DOLLYWOOD: SEVIERVILLE INSIDER'S GUIDE
Sevierville, Tennessee is Dolly Parton’s hometown and the superstar is celebrated throughout our Smoky Mountain community with murals, statues, singing competitions, shopping experiences, historic walking tours, and so much more. There’s no doubt that the admiration between our town and the living legend herself is mutual: Dollywood offers abundant proof. Named the #1 theme park in the U.S. by TripAdvisor in 2022, Dollywood features more than 50 thrilling rides, scrumptious fare, and stellar entertainment with Dolly’s love of her Tennessee Mountain Home woven through, starting with the park’s friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Here’s a closer look at Dollywood’s Sevierville connections as well as insider tips to help you make the most of your visit.
Sevierville at Dollywood
You may get lucky and visit Dollywood on a day that the icon is on site (she occasionally graces a stage and joins a parade), but even on those majority of days when she’s not at the property, keen observers will feel her presence and gain a greater understanding of Dolly Parton. Park themes consistently nod to Dolly’s childhood, dreams, and imagination—like the butterfly tree in the park’s Wildwood Grove. Each of the park’s 11 different sections boast dozens of attractions, shopping, and dining opportunities, so grab a free map and show schedule on your way in. Among the Sevierville-related highlights…
Jukebox Junction, a seven-acre section of Dollywood, represents Sevierville in the 1950s. Its Pines Theater is a replica of the downtown Sevierville building where 10-year-old Dolly first performed in front of a paying audience on the “Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour” radio show in 1956. It seats 1,000 and since opening at Dollywood in 1995 has staged many 1950s-style shows. Red’s Drive-In is a tribute to Sevierville’s original Red’s Café, an eatery that thrived from 1946 to the early 1970s and was the first place Dolly ever had a hamburger. Dollywood’s menu boasts juicy burgers, crispy fries, and frosty shakes. Rockin’ Roadway is where you can drive a miniature retro car on a track while listening to 1950s-themed music. Around the track signs like “Watson Motor Co.” refer to former Sevierville businesses while others, like “Cas Walker’s Store” and “Judy’s Luggage & Millinery Shop,” honor people important to Dolly such as the man behind her first big break and her childhood best friend.
Adventures in Imagination, an area neighboring Jukebox Junction, invites you to step inside Dolly’s Home On Wheels, her former tour bus, for a peek at how the superstar lived while traveling nationwide. The fashion boutique Dolly’s Closet sells clothing and accessories that pay homage to Dolly’s infamous style as well as books and music. Dreamsong Theater is a 500-seat venue where the performances always feature Parton’s talented relatives.
In Rivertown Junction,visit Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home, a two-room replica of Dolly’s Locust Ridge childhood home, to get a feel for where Dolly grew up. The replica was built by Dolly’s brother and the interior recreated by her mother. Most of the items on display are replicas of items that would have been found in her childhood home, all selected by her mother.
The Village is where to board one of Dollywood’s most iconic rides, The Dollywood Express, for a five-mile, 20-minute ride on an authentic 110-ton, coal-fired steam engine. (A train nicknamed the “Old Slow & Easy” used to run through downtown Sevierville; the “Tracks of Time” sculpture on Bruce Street is made using some of the historic tracks.)
Craftsman’s Valleyis home to the Robert F. Thomas Chapel, named in honor of the doctor who delivered little baby Dolly. The one-room church with wooden pews and hardwood floors holds Sunday services. Dolly, an American treasure, and Dollywood partnered with the American Eagle Foundation to bring the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary to the park in order to offer a safe home to non-releasable bald eagles, our national emblem. The Wings of America theater adjacent to the sanctuary features Birds of Prey shows. Nearby are showcases and demonstrations of local artisans’ candles, blown glass, airbrush T-shirts, caricatures and portraits, leather goods, pottery, ironwork, and other creations.
New in 2023
Dollywood’s longest coaster ever, Big Bear Mountain, is set to open this spring in Wildwood Grove. The multi-generational ride will zoom along an orange track for up to 104 seconds and reach speeds of up to 48 miles per hour while soaring up to 66 feet above the ground.
More to Explore
Whatever your age and interests, there’s something for you at Dollywood. You’ll find 10 thrilling coasters, carnival games, dozens of award-winning shows, 20+ shops, arts and crafts demonstrations, countless seasonal displays, and much more. The 25+ dining locations range from full-service eateries to food trucks with options from cinnamon bread to pizza, funnel cakes to barbecue, ice cream to hot dogs, and more tasty refreshments and irresistible indulgences.
Planning Your Visit
Dollywood reopens for the 2023 season on March 11 (March 10 for season passholders). This year, Dollywood will host several seasonal events:
• I Will Always Love You Celebration – March 11-April 8 – Celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of Dolly’s biggest hits and the art of songwriting itself.
• Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival – April 21-June 11—Taste seasonal flavors surrounded by flower Mosaicultures
• Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration with Sweet Summer Nights Dance & Drone Show – June 17-August 6 – Catch family-friendly shows day and night.
• Dollywood’s Harvest Festival with Great Pumpkin LumiNights – September 22-November 4 – Enjoy artful displays of pumpkins, glimmering lights, and other seasonal surprises.
• Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas – November 11-January 6 – The park transforms into a winter wonderland with over 6 million twinkling lights, dozens of festive flavors, heartwarming holiday shows, and more.
Good To Know
Save money with multi-day or season tickets. Active and retired U.S. military members, spouses, and their dependents save 30 percent with valid military personnel IDs.
Hate to wait in line? Consider a TimeSaver Pass.
Dollywood sprawls 160 acres, so wear comfortable shoes. If you grow weary or someone in your party needs a little extra help with mobility, Dollywood rents strollers, wheelchairs, and electronic convenience vehicles (ECVs), as well as lockers.
Traveling with your furry best friend? Doggywood offers 12 kennel runs and four cottages available to rent for Dollywood guests. Since space is limited, advance reservations are highly recommended.