Dollywood park terrain

Sunday, June 12, 2016 9:13 PM

Heading to Dollywood soon and wondered about the park terrain.

One person has a little issues getting around. Is it very hilly?

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Sunday, June 12, 2016 9:38 PM

Yes. One year, my mom was not doing as well as she is now, and I decided to push her in her wheelchair. It was exhausting. The next day, she rented a scooter to get around and she didn't feel so guilty. LOL

The scooter rental shop is close to the entrance plaza of the park. When you enter the park, you turn left, and it's not very far.

The side of the park that leads up to Thunderhead and Mystery Mine is pretty steep. The walkway winds back and forth to help the steepness, kind of like a ramp. The other side of the park leading to the back of the park has it's moments of steepness. The section off of that that has a lot of attractions, the new coaster, and the train station is a little flatter in more areas, but still has some hills.

TLDR? Yes. It's pretty hilly. Kind of like Hersheypark hilly, if you are familiar.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016 9:54 PM

Yeah, it's pretty hilly. After a couple of laps, it wears on you a bit even when you're in relatively good shape.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016 10:12 PM

It's not Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Hersheypark hilly but it's not flat either. The good news is if your mom is not a thrill seaker there is no reason to ever leave the flat area in the front. All the shows, most of the shops, the museums, the restaurants, flats and the train station is in the front.

If she does want to go back there do yourself a favor and go in a counterclockwise direction. For the most part that way provides a steady incline that isn't too taxing unless she wants to ride the screamin swing. There is no non steap way to the top.

While at Dollywood besides the usual things, be sure and ride the train, see the shows (particularly Heartsong, the Rock and Roll Show, and if you enjoy Dolly's music My People) do the log flume and the toboggan slide, and get a loaf of cinnamon bread from the grist mill.

While in the area be sure to at least drive the Newfound Gap road up to the gap in the National Park (free admission) but you should really try and spend more time here if you can. Also for some amazing fried chicken eat at the old mill.

Last edited by Touchdown, Sunday, June 12, 2016 10:40 PM
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Sunday, June 12, 2016 10:22 PM

Agreed about going counterclockwise. The other advantage of climbing the mountain that way is most of it's shaded. Then once you circle around by Wild Eagle, you can zig-zag your way down the trail near Thunderhead.

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Monday, June 13, 2016 12:18 AM

Oh my gosh, here's a funny story.
When I was there a few weeks ago I started up one of those steep hills to Owens Farm and I looked up to see a group of church ladies coming at me. One of them was in a scooter and was coming down that hill at what seemed like an out of control 30 mph. Her stricken face told me she realized she'd made a really bad mistake. I cried out "OH LORD" and made a big deal of dodging then jumping as fast as I could over to the far edge of the walk to avoid what was surely going to be a wreck at the bottom. But she made it ok and I had a good laugh for a minute with a bunch of new friends.

I've never really thought of Dollywood as being hilly, but more like a gentle, steady incline. This last visit, though, was different and after three (counterclockwise) laps around the park on a really slow day my ass was worn out. By lap three I sure was making good use of the stores and the benches all along the way...

A sky ride or a monorail or something to get folks to and from the top would be useful there, wouldn't it?

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