America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No.11 Legoland

LEGOLAND is a chain of family theme parks, which has its main focus on the toy Lego. They are not fully owned by The Lego Group itself; rather they are owned and operated by the British theme park company Merlin Entertainments. Only two of the LEGOLAND parks are located in the United States (California and Florida). The other parks are located in Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia and Dubai.

Photo via LEGOLAND.com

The parks are marketed to families with younger children (11 and under), and although the attractions include a number of roller coasters, the roller coasters are not as numerous or as extreme as those in other parks, and there is a greater emphasis on rides suitable for younger children.

LEGOLAND parks are split into various areas, which are consistent among the chain’s parks. All of the parks include a LEGO mini-land, a model village which includes models of landmarks and scenes from around the world, made from millions of genuine LEGO bricks.

LEGOLAND and Education

An important aspect of LEGOLAND is education and learning. Examples include:

  • Water flow channels in which kids can construct dams from LEGO blocks to understand water flow. 
  • Interactive musical instruments, such as musical fountains, and the Aquatune hydraulophone, which is an underwater pipe organ in the shape of a giant LEGO block
  • A LEGO Mindstorms centre for fun-based learning
  • Duplo Gardens (for smaller children)
  • Driving area (including attractions such as Driving school, Boating school, Ballooning school, Flying school, and Fire Academy)
  • My Town
  • Wild Woods
  • Knights’ Kingdom

Photo via Attractions Magazine

The parks’ rides are all LEGO themed and many are made to appear as if they are built from LEGO bricks. They tend to be based on one particular line of LEGO: for example, a popular ride at all six parks is the Dragon Coaster, which is loosely based on the Knights’ Kingdom LEGO sets. Another popular ride is the Driving school, in which children can drive small electric cars made to look like LEGO cars around a small road network, after which they gain a mock driving licence.

Despite the commonality of the above-mentioned attractions, the exact set of rides varies between parks, although as with the Disney parks there is some overlap.

The LEGOLAND resorts located in the United States are made up of the theme park, water park, LEGO themed hotels. California also offers an aquarium while Florida offers a botanical garden.

LEGOLAND California Resort

The park is located in Carlsbad, California and opened in 1999. Legoland California is home to over 60 rides and attractions and 30,000 LEGO models. 

LEGOLAND California is split into sections including:  The Beginning, Explorer Island, Heartlake City, Fun Town, Castle Hill, Mini-land USA, Imagination Zone, Pirate Shores, and Land of Adventure.

Mini-land USA – Photo via Orlando Fun Tickets

A Sea Life aquarium is adjacent to LEGOLAND California. In 2010, a water park opened on its grounds, as one of the only three of LEGOLAND parks (Followed by LEGOLAND Florida [Formerly known as Splash Island], Malaysia, and Dubai being the newest) to feature a water park.

On May 24, 2014, an add-on was built for the water park, themed after Legends of Chima.

LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Located in Winter Haven, LEGOLAND Florida Resort opened in 2011 and houses over 50 rides and attractions. There are over 32 million LEGOs used just in the Mini-land USA section of the park.

Photo via LEGOLAND.com

In Mini-land USA you can see replicas of iconic locations from around the country including Daytona International Speedway and Kennedy Space Center. LEGO Star Wars offers a chronological path through the Star Wars film saga with seven scenes depicted in 2,000 LEGO models.

The park was built on the former site of Cypress Gardens, a historically famous Florida theme park.

This park is divided into many areas: The Beginning, Fun Town, Duplo Land, Mini-land USA, Kingdoms, Pirates Cove, Imagination Zone, Technic, Land of Adventure, Lego City, Chima, LEGO Friends, Ninjago, and a restored replica of Cypress Gardens.

Most Amazing Parks Legoland
Photo via T. Settembre on Traveling Dad

LEGOLAND Florida opened a water park replacing the former Cypress Gardens “Splash Island” water park on May 26, 2012.

