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2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, TN
Admission: $56 ages 12 and older, $44 ages 4 – 11
Parking: $9.11

Bank on lots of fun at Dollywood! Nestled in the lush mountainous environs of the Smoky mountains, Dolly Parton’s fabulous theme park boasts an extreme amount of fun and entertainment for all ages — with more than 40 rides to tickle your fancy!

Dollywood sports a few great coasters, so start off with Blazing Fury. This indoor adventure puts riders in the dark with a storyline to boot. The theme: an out-of-control fire engulfing an 1880s town. Scenes are set throughout the journey, and the final plunge zips through a pool of water.

The Tennessee Tornado packs a punch! This smooth coaster features three inversions, an amazing butterfly loop and a fierce, unexpected 120-foot drop into a tunnel.

Once you’ve caught your breath from that, head to The Mystery Mine. It’s a groovy, stomach-churning ride that takes off with an immediate drop into darkness. The 95-degree, 85-foot vertical plunge is intense, and several high-speed twists and turns are thrilling.

Want to scream some more? Get in line for the massive Thunderhead coaster. This fast and furious ride features a 3,230-foot track that crosses over and under itself 32 times at a top speed of 55 miles per hour.

Dollywood’s newest coaster is the Wild Eagle, and it’s the first wing coaster in the country. Riders are seated outside the track, legs dangling, given the sensation of flying. The enormous first drop flying into a loop is jaw-dropping, and the many twists and turns that follow are killer. Hitting a speed of 61 miles per hour, it’s no surprise that the Wild Eagle was given the Gold Ticket Award for “Best New Ride” in 2012 by Amusement Today.

Wanna get wet? Head next door to Dollywood’s pristine Splash Country water park. More than 20 aquatic attractions await, including pools, slides and beyond. You’ll definitely want to hop aboard the brand new River Rush — it’s Tennessee’s first water coaster. You’ll soar four stories in the air among the trees and get to experience twists, turns and tunnels all splashtastic!

Admission to the water park by itself is $47 adults, $42 ages 4 – 11. If you’re going to make the most of a Dollywood experience, get the three-day pass for both parks: $89 adults, $72 for kids. And if you’re gonna do Dollywood, you’ll easily need three days to enjoy all the fun!

Chad Young is the managing editor and arts/entertainment editor for this publication.

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