Thursday, September 22, 2016


I have always been a Dolly Parton fan. Weeks ago, I was talking with my daughter Catherine about our plans to add Dollywood to our itinerary and she said, "I have a friend who works there--I'll ask him about free passes." Lo and behold, within a few days, two free passes appeared in my email inbox from Catherine's friend (who goes by the name of Jaz online.) On Wednesday, we headed over there.

Pigeon Forge has a really nice public transportation system. We had the option of driving our car and parking at Dollywood, where a free tram would pick us up near our car and take us to the gate, or else  we could park at Patriot Park not too far from us and taking us to the gate from there. Since parking at Dollywood is $12 for a car (oversized vehicles are $18) and the trolley costs 50 cents per person each way, it was really a no-brainier. Fast, easy, inexpensive, and convenient.

Dollywood has loads of different things to see and do. It is laid out very nicely, with areas of extreme beauty.
They claim to make "the best cinnamon rolls in the world" here. Of course, they have not sampled MY cinnamon rolls. ;)
This lovely church actually holds Sunday services weekly. Detailed pictorial quilts on the walls in the style of stained glass windows add a lovely touch.
There are a lot of eagle-themed elements in the park. Dollywood has the largest exhibit of non-releasable American Bald Eagles in the world here.
We rode the Dollywood Express on a five mile loop around the park. This was our only ride we took, but we sure had fun watching people scream as they rode huge roller coasters (and there are a lot of roller coasters at this park!)
Do you recognize these faces? We saw walls of photos of Dolly with other celebrities. Fascinating. There are several small museums at Dollywood, including a reproduction cabin depicting where Dolly Parton grew up. There's a gospel music museum. Another one has a large collection of her beautiful costumes.
Her Prevost motorcoach can be toured. She sure traveled in luxury!
You could also see shows throughout the day. Magic shows, animal shows, music... so much to do and see!
There were restaurants, water rides, demonstration of mountain crafts, and loads of shopping.Whew! We walked over 6,000 steps, according to my step-tracker. Enough to work off our lunch, I'm sure.

Eventually, we decided to call it a day, found the trolley stop and rode back to our car. I can see why this is such a big attraction, one that everyone should visit at least once. We are very grateful for the passes that allowed us to see Dollywood. Thanks, Jaz!

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