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Reservation Questions? Read THIS!

UPDATED Dec. 7, 2021

Making a reservation before visiting a theme park? Yes, it’s still something we’re all getting used to. To help control crowd size, we’re requesting you let us know you’re coming. That’s because currently there is a limit on daily attendance and we want you to know if you can get in before you load up the car. Because it’s new [since the pandemic began anyway], we’re getting lots of questions. Allow me to attempt to answer some of the most-common reservation questions.

Are Reservations Required?

Yes, due to the popularity of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, we are now requiring reservations for entry prior to 6 p.m. Entry after 6 p.m. will be available as capacity allows.

Non-Season Passholders, your dated ticket serves as your reservation. If you have a multi-day ticket, your purchase is your “reservation” for a five-day window. You do not need to worry about making a reservation for any subsequent days. Tickets must be pre-purchased before you arrive.

Who Are Reservations For?

Season Passholders are the only guests who need to make a reservation. We know when other guests are coming because the ticket is dated. Season Passholders can come any day, so knowing when they want to come helps us manage capacity limits.

Each visiting Season Passholder needs their own reservation. If you have people in your party younger than 4 years old, you have the opportunity to include them in your count as you make your reservation.

How Do I Make a Reservation?

We made a video for this question! Check THIS PAGE.

What If I Haven’t Gotten My Season Pass ID Card Yet?

If you’ve not visited the park yet to process your pass (that is, get your picture made and receive your Season Pass card), then you are able to input the bar code from the confirmation email since you don’t have your ID number just yet. This 16-digit alphanumeric code works, too! Just be sure to distinguish between a 1 and a l and a 0 and an O!

What About Children Younger than 4?

Passholders with children younger than 4 in their party have the option to add those reservations when they make their own.

If you purchased tickets, you already know children younger than 4 years old do not need one. So, how do we know how many children younger than 4 to count? Based on ticket sales, we have enough data to give us a good daily estimate so these children are already accounted for. Take heart! There’s nothing you need to do.

What About Other Tickets?

If you did not purchase a dated ticket but obtained a general admission ticket, you need to make a reservation. (As a Dollywood host, I receive complimentary tickets I can give family and friends. When I give those tickets as gifts, I usually make reservations for those who are coming.) Look for the ticket bar code. This is a 16-digit alphanumeric code. Just be sure to distinguish between a 1 and a l and a 0 and an O!

What If I’m Staying at a Dollywood Property?

If you are a guest at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa or in one of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins, you do not need to make a reservation—even if you’re a Season Passholder! It’s a great perk! You’re staying with us; we anticipate you’ll visit Dollywood, so we’ve already counted you!

How Do I Add a Bring-A-Friend Ticket?

If you are a Season Passholder who has Bring-A-Friend tickets, first check the validity dates. Keep in mind, many of these comp tickets are not valid on Fridays and Saturdays. If your ticket IS available to use on the date you want to visit, you may add the ticket’s bar code. Each Bring-A-Friend is unique and has a bar code. Plug that in (as opposed to a Season Pass ID number), and you can reserve your friend’s spot when you make your own reservation!

How Do I Cancel My Reservation?

If your plans change, PLEASE cancel your reservations so other guests can use your spots to get in. To do this, go to your confirmation email you received after you made your reservation. You can search your inbox for Dollywood Guest Services. (Check your junk folder if you can’t find it! And, if that doesn’t help, you can call 1-800-Dollywood and we can re-send you the email.) Once you have the email open, scroll down to find the button that says Manage Reservation. You can do it there!

What If I Made A Mistake and Now It's Full?

It’s best to be proactive and make your reservations as far out as possible. Especially if you plan to visit on a weekend, I’d encourage you to make your reservation at least a couple weeks in advance (probably earlier than that for popular times like Christmas). If something changes and you now need more spots, watch the site for openings. It’s an automated system, so as people change their plans and cancel reservations, those spots will open up.

If you aren’t able to get a reservation, it’s possible to get in without a reservation— but you’re going to have to wait until AFTER it gets dark (assuming you’re reading this during Smoky Mountain Christmas festival). During much of the year, the trend we see is that there’s a wave of folks who leave in the early afternoon. As that happens, we will open availability for those who are ready to stand in. People usually leave later during Christmas. We will allow entry after 6 p.m. if capacity is available.

What’s My Best Chance to Get in if It’s Full?

People’s plans DO change, so watch Dollywood’s website. As people cancel their reservations, those spots will open up online. By chance, you can be standing by (hitting refresh) when the spots open and you get in.

So, should you consider coming to the park without a reservation? That depends on whether you are willing to wait until evening. If we’re in a busy period (i.e., spring break, fall break, Christmas, etc.), there’s a strong possibility we won’t let anyone in unless they have a reservation as they come through the parking tolls. We did decide to require reservations during Smoky Mountain Christmas: it’s a very popular festival and reservations help us ensure a better guest experience. But, as the day goes on, people leave and as guests leave, we will let others enter. During the Christmas season, plan on 6 p.m. (It may be earlier during other times of the year.)

What Do I Need to Bring with My Reservation?

This is very important: bring your email confirmation that includes your reservation with your Season Passes or tickets. The reservation does not replace the ticket or pass. Please remember to bring both! You may show the reservation (or tickets for that matter) on your phone if you cannot print it out.

Why Isn’t the Date I Want Available?

Reservations open 60 days at a time. The day you want may not be available because we’re more than 60 days from that date. It’s a rolling 60-day system. You want to visit on July 7? Grab a calendar and count back 60 days from July 7.

Or the date may not be available because it’s full. Typically, this isn’t a problem, but especially if you want to visit on a weekend and during popular seasons, we recommend booking at least a couple weeks in advance.

Also know that if you’re trying to use a Bring-A-Friend ticket, there may be blackout dates, and you may be selecting a day that the Bring-A-Friend isn’t valid. Always check validity dates before making a reservation.

If the date you want is grayed out, it may be because you’ve already made a reservation!

What Time Do I Arrive When I Have a Reservation?

Reservations are not timed for entry. With a reservation, you may arrive at any point during the day.

I will tell you, though, if you do not arrive 30 minutes to an hour early, then just know that the first few hours are usually the busiest getting through the gate. I suggest arriving early or delaying your arrival until noon or so.

Why Are Reservations Full When Tickets Are Available?

We have several “buckets” from which our attendance numbers come, including lodging guests, general admission (daily tickets) and Season Passholders. There’s a set number of tickets people can purchase, and there’s a set number of reservations our Passholders can claim. That way, people from both groups have the opportunity to visit on any given day. Typically speaking, we offer more than half of our daily attendance allotment to our Season Passholders. It’s a great perk of being in our Season Passholder family!

Can You Help Me Troubleshoot?

There are cases when you just need someone to help you. And, because things are different due to COVID-19, our phone lines are staying pretty busy. See if this online technical support tool addresses your issue!

And, there’s another blog with answers to commonly-asked questions HERE.

By | 2021-12-17T10:40:34+00:00 April 2nd, 2021|Trip Planning|0 Comments

About the Author:

Amber Davis is in the thick of navigating life as a working mom. She regularly balances meetings and tantrums —from her children, not coworkers. Growing up in Knoxville, Amber visited Dollywood and Sevier County often and now loves to share the same experiences with her own young family. Read More!
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