dollywood water slide

Hit the Waves at Dollywood’s Splash Country

Dollywood’s Splash Country is a wet’n’wild place that everyone can enjoy.

Teenagers fly down thrilling, 70-foot-tall Fire Tower Falls or squeal as they spin around a corkscrew tunnel called Swift Water Run. Little ones peal with laughter when a 300-gallon bucket tips over drenching them with water at a place called Bear Mountain Fire Tower.

For me, all that’s fun … to watch. I much prefer floating down the lazy river on a Down Bound Float Trip or mellowing out in the Mountain Waves wave pool.

Dollywood’s Splash Country has been cooling off folks since 2001, adding rides and attractions along the way until now it is more than 35 acres of water and fun. The place has 35 slides including a ride called Slick Rock Racer which was added in 2010. The four-lane attraction sends folks belly-sliding for about 300 feet.

In 2009, the place was given a “Must-See Waterpark” award by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. I agree. Waterparks might be ho hum to veteran Southern splash seekers like myself, but this one is in a cooling league of its own.

First of all, designers have done well harmonizing the park. The idea was to pattern things after the mountain brooks and swimming holes where Dolly Parton played as a child. Everything looks and feels that way, right down to the wooden buckets and rustic design.

Second, much like at the main theme park right next door, at Dollywood’s Splash Country the focus is on the visitors. It’s clean and that to me is what separates the real great family theme parks from the average. There are plenty of snack bars and other eating selections, lockers to put your clothes in while you get all wet, lifeguards everywhere, rides kept in tip-top shape, and helpful employees who smile.

A couple suggestions for your adventure: 1. Traffic in Pigeon Forge can take some time so just be patient. You might consider strategies, such as arriving early in the morning when the traffic’s not too bad and perhaps eating breakfast close to the park. 2. You are not allowed to bring coolers or food into the park. (You can get your hand stamped and return.) 3. Although there are trams from the massive parking lot to Dollywood, trams do not run directly to the gate of Dollywood’s Splash Country. So, you might be walking a good ways and you should consider what you’ll be carrying.

It’s all worth it to hang out at this great place to cool off in East Tennessee.

Will you be visiting Splash Country this summer? What other waterparks do you love to visit in Tennessee? Let us know in the comments!


Hi! I’m Linda Lange. As a travel writer living in Knoxville, I fully appreciate barbecue, bluegrass and Dollywood. My...Read on

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