On Saturday, May 11, Dollywood is opening an entirely new section of the park! It’s called Wildwood Grove, and it is all about family.
As a Dollywood Insider, I got to get a sneak peek before all the final touches are put on. Here are the things I love about Wildwood Grove:
- From start to finish, this section is all about guest experience. There is loads of shade, every landscape wall doubles as seating, and the lines for the rides are behind the ride itself, so you can get a great shot of your kid or grandkid without having to zoom in over the heads of those waiting in line.
Shade, fans, and seating for those waiting on riders!
- Hidden Hollow is an indoor, climate-controlled play area that parents are going to love. It can be so hard to get your kids to slow down and take a break at Dollywood- and who can blame them? But sometimes we need to cool off, and so do they. Hidden Hollow can give caregivers a break while little ones are cooling off but still playing. Win-Win!
- Shaded lines! This will make waiting in line for a ride much more comfortable.
Shaded line area with fans to help those waiting to ride be comfortable.
- This entire area is really family focused, like the rest of the park (this is why you’ll find a play area for those under 39″ near Firechaser Express; this is done one purpose, so little ones don’t feel left out of the fun. They get their own fun experience while the bigs are on Firechaser). Wildwood Grove offers fun rides, with 36″ and 39″ height requirements, so more kids can ride. For those under the 36″ mark, the indoor play area and a splashing in the creek splash pad offer a diversion while bigger siblings ride.
Musical instruments and a splash pad are a fun diversion.
- Gorgeous details abound. From carved shutters to hand-painted designs, the forest theme is on point and beautifully executed.
- While we’ve seen character meet and greet moments during seasonal events, Wildwood Grove is introducing its inhabitants at their own meet and greet. You can meet fairies Flit and Flutter and Benjamin Bear daily for a special experience.
- The Wildwood Tree is an experience unto itself. Standing 50 feet wide and 50 feet tall, this elaborate structure is a visual centerpiece. The full experience will begin in June- trust me, you want to be in Wildwood Grove at dusk!
Wildwood Grove is introducing some new and exciting rides! Here’s what they are, and their height requirement.
- Dragonflier: This suspended rollercoaster is the largest and fastest of its kind. Height requirement: At least 39″, those under 48″ must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.
- Mad Mockingbird: Fly in a high speed circle around a large tree, just like Tennessee’s state bird. Height requirement: At least 36″, under 48″ must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.
- Black Bear Trail: Go for a ride on a bear’s back on a meandering track with plenty of photo opportunities. Height requirement: At least 36″, those under 42″ must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.
- Treetop Tower: Enjoy the view as you soar 40 feet in the air before drifting back down. Height requirement: No minimum height; under 42″ must be accompanied by someone over 16 years old.
- Frogs and Fireflies: Hop aboard and join the chase as the frogs and fireflies race around the lily pad. Height requirement: No minimum height; under 36″ must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.
- Great Tree Swing: Big enough for the whole family, this leaflike structure swings back and forth. Height requirement: At least 36″, under 48″ must be accompanied by someone at least 16 years old.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite playing in Wildwood Grove, where should you eat?
Till and Harvest is a restaurant offering patio seating while serving Smoky Mountain Mexican food. I’m crossing my fingers they’ll offer BBQ tacos, because if there’s any way to my heart, its through BBQ and tacos! Right now, this restaurant is planning to open on Memorial Day. Until then, you can check out my restaurant guide over on the Dollywood Insiders page.
Sweets and Treats: This walk up snack shop offers options for on the go snacking!
Mountain Grove Merchants offers merchandise to remember your time in Wildwood Grove. I peeked in and saw some adorable bags and cute tees, as well as some over the counter medicine if you find yourself feeling a little off during your time in the park. Don’t let a headache ruin your Dollywood day!
If you’re not a season pass holder, use this code to purchase your tickets online and save. You can upgrade to a season pass in the park, and save $10 off per person. If you want to go to Dollywood more than once this year, the season pass is the way to go. My favorite option is to get one Gold Super Pass per family, and the rest Super Pass, so you can save 20% off with the Gold pass, get free parking, and get access to both Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country all year long.
Season Passholders typically get a one-hour early access opportunity each Saturday, called early ride time. It’s usually one ride per week, but for June, July, and August, the early ride time experience is all of Wildwood Grove! Get access to all of Wildwood Grove for an hour each Saturday all summer as an extra season passholder perk!
If you’ve got little ones, remember to take them by central measuring before you hit the rides- get a color coded bracelet so you know exactly what rides your kid can ride, and your wait time will be more efficient if your kiddo doesn’t have to be measured at each ride.
What are you most excited for at Wildwood Grove?