Today was the day the kids had patiently awaited—a visit to Dollywood. Dollywood is a theme park jointly owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains metroplex in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Hosting nearly 3 million guests in a typical season from mid-March to the Christmas holidays, Dollywood is the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee. The theme park is the anchor of Parton’s 150-acre Dollywood amusement destination, which also includes the 35-acre sister water park Dollywood’s Splash Country, the 20-acre Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa,and the 5-acre Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction
We arrived just after the park’s 10 AM opening, and Karyn immediately visited the iconic Grist Mill for a loaf of their famous cinnamon bread. It was devoured in just a few minutes. From there, it was ride after ride, including some “hairy” roller coaster rides. Both kids did exceptionally well, and even Kay and I managed to survive one or two. The park was our home for most of the day. By the way, food was VERY expensive—3 chicken strips and a bag of potato chips were almost $14.
Afterwards, we had dinner at the highly reviewed and rated Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant and Grill. They “proudly” serve home-style, southern favorites, along with their signature Apple Fritters. The fritters were great, the other food so so, but they screwed up my order too much to be redone, with insufficient mitigatory measures (I ordered a vegetable plate to include beans; after serving us, the served stated that the beans would be coming in two minutes. They arrived after we had completed our meals! So what do they do? They bring another bowl of beans!)