Dollywood Splash Country

“Bear Mountain Tower”, 4 stories of undiluted childhood bliss. (PR photo swiped from their website)

So yesterday we finally exercised our season passes to visit the newer, wetter half of Dollywood. If you have kids and you ever have the chance to visit this park, do it.

I think what I loved the most about is was just how much of the park was devoted to free-form play. Yes, there are lots of slides and rides that you can stand in line for. But seemingly half the park consists of areas where kids can just run wild, float, swim, and/or explore.

As a result, we surprised ourselves by staying all the way until closing. The freedom to play without waiting meant no meltdown-inspired early departures.

Other notable features:

  • Lots of freedom to play means lots of freedom to get hurt. Rather than lock the attractions down, they employ a veritable army of attentive life guards. At one point, our two-year-old lost track of both me and mommy, and one of the lifeguards used (I assume) secret lifeguard divination techniques to help her locate me in a food line.
  • The food didn’t completely suck, and they actually had veggie burgers for Stacey, which was a welcome surprise.