Are Dollywood Rides Fat Friendly? A Plus-size Guide to Coaster Weight Limits

Mystery Mine cart at Dollywood

Theme park ride restrictions can be a stressful topic for the plus-size community. It’s never a great feeling to be told that you’re too big to ride. Since we often get the question, “Is Dollywood fat friendly?”, we decided to create this handy dandy guide to give you an idea of what to expect before you arrive at the Dollywood theme park.

Will I fit on the rides at Dollywood? Is Dollywood plus-size friendly?

Before we begin, it’s important to remind our readers that no two bodies are exactly alike. What works for some may not work for others, even if they have similar proportions. When in doubt, always use the test seats when available. At the time of this writing, test seats are available at the entrances of the following rides:

  • Barnstormer 
  • Dragonflier (coaster)
  • Drop Line
  • FireChaser Express (coaster)
  • Lightning Rod (coaster)
  • Mystery Mine (coaster)
  • Thunderhead (coaster)
  • Wild Eagle (coaster)

The general Dollywood policy on ride size limits can be found in their accessibility guide

River Rampage
Dollywood’s River Rampage is generally considered to be plus-size friendly (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Dollywood height and weight limits

Generally speaking, according to the Dollywood accessibility guide, certain attractions may not accommodate individuals approaching 270 pounds or 6 feet 4 inches in height. It may also be important to note that most Dollywood rides have a 6 foot, 6 inch height maximum. Guests under 270 pounds and 6 feet, 4 inches are unlikely to have many problems.

If you are on the borderline, you may be asked to ride in the middle seat of a coaster row, just to be safe. Overall, you will be happy to know that Dollywood wasn’t named the Friendliest Theme Park in America for nothin’. Overall, the staff members are accommodating, and waiting areas are conveniently located outside most major attractions. 

Plus-size ‘safe’ rides at Dollywood

While there are never any guarantees across the board, most plus-size guests report the following rides to be generally “safe” for larger guests because of adjustable velcro restraints or lack of restraints. These rides include:

  • The Dollywood Train
  • River Rampage (water ride)
  • Daredevil Falls (water ride)

Dollywood rides that may be difficult for plus-size guests

There is also, according to guest reports and reviews, a list of rides that can be problematic for those approaching or above the 270 pound, 6 foot, 4 inch suggestion mentioned in Dollywood’s accessibility guide. These rides include:

  • Mystery Mine (coaster)
  • Sky Rider
  • Drop Line 

Guests also report that the Wild Eagle tends to be less accommodating for women with larger busts due to the U-shaped shoulder restraint.

What is there to do at Dollywood besides rides?

For those who either can’t or don’t want to partake in the rides at Dollywood, there’s still plenty of fun to be had elsewhere in the park. There are a variety of shows and theaters on site, with genres including bluegrass, southern gospel, contemporary, 50s tunes, Christmas shows and animal shows (bald eagles). There are also plenty of crafting opportunities like knife-making and candle-pouring classes in Craftsman’s Valley.

Dollywood also essentially serves as a Dolly Parton museum of sorts with a tourable replica of Dolly Parton’s childhood home and the brand new Dolly Parton Experience opening May 2024 on-site (included with general admission). Fans are even allowed to hop aboard Dolly’s actual tour bus for a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity. And last but not least, there’s always the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. The Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is the nation’s largest presentation, spanning over 30,000 square feet, of non-releasable bald eagles. These activities alone are more than enough to fill up an entire day inside the park. Who needs rides when you have Dolly?

Dollywood’s Wings of America Birds of Prey Show allows guests to get an up-close look at variety of fascinating birds including owls, hawks and of course, bald eagles (photo by J.D. Emmert/TheSmokies.com)

How can I get Dollywood discounts?

Booking through Tripster can usually save you a couple of dollars off the price of regular admission. Also, be sure to check the Dollywood website for current deals and promotions.

In your experience, do you consider Dollywood to be a “plus-size friendly” park? Let us know in the comments!

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Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.

10 thoughts on “Are Dollywood Rides Fat Friendly? A Plus-size Guide to Coaster Weight Limits”

  1. We are/were season pass holders. We only were allowed to use the passes once this pass season. We tried for weeks to make reservations, but never could reach an agent last summer. Now if you wanted to purchase a ticket, you got a reservation. We were very disappointed. #Not a Dollywood Fan

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  2. I found Dollywood to be accessible for larger guests. I am 5ft 11in and 240lbs. I fit all the coasters no problem.

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  3. I love Dollywood and Dolly so much. I can bring my grandchildren and feel very safe. I have never had a problem leaving our stroller or baby bag while on the rides. The staff and I do mean all of Dolly’s staff are so friendly and caring people they go above and beyond to see that you have a wonderful time. Dolly is such a blessing to her home town and all who meet her. I moved here several years ago I had no idea we were so close to such a wonderful get away. I have been a couple of times to her beautiful Dream more it is wonderful. I try to get our family season passes every year. The Halloween spectacular is amazing and Christmas is something you don’t want to miss. One of my favorites was when she had a bubble show I will never forget the faces of our grandchildren and mine of course. Well I must admit I love all of Dollywood the shows, the music the rides and her restaurants. It is something you will always cherish as I do. Thankyou Miss Dolly and a special thanks to everyone on staff. It is a very friendly safe happy family place and I am blessed to live only one hour away.

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  4. Don’t listen to Carol&Jack, I have season passes & I’ve been 15 times this year. Forget the reservation nonsense & just go.

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  5. I am 6’1″ and weigh 250lbs. There were rides I couldn’t go on. Not becaise of my weight, but because of the damned over the shoulder safety harnesses. Most of these rides are engineered in Europe and are less accomodating to American body types.

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  6. The issue isn’t necessarily the weight of a guest, but their torso circumference or “barrel”. I am 6’2″ and a few steps above the 3rd floor on the scale. The rides choose to go on, I can fit. I love the Wild Eagle. I can only fit the center (4th) row. Even then, I find the restraint very restrictive on my respiratory system. Any of the others I have no problem with including Drop Line, Dragonflier (rode front row with my son), and Tennessee Tornado.

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  7. The only ride I have ever had trouble with at Dollywood is the Wild Eagle because of the fact that I am large in the chest area.

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  8. Dollywood is NOT friendly to fluffy folks. Not only that, if you want to try a test seat enjoy having an audience! They put them right in the queue for everyone to see, instead of placing them somewhere outside the queue and away from gawking people. Do better, Dollywood. Looks like I’ll stick with the pricier Disney World which is far superior in its treatment of larger people.

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  9. i’m 5’9 and about 300lbs, i was only able to ride the log water ride. embarrassing to try the test seats that many people use as waiting area 🙁

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