo!

Our first day at the park, Friday after Thanksgiving, was very cold. The high was 41, but we came prepared. We wore layers, warm coats, and even brought our trapper hats we purchased at Dollywood years ago. As an added bonus, it was a very sunny day, so we were pretty much toasty warm all day. The crowds weren't terribly bad the first day either. The kids rode three roller coasters before we broke for lunch. We ate, listened to Christmas music, rode the train, toured Dolly Parton's old tour bus, and visited the magic shop before calling it a day and heading back to the camper.

Saturday was spent at Up The Creek RV Camp. Lee Thomas had a 24hr virus, and Rebecca's aunt and cousin spent the afternoon visiting with us at the camper. We sure love that campground.

We decided to visit Dollywood again on Sunday before heading home. It was a much warmer day reaching over 60 degrees. There was a very small crowd, so the kids were able to ride all the rides they missed on Friday. We were only able to spend about three hours this time, but that's the beauty of a season pass, it didn't matter. We can go for as little time as we wish. When you purchase a "Gold" pass, parking is free ($10 value), and you receive a 20% discount on everything in the park (food, merchandise, etc.). From this point on (through 2015 Christmas season) our admission is covered. We've already saved!
I'd like to add that Dollywood is unlike ANY amusement park we've ever visited. The environment is clean and warm. There is seasonal music playing over the sound system all the time. There are decorations and Christmas lights around every corner. It's a genuinely unique place and experience I'd recommend to anyone.

The Richardson Tribe

Adventure Journal
Entry Date:
November, 2010
The morning after arriving at Cove Creek RV in Wears Valley, we headed out for an early lunch at the Pigeon Forge "No Way Jose" Mexican Restaurant, then on to Dollywood. It had rained all morning, and we were hopeful that the crowds might be a little smaller. When we arrived, the crowds were just as we'd hoped, thin. The weather was pretty chilly, but we were prepared with the trapper hats we bought here last winter, one of the best investments we ever made. This was the first of our two days at Dollywood during the Thanksgiving holidays.

Another good investment we made last Winter was the purchase of Dollywood season passes. As far as value goes, a single day at Dollywood is not, especially with four kids. However, it's pretty inexpensive to upgrade it to a season pass which gets everyone in for free for the next 12 months (or from before Christmas through Christmas of the following year). If you spend a few bucks extra, you can upgrade one of those passes to a Gold Pass. Gold Pass holders pay no parking ($10), and receive a 10% discount on everything in the park. 
This year, we have been to Dollywood many times, and in all honesty, we still haven't done everything. Yes, Dollywood can be expensive, but it can also be an incredible value.

Now, if you've never been to Dollywood, wipe those images of redneck midway carneys and sticky sidewalks from your mind. Dollywood is as nice a place you'll ever visit. It's clean, the rides are top-notch and safe, and the people that work there are very friendly and down-to-Earth. For kids, the rides, games, and sites are awesome. For grown-ups, it's better than Disney, especially this time of year when millions of Christmas lights sparkle all over the park and a variety of seasonal musicals and live bands also contribute to the holiday spirit.

If you are planning a visit to the Tennessee side of the Smoky Mountains, you owe it to yourself to visit Dollywood. It's located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, one of the most crowded and congested places on Earth. If possible, visit during the week, and avoid holidays. Use the back-street bypass (Teaster) whenever possible.

The Richardson Tribe


Adventure Journal
Entry Date:
April 2010
Spring was in full bloom at Dollywood, which made it even more enjoyable than usual. It was still cool enough for jackets in the morning, but the smell of spring flowers and the warmer afternoon sun gave us extra energy to tackle the park.

The kids are old enough now to enjoy most of the rides, and ride they did. We couldn't keep-up. The bigger kids (including Mommy and daddy taking turns) rode the Tennessee Tornado, Thunderhead, the Mystery Mine, and more. The little guys rode almost all the rides at the Country Fair area of the park.

We explored a new feature of the park called Adventure Mountain. This is a self-paced climbing and exploring experience high in the air. It was pretty scary and fun, but the little guys struggled with the harness. I'd recommend an age of 8+ for this feature, or at least let them participate in Camp Teachittoomee.

We camped at the KOA on the river in Townsend, Tennessee as we have for the last few visits to this area. It's convenient to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, the Smoky Mountain National Park, and Cades Cove. Most importantly, it's far away from the awful Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg traffic when its' time to head back to Georgia.

We'll be back for Fall Break in October. Can't wait.

