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I asked Mickey to describe Dollywood to me today.  He said “It’s like your favorite hometown festival, but more fun.  You have the train, the rides, the people that are just happy to be there.  It’s like traveling back in time.”   That’s exactly how I feel, too, and that’s why we go back again & again.

We have started visiting DollyWood more & more over the past two years because it is like going back in time – simple, easy & everyone is so sweet.


I asked Dolly in a recent interview why she thought this was & she said “That’s how it is with country people… especially Smokey Mountains.  I’m so proud to be a Smokey Mountain girl.   The one thing I love the most is how friendly people are… that’s just the southern way.” 

Whatever the reason… it is why we find ourselves going back there again & again.

We initially went this year because of the deal that they are running (you can go after 3:00 and you get the next day for free.)  but we found ourselves staying longer because of the charm.

On the first day, we arrived around 5:00 pm and spent the evening on the rides.  We stopped by the Old Mill for dinner & made our way to the DreamMore Resort. The kids had SUCH A great time!

(outside of The Old Mill)
old mill
My parents, Mickey and I took the kids & our nephew, Dylan.    Luckily, Jack & Dylan both like to ride the thrill rides, so they rode a lot together.

dollywood ride
Beau, Ethan & Allie prefer the easier rides, so we swapped which adults went with which kids and everyone had a chance to ride everything.

After the park, both days, we went back to swim at the resort.  As I mentioned before, we stayed at the Dollywood DreamMore Resort and it was BEAUTIFUL.  If you are debating where to stay, I couldn’t suggest it more.

We were greeted with such kindness, plus is was in perfect condition (clean, beautifully decorated, gorgeous room) and they have great amenities (indoor & outdoor pool, bakery, Starbucks, lounge, arcade, kids club room, and many outdoor areas to relax.)

Here was the view from our floor… 
dollywood dream resort pool
They had daily lemonade and the kids loved it!  We went every day. 🙂


Allie & I snuck away a few times to hang out together in one of the outdoor areas:

hanging out at Dollywood dream resort

If we hadn’t stayed long enough, Mickey and I were invited back to DollyWood a few weeks later to meet Mrs. Dolly Parton herself (she was also filming part of the movie):

A couple standing in front of a sign in Dollywood.
We met some very friendly people… not surprised 😉   …  (like Whitney Carr & Morgan King, hosts of Good Day Tri-Cities.)

Soon after, we went inside and heard all about Dolly Parton’s new movie, Christmas of Many Colors.   She also talked about her new album, Pure & Simple, and how great it is selling (number one!)

Dolly Parton 2016

According to “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love will air on NBC on Nov. 30. The film comes a month after the Oct. 18 release of Parton’s children’s book, Coat of Many Colors.

Parton’s original film, Coat of Many Colors, aired on NBC in December of 2015 and drew an impressive 15.9 million viewers.” 

Dolly Parton 2016
Mickey & I had a great trip driving from NC to TN (about 3 hours) to meet her.  She is just as beautiful as she is sweet:

dolly parton 2016

After the interview, we were escorted through the part to the Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest roller coaster!    We sat in the front row & it was AMAZING!  Seriously.  I could have done it ten times… If we didn’t have to get back home by the time the kids came home from school, we would have ridden all day. 🙂

The crowds are super low in September! I would highly suggest trying to go during this time.  You can walk onto any ride (because most kids are in school).  It was so much fun.

dollywood lightning ride
We would love to go back again (I’ll update you when we do!)   Starting November 5th, she will be hosting  “The Parade of Many Colors,” in the Smoky Mountains.   This $2.5 million parade will run nightly and will be a charity event.

“The parade is not specifically about my life and the stuff that’s in the movie, but it has all the colors of all the feelings and all the thoughts that we had in my songs and in the coat and all that stuff.  So we just wanted to share the joy of Christmas that we do have in the movie and that feeling all around that we have here at Dollywood during our Smoky Mountain Christmas.

“This parade of many colors kind of shares the spirit of family and fun and faith at Christmas, which we were so proud that ‘Coat of Many Colors’ did so well, and so we’re excited to actually share the Christmas miracles and a new Christmas movie,” Dolly announced today.

Overall- another great trip!   I’ll keep you posted with more family traveling news in the future. 🙂

More posts you might like:

Or why families long for vacations. 
long for vacation

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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