As you all know, I was lucky enough to get a last minute invitation to a blogging trip earlier this month. I was expecting a few days meeting other bloggers, a few fun activities during the days and a few days of relaxation in the mountains.
That’s not at all what I got.
From the day that I arrived, it was non-stop fun in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We had so much fun! We went zipling, to dinner shows, toured a Titanic and so much more. But the most surprising activity for me was Dollywood.
I have lived in hours away from Dollywood my entire life and had NO idea what it really was. I thought it was a huge park with lots of country music, bluegrass music, bandstands, maybe some cafes and gift shops. It didn’t seem like something I would be that interested in, honestly.
I was completely wrong! Dollywood is a huge theme park. Full of amazing rides, roller coasters, fun shows, tons of restaurants and excitement from one end to the other. We had such a blast!
Here’s the group of bloggers bright and early in the morning, ready for a day of fun!
One of the coolest rides was the brand new roller coaster, ‘Wild Eagle’. It had just opened when we visited Dollywood, so we were thrilled to be some of the first people to ride on it.
We sat in the seats that hung from above and our feet were left dangling. As we left the building, there was suddenly nothing under us! I’d never been on a coaster like that and it was pretty scary. We all loved it and rode it over and over and over!
You can see me in the back row here on our very first trip, getting ready to head up the mountain:
There we go up the hill. Look at that first drop on the other side where the ‘floor’ suddenly drops out from under us. It was awesome!
Besides the thrilling roller coasters and rides, there were also lots of other cool things to do. We walked all around to the little shops and saw demonstrations of jewelry making, blacksmith work and more.
Dollywood has lots of great restaurants and cafes too. In our group of 30+ people, we had vegetarians, gluten-free, Paleo-diets and other special dietary needs. Everyone easily found great places to eat without any trouble.
After lunch, most of us enjoyed one of the musical shows that was playing at the Dreamland Drive-In. It was a retrospective of music, life and trends from the ’50s and ’60s through today. I loved the show – we sang along in parts, laughed throughout and even cried at a few parts. I don’t normally go see musical-type productions, but maybe I should because I really, really liked this one.
This last photo shows my absolute favorite activity of the entire day – the ropes course. I haven’t been on a ropes course since I was a camper and then counselor at summer camp as a teenager. It was every bit as exciting, scary and fun as I remembered! There were several different paths to choose at each section, so I could choose how difficult each crossing would be. And as I went across the different sections, I would go up rope stairways to higher and higher sections. It was AWESOME!!
I have to say that I can’t believe I’ve missed out on Dollywood all of these years. I grew up only 3 hours away from it and my family could have had so much fun on family vacations there!
But I’m thrilled to know about it now and am planning for my husband and I to take our kids back when they get a little older. It’s such an awesome, family-friendly park with so many cool things to do. The kids will definitely love it just as much as I do!