I could cut this blog real short and give you the answer right now: no. Dollywood is huge – not just in overall size, but in total offerings. I mean, the whole property is more than 160-acres and complete with 50+ rides and attractions, multiple award-winning shows, some of the best restaurants in the region and so much more. You can buy a single-day ticket right here, and I can guarantee you’ll have a great time. But, I promise you, you won’t be able to do everything, and you’re just going to be left wanting more.
Do you want to see the long answer? Fine, but, as I said, it’s a long one.
Dollywood is BIG
Dollywood’s total current land size is 160-acres. That’s big. To put that into perspective, a full walk of the entire park, from gate to gate through each themed – land, tallies up to 1.5 miles. That is a lot of ground to be covering in a solo trip, not including the number of stops and re-walks around the place. Every inch of those 160-acres is highly themed to the area’s story. This isn’t a park where you just walk past the popcorn stands to get to the big coaster at the end of the midway. On your way to the popcorn and coasters, the park immerses you into a variety of landscapes (some of which revolve around Dolly’s hometown), and that theming is a large part of the experience. Before deciding on a single day, stop and think about the size of this place, and just how much time you’ll want to spend exploring it.
Rides, Rides and Even More Rides
There are 50+ rides and attractions spread throughout Dollywood. That stat by itself should make you wonder if it’s even possible to see and do everything in one day. Even if you only plan on riding our coasters, that’s still nine rides to travel to and enjoy, barring you don’t get distracted by any of our 41 others. You can bulldoze a path through Dollywood on your way to our high-flying thrills, but other adrenaline-pumping rides like Drop Line, Barnstormer, and the Mad Mockingbird will catch your eye. In one visit, you can probably knock out all the coasters, but what about everything else? Or, what about re-riding your favorite experiences? When you only have one day, you might have to forgo that extra ride or new experience, and no one wants that.
Best Shows in the Country
We are so much more than just rides. Dollywood has been voted the best theme park in the country for entertainment and shows, multiple times. No matter the season, Dollywood produces high-quality stage performances and live entertainment at more than 10 on-site theaters and venues. Most venues even host different shows on the same day. The number of shows itself is too big to see everything in just one visit. These are masterful performances that you simply can’t get anywhere else. Being on that one-day time crunch makes experiencing all of these shows a planning nightmare.
Good Eats and Treats
I believe it’s safe to assume that you’ve heard about our world-famous cinnamon bread or maybe even our award-winning Aunt Granny’s Restaurant. That’s just the tip of our culinary iceberg. With delicious cuisine peppered throughout Dollywood, your eyes are guaranteed to get a bit bigger than your stomach during your trip. You could not possibly eat all of our delicious food in one day, believe me, this guy tried it. So, while the iconic Dollywood meal can be bought at the Grist Mill every day, it’s not the only iconic eat in the park. Take the time to sample everything we have, you might even find a new must-get treat.
Dollywood is not your typical theme park in a number of facets, but particularly in the shopping department. Areas of the park, such as Craftsmen’s Valley, offer one-of-a-kind hand-made items typically sold at premium stores, not beside a water flume ride. A number of these locations also offer craft opportunities that even allow you to create your own souvenir, with the guidance of an expert, of course. A whole new level of ambiance comes into play when you explore our stores and craft locations. Instead of just passing by these storefronts, step inside and take a look around – find a souvenir you’ll remember forever.
Dollywood offers a cohesive design. The park’s themed-lands manifest stories and combine rides, shops and eateries to present a full entertainment experience. Anyone strutting through the park can see this, but the detail is far beyond face value. Everything from the names of restaurants to the signs on the walls serve a purpose for the area’s narrative. Pause to enjoy subtle nods to Dollywood’s behind-the-scenes hosts and Easter eggs that are hard to spot when you are more focused on the destination than the journey.
If you want to scramble through the park like you’re late to the airport and try to cram all the fun in one visit, you can. But if you want to enjoy this Smoky Mountain icon, with all of its story and nuance, please soak it in over a few days. Take the time to relax and enjoy our park the way it was intended. Don’t rush through Dollywood, you’ll regret it.