Author Topic: Whats Dollywood like?  (Read 421 times)


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Whats Dollywood like?
« on: June 30, 2017, 08:31:57 AM »
Never been there, but from what I gather its a lot like SDC? How comparable is it?
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Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 08:52:08 AM »
The old section is comparable to SDC. There are some nice stores and crafts and beautiful scenery, especially around the chapel. However, that is only one area. The park is more of a mixed bag of themes and areas, loosely based around Tennessee and Dolly. It's mostly all well done, but it's not like the cohesive city theme of SDC.

Personally I'm a fan of Dolly, so I loved the area near the front of the park that is themed to a town in the 50's/60's with a big Dolly Parton museum at the heart of it.
The county fair area is kind of a nicer GE.
The Timber Canyon area (or whatever it is called) on the North side looks nice, but it is all rides.
The only area I didn't care much for was the back of the park called "Wilderness Pass" or something similar. It just seemed cartoonish and sloppy at the time. The theming on their version of Riverblast is well below HFEC's usual standard. For some reason they just didn't put a lot of effort in this area yet, but that may be due to the costs of actually digging it out.

In general, the park seems to be even more ride oriented than SDC. Unfortunately though, in my opinion they have put less care into some of the rides. Wild Eagle was a disappointment in how bland the whole experience was. The station is pretty much bare wood and concrete with some video screens - it didn't feel like something HFEC had built. On the other hand they have Mystery Mine which is the most heavily themed coaster HFEC has built (outside of FITH/BF). Blazing Fury is excellent as well, of course. SDC just seems to know how to get a better bang for their buck when they build any new rides.

So all in all, it's a very nice park that I think most people here would enjoy almost as much as SDC, but it harder to get your money's worth there unless you want to ride stuff.

I think most of us would agree that SDC still has the best overall "package". The street actors, the shows, the old-timer citizens, the details like the train robbery, and even the ride package at SDC are things I'd take any day over what DW has with their growing selection of rides. Then again, this is an SDC fan site so we are only slightly biased.  ::)


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Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2017, 12:09:49 PM »
If you're still interested, I have a video that will be posted in a couple of hours that shows our day at Dollywood.

  It'll give you a little bit of a look at the park.  I've also got a bunch of photos of it posted at:

I would agree somewhat with Shave on the park.  It does have more rides.  It also has more entertainment than SDC does right now.  SDC has been in the habit the last few years of cutting back their non-festival entertainment, street troupe, and wandering characters.  Dollywood had more of all of that when we were there than SDC.  With at least 7 theaters, plus at least 2 museums, that's not hard for them to do.

The newer areas don't feel as "filled in" yet, but I think that's due as much to the time for the trees to grow in as anything.  Expo at SDC is finally starting to feel that way now, with the trees.  And Thunderhead Gap at Dollywood is on a similar time frame.  Give Timber Canyon and Wilderness Pass a few more years and they'll get there.  (BTW, both of them have more shops and dining available in them than either Grand Expo or Firemans's Landing, which, IMO I feel look at least as "cheap" as Wilderness Pass.  But that's just me)

I will say that SDC right now is better at preserving the history- the train robbery, Flooded Mine, Fire in the Hole, Grandfather's Mansion.  And I think there are people dedicated to keeping that.  I hope that continues.  One thing Dollywood doesn't have is classics from it's past left like that.

Which would I pick?  Honestly, I don't know.  There is a lot I love about both parks.  But if SDC continues on the path of letting it's past go away, the more it does that the more I lean towards Dollywood.  Which really hurts me to say that.
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Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2017, 01:22:45 PM »
I personally think it is a great park, but it is not Silver Dollar City and honestly I don't think you can even fairly compare the two.  Dollywood is a themepark with multiple themed sections.  Silver Dollar City has a more cohesive feel to it.  They're both great parks and I like them both for different reasons.

But to do the park justice - don't go in expecting SDC


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Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 01:22:25 PM »
Went to DW once about ten years ago.  At the time more show offerings but even the original SDC Tennessee section seemed lacking from a crafts standpoint.  Probably won't go back because 12 hour  drive versus 8 to SDC. 


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Re: Whats Dollywood like?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 02:34:00 AM »
Been meaning to do a full trip report, but here are videos from my recent Dollywood Trip. (first time visitor)

Trip video including most of the Train Ride (the Train is fantastic BTW)

American Eagle Foundation Show