LEGOLAND Hotels

LEGOLAND hotels are located steps from the main entrance of LEGOLAND parks. The hotels feature interactive areas, entertainment and surprises around every corner.  Rooms are all LEGO themed.

Photo via LEGOLAND.com

All stays at LEGOLAND  hotels include interactive LEGO features throughout the property, a FREE hot breakfast buffet, nightly children’s entertainment and an in-room treasure hunt that leads to even more fun for the kids.

Photo via LEGOLAND.com

PLUS meet a Master Model Builder and follow step-by-step instructions as you build your own LEGO souvenir in the Master Model Builders’ Workshop – an experience exclusive to hotel guests.

LEGOLAND Water Parks

The water parks on both coasts are a separate admission ticket and are themselves a full day of enjoyment for families.

As with everything LEGOLAND, even the floats in the lazy rivers look like LEGOs!

Most Amazing Parks Legoland
Photo via LEGOLAND.com

LEGOLAND Dining

On either coast be sure to bring your appetite! LEGOLAND has all of your favorites from cheeseburgers, pizza, and a wide range of sweet treats. Freshly prepared choices from grilled paninis, tasty salads and fried chicken can also be found. Popcorn, novelty ice cream and cold beverages are available at carts weather permitting.

LEGOLAND is also concerned with food allergies and food sensitivities.

Most Amazing Parks Legoland

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Legoland Discovery Center is an indoor family attraction. There are over 20 throughout the world (over 10 in the U.S.) and they feature models and attractions inspired by the LEGO building toys. 

Photo via TravelZoo

A typical Legoland Discovery Center occupies approximately 30,000–35,000 square feet of floor area.

Discovery Centers include models of local landmarks rendered in LEGO bricks. Visitors can also learn how the LEGO bricks are manufactured or take a building class taught by a Master Model Builder. Some locations may also include 4-D movie theaters offering multiple showings throughout the day.

A number of children’s attractions, such as small rides and play fortresses, are also available. The centres can host birthday parties as well as scholastic and group functions and also include restaurants and gift shops selling LEGO merchandise.

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss:

Most Amazing Parks Legoland




Excellent Experiences Philadelphia Has to Offer This Summer

The history, spirit and diversity of Philadelphia is undeniable. The friendly faces that pass you on the street and the exciting activities that surround you are enticing to say the least. Whether you love theme parks or nature, there will always be something wonderful for you to experience in the heart of Philly.

Photo via BigBusTours.com

Planning a trip during the summer should definitely be at the top of your to do list, especially as the warmer temperatures are appealing at this time of year. You have the chance to enjoy the open parks, popular beer gardens and soak in the sunshine wherever you may be. If you are looking for some exciting experiences in Philadelphia, some of these might just entice you!

Be a Daredevil 

Everybody has a small daredevil inside them that is just bursting to come out. What better way to see and experience this stunning city than a zip line Philadelphia? Experience the thrill of a canopy ziplining tour at Refreshing Mountain; it is one of the top attractions in Lancaster County, so you won’t want to miss out.

Philadelphia experiences
Photo by Mam NC from Pexels

Whether you’re visiting with family or a group of friends, you are bound to make memories from this thrill seeking experience. Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment and enjoy every moment of this exhilarating activity.

Recreate a Famous Movie Moment

You can’t visit Philadelphia without running up the rocky steps and recreating that famous moment. Even if you haven’t seen the movie, there is bound to be somebody in your travel party who is familiar with the memorable scene. Rocky is definitely a notable piece of history in the world of cinema, so you definitely want to grab a picture of this moment. You could even download the famous theme tune to make your experience even more special. 

Philadelphia experiences
Photo via VisitPhilly.com

Creepy Culture

The Mutter Museum in Philly is a freaky, but fantastic place to visit during your stay. If Halloween is your favourite holiday then you are in for a treat! Inspect the largest colon in the world or discover real pieces of Einstein’s brain.

Philadelphia experiences
Photo via Mutter Museum

It might not be the ideal place for squeamish people, but it is definitely a unique and memorable experience.

