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2023 Season Passes: Diamond vs. Gold vs. Silver

Like many other parents, I have to budget my family’s fun throughout the year (sports, activities, entertainment, trips, etc.). To make these decisions, it always helps to do some research and make a pros and cons list. I thought it would be helpful if I give you that kind of side-by-side information when it comes to Dollywood’s 2023 Season Passes. What’s best for your family? Take a look below to compare and contrast the benefits. There are some updates from last year when we first introduced the tiered Season Pass system, so check out the pass types below before you buy!

Below the benefits charts, I created tabs for each pass type with some of my notes!

The first thing you need to know about the Diamond Pass is that we are only selling a limited amount. If you do not purchase this pass early, you may not have the option later. (For these perks and benefits to be exclusive, only a small amount of people can claim them.)

Diamond is our top-tier Dollywood Season Pass. It offers the best-of-the-best benefits: the deepest discounts, the best access, the most Bring-A-Friend FREE tickets—and this year, NO BLACKOUT DATES on those comp tickets! Diamond includes unlimited admission to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.

Those who have Diamond Passes will be invited to special opportunities like Early Ride Time on Saturdays and Golden Events (festival previews and meet and greet with performers). This summer, we offered Q&A sessions with one of the Gazillion Bubble Show creators! When Dolly came to announce our plans for 2023, it was Diamond Passholders who were invited to hear about Big Bear Mountain first (from Dolly herself!). Many events are for both Diamond and Gold, but there are some—like the Big Bear Mountain announcement—that are for Diamond Passholders only.

Diamond Passes also function as a TimeSaver Pass for the first hour of each operating day. We call this the Golden Hour. Everyone who has a Diamond or Gold Season Pass can utilize that I.D. to access TimeSaver queues the first hour of each operating day. If you plan it right, you can knock out three or so coasters before 11 a.m.!

General Parking is free for Diamond Passholders. That’s a $25 savings each time you visit.

Purchase a Diamond Pass early and receive the All-Season Mug with your pass! This is a limited-time offer. For each Diamond Pass you buy, you will receive a refillable souvenir mug that can be filled at drink stations throughout the park for FREE throughout the season. This is only available to Diamond Season Passholders—and only for a limited time.

I mentioned that Diamond Passholders have unlimited access to both the theme park and water park. At the water park, you also receive reserved seating in the shade if you arrive by 11 a.m. That’s VIP treatment! And do not forget, you have the opportunity to add a Dining Pass at the water park which means you get an entrée a snack each visit!

This is the Season Pass we recommend. The Dollywood Gold Season Pass is the best value offer.

With Gold, you receive unlimited visitation to Dollywood. (You can upgrade to a Two-Park Gold for unlimited visitation to Dollywood’s Splash Country, too.) This year, your Bring-A-Friend FREE comp tickets have NO BLACKOUT DATES!

As a Gold Passholder, you are invited to Early Ride Time on Saturdays and Golden Events (such as festival previews and meet and greet with performers). This summer, we offered Q&A sessions with one of the Gazillion Bubble Show creators! There are times we may have events for Diamond Passholders only, but most events will include Gold Passholders.

Golden Hours are open to Diamond and Gold Passholders: Everyone who has a Diamond or Gold Season Pass can utilize that I.D. to access TimeSaver queues the first hour of each day. If you plan it right, you can knock out three or so coasters before 11 a.m.!

General Parking is free for Gold Passholders. That’s a $25 savings each time you visit.

Purchase a Gold Pass early and receive the Daily Refill Mug with your pass! This is a limited-time offer. For each Gold Pass you buy, you will receive a refillable souvenir mug that can be filled at drink stations throughout the park for FREE the first day you use it, and then for $.99 throughout the rest of the season.

Important Note: I no longer recommend one Gold Pass per family. Now that the structure has changed, there will come a time when you’ll want to visit on a      day that is blacked out for Silver Passholders, or a time you’ll want to take advantage of a Golden Event or Golden Hours. You do not want to deal with the heartburn. I recommend everyone have the same pass type.

If you purchase a Gold Pass and realize later you’d like to have the deepest discounts on food/merch/lodging and invitations to ALL special events, upgrade to a Diamond Season Pass by calling 1-800-Dollywood while supplies last.

This is the most economical option. I like to think of it as the bare-bones-I-just-want-to-visit-Dollywood-a-couple-times option. There are no bells and whistles in the form of special invitations, discounts or free parking. In 2023, Silver Season Passes will have blackout dates. Read that again: there are periods of time when Silver passholders will not be able to visit. Silver will receive two Bring-A-Friend FREE tickets per Silver Pass, BUT THERE ARE BLACKOUT DATES YOU MAY NOT USE THESE COMP TICKETS. (Diamond and Gold do not have blackout dates. Remember this when weighing what works best for you.) See the calendar for reference. If buying a Silver Pass for a child (ages 4-9), the pass acts like our Pre-K Pass in that it needs to be used with an adult pass. If your adult pass is Gold or Diamond, your child with a Silver Pass CAN come on dates that are blacked out for Silver adults.

The blackout dates have been added to help decrease wait times and enhance overall guest experience during the guest-favorite time periods.

You may add visitation to Dollywood’s Splash Country with a Silver Pass. Be sure to check out the Two-Park Season Pass options!

If you purchase Silver and realize later you want Gold, you may upgrade by calling 1-800-Dollywood.

No purchase is required to register children born in 2018 or 2019 for a FREE Pre-K Imagination Pass. Basically, if you have a child born during this time period, and there’s a CHANCE you’ll visit Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country, register! The Pre-K pass is valid for unlimited admission at both the theme park and water park, so we recommend parents get the Two-Park Pass to take advantage of the best value. Because it’s a complimentary pass, it does not come with any extras, but I think free admission is pretty great. Children younger than 4 do not need a ticket for entry. You may register your child born in 2018 or 2019 at any time.

Platinum

I wanted to make one other note for those who have a Platinum Pass. This falls into the “other” category because it’s not a type you can buy. It was a special gift for audience members who happened to be in attendance during Dollywood’s 20th anniversary season kickoff. It does not qualify for the extras like Golden Hours and Golden Events. If you’d like to receive these benefits, you may call 1-800-Dollywood to discuss your options.

Please note: Season Passes go on sale Oct. 31.

If you are a 2022 Season Passholder or you registered for the pre-sale, you can buy 2023 passes NOW. Season Passholders just need to log into their account, and those who pre-registered will receive an access code through email. If you haven’t received that email just yet, hang tight. It’s on the way. You are also welcome to call 1-800-Dollywood.

By | 2022-10-31T09:58:22+00:00 October 17th, 2022|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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