I received two adult free admission tickets in exchange for my honest review of the facility.
My family and I recently vacationed in Pigeon Forge, TN. We just got back last week and had a blast! There is something to do for all ages, which was pretty shocking. There aren’t too many places that can adhere to every age group but Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg definitely has it all!
One attraction that we visited was Dollywood Splash Country, which is located in the heart of Pigeon Forge. We were vacationing from July 18th- 22nd and temperatures were EXTREME! It was SO incredibly hot. Luckily, my mother and father-in-law kept our 5-month old in the cabin while my husband, our 5-year old son, and I ventured to Dollywood Splash Country. It was just way too hot to bring our little girl out in that extreme heat for any amount of time and I am SO glad that we were able to keep her indoors where its cool and comfortable.
It also gave my husband and I the perfect opportunity to have as much fun as a kid in the water park! We lived it up with our 5-year old in Splash Country and had a blast! He wasn’t able to ride every ride due to height restrictions but he was still eligible to ride 6 out of 10 of the rides. Unfortunately, one ride was closed down while we were there so he could only ride 5 of them.
We got to the park at around 11 am (an hour after it opens). After paying to park, we were able to find a parking spot within a decent walking distance to the main entrance. Next, we entered the line to get our admission tickets.
We brought towels, sunscreen, flip flops, sunglasses, and a few other personal belongings inside a bag. The bag was checked before we entered the park because you cannot bring any food or beverages inside. The security checkers were extremely friendly and time efficient. Our tickets were then scanned at a different line by a very sweet lady. She was especially kind in making sure that she noticed our son and wishing him a great time in the park.
Next, we realized that we wanted to rent a locker, rather than lug my bag and our large towels around with us all day. The fee was $8.00 for a medium-sized locker that we fill to the brim. It was well worth it though, in my opinion. Our locker was located in the middle of the park so it wasn’t too out-of-the-way to go back and reapply sunscreen, as we did several times.
As mentioned earlier, we were able to ride 5 rides with our son, who is right at 42″ tall. We only rode 4, however, but also got to relax in the lazy pool, splash in the wave pool, and my son played in both of the kiddie water sections.
The rides that we rode:
- Slick Rock Racer
- Wild River Falls
- Raging River Rapids
Our family-favorite ride was definitely the RiverRush! It’s like a roller coaster but in water! Unfortunately, we had to wait a little over an hour in line to ride this one but it was SO worth it! I am so glad that we got to experience it together. I only wish that the ride lasted longer– a LOT longer!
We definitely visited the park during peak season and the park was packed full of people, which was to be expected. The wave pool and lazy river were extremely packed but we were all still able to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of just floating.
My son had a great time in the kiddie play areas. The Cascades was definitely more his style. It’s more for “older” little kids and the other kiddie area, Little Creek Falls, is more suitable for the youngest of youngin’s.
I actually played with him in the Cascades. I was a bit unsure if I was allowed to walk the jungle gym area with him and go down slides. I asked one of the lifeguards and he told me that I was allowed to do everything that he did, as long as we did it solo. We couldn’t go down slides together and things of that nature. He was extremely friendly and very helpful, even around all of the screaming, yelling, and splashing bodies of people.
One thing that I really think should be eliminated from the parks are Time-Saver H20 Passes. To clarify, these passes allow fellow park-goers the ability to bypass the long lines and ride the ride first. Each pass is $20.00, which is in addition to the cost of entry into the park. If you take your whole family to the park, you can be forking out an extra $100 just to be able to cut in line. It’s definitely aimed as a reward for their wealthy customers, which makes their other customers feel like worthless peasants.
You can purchase these arm band passes at various machines located throughout the park. Then, you scan your arm band for the particular ride that you want to ride next. Next, you walk past a long line of aggravated “regular” customers -aka- the ones who only paid the regular-priced entry ticket.
It was really aggravating to wait in lines for over an hour long and to see tons of “Time-Savers” breeze right on by. It definitely made myself and my husband feel less than equal to these people. It’s a tacky and selfish way for the park to make extra money.
Unless you have a Time-Saver band, you will definitely feel as though you are not as valued as those who able to skip lines. Because of that, I don’t think that we would visit the park again. It was just WAY too hot to wait for the privileged folks to go first.
Even if you did want to pay the extra money for the Time-Saver passes, you still had to wait in lines. In fact, some people left the Time-Saver lines because they didn’t want to wait that long. Just because they pay an extra $20.00, doesn’t mean they won’t have to wait at all.
As a small family, we had an amazing time. The rides are a blast and there is plenty of places to cool down in. The park isn’t very big, which is actually beneficial because you aren’t spending the majority of the day just walking around. Just be prepared for additional expenses, especially if you don’t want to wait in the long, “average-folk” line!