Is a Dollywood season pass worth it? An honest review

Each season pass level comes with various perks and benefits. The Gold Pass is usually worth the additional cost (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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Have you ever considered a Dollywood season pass purchase?

There are quite a few questions that come up when deciding on what kind of pass to get.

How many times do I have to visit to get my money’s worth? Should I get a Gold Pass? What the heck is a Dining Pass?

If you’re anything like me, you work hard for your money and want to be sure you’re getting the most value for your dollar. So is a Dollywood season pass worth it?

Let’s dissect the numbers and do a little bit of vacation math to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Dolly on stage with Dollywood President and Benjamin Bear
Dolly Parton visited the park to announce the new coaster at Dollywood, which is set to open in 2023 (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What to expect at Dollywood in 2023

The Pigeon Forge theme park is gearing up for a big season that includes the debut of Big Bear Mountain next spring, the longest roller coaster in the park’s history.

Also new in 2023, guests will be able to celebrate what has become one of Dolly’s biggest hits, “I Will Always Love You”. To observe the 50th anniversary of this monumental song, the new I Will Always Love You Celebration will take place March 11-April 8.

The Dollywood festival schedule has also been released:

  • Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health: April 21-June 4, 2023
  • Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration: June 17-Aug. 6, 2023
  • Harvest Festival presented by Humana: Sept. 22- Nov. 4, 2023
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana: Nov. 11, 2023- Jan. 6, 2024

Also, the park will have 15 additional operating days throughout the year in 2023.

The current special offers for a season pass are listed below:

mockup of a dollywood silver pass
The Silver Season Pass is the lower-level pass. It will have blackout dates (rendering by TheSmokies.com)

How much does a regular season pass at Dollywood cost?

At the time of this writing, a Silver Dollywood Season Pass runs for $154 plus tax for adults. Dollywood also lets their guests pay in 10 payments of $15.40, which can take a little sting off.

To compare the current ticket prices:

  • Single-day passes are $89 ($79 for children and seniors)
  • 2-day passes are $109 ($99 for children and seniors)
  • 3-day passes are $119 ($109 for children and seniors)

It’s important to note that the multi-day passes must be used within a 5-day period.

So, if you want to visit the park in two different seasons, it’s already worth it to purchase a season pass.

Note that prices are subject to change. Special offers vary by season.

a closeup of butterfly jumbo ornament at dollywood
Having only a Silver Pass will make it more difficult to visit during the holiday season (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What does a Dollywood Silver Season Pass include?

A Dollywood Silver Season Pass includes two Bring-A-Friend Free tickets, a $5 discount on one-day tickets for friends and family and a 10% discount on lodging.

Select blackout dates apply to Silver Season Passes and Silver Bring-a-Friend Free tickets. 

A Silver Pass might be right for you if you don’t plan on parking on-site and don’t wish to visit the park late in the season. Otherwise, the park seems to be encouraging folks to upgrade to Gold or Diamond.

What are blackout days for Dollywood?

When deciding if a pass is right for you, it’s important to take note of the blackout dates.

Blackout days are days in which a passholder is unable to visit.

Silver Passes have blackout days, meaning you wouldn’t be able to visit the park with your pass during the park’s busiest days.

However, Dollywood officials removed blackout dates for all child season passes to give a few more options to families.

Otherwise, the blackout dates for Silver Season Passholders are from Nov. 22, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023 and Nov. 24, 2023-Jan. 6, 2024.

This essentially means Silver Passholders would only be able to attend the Smoky Mountain Christmas event very early in the season.

This could certainly play a role in your vacation math and makes the Silver Pass less valuable.

To view the passholder blackout calendar, visit Dollywood’s website.

rendering of a gold dollywood pass
Guests who enjoy visiting during the Christmas season may want to spring for a Gold Pass (rendering by TheSmokies.com)

What does a Dollywood Gold Pass include?

The Gold Pass starts to look like the better value given the blackout dates and limitations of the Silver Pass. Plus, the free parking alone usually makes it worth the upgrade for at least one member of the family.

