Dollywood has become an iconic location for a number of people. For some, the more than 50 rides and attractions are the primary draws, others are brought in for the delicious food or the ever-inspiring entertainment. One consistent driver for our guests is, of course, Dolly. Dolly’s presence can be felt throughout the park, and it is an aura that all of the Dollywood faithful know and love.
Dolly has played a large role in the development of her park, and her presence is felt across the Smoky Mountains. If you happen to be a superfan of our Dreamer-in-Chief like I am, there are some must-do Dolly Parton attractions to check out during your next Smoky Mountain vacation.
Chasing Rainbows Museum
This Pigeon Forge museum located inside Dollywood is a one-stop shop for all kinds of Dolly facts and memorabilia. See costumes from Dolly’s movie career or look at some of her lavish gowns up close. Peruse through showcases displaying her many awards including some of her gold and platinum records. This highly interactive museum is the perfect Dolly Parton attraction for hardcore fans and newcomers alike.
Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home
Dolly references her upbringing in her music and interviews often, discussing the heritage she comes from in the Smoky Mountains and how she was raised. Fans of Dolly Parton can visit this walk-through attraction to see exactly what the artist meant when describing her younger years. The two-room building is a replica of her childhood home, complete with recreations of some of Dolly’s favorite childhood mementos.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Dolly’s second-oldest Pigeon Forge attraction next to Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Stampede has been entertaining guests and filling their bellies for 34 years. This dinner show combines acrobatics, horse tricks, pig racing and a literal feast to create one unforgettable experience. Dolly herself has been known to visit the Stampede and take in a show or two. If it’s good enough for the Queen of Country, it’s good enough for me-and you!
Dolly Parton Statue
With the massive amount of influence Dolly has had in her hometown, it was only a matter of time until they showed some thanks for her many favors. Sevier County petitioned for a statue of the local legend and debuted it in front of the Sevier County Courthouse in 1987, just a year after the opening of Dollywood. Today, the statue is a must-do Dolly Parton attraction and an ideal photo-op for her supporters coming to visit her Smoky Mountain home and theme park.
Being one of 12 kids, it is safe to say that Dolly came from a big family. Naturally, with so many siblings, even more nieces and nephews entered the star’s life. Throughout her life, these nieces and nephews have given Dolly the affectionate nickname, Aunt Granny. Today, that name is immortalized as one of the most iconic theme park eateries in the country, even claiming the top spot in USA Today’s Top10 theme park restaurants. If you plan on visiting this Dolly Parton culinary location, do so with an empty stomach; the family-style meal is all you can eat and absolutely scrumptious.
This Dolly Parton attraction is a little different from the rest. Instead of a single location, this entry is its own themed land designed by the Smoky Mountain Songbird herself. Showstreet inside Dollywood provides the perfect backdrop for the entry of the park and is meant to showcase Dolly’s idea of the perfect town main street. Dolly and I must have similar tastes, seeing as I would also put a bakery full of sweets across the street from a combo ice cream and candy shop.
Needless to say, Dolly fans are not limited on their options for attractions based around the singer. When the time comes to plan your next trip to Dollywood and the Smokies, be sure to plan a “Dolly Day” for your visit.