Tourists to East Tennessee flock in their thousands every year to one of the state’s biggest attractions, the Dollywood Amusement Park so if you are staying in the city of Loudon and are looking for an action packed day out that will be fun for the whole family then this is definitely worth a trip. The 150 acre theme park is guaranteed to be a fun-filled adventure with thrills and excitement for children (and adults) of all ages with its multiple rides, attractions and non-stop entertainment while the 30 acre water park, Dollywood’s Splash Country, has pools, water slides and other attractions that offer the perfect alternative to help you cool down in the height of the summer.
The name of this theme park comes from its co-owner, the legendary country singer Dolly Parton who was born and raised nearby in the Great Smokey Mountain region. She got involved with the park in 1986 because she wanted to bring something back to the region and its people and it was renamed Dollywood in her honor. The park now employs over 3000 people making it one of the largest employers in the community and it is located in Pigeon Forge. The main park has over 40 rides that include several roller coasters and the heart-stopping Wild Eagle which was voted the best new ride in 2012. It is split into ten themed sections, most of which reflect differing aspects of the region from history and culture to music and imagination, with some closely connected to Dolly Parton’s personal life and aspirations including the Dreamland Forest and Adventures in Imagination. Other areas of the part focus more on the history of the Southern Appalachian Region and its culture through different eras and these include The Show Street, Rivertown Junction, Craftsmen’s Valley and The Village with the latter including the famous Dollywood Express steam train which is a heritage railway that runs through the park. The Country Fair area consists of traditional favorites like The Wonder Wheel and Dolly’s Demolition Derby as well as the Dizzy Disc, Waltzing Swinger, the Amazing Flying Elephants, Sky Rider, Bust Bees and the Lemon Twist. The Timber Canon pays homage to the mining and lumber industries that played a large part in the region’s economy over the years including the Mystery Mine and Thunderhead Rollercoasters. Just behind this section lies the Wilderness Pass and here you will find the amazing River Battle an interactive water raft ride and the aforementioned Wild Eagle, a unique winged coaster that is not for the faint hearted as it reached a height of over two hundred feet, at speeds of almost 100 km per hour!
Dollywood’s Splash Country has over twenty seven slides that are situated in thirteen separate areas and this is open from during the warmer months only from May to September. Some of the slides have height restrictions so they are only available to older children however many of the attractions are open to all. There are also a variety of vendors, cafes and restaurants selling a wide range of food and beverages with both open and shaded seating areas available.