Value is in the eye of the beholder.
What seems expensive to some, may feel cheap to others and vice versa.
And our relationship with value and worth tends to evolve over time as life circumstances change.
When I was in my early 20s, for instance, spending more than $1 on a cheeseburger felt like a splurge. Today, I barely bat an eye when dining at a nice restaurant, ordering a quality steak, and heck, let’s go ahead and order a glass of wine too while we’re at it.
So when it comes to the question of whether or not Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is worth the money, I find, that the answer lies in the eye of the beholder.
Below, I will break down my thoughts on DreamMore from a variety of perspectives and personality types. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of whether or not an upcoming stay at DreamMore would be worth it to your and your family.
But first, let’s get some frequently asked questions out of the way.
How much does it cost to stay at DreamMore Resort?
While the cost of staying at DreamMore varies drastically depending on the time of year, you can expect to pay anywhere between $130-$400 per night plus taxes and fees.
Generally speaking, a stay at DreamMore is much more expensive on holidays, weekends, and during peak season (March-December). Prices fall drastically during the off-season after Dollywood closes for the winter (January-February).
Prices also tend to be a bit cheaper the further out you book. But, DreamMore typically only allows reservations about a year or so in advance.
Your best bet is to check a reputable site like Booking.com for current pricing and specials on DreamMore before you plan your trip.
What are the most (and least) expensive times of the year to stay at DreamMore?
To give you an idea of what those prices look like throughout the year, I collected a random sampling of dates from the Dollywood website and produced the following cost average broken down by month for a standard room:
- January: $182/night
- February: $147/night
- March: $209/night
- April: $208/night
- May: $198/night
- June: $340/night
- July: $345/night
- August: $338/night
- September: $239/night
- October: $325/night
- November: $263/night
- December: $235/night
The cheapest months to stay at DreamMore are January-February when the Dollywood theme park is closed. The most expensive months are June-August during the peak summer season. Check-in starts at 4:00 pm and check-out ends at 11:00 am.
How many rooms does DreamMore resort have?
DreamMore has more than 300 guest rooms. Available options include a standard room and a suite. Standard rooms usually feature either double queens or a king with bunk beds.
Family suites generally feature a king-sized bed and twin bunks. Some suites have doors that separate the two sleeping quarters. Each room includes free WIFI and a small refrigerator.
And then of course there’s also the famous Dolly Parton suite (more on that later).
Resort amenities for Dollywood ticket holders include:
- Complimentary Dollywood TimeSaver Passes
- Complimentary door-to-door transportation to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country via the DreamMore Trolley
- Early access to the park on Saturdays (One hour before the parks open)
Dollywood tickets are sold separately but you can usually find bundled resort/ticket deals on the Dollywood website.
How much is the Dolly Parton suite at DreamMore?
Wait, a Dolly Parton suite you say – what’s that? Listen up Dolly fans, you’re in for a treat with this little golden nugget of information.
The Dolly Parton Suite at DreamMore is the penthouse suite located on the resort’s top floor. It’s a massive suite decked out in all things Dolly. With pink and purple accents, a massive bathroom and plenty of chandeliers.
The Dolly Parton Suite only sleeps two but you can add adjoining rooms if you need extra space.
But if that sounds too good to be true, there’s a reason. While the suite is available to the general public, the price tag is hefty.
The Dolly Parton suite at DreamMore tends to run anywhere from $1500-$2500 per night. And you can only book the Dolly Parton suite by calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
For most of us, this video tour provided by Dollywood Insiders will be about as close as we will ever get.
Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about whether or not DreamMore is really worth the money.
For those who value luxury and time-saving amenities
For vacationers who appreciate the finer things, and don’t mind spending a bit of extra money to put their vacations on auto-pilot, I would say that DreamMore is absolutely worth it.
I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels (and cabins) in the area and DreamMore’s quality is exceptional. Their rooms are pristine, and everything about the resort feels high-end.
But the real benefit for the “set it and forget it” type vacationer are the amenities included with a DreamMore stay like onsite restaurants, multiple pools, complimentary TimeSaver passes (with park ticket), a bedtime story reading at the fireplace lobby for the kids, complimentary s’mores each night for the fire pit and complimentary shuttle service to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park.
As anyone who has ever stayed in the Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg for a great length of time knows, traffic is a nightmare and crowds, are at times, obnoxious. During peak seasons, a simple drive down the Spur might take up to a half-hour (or more) just to travel a couple of miles.
At DreamMore, you could genuinely park your car, kick back, and let Dollywood handle all the rest. Dine onsite, let the shuttle take you back and forth or enjoy a relaxing pool day.
Verdict: For this category, Dollywood’s DreamMore is worth it.
For Dolly Parton and Dollywood fanatics who don’t mind an occasional splurge
I personally fell into more of this camp. Did I need to stay at DreamMore? Nope. Does my family need to stay at DreamMore when they come into town? Also nope.
There are several other lodging options available that are just as nice, and much more economical than DreamMore.
But could I really go my entire life without experiencing DreamMore at least once? No way, Jose.
For Dollywood and Dolly Parton fanatics I say that DreamMore is, at least, a bucket list must-do.
I got such a kick out of seeing all of the Dolly Parton memorabilia and decor. And I loved discovering the lockbox that contains a secret song by Dolly herself that will not be opened until Dolly’s 100th birthday on January 19, 2046.
I loved seeing the butterfly motifs and drinking the complimentary Dolly Parton pink lemonade.
I also loved listening to the live locally sourced bluegrass music at the onsite restaurant and bar.
It made me feel immersed in Dolly’s world, if only for a weekend. And let’s be honest, it’s hard to put a price tag on that experience for us true fanatics.
Verdict: For Dolly lovers, Dollywood’s DreamMore is worth it.
For families or couples on a tight budget
At the end of the day, we do have to face the fact that Dollywood’s DreamMore comes with what many would describe as a hefty price tag – albeit comparable to other 5-star resorts (like Margaritaville) in the area.
And in my opinion, there’s nothing worse than ruining your entire vacation because you feel uncomfortable with the amount of money you’ve spent.
Plus, there are plenty of much more affordable options available in the area.
I tend to recommend, for larger families on a budget, simply renting out a cabin. They are generally comparably priced to most local hotels and offer way more space than a tiny hotel room.
Verdict: Regrettably, DreamMore may not be worth it for this particular category.
At the end of the day, when determining the worth of any vacation decision that involves spending your hard-earned cash, it’s always best to know your family’s personal preferences, tastes, and budget limitations.
Try not to leave the Great Smoky Mountains with regrets about things you wish you’d have experienced. But also try not to put yourself in an uncomfortable bank-breaking situation if you don’t have to.
What do you think about DreamMore Resort? Is it worth the money? Let us know in the comments below.