Dollywood’s Daredevil Falls

I love a good log flume and Daredevil Falls at Dollywood is one of those must ride, rides each and every time I visit the park.  From the speed of the line, to the 60 foot plunge at the end of the ride, this is one of those thrill rides that combines speed with water and makes the whole experience awesome.  Add to this the fact that they take a souvenir photo of you halfway down the final plunge and you can also pick up something to remember not only the day by but also that particular ride.

The log flume and log flume style rides have been around for a long time.  In 1998, Dollywood added its own large capacity, long drop log flume to its line u of thrill rides.  As a themed ride it is beautifully done.  You are walking through a lumber camp in the Smokies – easy to imagine, seeing as you are in the Smokies already.  You get into the flume log, which looks like a log itself and you start your float around to the lift.  From the bear in the tent to the flapping of the bats wings in the cave, this leisurely float around the ride is great.  You then start the ride up the lift to the top of the ride and the waiting plunge.  At the top of the ride you are in the recreation of the lumber mill itself, complete with a saw that looks like it might saw the log you are in, in half.  You continue around the top of the ride until you get to the plunge.  You fall 60 feet down at 60 miles per hour, with your heart in your throat.  Even the most seasoned thrill seeker will feel their heart race after this plunge.

And of course, on the way down you get your picture taken.  This picture is of the whole car, so if you planned it right and you have your whole party in the boat with you, you get a souvenir of all of your expressions as you were in mid-fall, at 60 miles an hour.  This is a great way to commemorate the day.

Remember how I mentioned the speed of the line you wait in?  It is one of the quickest ride sin the park.  The logs never stop.  You simply step onto the platform and then into the moving log itself.  This constant motion keeps the line moving.  Even from the very back of the line, there is a constant flow of traffic on and off the ride.  You never feel like you have to wait very long, plus the queue itself is under cover so you are not left baking in the sun either.

Make sure that you leave time in your schedule for the Daredevil Falls the next time you go to Dollywood.  It is an awesome ride, with a great theme and a thrilling drop at the end.  Plus, if it is a hot day outside you get drenched at the end of the plunge.  So, take the plunge, get the photo and get ready for a

Dolly Parade in Pigeon Forge TN

Tips and information for the 2012 Dolly Parade in Pigeon Forge, TN. The annual Dolly Parton Parade kicks off the opening of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge…get the inside scoop!

The 2013 Dolly Parton Homecoming Parade in Pigeon Forge, TN will be held on May 10 starting at 6 p.m. Dolly’s Homecoming Parade, or as us locals know it – the Dolly Parade, will travel along the Pigeon Forge parkway between traffic lights 3 through 6 and will feature over 100 different units including numerous marching bands, twirlers, cheer and dance teams, performers from various Pigeon Forge theaters, car clubs, and so much more! The star of the parade is none other than the grand marshal…Dolly Parton! The Dolly Parade is considered Dolly’s homecoming back to her hometown and she often makes surprise appearances the day after the parade at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.

This parade is arguably one of the most anticipated and attended family events that is safe, fun, and FREE! If you’re looking for free things to do in Pigeon Forge then this is a great option. The children will experience clowns, animals, music and more that is sure to make them smile, clap, and jump for joy. Then you’ll jump for joy at the money you’re saving while keeping them entertained! You can also find all sorts of coupons for Pigeon Forge to keep the frugal fun going. If you find your children, spouse, or curious bystanders asking, “How old is Dolly Parton?” you can inform everyone of exactly what Dolly Parton’s age is…she was born January 19, 1946, which makes Dolly 67 years old….or young…depending on who you’re trying to flatter.

Insider Tip: The parade route fills up extremely fast with chairs and people well before the Dollywood Parade starts at 6. Either bring some cheep chairs and put them in a spot you want to “hold” or just sit out there with the family…bring a picnic-style lunch, games, and anything else you use to keep your kids happy and you sane. Better yet, if you are staying in a hotel with a road-side balcony between traffic light 3 through 6, you’ll have a GREAT view of the entire parade route. You won’t get the suckers and tootsie rolls that the people on the street get, but at least you’ll be able to use the bathroom any time you feel the need.

Don’t miss the 2013 Dolly Parton Parade in Pigeon Forge and the homecoming festivities at Dollywood!

Dollywood’s Mountain Slidewinder

Dollywood is full of water rides and during the summer you will find that they are a respite from the heat of the day and loads of fun.  The Mountain Slidewinder is one of those water rides.  Based out of the Owens Farm section of the park, you climb the actual hillside itself to get to the Slidewinder and then you and a set of friends enjoy the fast, exhilarating ride down the mountain.

