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Looking for help from the Dollywood experts. How many days to really see the park( already did the waterpark)? We like the thrill rides & family rides, will watch  the shows and enjoy good places to eat. We enjoy a leisurely pace do not want to rush. Also what would be the best campground to use? We stayed at Clabough's  the last time & was not impressed plus looking for a place to accommodate our large rig. Thanks for any help.

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I'm sure Dave will be along shortly... but for us, one day was enough at the park.  Having said that, if you can get a cheap price on a two day, then that might be a nicer pace.  I think I remember seeing a ticket where if you came in after 3p in the afternoon, then the next day was free??  Maybe that's the wrong park  :rolleyes:

 

We'll be there in August and are planning on one day at the park and one day at the water park however, I have two small kiddos and one dear hubby with a bad back so...we're limited on how much we actually do :)

 

Campgrounds, this is our first time camping and we'll be staying here:  http://www.pinemountainrvpark.com

 

Have fun!! :)

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Like nacole, we are limited in what we can do, but we have had APs for several years now.  We usually go into the park twice in a week, but the past two trips we have had DGKs with us and we dropped them off at the entrance two extra times, so it just depends on your interest.  We haven't been to the coaster loop in 2-3 years, but I understand it changes just about every year, usually with a new coaster being added.  You could probably spend three days and see most things of interest...rides, shows, crafts, eats....and of course Shawnee's all time favorite, The Long Black Train.  We agree:  Keep it leisurely.

 

And don't forget there's lots to see and do in the area besides DW.

 

We have used River Plantation RV Resort (close to WalMart, lots of pull throughs) in Sevierville for the past few trips, but have also tried RiversEdge (more convenient, no pull throughs, kinda crowded) near the Gatlinburg end of Pigeon Forge.

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We've found minimum 2 full days or 1/2 day/full day/1/2 day is the best way to go for us to see and do it all, and re-do some of the rides (my teenagers don't feel they've done the coasters unless they've done them each several times).  Like elsewhere it depends on if you get there at rope drop vs late morning.  We go fairly full steam. Also consider whether or not you want to do back to back shows (and you should get to the shows early -- 30 min or so depending on crowds -- if you want good seats).  And some shows aren't offered on certain days. If you haven't been before you should go through Dolly's museum also. And it depends on if you like to really look through all the shops.  I do!

 

Can't help with the campground because we stay in a motel.

 

And I'll ask for your advice on the waterpark -- How long to spend and what are the best things to do? We're going to do the waterpark for the first time this summer.

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We are just starting to research this option too.  I'm interested in hearing answers to all of Rennie's questions (especially good places to eat), but have an additional question too!

 

 

We have been to Hershey Park and Busch Gardens in Virginia.  How does Dollywood compare to those who have been to both or all 3. 

 

 

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I just googled   http://www.dollywood.com/themepark/dining  and found there are a lot more places to eat in DollyWood than I knew about.  We usually do Aunt Granny's, or Miss Lillian's, and the 50's hamburger place.  We did the pizza place once.  All have filled us up.  We don't often go out for food in the area, but cook most meals in the MH....unless Judy wants ribs.  

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We are just starting to research this option too.  I'm interested in hearing answers to all of Rennie's questions (especially good places to eat), but have an additional question too!

 

 

We have been to Hershey Park and Busch Gardens in Virginia.  How does Dollywood compare to those who have been to both or all 3. 

 

We've been to Dollywood several times over the past 10 years and Busch Gardens in Virginia once  in the summer of 2013 -- we had a week long pass and went several days in the late afternoon into evening. My husband and I don't do big coasters / thrill rides but my 3 boys do. They loved Busch Gardens' coasters and I'm sure would rate them higher than Dollywood's but we were bored. To me, Dollywood has more variety of things to do and see for all ages, more family rides, better shows and more atmosphere. And most of the people who work there are really really nice. It just amazes me.  And the kettle corn at Dollywood....don't get me started. 

 

For eating, we usually eat at Miss Lillian's (all you can eat and I have 3 teenage boys) and the sausage or BBQ stands. We like Miss Lillian's better than Aunt Granny's. To me the food is good; it's not great. Except the kettle corn. 

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Never been to dollywood but we normally hit the smokies once a year. We normally stay up in elkmont. No hookup but there are generator loops. Been there with and without a generator and it is great. It is about a 20 minute drive at max over the Gatlinburg bypass from pigeon forge.

We have drove through the rv parks in pigeon forge and have not been impressed. There are a bunch out I believe 321 to the east of gatlinburg. Some were rated well on good Sam and they looked nice when we drove by a few months back.

I will probably always stay at elkmont though. It is my happy place in the smokies.

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We may live in FL, but I consider myself a pro (not an expert) when it comes to the smokies. We usually do the 4th of July each year up until recently because of the wrong truck/RV combo. That is all fixed this year and we are smoky bound in July. As some of you know, this is our favorite place. Smoky Bear campgrounds is the best in the smokies. http://smokybearcampground.com The owners are great, it's far enough from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg. It's about 11 miles east of Gatlinburg and some think that Is a downfall for this place and it's also not on the trolley route. But if your like us and want a nice full hook up site and the darkness to see a ton of shooting stars, this is the place.

Dollywood is our favorite theme park, even more than Disney. The southern hospitality from the staff and the prices do it for us. The rides they have added over the years are not so shabby either. Dolly adds a new attraction just about every year. Not something stupid like closing captain E.O. And adding movie attractions but adding a major coaster or big ride. I think you can get the park done in one day no problem. Christmas / thanksgiving is a great time of year to visit with the cooler weather and awesome decorations.

