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Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Time at Dollywood



Who doesn’t love to maximize their time at Dollywood? I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 ways to maximize time during your next visit to Dollywood.


Spring and Winter are less visited seasons at Dollywood. Generally, you’ll find Dollywood is most crowded in summer and fall. While going to Dollywood in the low season is ideal, visiting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday during summer is the best way to dodge crowds and long lines.


Did you know that Dollywood has an app? Go to the app store on your mobile device and download the free Dollywood app before your next trip. From the app, you can view park hours, information on tickets and passes, wait times for rides, show schedules, list of eateries, list of crafts, and list of shops. Each section also shows the location in the park.  There is also an interactive park map. Another neat feature is a section to make a list of all the things you want to see and do at the park.

Insider Tip: You must have location services enabled on your mobile device in order to view wait times for the rides and also to help you find your way to your next destination on the interactive map.


If you are visiting Dollywood on a busy day, you can purchase a “time saver” that schedules your rides for you and alerts you when you can show up to take your place in line. Spend less time in lines and more time enjoying all that Dollywood has to offer!


If your child is under 48 inches in height, take them to the Centralized Measuring Station as soon as you enter the park. The measuring station is located next to the Dollywood Emporium across from the Southern Gospel Hall of fame as you enter the park. Your child’s height will be measured and they will receive a color-coded wristband. The color-coded wristbands correspond to the color-coded information on the signs for each ride. This saves time because the ride attendants will not have to check your child’s height each time they enter a ride.


I wish I would have known about this magical thing the first time my husband and I rode Lightning Rod. The wait time was roughly 30 minutes. He rode first while I entertained the kids with dipping dots at the base of the ride. I’m not sure what he did to entertain them while I waited 30 minutes for my turn to ride. I wish I’d have known about the parent swap so we could have saved a TON of time. What exactly is the parent swap? The entire group enters the ride through the regular line. Once you arrive at the front of the line, you will let the ride attendant know that you wish to do a parent swap. One adult waits with the children in a secure area (the ride attendant will direct you to this location) while the rest of the group rides the attraction. Once the group returns, the adults will swap places with each other. After the parent swap concludes, guests will exit with other riders. This is one of the mom hacks I wish I’d known about when we first started planning trips with the kids.

Do you have any time-saving tips that help you maximize your time at Dollywood? I’d love to hear them!

The owner and founder of The Smoky Mountain Life, Kim Hunt, is a lifelong resident of southeast Tennessee and lover of all things Smoky Mountains. 

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