What is a Gold Pass, you ask? You can think of a Gold Pass as a premium Dollywood pass. It is currently $219 plus tax. It includes two Bring-A-Friend Free tickets as well as:

  • $10 discount on one-day tickets for friends and family
  • 15% discount on dining, merchandise and lodging
  • One-day unlimited refills mug
  • $5 off on TimeSaver passes
  • $5 off on VIP tours and preferred parking
  • Free general parking
  • Early Saturday ride time
  • Exclusive passholder events
  • TimeSaver access during the first hour of each operating day

If you plan on visiting the park at least twice in different seasons and plan on parking on-site at the theme park, the Gold Pass may be right for you.

Read Also: Is Dollywood worth the price? What you need to know to plan your budget

rendering of a diamond dollywood pass
The Diamond Passholders receive the most benefits for guests who enjoy several perks (rendering by TheSmokies.com)

What does the Diamond Pass include?

Dollywood recently debuted its Diamond Pass, offering even more options for Dollywood guests.

Dollywood Diamond Season Passes provide a premium experience for guests.

Diamond Passes offer all the perks of the Silver and Gold Pass, plus even more benefits. A Diamond Pass is currently $319. It offers four Bring-A-Friend Free passes and access to Splash Country. Diamond season passholders will also receive:

  • $15 discount on one-day tickets for friends and family
  • 20% discount on dining, merchandise and lodging
  • All-season unlimited refills mug
  • $10 off on TimeSaver passes
  • $10 off on VIP tours and preferred parking
  • Free general parking
  • Early Saturday ride time
  • Exclusive passholder events
  • TimeSaver access during the first hour of each operating day

During the first hour of every operating day, called Golden Hours, Gold and Diamond Season Passes operate just like TimeSaver passes, allowing the named passholder expedited boarding on rides and attractions.

Mountain Scream at Dollywood Splash Country
A Two-Park pass includes admission to Dollywood’s Splash Country (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What does a Two-Park pass include?

The Dollywood Two-Park passes include admission to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.

Guests can upgrade a Silver or Gold Season Pass to a Two-Park pass to enjoy unlimited visits to both theme parks.

Diamond Season Passes automatically include admission to Splash Country. You can upgrade any of the passes for a Two-Park pass for $55 more.

coat of many colors display with sign during flower and food festival at dollywood
Dining Passes are currently offered at Splash Country. There is also a Dining Pass offered for the Flower & Food Festival in the spring (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What about the Dollywood Dining Passes?

Dining Passes are currently offered at Splash Country and can be purchased as an add-on to your season pass.

At the time of this writing, the Dining Pass add-on is roughly a $50 upgrade. It includes one entree and one snack each day you visit Splash Country.

If you use it at least 2-3 times, it’s worth the money for the upgrade.

Read Also: Dollywood souvenir mugs: What to know before you buy

Is the Dining Pass different from the Flower & Food Dining Day Pass?

It’s worth noting that the Dining Pass add-on to your Splash Country pass is not to be confused with the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass.

The Flower & Food Dining Day Pass purchase allows guests to try up to five select food items, tapas-style, during the spring festival at Dollywood.

hall sisters perform at chapel at dollywood theme park
Dollywood is known for providing world-class, live entertainment throughout the park (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Is a season pass at Dollywood worth it?

Okay, I know I threw a lot of numbers at you.

As a rule of thumb, the more you use your perks, the more money you save.

And the earlier you buy in the season, the more perks you receive. Remember, the benefits listed above are at the time of this writing and may vary at the time of purchase.

Generally speaking, a season pass is worth it if you’re going to visit either park more than once per season (in more than a 5-day period). If you have your heart set on visiting multiple times during the holidays, go for the Gold Pass.

But you know your family better than I do. Do you park on-site? Make several in-park purchases? Do you enjoy being at the park right at its opening time? These questions may determine which pass is worth it to you.

Just be sure you’re planning to use your benefits if you buy all the bells and whistles. That part is key. Check the Dollywood website to get the full breakdown of what your passes will include.

Should you decide to upgrade to a season pass, present your admission ticket and payment at any front gate ticket window.

Read more about current offers on the Dollywood website.

Can someone else use my season pass to Dollywood?

No. However, you can use your Bring-A-Friend ticket to get them in for free. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

dollywood logo for coupon

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How can I get Dollywood discounts?

Be sure to check the Dollywood website for current notifications, deals and promotions, including discounts to Dolly Parton’s Stampede or Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa.

You can also book daily tickets ahead of time with Tripster.

Whether you want to see your favorite artists at the park next spring or you’re interested in the exclusive ride event, the premiere of Big Bear Mountain, there’s a lot to see and do at the Dollywood theme park.

Have you ever purchased a season pass for Dollywood in the Smokies? What pass type did you get? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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13 thoughts on “Is a Dollywood season pass worth it? An honest review”

  1. Can the bring a friend free pass be upgraded to a season pass for the discount price of a day ticket?

  2. Hi Becky, you can upgrade to a season pass in the park. The upgrade prices listed reflect an upgrade from a “regular one day pass”. But in the past, I’ve heard you can get a small discount from a Bring a Friend pass. The policy is subject to change from year to year, so check with Dollywood customer service for further details. Hope that helps!
    This page may help: https://www.dollywood.com/Groups/Corporate/PassUpgrade

  3. I purchased the Two-Park Pass Diamond 2022 on December 10th 2021. Can I bring a friend this week ? for the Christmas Season 2021.

  4. Hi Julia! From Dollywood’s website: “…The 2022 flexible Bring-A-Friend Free tickets can only be used during the 2022 season. They have blackout dates of Fridays and Saturdays as well as select weeks throughout the year. These tickets can be used one per passholder and the passholder must be present.” When in doubt, reach out to Dollywood customer service. Hope that helps!

  5. First, great name!
    Next, I have a soon to be 4 year old (eligible for the Imagination preK pass), 8 year old, and husband. If we were to go more than 3 times in 2022, would it be most cost effective to purchase a gold, a silver and the Senior/kid passes? We live on the NC/SC border. About 2 to 3 hours away (Asheville traffic and construction always plays into that estimate). Thanks, Alaina Carnahan 😉

  6. Hi Alaina! Right back at ya, great name 😉 If you plan on going three times during the season, it is worth it to get a season pass. Having the Gold Pass gets you free general parking ($25 each time) – which would also pay for itself if you go at least three times. Usually, in my family, only one person gets the Gold Pass. But it depends on what else you might be interested in benefits-wise.

    Hope that helps! Their chart has a nice description of benefits to break it down with the most current pricing here: https://www.dollywood.com/Tickets/Season-Passes#benefits

  7. Hi Olivia! Currently, senior pricing, 62 and up, is $74.00 (from $84 for the regular one-day adult ticket).

    For a silver season pass, senior pricing is $149.00 (from $159.00 for adults).

    Rule of thumb, seniors usually save about $10. Hope that helps!

  8. My wife and I are coming to Dollywood, early August.
    We are seniors and would like some information on shows?
    Would you please provide your recommendations and how to navigate the park in seeing these attractions.

    Additionally, I have read that buying a season pass, I can bring my wife to the park for less cost than a two day ticket, is that correct?
    Is Dollywood still offering the opportunity to come into the park after 3 PM and getting the next day with a paid admission?

    Hoping you can assist us, it has been a number of years since we have been to Dollywood.

  9. Hi Jim! Some of those were limited-time offers.

    It doesn’t look like they still offer the Bring a Friend passes with the Season Pass or the “after 3” deal.

    Check out the current pass offers here: https://www.dollywood.com/Tickets/Season-Passes#benefits

    They currently offer discounted admission to the park after 5 pm for $55, but this is also a limited time only. You may want to consider the 2-day park ticket (currently $104 or $94 for seniors), which would get you in for a second day for only about $20 more.

    Dollywood is running their Summer Celebration through Aug. 7. You can read up on the shows here – https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/entertainment/

    And the Dollywood app (in the app store) is a great resource for schedules! Hope that is helpful, let me know if you have any other questions.

  10. We have been buying the silver passes for years. We only use them twice a year, once last year. We live 6 to 7 hours away, so not worth it this year with the blackout dates.

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