Yes we went to Dollywood. We decided it was the best amusement park for our vacation and right by the smokey mountains. We got up early and found parking easily.
We started the morning by walking to the back of the park where most of the more high intensity roller coasters were. Because its as still early there were very few people. We took on the wooden roller coaster first. It went much faster then I think L and I had expected and was a great wake-up for us both. L, excited about the lack of lines jumped right into the next ride: a mine ride which I thought would be akin to Thunder mountain at Disneyland, I was wrong
Once we got into the seats and I realize they were putting the bar over our heads I went “uh oh” It was intense and fast and because of my short torso my ears and head got a little banged up. After that I asked L to take things a little slower.
We went on a slower “kiddie” ride indoors where you are a part of firefighter team chasing a blazing house fire(s). Afterwards we began to wander a little more and went on the log ride then got coffee at the grist mill and stood in line for the rapids ride.
The rapids ride line took forever compared to the ride itself and was the longest wait of the day. After the noon heat hit we started to look at the show list. We watched the birds of prey for a few minutes, then watched an ensemble walk through medley’s which told the history of country music (most of which I did not recognize, fortunately L did). Afterward, we listened to the string band, play bluegrass hits, the highlight of which was actually the banjo player.
We got a baked good then headed to our last show of the day: the Kingdom Heirs ,Dolly’s own southern gospel quartet. Although this is not my favorite style of music it is a style I grew up around as my grandfather was in a quartet when he was younger . I thought it wise since we were there to take it all in. Most of the show we enjoyed, my husband appreciated hearing the true base sing in a range he could as well.
After an afternoon of shows we got a snack and water and went on a train ride on the steam engine which around the park. On that ride we found out that the park used to be a silver dollar city before it became Dollywood and L informed me he had been to the silver dollar city in Branson when he was young.
At the end of a relaxing train ride we explored the carnival area where we rode the swings (one of my favorites) and refilled on water. We then walked back towards the faster coaster area and I sat and continued to rehydrate as Luke took on some of the larger coasters including soaring Eagle, one of the newer rides of the park.
One unique thing about Dollywood is when your parks’ rep is a songwriter new rides in the park get their own theme song written by Dolly herself. I sat and enjoyed the theme song to several roller coasters L went on.
Last of all we together went on a coaster which traveled through “forest” to fight forest fires, ends in a fireworks factory which is set on fire, then takes you back through half the track backwards to the beginning.
It was a fun day and a very different theme park then what L and I were used to but worth it.
The next day we left early, did a little shopping: outlet cowboy boots and cast iron skillets at the lodge store then were were on the road again. This time our route took us through North Carolina, corner of Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. We were safely home late that night ready to unpack for the coming week.