How to Save Money at Dollywood
If you are going to the theme park anytime soon, chances are you would like to know how to save money at Dollywood. These tips are best to know before you start your vacation so you can be properly prepared to save money.
Avoid Parking Fees by Riding the Trolley
Dollywood’s parking fees have raised to $15.00 per standard length vehicle, $18.00 for oversize length vehicles and $25 for preferred parking. Paying these fees probably will not help you save money at Dollywood. Luckily, these fees are easily avoidable by simply opting to ride a trolley there. If you are not close to a trolley stop, you can park your car for free at Patriot Park and catch the Pigeon Forge trolley from there. The cost to ride to Dollywood is only $2.50 per person, and for only $0.50 more you can make that an all day trolley pass. Plus, you get the experience of having rode the trolley! Also, you will be dropped of straight at the main gate whereas if you drive yourself you either have to wait for a tram or walk the whole distance.
Think About Buying A Season Pass
This is something you actually should do if you are going to be going to Dollywood more than one time. In fact, this is probably the easiest way to save money at Dollywood as buying two one day passes is more expensive than a season pass. Now, if you plan on visiting Dollywood several times, a Gold Pass may be what you are looking for.
Consider Buying a Gold Pass
The season pass is a great option for anyone going to the park(s) more than just one time. In addition to that, if you will be going there several days, whether it be consecutive or throughout the year you will probably want to opt for the $75 upgrade to a Gold Pass. For one, the Gold Pass will save you money at Dollywood by allowing you to drive your own car and park for FREE. That way you do not have to dish out $15 / $18 per visit or the fair for the trolley. Additionally, you will also receive 20% off of select restaurants and merchandise in the park and receive discounts on premium park experiences. Considering just the parking fees alone the upgrade would pay for itself within just 5 visits, then add on all the food savings you will receive and you will see that this upgrade is well worth the initial cost.
One more thing, if you always travel in a group you do not all need the upgrade. As long as you are with a Gold Pass member, you will receive all of the same perks!
Take Advantage of Free Water
Water is not only healthy for your body, it is also healthy for your wallet. At Dollywood you can walk up to any food or beverage stand in the park and receive a free cup of water. There are also water fountains located throughout the park, they are near any of the restrooms. If you choose to toss the water to the side and splurge on soda anyway, buy a refillable mug. This will allow you to save money on refills throughout each day at Dollywood.
Check the Forecast – Bring your own Ponchos
The Smoky Mountains can cause the weather to be more difficult to predict than other places. The last thing you want to do is be in the park and have a rainstorm roll through without warning leaving you with the dilemma of being drenched the rest of the day, or buying overpriced ponchos in the park. We suggest checking the weather and if there is even the slightest chance of rain, pack some ponchos. If you are pretty certain it is not going to rain, leave some in your car if you drove.
Do not let a rainy day ruin your trip to Dollywood either. The nice thing is if Dollywood does shut down rides due to inclement weather, you can request a rain check. Simply visit the Season Pass Center and talk to any of the guest services representatives. You will receive a rain check that you can redeem anytime during the rest of the season.
Bring Ziploc Bags
This one is not just a Dollywood tip, but a theme park tip. These handy little baggies come in handy whenever you decide to ride a water ride or if it starts to rain. Now, it will not be a huge deal if you do not bring your own; the park sells them for $1. However, you might as well just go ahead and pack some before you leave home.
Bring a Battery Charger
Unless you still buy disposable cameras (probably not), then you will want to make sure your phone battery will be able to get you through all of those photos and videos you will be taking. If your phone dies and you want to still be able to take pictures you will have to shell out more than $10 for each disposable camera.
Apply Sunscreen Before you get There
If you are looking to save money at Dollywood then buying sunblock there is not something you will want to do. Save money by bring it with you from home or pick some up at the local grocery store first. Put the sunscreen on before you get to the park and if you are traveling with small children, you may want to bring some with you into the park.
Avoid Paying for a Locker
Unless you decided to bring a whole bunch of items you do not want to carry around with you, avoid the lockers. The standard size lockers will run you $10 and the family size lockers cost $15. Rather than renting a locker at Dollywood, save money by not bringing so much with you. While there are theme parks out there that do not let you set items to the side to ride a ride, Dollywood is not one of those. If you are getting on a ride that does not allow say a purse or backpack, you can store your belongings in a designated area while you enjoy the ride. That being said, we still recommend leaving your valuables back at your accommodations.
Bring a Stroller – Don’t rent One
If you are traveling with small children, odds are, you have a stroller with you just about everywhere you go. Dollywood should not be any different. Bring your own stroller with you rather than renting one. This will save you $13 for a single and $16 for a double stroller. Furthermore, you know the cleanliness of your stroller and your kids will feel more at home in your own.
Do not Forget Cash
Most people I know nowadays do not carry cash on them. While almost everywhere at Dollywood accepts debit and credit cards, it is best to have some cash as well. Also, if you plan to play any games, you will be glad you brought some cash with you. This way you avoid having to pay the ridiculous ATM fees.