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Old 04-03-2005, 07:23 AM   #1
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Dollywood

I'm considering taking my family to Dollywood this summer (15 June-20 July). I just saw a feature on the Travel Channel and it looks like a good mix of thrill rides for the kids and entertainment for the Mrs. and I.
Have any of you been there? Any recommendations on good/reasonable campgrounds close by to the trolley system, ingress/egress, traffic congestion, other activities, any valuable advice in and out of the park, pros/cons to make the trip as stress free as possible?

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2005, 07:54 AM   #2
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Haven't actually been to Dollywood, but I drove through that area when I worked for Land Rover ( Pigeon Forge) once a week for months. It's a great area with a lot to do, in the Smokey Mountains. Actually driving out of the Smokeys from the South you come upon this huge entertainment area that stretches for what seems like a few miles lining both sides of the highway.It's like finding a version of Disney World in the woods. Theres nothing else like it. Everyone should see it at least once.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:55 AM   #3
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We stayed at the KOA about 5 years ago. We were meeting my wife's brother who was staying at a hotel nearby. We did not spent much time at the campground since we were always on the go. From what I remember, it was clean and right around the corner from Dollywood.
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Old 04-03-2005, 08:24 PM   #4
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Well, that puts you very close to the low-brow capital of the Southeastern US--Gatlinburg. No end of tacky attractions. Things like the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and the Dukes of Hazzard Museum. Try googling that city.

Mary
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Old 04-03-2005, 09:01 PM   #5
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dixie stampede

When I heard that horses would be hooked to wagons and raced, I put that on my list of things to see while visiting the smokie mountains.

The Dixie Stampede is a dinner show involving a competition between the "north" and the "south". Horsemanship events decide which army wins, and the audience is encouraged to root on their side. The food wasn't bad, but the riders were very good. My four year old had a blast.

Along with a round of laser tag with my 12 year old, that was the only tourist trap my family fell into. Dolly also has an annual parade to celebrate the spring opening of Dollywood; high school bands, lots of floats, and few polititcians - a good time. The remaining four or five days, we spent in the Great Smokies hiking and picnicing; lots to enjoy.

As for campgounds, we were staying in a cabin. Woodalls has one or two highly rated campgrounds in the area.
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireflyinva
Well, that puts you very close to the low-brow capital of the Southeastern US--Gatlinburg. No end of tacky attractions. Things like the Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum and the Dukes of Hazzard Museum. Try googling that city.

Mary
Got to agree with Mary on this one. Picture Panama City Beach, without the beach. We went there 7 or 8 years ago, so my info is dated. Dollywood was a big let down. Very few rides at the time and many were closed the day we went for some odd reason. There were lots of shops on the grounds that were open with all those overpriced trinkets. The city was kinda, umm, cheesy. Lots of shops with the same stuff as above. Don't get me wrong, we love the mountains in that general area. We spend a lot of time in the Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard area and absolutely love it there. We were not camping at Dollywood, so I can't give you any info there.
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Old 04-04-2005, 06:53 AM   #7
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Clabough's is a good campground. We have stayed there more than once. The nice thing about staying in Pigeon Forge is that if you choose, you can catch a trolley car from the campground and several other cg's as well to avoid the hassle of driving. You can take a trolley to Dollywood and even Gatlinburg if you choose. When I was there you paid only a quarter (I think) and rode as long as you wanted. They have routes and you just get off when you get to where you're going. I think you will enjoy it very much! Just take plenty of $$$$$$$
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:23 AM   #8
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Oh, I forgot to mention......There is also a lot of places for $hopping!
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Old 04-04-2005, 07:58 AM   #9
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Dollywood

Lots of fun things to do in Pigeon Forge. Dolly also has a water park that is great! There are several campgrounds in Townsend, which is near Cade's Cove. I suggest looking there for camping. Then enjoy all Pigeon Forge and Gatlilnburg have to offer! The whole family will love it!
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:57 AM   #10
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Great place! We usually stay in Gatlinburg. Townsend is nice also but quite a drive from most everything. In Townsend, make sure and have a pulled pork sandwich and some fried dill pickles at "Smokin' Joe's On The River".

There are two really nice campgrounds in the city limits of Gatlinburg that are right on the trolley line. "Twin Creeks RV Resort" is really nice, although, a little pricey. "Camping In The Smokies" is also really nice and usually quite a bit cheaper.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has some great hiking available with some awesome waterfall views.
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:53 AM   #11
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We're going for the fourth time this May. (We rent a house vs camping there). Our kids enjoyed Dollywood and the adjacent waterpark. We tend to hit the natural sites rather than Gatlinburg. There is a campground between the park entrance and Pigeon forge on 441 (?) that looked nice to us, maybe the KOA mentioned? Try and get a brochure or check websites for pictures, a couple of the campgrounds looked like the sites were REAL small. You may try looking towards the east along 321 towards Pittman Center, there are a couple over there too.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:11 AM   #12
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Page and I stayed at Elkmont, which is in the Park not too far from Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, etc. last September. No hookups, but beautiful sites along the river - which is fast moving and delightfully loud.

Pat
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:34 AM   #13
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I think it really depends on what you want for a vacation.

Nature--hit the Smokey Mountains
Culture--Asheville
Kitch--Gatlinburg

The good thing is that all of these things are nearby!
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:39 PM   #14
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We went to Dollywood last September and had a good time. A very family oriented place. We stayed in Pigeon Forge for 2 night (King Holly CG), then we moved to Cody and stayed at the Great Smoky Jellystone CG. Very clean, nice pool and playground for the kids, a stream runs through the CG. Very nice laundry room. It is a quiet place compared to Pigeon Forge and easy to get to from I40.

Dixie Stampede was fun, bring your own utensils if you don't want to eat with your hands (lots of food). Visit the Black Bear Jamboree in Pigeon Forge. My 4 year old loved it.
We are going back around Memorail day and will stay in Jellystone CG.

Good luck.
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