Owens Farm is the section of Dollywood is where the new Barnstormer ride is located.  Once you are in this section, look over behind the Pig Pen play area and you will see signs directing you to the entrance for the Mountain Slidewinder.  You will start your journey to the top of the slide from there but you can also watch the other people come down from the same spot.  The last of the ride is right in front of you, a huge ride down on a raft with a splash down at the bottom before the riders walk up one way and the rafts go up the other way.  Continue walking up the small mountain path, following the signs and maybe stopping to rest on the way up, it is a bit of a hike.

When you get to the top, prepare to get in line and wait for a few minutes.  The loading of this ride takes a little longer then some of the others in the park but it is worth the wait.  They will line you up and determine by the weight of the group of people who goes in what line and on which sled.  After you have been divided up, they help you get onto the sleds and then you begin your descent.  The speed you pick up on this ride is amazing.  After the long walk up the mountain, you will be surprised at how quickly you wind your way back down.  Twisting and turning, gravity causing you to pick up speed as you fly down the waterslide.  As you go you will feel like you are going to fly off the slide, but trust me, that is why they weighed you, to make sure that you r group was the perfect size to give you speed and safety on your way down.

This is one of those hidden treasures in Dollywood.  People walk right past this ride all the time without realizing it is there.  Take the time to make the climb.  Enjoy the sense of exhilaration on your way back down. Take your friends up and down the Mountain Slidewinder as any times as you can.

Dollywood’s River Rush Almost Complete!

River Rush, the new $6 million water coaster slated to open in May at Dollywood’s Splash Country, is nearing the completion stages despite quite a burst of winter weather the past few months.

Officials said recently that it’s 95 percent complete and a Mother’s Day weekend grand opening is right on target. RiverRush will be the state’s first water coaster and will be visible from Veterans Boulevard at the western end of the park

If you’re familiar with Dollywood, and especially Dollywood’s Splash Country, River Rush will lay on over an acre of land in a newly-developed area between Splash Country’s Big Bear Plunge and Bear Mountain Fire Tower.

When it opens, RiverRush will transport riders up a conveyor belt before being propelled up hills and around curves. In all, it’s a four-story ride where riders climb 237 feet before making a 25-foot, 45-degree drop through tunnels, rapids and three more drops. It’s one minute and 20 seconds of thrilling splashes and drops.

Construction on River Rush officially started in August and was initially estimated to run to $5 million before a few unforeseen rocks got in the way causing project costs to increase.

In other park news, details of Dollywood’s 2014 expansion are expected to be announced this summer. It will be located on the site of Adventure Mountain, which closed at the end of last season. The project has been billed as as “a significant family attraction” in scope between the park’s $17.5 million Mystery Mine steel coaster and $20 million Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the U.S.

With Splash Country’s new water attraction and Dollywood’s Wild Eagle addition last year, Splash Country hopes to increase its attendance by about 10 percent to more than 400,000 visitors, according to park officials.

The water park will open a couple of weeks early this year to have Dolly Parton, who will be in town to kick off Pigeon Forge Springfest, present at its launch.

Dollywood opens to the public on March 22, 2013. Splash Country opens May 11, with a special opening on May 10 for season pass holders.

Dollywood Express

Hop Aboard the Dollywood Express!

With the popularity of Thomas the Tank engine, it is no wonder that kids from across the country are thrilled when they find out that there is an actual steam locomotive at Dollywood.  And what’s more… you can ride it up around the park for one of the best rides in the park and one of the best ways to take in the park as a whole.  And it Christmas they take this ride to a whole new level by adding lights and the sounds of the Holiday Season to the ride.

The Dollywood Express, the engine and the track came from theme park owner Grover Robbins.  Robbins had built a theme park n Blowing Rock, NC called Tweetsie Railroad.  After acquiring a new engine for his theme park in Blowing Rock, he placed a second one in Pigeon Forge at a new park called Rebel Railroad.  This train, and Rebel Railroad opened in 1961.  That train that started on the tracks in the 60s is still in operation today.  It is a USATC S118 Class 2-8-2 and came from the White Pass.  Engine #192 from this deal – otherwise known as Klondike Katie – is still in operation today at Dollywood.  Along with this engine, they also have engine #70, known as Cinderella that runs on the Dollywood Express track throughout the year.

The train ride is hugely popular.  There is just something to be said for sitting in the passenger cars being pulled behind a steam locomotive that makes the ride up the mountain even more enjoyable.  People line up more than a half hour before the ride leaves the station to make sure that they get a good seat on the train.  After you board, the station master will give you some brief instructions and then you will start your trip up the mountain.  You ride through the theme park itself for most of the ride.  Yo get to wave at the crowds as you journey up into the mountains.  On your trip you will get to see the backside of Dollywood, dioramas of mountain life including a replica farm and of course, you get one of the best views of Dollywood ever – from the moving grandeur of a more then 75 year old steam train.

Make the Dollywood Express part of your Dollywood experience.  Make sure that you get there early.  Make sure you get a good seat.  Buy some refreshments for the journey.  Watch in delight, the children sitting around you.  Marvel at the way their eyes grow as they listen to the steam whistle out of the train and the music that the train makes on the tracks as it journeys through the mountains.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations

Find out why Dollywood’s Festival of Nations is one of the best events to attend in Pigeon Forge, TN. The Festival of Nations at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee has entertainment for the entire family!

If you haven’t yet visited Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Festival of Nations is an excellent time to do so. Held between March 22 – April 23, 2013, this month long international event showcases performers from around the world, as well as highlighting many different cultures. The Festival of Nations at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN is a captivating sight, featuring some of the world’s best entertainment, plus art, dancing, music and food.

2013’s Festival at Dollywood features Spirit of the Dance, a wildly entertaining Irish dance troupe. This spell binding show is more than just your average tap performance. You’ll see a powerful, foot-stomping show with performers in fantastic costumes. This show offers incredible music and amazing dances seen by more than 30 million people around the world – you’ll be glad you chose to come.

Of course, Spirit of the Dance isn’t the only show you’ll see at Dollywood during the Festival of Nations. The Paper World Show by Mimirichi is a comedic performance by Ukranian clowns that will leave you chuckling in your seats.

Atahualpa, from Ecuador, offers South American traditional songs and dance rhythms. They play both native instruments and modern keyboards and guitars, resulting in a fascinating blend of cultures. Los Pampas Gauchos will bring their Argentinian flair to Dollywood. The show is filled with traditional dancing, as well as performances that include drums, boleadoras, knives, capes, and whips.

Zebra Stelzentheater of Germany will entertain the crowds with a fun and lively performance featuring stilt dancing that will have guests clamoring for an encore performance.

The Zambian Vocal Group brings different tribes together, forming one sound and creating a unified performance. They perform a capella, with no instruments, singing traditional hymns as well as original pieces. You’ll hear traditional African rhythms, complex harmonies, and unique vocal percussion, too.

If you’ve never been to Dollywood, this is the time to attend. You’ll see all the usual attractions, plus the wonderful performances and sights of the Festival of Nations. Also be sure to check out our list of tips for visiting Dollywood.

If you’re looking for a place to stay while in town then be sure to check out our list of the best hotels in Pigeon Forge, TN and our list of Pigeon Forge cabins. Also be sure to check out the full calendar of events in Pigeon Forge, TN.

What’s NEW in 2013? RiverRush at Dollywood’s Splash Country!

The state’s first water coaster is set to open in May at Dollywood’s Splash Country, appropriately named RiverRush. RiverRush comes on the heels of the Wild Eagle roller coaster that debuted at Dollywood Theme Park during the 2012 season.

Over the past year, the Wild Eagle has drawn rave reviews from organizations across the country. All the praise was just another reason park officials, and the head lady herself, decided it was time to look at expanding Splash Country and adding to the park’s growing list of attractions.

“At Dollywood, we made history with Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster, so I thought, why not do it again at Dollywood’s Splash Country with my new RiverRush water coaster,” Dolly Parton said. “You know me. I love making a big splash, and RiverRush is all that and a whole lot more!”

“RiverRush is a product of the next generation of water coasters, and we are thrilled that Dollywood’s Splash Country will be home to Tennessee’s first and only water coaster for families to enjoy,” said Amy Owenby, Vice President of Waterparks.

RiverRush is a hydromagnetic coaster that combines all of the powerful climbs, plunging drops, thrilling twists, and tight turns of a traditional roller coaster, but uses water to its advantage in bringing the newest and most exciting experience to the park’s guests.

RiverRush’s four-person toboggan-style boats are propelled by a large conveyor belt 237 feet at first before plunging 25 feet at a 45-degree drop. RiverRush’s tube track rises four stories and takes riders through the trees as it navigates three additional drops along the way. We’re talking a series of hairpin turns, dark tunnels, and rushing water that will leave riders wanting to ride again and again. In all, the RiverRush track take up over an acre near the park’s newly developed Big Bear Plunge white water rafting inspired slide.

If you were to stretch out the entire track in a straight line, it would measure 1,175 feet, just one foot less than New York City’s tallest building, One World Trade Center, dubbed Freedom Tower, which will stand 1,176 feet upon completion.

Dollywood’s Splash Country is right next door to Dollywood theme park. In all, Dollywood’s Splash Country is a 35-acre water adventure park and was recently named America’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. The water park’s operating season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and features 23 water slides, a wave pool, lazy river, leisure pool and two interactive children’s play areas. For more information, visit

Looking Ahead to 2013: Dollywood

It’s safe to say that Dollywood may be scaling back a bit for the 2013 season as two large park attractions, Adventure Mountain and Imagination Cinema, are not a part of the Pigeon Forge theme park’s plans for the coming year.

