Dollywood is known as the friendliest theme park in the world, and for those of us who grew up with the park practically in our backyard, visiting Dollywood feels like home. Here are 6 signs you might be a Dollywood addict:
6. You have a souvenir mug collection at home
If you frequent Dollywood, you already know that one of the best buys in the park are the refillable mugs. After you buy the mug, refills are only $.99 for any sodas or $1.99 for any hot or frozen beverages.
Years pass by, as they often do, and before you know it, your cabinets are filled with oversized mugs with bendy straws and miscellaneous images of Dolly Parton and roller coasters.
Eventually, it becomes a point of pride to collect each one. Like collecting Pokémon, you gotta “catch” them all.
5. You know the train leaves with a big jerk
It never matters how many times I hear the same cheesy joke on the Dollywood train.
I will laugh every time.
Whenever I’m on Klondike Katie or Cinderella, I will eagerly wave at guests throughout the park and fondly remember the gun show that once played out half-way through.
4. You have at least one Dolly-spotting story
Ok, if I’m being honest here, I do not personally have any Dolly-spotting stories, except for seeing her in concert a few years back.
But Dollywood is very much an homage to our Appalachian queen, and some people will swear that she walks around her own park in disguise. Some even claim to have seen her.
I sometimes enjoy playing into this little thought experiment, keeping my eyes peeled for incognito-Dolly.
She is notoriously never seen in public without her makeup and wigs – so a “played-down” Dolly exists as a mythical creature that some claim to have seen, but none have been able to prove.
Whether the rumors are true or not, I think it’s brilliant. Whether or not she actually can blend into society unrecognized, or chooses to do so, she’s a genius for keeping us all guessing.
3. You got your moonshine education from Thunder Road
While Thunder Road is now gone (but not forgotten), most of us who grew up with the park remember this ride fondly.
This action-adventure ride was not only thrilling, it was surprisingly educational. Based on the 1958 movie Thunder Road, the ride took guests on a journey of running moonshine through mountainous Tennessee roads.
The tale is loosely based on real-life events. Who knew Tennessee history could be so much fun?
2. Cinnamon bread is life
Dollywood has surprisingly good theme park food, and it’s something I always took for granted as a kid.
Once I became an adult and experienced other theme park food, and appreciated how expensive it was, I’ve become even fonder of Dollywood’s treats.
There’s a lot of great options to grab food in the park. You can never go wrong with Aunt Granny’s or the Front Porch Café. But for me, there’s just something about the corndogs and signature tater twirls that always hits the spot.
Most importantly, fans of the Dollywood theme park know it’s just about impossible to walk past the Grist Mill without indulging in Dollywood’s famous cinnamon bread.
After all, it’s easy to justify the calories after all that walking around the park.
1. You know the lines to Blazing Fury by heart
The first time I took my Texan-husband on Blazing Fury and quoted all the lines, he looked at me like I was insane.
Six years later, I’ll still look at him every now and then while fully embracing my Southern accent and say, “I wanna kiss on you some!”
Sometimes, he’ll play along and say, “Kiss? You look like you’ve been kissin’ that steam train!”
I’ve trained him well.
Any out-of-towner may look at Blazing Fury and think it’s cheesy and outdated … especially when compared to the rest of the park.
But some of us relive our childhoods on that ride. It’s the oldest coaster in the park and still has handmade props and scenes.
The world may be a crazy place, but we know some truths are constant: Molly’s about to jump, Luther has a weak back and the stables are on fire.
We know where all the Easter eggs are and fondly remember the once-splash down at the end of the ride – but appreciate the fact that Dollywood is doing what they can do preserve this relic in time.
If you ever complain to a local about Blazing Fury, just be warned, them’s fightin’ words.
Dollywood is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge TN 37863. For more information, visit their website at dollywood.com.
Fire in the hole!