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Reservation Questions? Read THIS!

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?

No, but they are strongly encouraged to ensure Season Passholders can visit when they want.

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.

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. 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!

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

The best is 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. 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—AFTER about 3 p.m. Right now, the trend we’re seeing 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.

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 a few things. If we’re still in the spring break window, there’s a strong possibility we won’t let anyone in unless they have a reservation in the morning. But, as the day goes on, that possibility changes. Right now, we’re seeing a trend of people leaving around 2:30 – 3 p.m. (That time can vary throughout the year.) As guests leave, we will let others enter.

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 45 days at a time. The day you want may not be available because we’re more than 45 days from that date. It’s a rolling 45-day system. You want to visit on July 7? Grab a calendar and count back 45 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, 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.

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 | 2021-08-24T14:15:31+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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