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“Get a lung disease on the Dollywood Express”
Review of Dollywood

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Attraction details
Owner description: The 2010 Applause Award winner, Dollywood is recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks. Spanning 150 acres and located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions, including the Thunderhead wooden coaster, the steel thriller Mystery Mine and Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the U.S. Dollywood’s entertainment is recognized worldwide, having received more trophies, 20, than any other theme park for its live entertainment which showcases country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Appalachian music. Daily demonstrations by more than a dozen master craftsmen offer a glimpse into the authentic artistry of the area’s rich heritage. Guests visiting the Great Smoky Mountains can stay just a stone’s throw away from Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country at Dollywood Cabins. Accommodations range from quaint spaces just for two to sprawling floor plans that sleep up to 30 people. Guests are treated to sweeping mountain views while some cabins actually overlook Dolllywood’s popular Craftsman’s Valley area. Cabin guests receive exclusives such as free reserved parking at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country and complimentary admission to Dollywood’s Splash Country.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 2 April 2018

My daughter was injured on the Dollywood Express train ride. Several large pieces of hot coal embers struck her eye when riding the Dollywood Express train, and I find this to be a significant safety hazard and the very reason why we will never go back to Dollywood again. We usually visit Dollywood 1 or 2 times a year, and had never taken the Dollywood Express train ride until this trip. The train is operated by a coal powered engine. The amount of smoke and soot we endured during our ride was absolutely terrible. My mother, who suffers from COPD, experienced shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches during and after the train ride. My husband's white clothing was completely covered in soot and ash. I experienced headaches after leaving the train. And my daughter's eye injuries were the most severe - requiring medical attention and debris extraction. We all were forced to cover our eyes, nose and mouth during the train ride. I would like to further acknowledge that the medical staff at the medical care center (curiously located right at the exit to Dollywood Express - coincidence?) cared for my daughter without sterile gloves, all while taking a break from eating food. Absolutely disgusting. There were three children in the medical care center being treated for this same type of injury while we were there. One of the medical care workers casually told me as she laughed, "Yeah, this happens ALL the time." I was shocked and deeply disturbed. After riding the Dollywood Express, my family of 5 (and dog, staying in a bleach-soaked kennel at Doggywood) all promptly left the park. It has been three days and my daughter's eye remains red and irritated. This polluting, damaging product should not be used around unprotected people, like park guests, causing injury and negatively impacting those with health conditions. Plain and simple: this is an absolute danger to park guests. I am certain that Dolly would not approve.

3  Thank TravelJourneysTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DollywoodPete, Guest Relations Manager at Dollywood, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2018

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your experiences on the Dollywood Express. The Dollywood Express has been a part of the culture and atmosphere here at the park for over 30 years and is still among our guests' favorite rides. It is our desire at Dollywood to preserve the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. For this reason, we purchase coal at a premium price that contains lower sulphur and ash content available. WE also collect cinder solids in a specially constructed screen in the train's smoke stack as well as the solids from the fire box, so they can be properly disposed. We do have signage located throughout the Dollywood Express Depot that tells guests that they will experience soot from the train.

On behalf of the Dollywood Company, I do want to apologize for the way you were treated while visiting Village Safety. Your review has been shared with our Safety Team as well.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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704 - 708 of 14 408 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2018

I'm a big fan of the Orlando, FL theme parks, but Dollywood is a great option closer to home and an even greater option for families. Dollywood does have some high thrill rides, but also has many options for kids who are either not ready for coasters or are transitioning from fair rides to thrill rides. Some of the rides are made smaller than the Orlando parks, but should accommodate most riders.

Thank jcwilliams7312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Festival of nations was great, and as always had fun. Season tickets worth every penny esp gold pass! We love the rides and friendly park employees

Thank joseph e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

Our family of three spent 6 hours in the park, and everyone was happy! My husband and 16 year old son spent all day on the roller coasters. I believe they took 10 rides total. The key to that was buying the express pass so that waits were shorter. I chose to spend my time shopping the various craft shops and visiting some of the exhibits, (Dolly Parton's story, and the American Eagle Rescue.) We had a nice buffet lunch, and some terrific Cinnamon Bread ($7.99, but worth every penny). The park has an easy layout, but is hilly, which may cause some huffing and puffing. Rest rooms and other services are easy to find and well kept. A park shuttle takes you directly to and from the gate to the parking lot, so walking long distances from your car is not an issue. Prices are not as high as Disney, but perhaps a bit higher than at a small amusement park. Very friendly, respectful and wholesome crowd. Families should feel safe and comfortable. Enjoy!

1  Thank wendy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2018

Our family had a lot of fun at Dollywood. The kids loved the rides. The whole family really enjoyed riding the train.

Thank Tara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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