Glorious Gardens

If you’re looking for the perfect place to snap a picture for social media, then Magic Gardens is the ideal place for you. The stunning, well kept area is the ideal backdrop for your new profile picture, so make sure you put this on your list of places to visit.

Shop ‘Till You Drop

If shopping is your thing, then you need to visit South Street for a touristy, yet charming experience. Grab some lunch in a popular restaurant or bar and invest in some souvenirs to take home from your trip.

So enjoy all of these perfect experiences in Philly this summer, whether you’re a daredevil on a zipline or a shopaholic on South Street. There are so many memories to be made in this fabulous area, so pack your bags and enjoy a trip that is bursting with vibrancy and variety.

Philadelphia experiences




America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 10 Knott’s Berry Farm

In 2017 Knott’s Berry Farm was the tenth-most-visited theme park in North America. Knott’s Berry Farm is also the most-visited theme park in the Cedar Fair chain.

Amazing Parks Knott’s Berry Farm

Nearly 100 years after opening as a roadside stand to sell berry products, the park has grown to be an amazing park welcoming close to 6 million visitors annually.

The main park is full of roller coasters and family friendly rides. There is also a water park, hotel and a very famous chicken restaurant.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry
Photo via Orange County Archives

History of Knott’s Berry Farm

The theme park dates back to the 1920s when the Knott family began selling berry products at a roadside stand in California. By the 1940’s, a restaurant, several shops, and attractions had been added to entertain the growing number of visitors.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry
Photo via Orange County Archives

The site continued to transform into a modern amusement park over the next two decades. An admission charge was added in 1968. Over the years the park grew to include close to 160 acres of thrill rides and family friendly attractions.

In the late 1990’s the children of the original founder decided to sell the family business.

In 1997, they sold the amusement park operations to Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. The family was  given an opportunity to sell the park to The Walt Disney Company. The park would have been a sister park to Disneyland and converted into Disney’s America, which had previously failed to be built near Washington, D.C. The Knotts refused to sell the park to Disney fear most of what Walter Knott had built would be eliminated.

Knott’s Berry Farm Today

Knott’s Berry Farm has found a good balance of rides and attractions. The park allows a family with younger or older kids to have a great day. Whether you are looking for an extreme roller coaster, a kiddie ride, a family ride where you can join your kids or something in between, Knott’s Berry Farm has something for you.

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry
Photo via Orange County Tribune

The park is made up of different themed lands.

Ghost Town is the land where Knott’s Berry Farm started. Modeled after an 1880s California “Boom Town,” Ghost Town is the home of the world’s first log flume ride, one of the longest roller coasters in the world, and a host of other themed attractions. The best part of this land is the opportunity to go “panning” for real gold!

Fiesta Village is a tribute to the Spanish heritage of California. Colorful rides, mariachi bands and dining on Mexican favorites can be found here.

The Boardwalk area reflects Southern California’s seaside amusement piers. Here you’ll find  the world’s steepest, tallest, and wettest water ride; bumper cars and a Wild Mouse-style ride. You can play laser tag, arcade games, and visit a theater to see Broadway-style productions performed by talented actors, singers, and dancers.

Wildwater Wilderness is home to one of the park’s most popular rides, Big Foot Rapids, an outdoor raft ride that will get you soaking wet as you shoot the rapids on the longest man-made whitewater river! 

The Indian Trails area doesn’t contain any rides but there are some unique dining and shopping experiences as well as demonstrations of Native American dance and music. You can browse authentic tee-pees, hogans, and big houses, representative of a number of different tribes of the American Southwest. Don’t miss the world’s largest totem pole, whose story traces the growth of the park.

Camp Snoopy is based on all the delightful Charles Schultz Peanuts characters. This land is home to more than 30 kid friendly attractions that are just the right size for your little guys. Snoopy and the gang can regularly be seen throughout this area and pose for photos with the kids.

