Readers, let’s get one thing straight. I was not put on this world to carry cargo. There are not many things I dislike more than going to an amusement park and lugging a bunch of stuff around all day. I go to amusement parks to be free and have fun, not to carry luggage. As such, the benefits of a refillable mug – at a theme park like Dollywood – were completely lost on me. That is – until we had kids.
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Is a souvenir mug at Dollywood worth it?
When our outings went from two to three and then to five in our traveling party, the idea of a refillable mug or two became a whole lot more appealing. So for us? Yeah, it’s worth it. First of all, young kids come with strollers and strollers come with cup holders. There are plenty of places for storing the stuff I didn’t want to carry. Then, as kids grow older, you and your focus become less on participating and more on finding a shady spot where you can rest while they have all the fun you used to have.
Finally, five is a lot of people to keep hydrated on a sweltering July day in Dollywood. The inconvenience of carrying a few souvenir mugs is offset by the thousands of dollars you’re saving in hydration costs alone. So recently, I have become acutely interested in souvenir mugs, their pricing and all the practical elements. Allow me to share what I have learned via a little Q&A.
What types of different mugs are at Dollywood?
Dollywood sells two types of mugs. The All-Season Mug allows unlimited free refills of fountain drinks at Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa for the current operating season. The All-Season Mug is $31.99 at the time of this writing.
The Daily Refill Souvenir Mug allows you to purchase fountain drink refills for $1.99 plus tax for the current operating season. The Daily Refill Mug is $16.99 at the time of this writing, although you can get discounts if you purchase more than one. Frozen or hot drinks can be purchased for $2.99 plus tax for both mugs.
What about the DreamMore Forever Mug?
Ah, my friend. You have wandered upon the Holy Grail of Dollywood mugs. The possessor of a Forever Mug is entitled to 0.99-cent refills forever, and as Prince said, that’s a mighty long time. It’s quite a bargain, but alas, the DreamMore Forever Mugs are no longer available for purchase at Dollywood.
Can you use last year’s Dollywood cups?
Refills on previous seasonal mugs are typically about $3.99, although pricing is subject to change. You would have to do some more math to determine whether or not it is worth it to purchase the new seasonal cup. However, of course, if you collect the cups as souvenirs, that is a whole different factor.
Which Dollywood mug is right for me?
All right kids, it’s time to do some math. It seems to me that if, throughout a season, you’re going to buy more than seven drinks, the All-Season Mug is the way to go. One $16.99 Daily Mug plus seven refills is roughly equal to the price of the All-Season Mug. Where the math gets a little bit more complicated is when you buy in bulk. Ultimately, you have to decide what is best for your family. But how often you visit the parks can play a big role. If you drink a lot of water, free water is available throughout the park, so that also factors into your vacation math.
Are there discounts for Dollywood souvenir mugs?
Buying a Gold Pass early in the season can sometimes give you a free Daily Refill Souvenir Mug, which sweetens the deal a bit. However, the timing of when you buy the pass matters. Still, a Dollywood Gold Season Pass comes with many other perks including unlimited visits, free general parking, Bring-a-Friend tickets and a 15% discount on select dining and merchandise. And of course, a Gold Pass will get you into all of the seasonal festivals, which include the Flower & Food Festival, the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, the Harvest Festival and the Smoky Mountain Christmas Celebration.
The Diamond Pass, which is also the most expensive, does come with an All-Season Diamond Passholder Tumbler that is valid on all fountain drinks, frozen and hot drinks through the season. The only extra charges apply when you buy festival drinks and Starbucks drinks.
A Silver Pass now has blackout dates, so the Gold Pass is generally the way to go these days, in my opinion. To learn more about current pass offers and deals, visit the Dollywood website. If you’re only interested in a daily or two-day pass, tickets can be found on Tripster.
Do you own a Dollywood souvenir mug? Was it worth the money? Let us know in the comments!