Our family absolutely loves everything Dolly. Dreamore, Splash Country, Dollywood...we are huge proponents of them all. As season ticket holders that only live a couple hours away, we try to maximize our Dolly time to its full potential.
This post we'll focus on Dollywood Theme Park. We buy Season Passes for everyone plus one Gold Season Pass for me (because I'm the one who takes the kiddo alone sometimes) so that we can get the discounted Preferred Parking rate ($13 as opposed to $24) EVERY time we go. Gold pass holders get 20% off food, merchandise and rentals plus free regular parking if you want to park in B.F.E. and catch the trolly. Some reasons it's worth it to us to pay $13 to park:
1-the Preferred Parking lot has its own entrance gate where the line is SIGNIFICANTLY shorter than the main front gates.
2- The lot is close to its gate which means there is no trolly ride which means you get from car to gate much, much faster and when you leave you are not at the whim of the trolly schedule to get you back to your car a mile or two away.
3- We camp right down the road at The Ridge Outdoor Resort or Jellystone Campground (we much prefer the Ridge if space is available) and we like to go to Dollywood before the gates open to ride rides before the big crowds and to avoid traffic coming in to the park which is at its maximum around opening time. Then we like to leave midday and go back to the camper to relax and refuel before heading back to Dollywood for sunset to closing, when again the lines are much shorter. The Preferred Parking ticket (with butterfly stamp) gets you in and out of the park as much as you'd like so you could drop the kids and sitter off, hit the links or outlet stores for a while, then head back for some roller coaster family time.
4- You can stash a cooler in your car with food and drinks and walk in and out of the park as often as you like with your preferred parking spot.
5- The Preferred lot gate entrance is nestled in a corner near locker, stroller and wheelchair rentals. If you take a left from this entrance you'll come to our favorite side of the park where you can ride: