Readers, let’s get one thing straight. I am not a pack animal. I was not put on this world to carry cargo.
There are few things I hate more than going to an amusement park and lugging a bunch of crap around all day.
If it can’t fit comfortably in my pockets, I don’t need it. And I made it a point never to play any game where I might win a prize until close to time to leave.
Souvenirs? We can get them on the way to the parking lot.
I go to amusement parks to be free and have fun, not to carry luggage.
As such, the benefits of a refillable mug were completely lost on me.
Any savings I got from such a purchase was offset by the pain of keeping track of the mug all day while trying to ride coasters, have fun and things like that.
Or at least that was the case until we had kids
When our outings went from two to three and then to five in our traveling party, the idea of a refillable mug or two got a whole lot more appealing.
First, 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.
1. What types of different mugs are at Dollywood?
The All-Season Mug allows unlimited free refills of fountain drinks at Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa now through the entire 2021 operating season.
Refills on frozen and hot drinks can be purchased for $1.99 plus tax. The All-season Mug is $29.99 plus tax.
The Daily Souvenir Mug is $14.99, which allows the purchase of fountain drink refills for $.99 plus tax and frozen or hot drinks for $1.99 plus tax through the entire 2021 operating season.
Guests will also receive free refills on the day of redemption only.
If you buy three or more, the price drops to $9.99
2. 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 .99-cent refills for 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. You must find one via holy quest or, maybe Ebay, if you desire the Forever Mug’s eternal value.
3. Which mug is right for me?
All right, kids it’s time to do some math.
It seems to me that if, over the course of a season, you’re going to buy more than 15 drinks, the All-Season Mug is the way to go.
One $14.99 Daily Mug plus fifteen .99-cent drinks equals the $30 price of the All-Season Mug.
Where the math gets a little bit more complicated is when you buy in bulk.
If you need three or more mugs, the value of the Daily Mug is increased. You’d need twenty .99-cent refills to make up the cost of the All-Season Mug.
Now, who has the math on how many drinks you’d need a day and how many trips to Dollywood that would take to even out the cost?
4. Can you use old souvenir cups at Dollywood?
You can. Refill in previous years mugs, no matter the type are $3.99.
5. With everything that’s going on, what’s the procedure for getting a refill?
It’s a little bit like going to see the queen.
You will present your mug and the hosts will hand you a disposable cup with your drink of choice that you can pour into your refillable mug.
Some locations (Red’s Drive-In, Till & Harvest Food Hall and Victoria’s Pizza) have canned drinks. Curtsies are appreciated, not required.
Do you own a Dollywood souvenir mug? Was it worth the money? Let us know in the comments!