Annual Events

The park hosts five different events each year. The Seasons of Fun kick-off in the beginning of the year with the Knott’s PEANUTS Celebration, uniquely dedicated to celebrating the beloved PEANUTS characters.

Every spring, celebrate Knott’s delicious roots during the Knott’s Boysenberry Festival with an unforgettable lineup of exquisite boysenberry food, drinks and dazzling family-friendly entertainment!

During the summer the interactive Ghost Town Alive! experience returns to the park complete with bandits, cowboys, robberies, judges, a good ol’ western hoedown, and much more! The summer also brings fireworks, special entertainment and extended park hours.

Photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/frikitiki/

In the fall, the annual daytime, family-friendly Halloween celebration, Knott’s Spooky Farm, brings “spooky” activities geared for ages 3-11, including trick-or-treating, themed rides and live shows.

End the year with the merriest of seasons as the park wondrously transforms into Knott’s Merry Farm, a Christmas celebration for all ages. Knott’s Berry Farm harvests great special events in Buena Park all year long. No matter what the season, you will always find the most things to do in Southern California at Knott’s Berry Farm!

The Water Park – Knott’s Soak City

Knott’s Soak City Water Park is open on select days mid-May through early-September. Orange County’s largest water park boasts a total of 22 speed, tube and body slides plus a giant wave pool, lazy river and interactive kids area.

Photo via WestCoaster.net

The Hotel – Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel

The full-service 320 room hotel features a SNOOPY-themed wing, fitness center, pool with children’s activity area, lighted sports courts and many other amenities.

Photo via Knotts.com

Dining options include Amber Waves specializing in All-American fare and hotel room service. A variety of affordable family vacation packages, including admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, are available year-round with special early admission into Knott’s Berry Farm during the summer.

The Famous Chicken Restaurant – Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant

Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant first opened in 1934 with Mrs. Knott and her children serving the first customers in their tea room. The restaurant has grown over the years into one of the largest in California, but the classic fried chicken dinner is still made the same way using Mrs. Knott’s recipes. 

Photo via https://www.flickr.com/photos/whsieh78/

Every complete chicken dinner includes handmade biscuits, side salad, choice of cabbage or cherry rhubarb, three pieces of fried chicken and mashed potatoes smothered with gravy.

For dessert: your choice of boysenberry pie or boysenberry sherbet. Many other dishes are also available including grilled chicken, salads, open-faced sandwiches and a number of appetizers. A full-service bar, serving signature boysenberry-infused cocktails, is also available.

Child Safety

Before you start your day at Knott’s Berry Farm, stop by guest services and register for the KidTrack program. You provide your telephone number and name and they will write that on a wristband for your kids to wear. Tell your kids that if they get lost they should tell a Knott’s employee who will call your number  on the wristband.

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss:

Amazing Parks Knotts Berry




Saving Money on the Family Vacation

If you are planning a family get-away, you might get wholly disheartened by how quickly the costs add up. Ranging from transportation, overnight stay to tickets for parks and places for entertainment. And that’s not even including food and drinks!

Saving Money Family Vacation
Photo by Natalya Zaritskaya on Unsplash

Something that was supposed to be fun and relaxing will turn into an absolute money sink and enthusiasm black hole. It’s easy just to throw in the towel right there and then, or to succumb to the high charges associated nowadays with a family vacation. It doesn’t need to be like that at all. You can enjoy a lovely family holiday without breaking the bank.

Here are some tips to go on a lovely family vacation the money smart way.

Pick destinations that have plenty of free activities for kids. Think of museums, parks and other activities that are always available in any destination you can think of.

It’s worthwhile spending some time looking into the kind of activities that are offered on discount and plan your days around them. And if you are really considering tickets for amusement parks, avoid ticket prices at the gate. For example, if you are planning to go to Disneyland, Park Savers has the best pricing if you buy your tickets in advance.

