Our family has begun a family tradition of heading to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennessee each year. Did you know if you arrive at Dollywood at 3 p.m. and pay for that day, you then get the next day free? Such a great deal, especially if you are with more than another person! Because everything usually adds up way too fast! The Fall is especially beautiful as you drive through the Great Smoky Mountains on the way.
We were able to enjoy the LumiNights at Dollywood this year, along with the Fall Harvest Festival AND the Southern Gospel Jubilee. The park was beautiful as we walked all around.
Since the Southern Gospel Jubilee was going on, that just added to the specialness of the weekend. The Phillips family performed on a small stage at the park. They have such a beautiful sound and are so talented as they are singing together.
Check the Southern Gospel Jubilee out on iTunes or their website for their touring schedule. Just beautiful gospel music. I spoke with Tabitha following the show and she was just as sweet and gracious as she could be. The seating is very casual and you may sit wherever you would like. If you don’t have the time to enjoy the entire 40-minute show, just sit towards the back and sneak out whenever you need to.
The Back Porch Cafè has some nice gluten-free selections to choose from. I decided to have the turkey sandwich on a gluten-free bun. Fries are an option because they have a designated fryer. And the butter-fried corn was yummy as well. I have eaten at this restaurant before and I have never gotten sick.
Rose was our Hostess at the Back Porch Cafè who greeted everyone with a smile as she took names on the seating list and brought us to our table. How fun it was to have the same first and middle name as someone. We felt sort of related in a fun way!! Everyone must enjoy working at Dollywood because it is packed with friendly people always willing to answer questions, greet you with a “hello” and a smile. I am constantly telling people it’s a step back in time.
The park is very clean and decorated for every season. So much detail is put into every inch of Dollywood, from the entrance to the names of the different sections of the parking lot (Applejack, Butterfly, Cotton Candy, Dolly’s Earrings……), to a special handshake and a thankful greeting for a Military Member (Hubby got a military discount).
The LumiNights was beautifully decorated with bright Fall colors, fun themes, and beautifully carved pumpkins.
There are crafters situated all throughout the park where you can watch them perfect their craft. Broom makers, woodcarvers, leather smiths, blacksmiths, and candle makers all offer their expertise on how they perfect their craft. They all demonstrate their craftsmanship for all of the visitors to watch. Their crafts make beautiful gifts to put away for Christmas or birthdays.
Roller coasters have come a long way since Hubby and I first visited Dollywood back in 1986! I am not a big fan but my family sure was! They road on EVERY roller coaster multiple times. There are some small ones for the littles in your family and then some very large ones for the bigs in your family.
The second day we were in Dollywood, it was raining the entire time. Not a hard pouring rain, but just enough to put a damper on riding the roller coasters. It was cold and rainy. Well, did you know Dollywood has a rain check policy that if you need to leave early, you may request a rain check to return on another day. How nice is that?! We did exactly that, and hope to return to Dollywood over Christmas break again with the family.
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee have so many different things to do for everyone in your family.
When you are driving through Pigeon Forge, there are so many fun places for the entire family. Whether you want to do some shopping in the many outlet stores, try homemade candies, attend a comedy show, ride go-carts, or did I mention shopping?!!
Stages West is a fun place to pop into. When you walk in the intense scent of leather hits you right away from the abundance of boots and leather wear! I always seem to find a beautiful top to take home with me and this trip was no different.
There is a little something for everyone at Stages West. The workers are so nice and very willing to help you out in any way. There is always a clearance rack to choose from in addition to the newest season’s fashions. The selection of clothing is so terrific. Everything is put together so well with other items, which allows you to get so many ideas to add to your own wardrobe.
Another fun place to eat gluten-free is Mellow Mushroom. We always have to wait to be seated but it goes quickly and chatting with the folks you are with always passes the time more quickly. My gluten-free pizza was loaded with cheese and since it was a good size, I brought leftovers back to our cabin. The rest of the family enjoyed their pizzas as well. Nice and fresh, made to order. Their salads were large and very fresh as well.
This was the view from our cabin. It was so nice to have a fun place to relax in the evenings. I brought food from home to prepare delicious breakfasts in the mornings. We found a good deal on VRBO for the two nights we were there. Sure enjoyed this view from our porch!
The roller coaster riding people didn’t eat as much as me in the mornings, but I filled up so I wouldn’t need to snack before lunch.
Breakfast sausage casserole is an easy recipe to prepare, Served with fresh fruit, roasted veggies and grits make for a very yummy and nutritious breakfast. For the recipes head over to my Gluten Free-Recipes categories.
Christmas decorations were beginning to be visible throughout the park. The Christmas Shop is always opened and is full of lovely decorations for you to bring home. Dollywood was going to be closed the week after we left to enable them to completely decorate for Christmas. I bet it will be beautiful! I will keep you posted if we go back to use our Rain Checks!
Did you know Dolly Parton began donating books to each child of Sevier County TN (where Dolly was born and raised) back in 1995? They were each given a book each year from birth until 5 years old. This tradition continues and grew into the idea of the Imagination Library.
I love Dolly,