*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.*
I wouldn’t suggest going to a theme park with a toddler unless you are very prepared. And even still, something will likely go wrong. Luckily, we chose a theme park that has sections catered toward toddlers. This was a tremendous help! It was great to actually be able to ride rides with her.
If you’re considering Dollywood and you’re bringing a toddler along, I hope this post helps prepare you. It’s always best to plan ahead but we all know how unpredictable toddlers are!
You need snacks (and maybe ice cream) – I think this one goes without saying, but always be prepared with snacks! And when all else fails, there are tons of ice cream stands throughout the park. I’m not even ashamed to say Hattie had ice cream at ten thirty in the morning. It was a much-needed bribe while we waited for my husband and son to ride a roller coaster she was too small for.
Bring enough diapers & wipes – It’s inevitable that you’ll be changing a number two diaper at some point. Luckily, Dollywood had changing tables in every bathroom I went into. Make sure you bring enough diapers and wipes. Wipes are a necessity for cleaning off said changing tables, wiping down a table you quickly snag at one of the restaurants, and for snotty noses and sticky hands (the ice cream!).
Bring a fold-able stroller – If you’re spending the entire day at Dollywood, you’re going to want a stroller. There will undoubtedly be a point in the day where your little one is over-excited and just needs a nap. When this time comes, you’ll be thrilled that you have a stroller to contain your little one and (hopefully) let them pass out for a while. An umbrella stroller or other tightly-folded stroller is even better for when you need to go to a restaurant and put it under the table.
Start in Wildwood Grove – Dollywood is a circle and starting in Wildwood Grove will be beneficial so they can use up their energy since so many activities are toddler-sized here. If you have bigger kids, they’ll enjoy some of this as well. Both my 2 year old and my 7 year old loved the indoor play gym and it was nice for us to have some AC for a bit. If you start at the beginning (or if you end here), make sure you don’t miss the car ride in Jukebox Junction and spend plenty of time in County Fair since there are lots of rides for the younger ones. My toddler particularly enjoyed the elephant ride. I mean, what toddler doesn’t want to fly in an elephant?!
Bring extra clothes – If your toddler is big enough to ride some of the water rides or they decide to have some fun at the splash pad areas, you’ll be thankful you brought an extra set of clothes. Hattie wasn’t big enough for the water rides and was passed out by the time we got to some of the toddler water areas so we (luckily) didn’t have to worry about this one!
Get a map or the app – Dollywood has a great app but if you forget to download it and don’t get service, make sure you pick up a map. Not only do toddlers (and my seven year old…) love to be map holders, but it’ll help you with a game plan of which rides to hit when.
Go with the flow – When all is said and done, you’ll be glad if you planned ahead but know you’ll also need to go with the flow. Going anywhere for a long stretch of time with a toddler is hard work. Don’t stress!
We had a blast at Dollywood (thanks for having us!) and we are already ready to go back. We went during October during the Luminights festival. We didn’t make it until nighttime but we enjoyed seeing all the pumpkins. It provided lots of photo ops.
If you’re going with a toddler, you’re bound to have a wild time. The best part? They’re free! All kids 3 and under are free and don’t require a ticket. There’s really no reason not to bring your little cuties!