If you are traveling around the U.S., consider extended-stay hotels. Extended-stay hotels offer affordable suites with plenty of complimentary amenities for the money. You usually get more space to kick around in, a refrigerator and microwave, washing machines, free Wi-Fi, and often free breakfast, snacks, and dinner.

If you are traveling around Europe, consider renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel. An apartment can often cost less than a hotel and gives you more space and family-friendly equipment. The kitchen can save you a fortune in hotel breakfast charges, and the washing machine means fewer checked-bag fees.

Food and drink costs can add up very quickly on vacations. There are a few ways to make sure you keep these costs under control. The first one would obviously be to pack food with you. A little cooler goes a long way if you are traveling by car.

Also if you are staying in a hotel or apartment, it’s worthwhile making packed lunches for when you go out. Another alternative would be to have a picnic. This beats having to pay restaurant prices, which usually are exorbitantly high in popular vacation destinations. 

A different option would be to go to all-inclusive resorts! These type of vacation destinations offer you included breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets already included in the price. The same principle could also apply to cruises. In most cases, this includes drinks and a limited selection of alcoholic beverages.

The most significant way to save money on traveling is to travel during the off-season. Not only the travel itself will be cheaper, but also overnight stay and entertainment costs are usually a lot lower. This is not always applicable to most families as there are school terms to consider. If you can arrange it, going a few days before the peak season hits (or returning a few days after) can save you serious money. 

Saving Money Family Vacation




America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks: No. 9 Dollywood

Dollywood is a theme park jointly owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Hosting over 3 million guests in a typical season – mid-March to the Christmas holidays – Dollywood is the biggest tourist attraction in Tennessee.

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Photo via Pigeon Forge

In addition to standard amusement park rides, Dollywood features traditional crafts and music of the Smoky Mountain area (similar to Silver Dollar City owned by Herschend Family Entertainment).

The park hosts a number of concerts and musical events each year, including appearances by Dolly Parton as well as other national and local musical acts. It is also the site of the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Parade of Many Colors – Photo via Dollywood

Dollywood is the largest employer in the area with over 3,000 employees.

The History of Dollywood

The original park opened in early 1961 as a small tourist attraction owned by the Robbins brothers and named  “Rebel Railroad.” It included a steam train, general store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. The train ride let visitors experience “attacks” by Union soldiers, train robbers, and Indians. 

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Photo via CardCow.com

In 1970, Art Modell, who owned the Cleveland Browns football team, bought Rebel Railroad and renamed it “Goldrush Junction.” The park retained the railroad, added an outdoor theater, a log flume ride, and a church. 

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Goldrush Junction Pigeon Forge, TN – Photo via CardCow.com

In 1976, the Herschend family bought Goldrush Junction and renamed it “Goldrush” for the 1976 season. In 1977, they renamed it “Silver Dollar City Tennessee,” making it a sister park to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. The Herschends spent about $1 million upgrading the park  and added other improvements over the years.

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Photo via Theme Park Review

In 1986, Dolly Parton, who grew up in the area, bought an interest in Silver Dollar City Tennessee and as part of that purchase, the park reopened for the 1986 season as “Dollywood.”

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Photo via Dollywood Insiders

With the reopening of the park as Dollywood in 1986 came the new Rivertown Junction area which included Smoky Mountain River Rampage, a whitewater rafting ride; Back Porch Theater; Aunt Granny’s Dixie Fixins’ Restaurant; and Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home, a replica of the cabin that was Parton’s childhood home.

Amazing Theme Parks Dollywood
Photo via Dollywood

Also new was “Rags to Riches: The Dolly Parton Story,” a museum displaying articles and mementos from Dolly’s life and career. Park attendance doubled to more than a million guests during the first season as Dollywood.

Expansions through the Years

Expansions, additions and refurbishments started in 1987. Those expansions and additions continue with something new and exciting opening almost every year since the renaming of the park to Dollywood.

The park is now more than double the size it was in 1986. Dollywood has definitely become known as a “family” park and Dollywood dedicated 2013 to encouraging families to spend time together.

