Dollywood

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

What brings my family back to Pigeon Forge/Seveierville, Tennessee, over and over again? In addition to being our favorite all-inclusive family destination, it’s also home to Dollywood – the pinnacle of every trip there.

Dolly Parton’s gem is, by far, our favorite major theme park in the nation – and we’ve been to them all. Dollywood it is a top quality, class act through and through. It never disappoints in attraction quality, cleanliness, and stellar customer service and hospitality.

The newest attraction we encountered on this recent visit is the new “Wild Eagle.” Dollywood knows how to please everyone with rides of all types and thrill levels. There are no ugly, grotesque, evil/dark themed attractions. Everything is clean, patriot, in good taste, and unoffensive.

Dollywood

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

The food at Dollywood is also very good, mostly southern comfort food, and a welcomed change to the ordinary hotdog or chili fries that you’ll find at most theme parks. Several pleasant sit down restaurants offer real, Tennessee-style food. You will find excellent service to boot, no matter what dining experience you choose. Things like pulled pork, cobblers, steamed veggies, salads, hearty homemade soups and freshly baked cornbread and pies are common staples.

The employees of all ages at Dollywood are also exceptionally hospitable, warm, and friendly. Hosts will make you feel as though you are visiting them personally, and any stranger who works there will surely treat you like a friend. Dolly treats her employees well and it shows. They are even happy to tell you about it if you ask. Many of the hosts are senior citizens.

Should someone in your group pause to look at a map, someone will likely approach you within moments to ask if you need assistance. If you get thirsty and look for refreshment, they will either bring you a cup of water or supply one free of charge, at any kiosk, if you ask. It truly seems like you are a guest at a friend’s home, and certainly not at an amusement park. Even the restrooms have fresh flowers.

The Dolly Museum is one of our family favorites. It depicts the very interesting story and life of Dolly Parton, her background, movies, singing career, family and relationship with God. This museum is  heartwarming and certain to give you a deep respect for this amazing business woman and philanthropist. The line is always a bit long but a tour of Dolly’s fancy tour bus is a fun highlight.

Dollywood

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

We try to time our visits to Dollywood to enjoy the various seasons, as each individual time of year has spectacular decorations, music, botanical exhibits and cheer. We have visited Dollywood during Christmas and also during the harvest season and summertime. It’s lovely any time of year with Christmas being absolutely magnificent with inspirational decorations and magical music and shows throughout the park.

While Dollywood does not permit pets, they are service animal friendly and do offer service dog relief areas within the park. If you are traveling with a pet, you can contact the local convention and visitors bureau for recommendations on pet boarding.

Dollywood is one class act, through and through.