Are Dollywood season passes worth it? An honest analysis

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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.

How much is a Dollywood season pass?

At the time of this writing, a regular (Silver) Dollywood season pass runs for $139. Dollywood also lets their guests pay in 8 payments of $17.38, which can take a little sting off.

To compare ticket prices:

  • Single-day passes are $84 ($74 for children and seniors)
  • 2-day passes are $99 ($89 for children and seniors)
  • 3-day passes are $109 ($99 for children and seniors)

Note that prices are subject to change. Also, 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 once in the summer and once in the winter, it’s still technically worth it to purchase a season pass.

A bench that says "Storm make trees take deeper roots"
A Dollywood season pass is a great way to make sure you see all the festivals Dollywood has to offer, like the Flower & Food Festival (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

What does a Dollywood season pass include?

Dollywood also occasionally runs offers to sweeten your deal for its regular season pass.

For example, if you buy a pass (when promotions apply), season passholders receive two flexible Bring-a-Friend tickets.

One-park passholders can use their Bring-A-Friend Free tickets at Dollywood only.

Two-Park and Diamond passholders can use their Bring-A-Friend Free tickets at Dollywood OR Dollywood’s Splash Country.

So, let’s say you had a friend and you want to go to Dollywood for one day.

You could buy two single-day tickets for $168 total, or you could get one season pass for $139, which would come with two extra tickets.

Now, if you’re trying to split the cost with said friend, you’d have to think of a clever way to convince them to help you pay for your season pass, since they are only getting a day pass.

But you’re on your own on that one.

Another downside would be that Bring-a-Friend passes can not be used on Fridays and Saturdays, or on certain other blackout dates.

Still, getting two extra tickets (limited access or not) does make the season pass purchase an even better deal.

Season passholders also get special access to offers and events during the operating season, such as access to the annual Passholder Preview Day.

For the current offers, visit the Dollywood website.

A Two-Park pass includes access to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country (media photo courtesy of Dollywood)

What does a Two-Park pass include?

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

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

Diamond Season Passes automatically include admission to Splash Country.

What does a Dollywood Gold Pass include?

I was afraid you would ask, dear reader.

Things can get a little more confusing when you start factoring in Gold Pass upgrades, Diamond Pass upgrades and Dining Passes.

But luckily for you, we here at TheSmokies.com love doing vacation math.

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

What is a Gold Pass you ask? You can think of a Gold Pass as a premium Dollywood pass. It is currently $194 plus tax.

It includes free parking, 15% off food and merchandise and four Bring-a-Friend passes.

Typically, in my experience, it is actually is worth it to get the Gold Pass for at least one member of your family.

Standard parking is $25 for regular vehicles. The Gold Pass upgrade pays for itself in about 2-3 visits.

But to me, it feels unnecessary for more than one member of your family to get the Gold Pass, unless you plan on going solo quite a bit.

What does the Diamond Pass include?

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

Diamond Passes offer all the perks of the Silver and Gold Pass, plus even more benefits. A Diamond Pass is currently $304.

Diamond passholders receive 6 Bring-a-Friend tickets, 20% off select dining and merchandise, all-season unlimited mug refills, free parking and even a free one-time preferred parking pass.

Diamond Passes also include unlimited visits to Splash Country.

DreamMore Resort
Gold and Diamond passholders can also get a lodging discount Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

What about 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 $40 upgrade.

It includes one entree and one snack each day you visit Splash Country.

Once again, 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

A Dining Pass will be offered to guests who wish to try tapa-sized samples during the Flower and Food Festival (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)
A Dining Pass will be offered to guests who wish to try samples during the Flower and Food Festival (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

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 entrees at select locations, tapas-style.

It’s a new feature, debuting in 2021.

So is a season pass at Dollywood worth it?

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.

  • If you’re going to visit either park more than once per season (in more than a 5-day period), it’s worth it to get a pass.
  • If you’re going three times or more, it’s worth it to go for the Gold Pass.
  • If you have a lot of friends, spring for the Diamond Pass.

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 on 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.

How can I get Dollywood discounts?

Booking through Tripster can usually save you a couple of dollars off the price of regular admission if you forgo all the passholder offers.

Also be sure to check the Dollywood website for current notifications, deals and promotions, including discounts to Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

What’s your experience with Dollywood season passes? Is it worth it? 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 info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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4 thoughts on “Are Dollywood season passes worth it? An honest analysis”

  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!

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