You don’t have to be a country music fan to love Dollywood. In addition to the theme park, Dollywood also features Splash Country Water Park, DreamMore Resort and Spa, Pirates Voyage and Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner show.

Photo via Dollywood

Dollywood is known for its one of a kind rides like Dollywood Express, a five mile ride aboard a steam engine through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

This year Dollywood opened the biggest expansion ever, Wildwood Grove that features 11 new rides.

The Areas of Dollywood

Dollywood is organized into themed areas: Showstreet, Rivertown Junction, Craftsman’s Valley, The Village, Country Fair, Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, and Jukebox Junction reflect the historical eras and culture of East Tennessee, while Owens Farm and Adventures in Imagination explore Dolly Parton’s life and imagination.

Photo via Dollywood

Many attractions focus on the history and culture of the Southern Appalachian region. Wildwood Grove is a whimsical hidden area that lies beyond an ancient hollow log and into a hidden land, Wildwood Grove beckons the explorer in everyone. You can let curiosity be your guide as you journey ever deeper, past sparkling creeks, through a charming village, and under the mighty limbs of the great Wildwood Tree.

One thing everyone that visits Dollywood agrees on – the park’s focus is family with rides, attractions and shows to fit every member of the family, no matter how young or how old.

  • Showstreet – Attractions include Showstreet Palace Theater, Celebrity Theater, and Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.
  • Rivertown Junction – Attractions include Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home, Back Porch Theater, and Smoky Mountain River Rampage whitewater rafting ride.
  • Craftsman’s Valley – Attractions include Dollywood Grist Mill, Valley Theater, Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, Wings of America Theater, Robert F. Thomas Chapel, Calico Falls Schoolhouse, Tennessee Tornado coaster, Blazing Fury coaster, Daredevil Falls flume ride, and craft exhibits.
  • The Village (formerly Village Square) – Attractions include the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge Dollywood Expresssteam train, Heartsong Theater, Village Carousel, and Costner and Sons Magic Shop.
  • The Country Fair (formerly Fun Country) – Rides include Dizzy Disk, The Amazing Flying Elephants, Lemon Twist, Shooting Star, Sky Rider, The Waltzing Swinger, Piggy Parade, Busy Bees, Lucky Ducky, Dolly’s Demolition Derby, and The Scrambler.
  • Timber Canyon (formerly Thunderhead Gap) – Attractions include the Mystery Mine coaster, the Thunderhead coaster, Drop Line, Whistle Punk Chaser, and Lumberjack Lifts.
  • Jukebox Junction – Attractions include the Rockin’ Roadway car ride and Pines Theater. Also featured is Lightning Rod, which holds the record as the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.
  • Owens Farm (Daydream Ridge 1987–1999, Dreamland Forest 2000–2010) – Attractions include Barnstormer (ride)|Barnstormer]], a barn and plane styled giant swing attraction. It also includes soft play areas and a splash pad.
  • Adventures in Imagination (formerly Dollywood Boulevard) – Attractions include Dolly Parton’s My People! show at Dreamsong Theater and the Chasing Rainbows Museum.
  • Wilderness Pass – Attractions include the SkyZip zip line attraction, The Plaza at Wilderness Pass, Wild Eagle – America’s first winged coaster – and FireChaser Express, a dual-launch coaster that launches forward and backward.
  • Wildwood Grove — Opened in 2019- attractions include the Dragonflier,a suspended family coaster, The Mad Mockingbird, a swing ride, The Wildwood Tree, a 50 ft tall lighted tree, qnd Till and Harvest, a Mexican inspired restaurant.

