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To Dollywood (and Dolly) or Bust - a quick N GA/ TN trip report

To Dollywood (and Dolly) or Bust - a quick N GA/ TN trip report

May 21st, 2007, 09:05 PM
  #1  
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To Dollywood (and Dolly) or Bust - a quick N GA/ TN trip report

Yes, pun intended

Dolly Parton was giving a benefit concert to raise money for a new hospital in Sevierville, TN. It's off to the hills we go!

N GA - spend the night at a cabin in Rabun County. Downright cool - happy to have flannel sheets on the bed. Okay. It was COLD at night. Still need the heat on to take the chill off.

Dinner in Dillard - not in the mood for the BIG meal at the Dillard House, so another good meal at the Cupboard Cafe. Varied menu, always good food, homey surroundings. Here's a review from another source -
http://local.yahoo.com/details?id=13766548

Mountain laurels in full bloom!

Off to TN - a quick drive up through the Great Smokey Mtn NP. Beautiful drive. Bypassed the craziness of Gatlinburg. On to Dollywood!

Dollywood - still love Dollywood. Great amusement park. Smaller size. Cooler than Orlando. GREAT mix of attractions to appeal to all ages.

First stop - Doggywood
http://hfeimages.aristotle.net/Gener...oggywood06.pdf
Pup enjoyed the day at "camp". Didn't opt for the Doggywood "cottage", but was impressed with the kennel and pup was cool and happy


Next time at Dollywood -
http://www.dollywood.com/plan-your-visit/line/

Q-bots! Q2Q
The line for the new ride, Mystery Mine was over an hour. Backtracked to immediately rent a Qbot for jump-to-the-head-of-the-line convenience. Well worth it! It was a 16,000 guest day - and summer attendence is usually around 20,000. They expect Qbots to be rented out by 11am during the summer.

We were glad we - stopped for a sit-down, full service restaurant - Backstage. Great service. Good food. Great to rest and wait for our next scheduled ride.

Good for Dollywood - not a price gouging park. Reasonable prices for water, sodas, etc. inside the park.

Splash Country - opens this weekend
http://www.dollywoodssplashcountry.com/
Water Adventure Park

Away from the maddening crowds - Holiday Inn Express, Kodak, TN
We chose this hotel because of its proximity to the Dolly concert, but if you want some peace and quiet - and to get the kids away from the draw of the tourist attractions in Pigeon Forge, this is a great option. Indoor Pool. Good HIX breakfast. Nice rooms with white duvet covers and nicely appointed rooms for a moderately priced option.

Drop pup off in our pet room for the short 2.5 mile drive to the stadium for the concert - right in the midst of the traffic jam. It took longer to get there than planned - but Dolly was cooperative and started late. Perfect timing. She took to the stage as we arrived

Dolly Parton concert - just amazing. She's 61 years old and looks great and sings like an angel. She raised $500,000 in one night for the new hospital - surrounded by fans who drove from near and far to hear her sing.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/...s/4824247.html

A ride from South Dakota - or I've found the RV I want - stopped to tell the owner that I loved their RV - and was given a tour of this beautiful 24 ft Class C.
http://www.winnebagoind.com/products/winnebago/view/

Return trip via the madness/ craziness/ chaos/ tourist meccas that are Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Drove right on through.

Stopped in Sylva, NC (via Dillsboro) -

Great meal at Mill and Main -
Crabcake sandwich
One of my favorites (the other is Lulu's on Main)

Calling all Thomas, Polar Express, Mystery Theatre or Gourmet Dining fans - check out the options at the Great Smokey Mtn Railway -
Mystery Theatre train trips on Friday nights
Gourmet dining and wine trips on Saturday night
Thomas/ Polar Express/ Peanuts Great Pumpking trips during the year
Fall Foliage trips in the fall
http://www.gsmr.com/

If you need Thomas merchandise, stop by the train office. I can't imagine an Thomas item made that they do NOT carry!

Ice cream at the Creamery -
http://inthesmokymountains.com/springridgecreamery/

Billingsley Nursery - Rabun Gap, GA
Picked up a gorgeous planter arrangement as a welcome gift for dear new neighbor - who moves in next weekend!

Great weekend in the mountains.
Maybe some of the info will be helpful for others in planning future trips.



starrsville is offline  
May 21st, 2007, 09:54 PM
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Hi starrsville. I like your pun. You saw Dolly! She is wonderful.

My dd is bugging me take her, or worse still, let a boy take her, to Dollywood this weekend. Enjoyed the report.