Three years ago Adventure Mountain opened at the park, and while it was met by frequent guests and long lines during the summer, it is being replaced by a new attraction yet to be name, that will open in 2014. It’s a disappointment for many, but Dollywood officials think that will pass when people hear of the plans the park has for the area next year.

When it was built, Adventure Mountain ran up a $5 million pricetag. The 2-acre play area featured more than 100 obstacles including swinging beams, suspension bridges, flying islands and a tire traverse along a hillside, and was located across from the park’s newest jewel, the Wild Eagle sky ride. New plans for the area include extending it in front of the water raft ride River Battle.

Imagination Cinema meanwhile, will be transformed into a 500-seat venue for a new Dolly family show. It’s currently showing The Polar Express 4D Experience as a part of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, but will reopen in the spring of next year. The new venue will also play a part in the park hosting five additional new shows.

As for this past season, the Wild Eagle winged coaster opened to rave reviews and large crowds. Dollywood is on track to open the state’s first water coaster, RiverRush, next year at Dolly’s Splash Country.

Dollywood President Craig Ross noted in a release that the park was moving forward with new shows and looking ahead to its new venue. Construction activity for the new 2014 attraction will be noticeable once the park opens up for the 2013 season.

“(Families) are going to be thrilled and excited about the new additions,” Ross said. “They’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.”

Dollywood’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

If you’re into musicals, and especially Christmas musicals, you’re going to love Dollywood’s version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This magical story surrounding Santa Claus’ Christmas Eve visit is set to some familiar holiday tunes and the choreography  will leave you speechless as you enjoy Dollywood’s rendition of a true Christmas miracle.

Featuring a 12-member cast and a 4-piece band, no holiday corner or crack is left unattended to as the cast tells the wondrous  “Twas the Night Before Christmas classic set to music and song. The stage is located at the Rivertown Junction area of Dollywood and shows run at 4:45, 6:45, and 8:15 pm throughout Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

Stepping through the park gates, you know it’s Christmastime at Dollywood. You’re met by a giant snowman standing beside a larger than life candy cane stands guard as you approach the turnstiles. Thousands of colorful lights adorn The Emporium, the bakery, and the Showstreet Palace. Yes, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is underway!

As you walk through the park it is difficult not to feel the chill in the air, even though it may be 70 degrees outside. Reindeer, elves and dozens of other colorful characters line the walkways throughout the park and icicles fall from brightly lit trees.

Just below Dollywood’s Celebrity Theater a Christmas Tree decorated with blue lights and snowflakes replaces the water in the fountain that run the rest of the year. A short distance away you will find one of Dollywood’s most popular Christmas attractions, The Carol of the Trees. This light and music celebration is nestled on the lake between Aunt Granny’s all-you-can-eat holiday buffet and the now still waters of the Smoky Mountain River Rampage.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas runs through the end of December. The big change will be in the actual hours as Dollywood’s Christmas in the Smokies festival mainly occurs during the evening hours. Show dates and times can be found on And as alway, if you purchase a 2013 Season Pass, you’ll get into next December’s Dollywood Christmas in the Smokies for FREE.

Dollywood’s Parade of Lights

To say Dollywood’s Parade of Lights is “electric” would be putting it very mildly. You could go through a handful of adjectives to describe the annual Christmas event that’s really become a show-stopper, again literally, every December.

The Parade of Lights is probably an event you would compare to Disney World has its Electric Light Parade, but on a much smaller scale. And though Dollywood’s version is much smaller, it’s still big on fun and allows for great memories that will last a lifetime. You’ll see a lot of recognizable characters from Dollywood as well as Christmas-time friends you’ll recognize from as far back as your childhood. It’s a great event that the whole family will enjoy.

Of course, these are just a few of the things to keep you and your family busy during this annual Christmas event. Dollywood’s rides, restaurants and Santa’s Workshop bring you plenty of holiday magic, too.

A one-day admission to Dollywood costs about $60. However, if you plan on going more than once or plan on returning in 2011 you can buy a season pass good for the remainder of 2010 and 2011, all for less than two one-day admissions. You will also find more specials online.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas includes not only the Parade of Lights, but over 4 million shining Christmas lights hung all over the Pigeon Forge theme park. It is a winter wonderland. Most of the same shows you’ve enjoyed in years past are back this year including Dolly Parton’s all-time favorite Christmas in the Smokies. So make plans to come be a part of Dollywood’s Parade of Lights and enjoy Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas with your family and friends.