Dollywood is Dolly Parton’s family-focused theme park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Planning your visit should include determining what rides you’d like to try, where you want to eat, and how your entire party can make the most of their day. This list of the 25 best rides for kids in Dollywood is a great place to start.
The Best Dollywood Rides for Kids
Rides and attractions are usually the main reasons many people want to visit a theme park. Finding just the right combination of thrill and fun isn’t always easy to manage with kids of varying ages. Let this guide help you determine where to start and how many rides are truly feasible for your next family vacation to Dollywood.
Rides by Area in Dollywood
Dollywood Theme Park is divided into distinct areas such as Jukebox Junction, Timber Canyon, and Wildwood Grove. Knowing which area of the park hosts which ride is crucial in making the most of your time. It also helps to formulate a plan so you do not zig-zag across the park all day!
First, upon entering Dollywood, guests will have to decide to go left or right. If you choose right, you’ll head toward an area known as Country Fair. This is the “kiddie” area of the park with rides in varying stages of height requirement.
Pro Tip: Before you choose a direction, make sure you visit the centralized measurement station at the front left of the park! Children can be measured and fitted with a colored wristband that lets workers see if they meet the height requirements immediately! No more sad faces after waiting in line only to find out you’re not tall enough!
In Country Fair, you’ll find:
- Amazing Flying Elephants
- Busy Bees
- Demolition Derby
- Dizzy Disk
- Lemon Twist
- Lucky Duck
- Piggy Parade
- Shooting Star
- Sky Rider
- Waltzing Swinger
Most of these rides are low, circular rides, but a few of them are high in the sky, small thrill rides. Demolition Derby is probably our favorite because bumper cars are just too fun to pass up!
Next, Blazing Fury is a thrilling attraction requiring guests to be at least 42 inches tall. As you zoom along through a town from the 1880s, watch out! Fire is threatening to blaze out of control!
It looks like a coaster, but it only has one hill at the very end of the ride that is big enough to warrant the lap bar that secures you to the seat. Blazing Fury may be a little intense for some younger riders, so you may want to hold their hand on this one.
After Craftsman Valley, head over to Rockin’ Roadway at Jukebox Junction. This ride reminds me a lot of another family favorite ride of ours at a different theme park.
Children under 42 inches must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old or older, but they can still “drive” the car if they so choose! I’m really glad we are past that height restriction as the cars aren’t exactly roomy enough for the long legs of an adult!
While the Barnstormer sounds friendly, it’s not as kid-friendly as Mountain Sidewinder! Be prepared to get a little wet as you race down the hill on a toboggan-like ride vehicle. Children must be at least 39 inches tall to experience this cool ride’s thrilling turns and twists.
On a hot day, Smoky Mountain River Rampage is awesome! This ride is your typical “raft” ride down the stream and around the corner.
It’s not a long ride, but look out if you get stuck waiting to get back into the “raft house.” I ended up on the wrong side of the raft and got soaked not once, but twice, by the nearby geysers! Thankfully, it was a hot day, and I dried off pretty quickly.
A family favorite park area, similar to Country Fair, is Timber Canyon. Home to the kid-friendly coaster, Whistle Punk Chaser, Timber Canyon has some exciting rides for parents too!
In addition to Whistle Punk Chaser, Lumberjack Lifts allow kids (and parents) to hoist themselves up as high as they can go. Consider it a “strong man” challenge to see how high you can get!
Wildwood Grove opened just a few years ago and is one of the most welcome additions to Dollywood there could be. The only true thrill ride in this section is Dragonflier, and boy is it fast! Guests must be a minimum of 39 inches to ride Dragonflier.
The other rides in this area that have a height requirement are Great Tree Swing, which is your typical “boat” style swing ride, and Mad Mockingbird. Both rides have a minimum height requirement of 36 inches.
Other notable rides that kids of all ages will love, and have no height requirement, include:
- Frogs & Fireflies
- Black Bear Trail
- Treetop Tower
Located adjacent to Country Fair, The Village is home to Dollywood Express and the Village Carousel. If your child can manage independently, you don’t have to ride with them. If they need a little help, you can stand on the carousel platform next to your child and assist them.
Finally, the Dollywood Express is the perfect way to end your day and give your feet a little rest. It circles the park and ends right where it started. Too bad it can’t drop you back off at the front of the park when you’re ready to go home!