Karen's Blog

Let's take a walk through a brand new day.

Dolly got it right.

I’m not really sure what possessed me to do this; but, I took off on a Tuesday afternoon and headed for the Tennessee mountains. It was hot here in Georgia and I was looking for some cool mountain breezes. Or as my friend says, “The mountains were calling”.

As I drove, I reminisced about the many trips I had taken with family members to these mountains and what fun we all had. One of those memories inlcuded a Christmas trip to Dollywood. So, as quickly as I had made the decision to come to the mountains, I made a quick decision to visit Dollywood. Wait! A theme park during the middle of a pandemic? That seems like a really bad idea!

The theme park was having a flower and food show and I love flowers. I really tried to talk myself out of visiting but after reading the precautions/safety measures the park had in place, I decided to go. After all, if I felt unsafe, I could leave.

Well, I shouldn’t have worried. Dolly got it right. Masks are required and that rule is enforced. Hand sanitizer is distrubted like candy on Halloween. And, no, you are not given a “choice”. Follow the rules or go home. Of course it was all presented in the most southern hospitality way. But, they were serious. I’ll share an example. When arriving at Dollywood, a tram is available from the parking lot to the park. Before embarking, the guest’s temperature is taken, hand sanitizer is dispersed, and each family group must stand 6 feet apart from the next family group. Upon entering the tram, the conductor states again that all guests must have a mask covering the mouth and nose or the tram cannot move. We had a guest on row 3 who somehow didn’t think the rules applied. The conductor said, “Would the guest on row 3 please cover the nose as well as the mouth with the mask?” When the guest complied…we were off to the park. This was the theme of the day. Park employees took the safety rules seriously.

Now for the fun stuff! Dollywood was just as delightful as I remembered. The shows were excellent and the Bluegrass Band was a favorite.

Seeing the replica of Dolly’s Tennesse Mountain Home was especially moving. It reminds the guests just how little is needed to have a happy home. A loving family is the key.

The flower show was just what I was looking for. Lots of flowers in different shapes and colors that made Dollywood even more magical.

Dolly’s signature butterfly
Coat of Many Colors

Somehow, on my last visit, I missed one of the most popular things at Dollywood. Cinnamon Bread! I didn’t miss it this time and I certainly won’t miss out in any future visits. It is divine and made fresh all day long in the Grist Mill.

As a history buff, the train ride around the mountain held historical surprises. The locomotives were actually constructed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. During WWII, these steam engines played an important role in America’s war effort. I won’t spoil the story for you because the engineers will take you back in history as you travel through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains through vignettes of mountain living in days gone by.

It was a great day in Dollywood and I left feeling really happy. I was glad I went and would love to go back for the Smoky Mountain Christmas. And, leave it to Dolly to make even the exit to the park feel like an event unto itself.

Leaving the park under colorful umbrellas