The Richardson Tribe

Adventure Journal
Entry Date:
December 2009
Going to Dollywood - By Lee Thomas Richardson
On Christmas Day when we were opening our presents, I decided to open my big gift. Inside was a backpack. Under it was a bunch of survival stuff. I said, “Wow!” with excitement. There was something in it. There was a piece of paper that said I will be going to camp up in Townsend Tennessee the next day! After that my mom said, “Cal is going to get to come too, but he doesn't know yet.”

Then my grandmother gave me a gift with another piece of paper that said that we're going to get to go to the Aquarium of the Smokies. Later that day I went up to my grandparents and they gave us a piece of paper that said we get to go to Dollywood!

The next day we left. It took around 2-4 hours to get there but we drew, read, and played games the way. When we got there it was already dark so we went to bed. The next day I half yelled and half whispered, “We're going to Dollywood!!” When everyone woke up and got their warm clothes on we took off!

We got there and didn't know where to start. First, we decided to go drive The Rockin' Roadway. When we got off we went to this place that sold corn dogs and tater swirls. The corn dogs were around 1 foot in length. The tater swirls that I got, I thought that they were awesome! When we finished we went to the County Fair. There were a whole bunch of games and rides. Including: The Dizzy Disc, The Flying Elephants, Lemon Twist, Scrambler, Sky Rider, Shooting Star, and VegiTales Sideshow Spin.

After that we worked ourselves up the hill, we got to see bald eagles! Then we got back up to another roller coaster called “Blazing Fury”. The best part was that you got to get wet! Right behind the roller coaster was another one! (I rode this one before and it was my first loop ride so I really wanted to ride this again). When we rode it, I think it was better than last time! They took our picture during the ride and when we were done we got to see the pictures of us. Heath and Cal tied for most goofiest. We went back down, went to a cafe, we ordered, and when we sat down there was a man that looks just like Santa Clause. He noticed and came over to talk to us. He was nice but he left and so did we. Heath, Daddy, Cal, and I went up to Timber Canyon which has two roller coasters Mystery Mine, and Thunderhead. While Lainey and John Micah went back to the County Fair.

We stopped right in front of the Mystery Mine and I felt a little scared. Cal said that Heath would be able to ride it because he SAID that he rode when he was little, but you actually had to be 48 inches tall to ride it. Anyway Heath was tall enough. When we rode it was AWESOME!!! For the contest Heath was the funniest, Cal was in second , I was in second, and my dad was in last. I was in last because the air was pushing down on my face that's what made me look funny. Then the Thunderhead this one was non-stop it would not slow down like the rest it just kept going! The picture on this one, Heath looked the funniest again. Cal and I knew when the picture was coming so we smiled.

The Richardson Tribe

Other Destinations:
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Berry College
Big Kahunas
Biltmore House
Blairsville, Georgia
Callaway Gardens
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cave Spring
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Chattanooga Zoo
Chehaw Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Chieftains Museum
Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
Cloudland Canyon
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Cohutta Wilderness
Cumberland Island
Dauset Trails
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Dunnaway Gap
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
Helen Georgia
Hillcrest Orchards
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Allatoona
Lake Sidney Lanier
Lake Winnepesaukah
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
McIntosh Reserve
McKinney Campground
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Rome GA
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Silver Springs
Stone Mountain Park
Tanglewood Farm
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Townsend KOA
Townsend Tennessee
Twinbrook Resort
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures

Special Event:Smoky Mountain Christmas


Rating (1-10)


Official website 10 Top notch website. Wouldn't change a thing.


Townsend KOA - Townsend, Tennessee is nice. About 1/2 hour from Dollywood.
Up The Creek RV Camp is another favorite. Very close to Dollywood.   
Activities & Events 10 Hey, it's Dollywood. There are dozens of rides, shows, artisans, games, walking, zip lines, climbing, jumping. sliding, getting wet, and so much more...
Parking 9 It's a big parking lot, but don't worry, the trolley's are very regular and efficient.. Note, if you are purchasing or upgrading to season passes, upgrade one to a "Gold" pass. Parking will then be free for future visits. RV parking is also available at Dollywood.
Local Attractions


Far too many to list - Gatlinburg, Townsend, Great Smoky Mountains, go carts, bungee jumping, gem grubbing, comedy shows, music shows, miniature golf, Aquarium of the Smokies, shopping, helicopter rides, t-shirts, more go-carts, more t-shirts, water parks, etc. etc.
*Note: We rate only the amenities we have personally reviewed.

No financial consideration or favor has been received for listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way affiliated with this facility or any other facility we review. Any paid advertising seen on this site was arranged after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the reviews to be unbiased.

November 2014


November 2010

April 2010