Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is home to moonshine, mountains, and Dolly Parton’s theme park, Dollywood. The park boasts several popular attractions, from thrilling coasters to family-friendly ones and everything in between. Everyone should experience these popular Dollywood theme park rides at least once in their lifetime.
The 21 Most Popular Dollywood Theme Park Rides
Dollywood has consistently been rated as a top theme park in the United States. This honor comes from unofficial fan surveys, TripAdvisor ratings, and USA Today’s “Best of” rankings. Let these popular Dollywood theme park rides serve as a guide to planning your perfect day at Dollywood.
1. Lightning Rod
One of the unique rides at Dollywood is the Lightning Rod. Part metal and part wooden coaster, this thrill ride takes off at high speeds while racing over its track. It’s one of the most popular rides in the park, so get in line early.
Thunderhead is a classic wooden roller coaster. Find it in the Timber Canyon area of the park near Wildwood Grove. While not nearly as thrilling as Lightning Rod, Thunderhead is by no means an “easy” coaster.
3. Blazing Fury
A nostalgic guest favorite, Blazing Fury is a hilarious coaster ride through a town of animatronics that has been set on fire. The scene and sound effects are so cheesy you can’t help but laugh with glee as you zoom by.
4. Wild Eagle
Wild Eagle is one of the tallest coasters in the park. It also is one of the smoothest rides at any theme park. Guests will feel like they truly are “flying” with eagles when riding Wild Eagle.
5. Mystery Mine
Located across from the entrance to Wildwood Grove is the coaster Mystery Mine. While not a high-speed coaster, it still maintains its thrills with vertical hills and a harrowing, upside-down hang toward the end of the ride.
Wildwood Grove’s family-friendly coaster will have riders screaming with glee. It does not go upside down, but that doesn’t make it any less exhilarating.
7. FireChaser Express
Another entry into the family-friendly coaster arena, FireChaser Express is the only coaster in the park that launches forward and backward. You will find this roller coaster across from the entrance to Wild Eagle.
8. Tennessee Tornado
Aptly named the Tennessee Tornado, is a roller coaster that gives guests the feeling of being whipped around in a tornado. High speeds and multiple loops make Tennessee Tornado one of the most popular Dollywood Theme Park rides.
On the Barnstormer, guests ride higher and higher in the air with each pass of the ride’s massive “arms.” It can reach maximum speeds of up to 45 miles per hour while flying 81 feet in the air.
10. Smoky Mountain River Rampage
Smoky Mountain River Rampage is a whitewater raft ride through winding rapids. Ride this if you want to get wet. It is located in the Rivertown Junction section of the park.
11. Daredevil Falls
Ride through an abandoned logging camp for a one-of-a-kind expedition. When guests think the ride is over, they will plunge over a 60-foot drop at up to 50 miles per hour. This is another ride where you will get wet.
12. Dollywood Express
Take a leisurely ride aboard the Dollywood Express. The slow-moving train ride around the park is an easy way to relax and get off your feet for a while.
13. Drop Line
Drop Line is precisely what you’d expect from a traditional tower drop attraction. Guests slowly lift into the air while the ride spins, giving them a view of Dollywood. Prepare yourself for the inevitable drop, so it doesn’t catch you by surprise!
14. Great Tree Swing
Wildwood Grove is one of the best Dollywood rides for kids because it is exciting without being too scary. It lifts riders into the air as a group but doesn’t go nearly as high as the Barnstormer.
15. Village Carousel
Carousels are fun at any age, and the Village Carousel is no different. It features over 60 painted animals, including the lead horse nicknamed “Dolly” because of its long, blonde mane.
16. Whistle Punk Chaser
Kids will love this introductory coaster in the heart of Timber Canyon. Whistle Punk Chaser is a short coaster with small hills and thrills, which is perfect for kids who might be overly anxious about the more popular Dollywood coasters.
17. Demolition Derby
Demolition Derby is a bumper car attraction located in Country Fair. Riders can sit two to a vehicle and see who can “out bump” each other during the ride.
18. The Mad Mockingbird
The Mad Mockingbird is an exciting, fast-paced ride in Wildwood Grove. Riders can control the twists and turns of the ride vehicle by “steering” the bird's head.
19. Black Bear Trail
Small children will delight in the simple nature of Black Bear Trail. Guests ride on the back of a black bear as it meanders along the forest path.
20. Rockin’ Roadway
Steer yourself around the track in classic cars reminiscent of the styles from the 1950s. This ride has no minimum height requirement, which makes it fun for families with children of all ages.
21. Big Bear Mountain
Big Bear Mountain boasts the longest track in the park and lasts nearly two minutes. The ride also features onboard audio that enhances the ride with music and announcements from Wildwood Grove’s resident wilderness explorer, Ned Oakley.
More to Dollywood Than Rides
If rides aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Dollywood has plenty of other things to see and do. While your friends or family enjoy the most popular Dollywood theme park rides, you can do other activities.
Take in a show at the Back Porch Theater or visit Chasing Rainbows, a museum filled with Dolly Parton memorabilia.
There is something for everyone at Dollywood Theme Park.
This article was produced by Wealth of Geeks.
Sarah Gilliland is a travel journalist and travel editor for Wealth of Geeks with over ten years of experience writing, editing, and producing content related to family travel. She freelances for several online outlets, including Yahoo, Insider, Conde Nast Traveler, and Attractions Magazine. Sarah's beats include theme parks, family travel, cruises, and road trips. When she isn't traveling or writing freelance columns, Sarah can be found on her website, On the Road with Sarah, or binging the latest geeky thing on Netflix or Disney+.