Make sure you visit the Smokey Mountian Brewery in Gatlinburg. Great rest. With some good beers. And of course, you gave to drive the parkway between Gatlinburg and Cherokee. One of the best views and drive in the country.

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I've only been to Dollywood once, and we did it very wrong... didn't get there till 11, large group, and pretty much just wandered. Only got in a few attractions, but we enjoyed our day with Fiends :)

 

When we were there, we stayed in Townsend at the KOA.

 

We also spent part of a day in Gatlinburg visiting the brewery's.

 

Another highlight of our trip was Cades Cove.

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I'm a fan or River Plantation in Sevierville, it's our regular spot when we go to PF\Gatlinburg. One thing you will need to consider is your size. Some of the CG's in that area are not setup for larger rigs like you have, so if you call to talk to any of them be sure to inquire about that.

As far as time I would say a couple days at a leisurely pace. You can buy annual passes cheaper that 2 days of park tickets so definitely look into that if you plan to be here a few days.

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I'm a fan or River Plantation in Sevierville, it's our regular spot when we go to PF\Gatlinburg. One thing you will need to consider is your size. Some of the CG's in that area are not setup for larger rigs like you have, so if you call to talk to any of them be sure to inquire about that.

As far as time I would say a couple days at a leisurely pace. You can buy annual passes cheaper that 2 days of park tickets so definitely look into that if you plan to be here a few days.

 

Todd, you must have read my mind I do plan to call and ask because of the truck, I think the RV Dreams rally was at River Plantation and one of the folks that were at Deer Run went there after the HDT rally so should be good but will check. Thanks for the tip on tickets also.

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We love Dollywood, but we are not water park types.  You do get the next day added if you go in after 3 PM, and that is what we usually do.  Gives us an evening and a full day.

 

If you are going to go 2 times or more during the season, the annual passes are the best bet, and we also have one of our party buy the gold pass. That person then buys all the food, etc., to take advantage of the discount for the gold pass holder.

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We love Dollywood, but we are not water park types.  You do get the next day added if you go in after 3 PM, and that is what we usually do.  Gives us an evening and a full day.

 

If you are going to go 2 times or more during the season, the annual passes are the best bet, and we also have one of our party buy the gold pass. That person then buys all the food, etc., to take advantage of the discount for the gold pass holder.

Gold Pass=Free parking

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Was looking at their ticket prices today and they do not show he after 3pm free next day offer, it was listed in another section but wen you click on the link it does not show, hope  they still offer it will look when there. Still trying to decide on a campground.

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The after 3 pm was still being offered when we were there in April of this year.  

 

Ok good, might not just show it on the web site, that sounds like how we will plan it. Thanks

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My local paper, the Tampa Bay Times, had a huge feature on Dollywood in yesterday's paper.  Here's a link: http://www.tampabay.com/features/travel/dollywood-a-big-part-of-dolly-partons-legacy/2251569

 

I didn't know that the first on-site hotel opened in July.

 

Sounds pretty nice:

 

Where to stay

Opened in July, Dollywood's DreamMore Resort has 300 rooms and suites starting around $149 plus tax (again, fluctuating by season), all the way up to the Dolly Parton Suite at $5,000 per night. It's very family-friendly — many rooms have bunk beds, plus there's a playground, splash pad, game room and Camp DW, a kids' club with activities like arts and crafts. Other amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a fitness center, trolley service to Dollywood and eight meeting rooms for special events (conferences, weddings, etc.). Resort guests can buy two park tickets for the price of one, and they receive a free Dollywood TimeSaver Pass ($25) and early park entry on Saturdays. For something a little more private, try Dollywood Smoky Mountain Cabins, a line of about 120 cabins that range in sleeping capacity from four to 30. Nightly rates currently start at $249, but drop as low as $149 in January. For information, call toll-free 1-855-276-1610 or go to dollywood.com/cabins.

 

TCD

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We've made two trips there since June, and are going back for Thanksgiving.  

 

The hotel is spectacular.  We may stay there sometime in the early spring when the new wooden coaster opens (world's fastest and the world's first launched wood coaster).

 

Anyone who writes off Dollywood because it's not Disney, is in Tennessee, or is just a theme park similar to a Six Flags park is missing out.  We love the park....it's a ton of fun, clean, and a nice mix of attractions for various age groups.  Plus the food is often ranked as the top theme park food in the country.

 

But I hate to brag on it too much....the crowds are pretty manageable, and it's incredibly affordable for someone used to being robbed blind by the Mouse.  So I don't want too many people discovering it.   

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We've made two trips there since June, and are going back for Thanksgiving.  

 

The hotel is spectacular.  We may stay there sometime in the early spring when the new wooden coaster opens (world's fastest and the world's first launched wood coaster).

 

Anyone who writes off Dollywood because it's not Disney, is in Tennessee, or is just a theme park similar to a Six Flags park is missing out.  We love the park....it's a ton of fun, clean, and a nice mix of attractions for various age groups.  Plus the food is often ranked as the top theme park food in the country.

 

But I hate to brag on it too much....the crowds are pretty manageable, and it's incredibly affordable for someone used to being robbed blind by the Mouse.  So I don't want too many people discovering it.   

 

Good for Dollywood.

 

If I lived closer to it, I'd sure give it a try.

 

Those $149 rooms at the hotel sure sound a lot nicer than the "value" resort rooms that WDW offers.

 

And the ticket prices are so much lower.

 

Plus, it sounds like they actually have rides that are open and operational.  Imagine that.

 

TCD

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