We've been to Dollywood lots (kids!), and what's actually fun for dh and me (and dd plus friends) is to catch Dollywood when it's not crowded, like on a weekday. I've ridden the big wooden roller coaster approx. ten times in a row, not to mention other rides. Not everyone's cup of tea.
claire_bluesky is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 04:23 AM
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Love Dolly! Thanks for the report.
cmcfong is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 04:28 AM
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Hi claire,
The Mystery Mine is supposedly new this year - and lots of fun. I didn't want to wait for the big wooden roller coaster so went to the Qbot booth - and the coaster was closed for the day WHILE we were getting our Qbot. Darn!

I wished that we had been there on a weekday this week. That would have been a blast!
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 04:45 AM
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Mystery Mine is brand new this year, and it's a winner. Be sure to remove everything from your pockets before you ride!

I have never been to the park when Thunderhead (wooden coaster) was closed. So I wonder what was up with that.

Did you see any rhododendron in bloom in the higher elevations? I really want to catch them at Roan Mtn this year and I always seem to miss the blooms.
xrae is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 04:52 AM
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I don't know why - but I was bummed. "Dave" at the Qbot booth was giving me a demo on the device - and announced the closing. It stayed closed all day.

The rhodys weren't in bloom, but the mountain laurel were in full bloom at high elevations in N. GA. Just beautiful!
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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iceeu2
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xrae, where is Roan Mountain? I'm going up this weekend and would like to check it out.

We went up on Fort Mountain, GA, this past weekend, and yes, the mountain laurel were just beautiful.

Dolly is great, isn't she?. We have ridden Thunderhead and it is a great roller coaster. Too bad it was closed because it was a lot ot fun.
 
May 22nd, 2007, 06:40 AM
  #8  
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http://www.roanmountain.com/

I think that's where someone on the board said there were synchronized fireflies. I meant to do a search when I got home. Good reminder.

There is road construction (repaving) in GSMNP right now. Signs alerted to be prepared for delays. The waits shouldn't be more than 5 minutes.
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Well, heck, stevebarr has a recent post about the s'd fireflies -
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=35000394
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:43 AM
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It was byrd's post - and here's a link that was provided...

http://smokymtns.com/firefly.htm
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:45 AM
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Roan Mtn. is beautiful iceeu2. We have relatives who used to live right on the mountain---not there any longer, sad to say. But we have lots of relatives in east Tn. and still have the periodic reunion with that bunch at Wautauga Lake.
kswl is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 06:57 AM
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xrae - rhody bloom alerts -

"If you are JUST interested in how the rhododendrons are
blooming...call 1-828-688-9405 (NC Forest Service) or 828-682-6146 (US Forest Service).

(from the Roan Mtn website)

xrae, how was the drive to Orlando? Any problem with the fires/ smoke? We have smoke in Atlanta today.
starrsville is offline  
May 22nd, 2007, 07:12 AM
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I called. At least the third weekend of June - maybe later.
starrsville is offline  
May 23rd, 2007, 07:52 PM
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No problems on the drive down -- now checking info for drive back on Saturday/Sunday.

Thanks for pointing out the Roan Mtn Rhododendron Bloom Hotline. I really want to pop up there this year to see them. Can't take hubby, he is SO allergic.
xrae is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 04:18 AM
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We've never been to DW., but friends of DD performed in their summer shows (Irish dancing) a few years ago and said it was a good place to work, very clean cut---IYKWIM.
kswl is offline  
May 24th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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I bet it is a good place to work. Everyone was so nice. Most of the workers appeared to be retirees. I first noticed with the operator of the Mystery Mine ride. Then, the ladies loading folks on the water ride in their Victorian bloomers suits. Now, that I think about it most of the host/ hostesses were retirement age. And, so many thank yous.

There's a Pigeon Forge/ Sevierville commercial being aired in some markets with that as a theme. Just loved it. I tried three times to convert my day ticket into a season ticket - but the lines were too long for me to wait all day.

If you think you're going to go - and might go at least twice in the year, buy the GOLD season pass. It gives you 20% off everything in the park.
starrsville is offline  
May 25th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Dollywood's gold pass also gives you free parking -- whoohoo!

xrae is offline  
May 26th, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #18  
iceeu2
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I'm here now! Getting ready to head out and brave the crowds!

Yes, free parking and the 20% discount really makes the gold pass worth the extra $'s. And the good part is, only 1 person needs the gold and the others get the benefit if they are with you.

For anyone in the area this weekend. Harry & Davids has some great specials. 25% off markdowns....plus a 4 lb tub of truffles for $9.95.

 

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