Photo via Dollywood

Annual Events

  • Festival of Nations offers cultural events by performers from around the world.
  • Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S is a bluegrass music and barbecue festival.
  • Summer Celebration (formerly Great American Summer) includes Night of Many Colors, a nightly fireworks display set to music; Night Experience, night performances and rides in the dark; and new shows, such as DRUMLine Live! and iLuminate.
  • Harvest Festival presented by Humana features Southern Gospel music, professional craftsmen, and Great Pumpkin LumiNights.
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana is a nine-time award winner of Golden Ticket’s Best Christmas Event and features seven holiday performances, 5 million Christmas lights, Glacier Ridge (in which part of the park has froze over), and a nightly parade.

Dining at Dollywood

Dollywood has restaurants, a bakery and sandwich shop, a sweet shop, a food truck and a multitude of grab and go options all across the park. You can choose from full-service restaurants to buffets and quick service stands. 

Allergy dining is also taken care of at Dollywood. Just inform the host/hostess when you arrive at any of the restaurants of your dietary needs and they will do their very best to accommodate you.

Gluten Friendly Offerings:

  • Front Porch Café – any of the sandwiches on the menu, all salads, select side items, Grilled Chicken Entrée can all be prepared gluten friendly. Just ask to speak to one of the chefs and they will gladly prepare a customized meal to fit your dietary needs.
  • Victoria’s Pizza – Cheese Pizza, Fruit Cup
  • Bakery – Udis Blueberry Muffins and Brownies
  • Grandstand – Southern Salad can be prepared to be gluten friendly
  • Miss Lillian’s BBQ Corner – Hickory Smoked Turkey Leg, Ear of Roasted Corn

Vegetarian Options:

  • Front Porch Café – Entrée Salads. Veggie Burger, Veggie Melt Sandwich, select side items
  • Lumber Jack’s Pizza – Cheese or Roasted Vegetable Pizza, House & Caprese Salads
  • Victoria’s Pizza – Cheese Pizza, Side Salad, Fruit Cup
  • Miss Lillian’s & Aunt Granny’s – Salad Bar and select side items on the Hot Bar
  • Grandstand – Southern Salad can be prepared to be vegetarian friendly

Dairy Free Snacks:

  • Dippin’ Dots – Rainbow Ice

Splash Country Water Park

Located adjacent to Dollywood theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country features a variety of water attractions for both the thrill-seekers and pool-loungers in the family.

Photo via Dollywood Splash Country

Dollywood’s Splash Country water park features 35 acres of water slides, attractions, pools and play areas, all set in a unique Smoky Mountains setting.

Splash Country opened in 2001. Dolly’s Splash Country was an addition to the Dollywood  theme park built into the natural terrain of a 25 acres mountainous area adjacent to the theme park. The park opened with attractions such as Mountain Waves wave pool, Raging River Rapids, the Downbound Float Trip lazy river, The Butterfly, Little Creek Falls, Wild River Falls, and Mountain Scream, and has been adding water attractions ever since.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort

Located less than 3 miles from Dollywood, DreamMore Resort attracts visitors looking for easy access to the theme park. The resort, which opened in 2015, houses more than 300 rooms and suites, many of which were designed with families in mind (some accommodations feature bunk beds).

Photo via DreamMore Resort

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is home to indoor and outdoor pools, a boutique store, a spa, a kids club and a fitness center. There are also two on-site eateries at the hotel. Song & Hearth serves up traditional Southern fare while The DM Pantry offers sandwiches, salads, snacks and drinks.

Guests appreciate how close this resort is to the theme park, the discounted theme park tickets and the complimentary shuttle available to the theme park. Guests also receive early entry to the park on some days, complimentary TimeSaver for less time waiting in line, a designated entry point for guests of the resort and in-room package delivery for purchases made throughout the resort and park.

Dollywood Smoky Mountain Cabins

Guest renting one of the Smoky Mountain Cabins are entitled to many of the same benefits as those staying at DreamMore Resort, as well as discounts to other local attractions.

Photo via Dollywood Cabins

Some of the cabins can sleep 10 or more people so are ideal accommodations for large families or multiple families sharing the cost. 

Did you have the chance to read America’s Most Amazing Theme Parks – The History of Amusement Parks where you can learn how it all started! Also, don’t miss: