Are Dollywood Season Passes worth it? An honest analysis

Dollywood

Dollywood is one of Pigeon Forge's most popular attractions - but are the Season Passes worth the money? Read below to find out (stock photo)

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Have you ever considered buying a Dollywood Season Pass?

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 a 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 Dollywood Season Pass runs for $144. Dollywood also lets their guests pay in 6 payments of $24, which can take a little sting off.

To compare ticket prices:

  • Single-day passes are $79 ($69 for children and seniors)
  • 2-day passes are $99 ($89 for children and seniors)
  • 3-day passes are $109 for adults ($99 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 once in the summer and once in the winter, it’s still technically worth it to get 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 upcoming 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 before April 15, you receive two flexible Bring-a-Friend tickets to use at either Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2021.

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 $158 total, or you could get one Season Pass for $144, 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 an even better deal.

Passholders also get special access to offers and events, such as access to the annual Passholder Preview Day.

For the current offers, visit the Dollywood website.

A Super Pass includes access to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country (media photo courtesy of Dollywood)

What does a Dollywood Super Pass include?

The Dollywood Super Pass includes admission to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country.

A Season Pass for only Splash Country costs $99, or you could buy a Super Pass (to gain access to both parks) for $194.

Obviously, one Super Pass makes much more sense than buying individual Season Passes to both Dollywood and Splash Country.

Individual day tickets for Splash Country have not yet been posted for this season. But as a rule of thumb, if you want to visit more than once outside of a 5-day period, a pass is usually your best bet.

What does a Dollywood Gold Pass include?

I was afraid you would ask ask, dear reader. Things can get a little more confusing when you start factoring in Gold 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 includes free parking and 20% off food and merchandise. The Gold Pass costs $229, and the Super Gold Pass is $279.

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 $20 for regular vehicles. So after about four visits, the Gold Pass upgrade pays for itself for parking reasons alone.

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.

DreamMore Resort
Super Passes and Gold Passes can also save you up to 20% off 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.

The Basic Dining Pass includes a meal and a snack on each visit to Splash Country.

The Deluxe Water Park Dining Pass includes a meal and a snack on each visit, plus a free souvenir mug good for free, unlimited refills.

It’s roughly a $40 upgrade for the basic plan, and since theme park food can be pricey, you can usually make up your cost in about 2-3 visits.

The Deluxe is about $60 extra. While a regular souvenir mug costs $9.99 each, those refills will cost an extra .99 cents each.

So if you get refills roughly more than ten times with a deluxe pass, you would come out ahead.

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 all-new Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass.

The Flower & Food Dining Day Pass allows guests to try up to five entrees at select locations, tapas-style. It’s a brand new feature in 2021. The festival pass will cost $29.99, or $27.99 for Season Pass holders.

Read Also: Dollywood 2021: A behind the scenes look on opening day

So is a Season Pass at Dollywood worth it?

I know I threw a lot of numbers at you. So to recap, here’s the 2021 Dollywood Season Pass prices:

  • Splash Country Season Pass: $99 regular, $89 child or senior
  • Regular Season Pass: $144 regular, $134 child or senior
  • Super Season Pass: $194 regular, $184 child or senior
  • Super Pass + Basic Water Park Dining: $234 regular, $224 child or senior
  • Super Pass + Deluxe Water Park Dining: $254 regular, $244 child or senior

2021 pricing summary for Gold Passes:

  • Gold Splash Country Season Pass: $184 regular, $174 senior
  • Gold Dollywood Season Pass: $229 regular, $219 senior
  • Gold Super Season Pass: $279 regular, $269 senior
  • Gold Super Pass + Basic Water Park Dining: $319 regular, $309 senior
  • Gold Super Pass + Deluxe Water Park Dining: $339 regular, $329 senior

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 four times or more, it’s worth it to go for the Gold Pass

Just be sure you’re planning to use your benefits if you buy all the bells and whistles. That part is key.

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.

If I bought my Dollywood pass in 2020, is it still valid in 2021?

If you bought a 2020 Season Pass, your pass will still be valid through June 15, 2021.

Passholders who renew their pass before April 18 can receive two Bring-a-Friend passes as well.

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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