Theme Park Food: Eating My Way Through Dollywood

October 8, 2018

When you hear someone say Dollywood, a lot of things might come to mind. Dolly Parton (duh), roller coasters, water park, Smoky Mountains, but it’s typically not food. To help change people’s perceptions, Dollywood has been hosting foodies to showcase their array of food offerings and quality of food.

Dolly Parton's records and large portrait
Hello Dolly!

For the number of times I have been to the Smoky Mountains, I haven’t ever been to Dollywood before. Shame on me. I will say that I have been to Dolly Parton’s Stampede before.

Turkey Legs with all the fixings at Dollywood
Turkey Legs with all the fixings

It was a whirlwind 2+ days of eating, eating, rollercoasters, and eating. It’s tough I know.  

Full plated meal from Dolly Parton's Stampede
Full plated meal from Dolly Parton's Stampede

Dolly Parton’s Stampede is the epitome of dinner and a show. Just be ready to get your hands dirty because there is no silverware and you eat everything with your hands. I will say that the choreography of the establishment to get 1,100 people in, served hot food and exited in a few hours is impressive. This is a down-home country show and you leave with a hearty meal and a wholesome time that the whole family can enjoy.

Dealth by Chocolate cake from DreamMore Resort
Death By Chocolate
Make Your Own Donut at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort
Make Your Own Donut
Pineapple Panna Cotta at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort
Pineapple Panna Cotta

After the show, we retired back to the resort to meet Shane Burns, Director of Food & Beverage Experiences at Dollywood. We tasted some inventive dessert bites and cocktail pairings. The chef has influence over creating the menu not just at the resort, but all the food at Dollywood as well. It was exciting to see the creativity the chef had without constraints of a set menu.  Both of the cocktails served were paired perfectly as well.

Breakfast Buffet Samplings from Dollywood's DreamMore Resort
Breakfast Buffet Samplings from Dollywood's DreamMore Resort
Biscuit and Gravy closeup at Dollywood's DreamMore Resort
Biscuit and Gravy close up

The next day was long and burned off lots of those calories with a full day at Dollywood. After a hearty, quick buffet breakfast at the resort with biscuits and gravy, fruit, potatoes, waffles, grits, etc., we headed over to the park.

Fresh Carmel Apples at Dollywood
Fresh Carmel Apples at Dollywood
Fried Green Tomato BLT at Dollywood
Fried Green Tomato BLT at Dollywood

Some insiders tips for staying at the resort:

  • At Dollywood when you purchase items, you can have them sent back to your room at DreamMore Resort (although don’t forget them like I did because you will be charged shipping to have them sent to you)
  • Stay at the resort and get shuttle service to and from the park with your own private entrance
  • Get a time saver pass when staying to skip the lines at the park
  • There is alcohol
Famous cinnamon bread from Dollywood
Dollywood's famous cinnamon bread

We started out by walking a circle through the park and saw all the dining option, shops and crafts. After a bit of free time riding some roller coasters, we grabbed some lunch and some of the ever so famous cinnamon bread.  What is the perfect thing to do on a full stomach you might ask? Ride a bunch of roller coasters and get flipped around would be your answer. Seriously, it was so much fun though.

Cincinnati style chili in bead bowls from Dollywood
Chili In Bread Bowls
White Bean Chili in Bread Bowls from Dollywood
White Bean Chili in Bread Bowls
Fall pumpkin desserts at Dollywood
Festive fall pumpkin desserts
Pumpkin Creme Brulee at Dollywood
Pumpkin Creme Brulee

It was almost the perfect time to visit the park, they had just transitioned to fall with pumpkin-flavored food and pumpkins everywhere. Fall was everywhere, except with the weather. The temperatures still felt like summer in October.

25 pound apple pie from Dollywood
This 25-pound apple pie has 40-50 apples in it
giant 25 pound apple pie at Dollywood
Bring more than one fork, each slice weighs over 3 pounds

There is so much versatility at Dollywood in the Smokies. With the changing seasonal focus, you can visit multiple times a year and not feel like you are visiting the same park.  

Open Face Meatloaf Sandwich at Dollywood
Meatloaf Sandwich

Now all of you foodies can literally have it all. At Dollywood, you don’t have to sacrifice on a family vacation or give up the foodie part of your trip.  It is a great family time in a picturesque setting. And the food is equally as memorable. Can’t wait to bring my family back soon, Christmas is right around the corner.

Check out the review of Dollywood's newest expansion of Wildwood Grove here.

The Moody Foody

From Nashville. I like food, traveling for new food, and taking pictures of food.

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