Friday, August 5, 2011

Unlimited Theme Park Madness at Dollywood

So your kids want to go to a water park, but this weekend all you really want is a bit of rustic luxury. Guess what? At Dollywood you can do both and save a bit of money, too, by booking the new Summer Fun Pass.

For all you country music fans, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. The “Queen of Country Music” really knows how to show guests a fun bit of Southern hospitality (No, for all you readers born after 1995, we aren’t talking about Taylor Swift). Dollywood theme park and Starr Crest Resort are owned by Dolly Parton.

The Summer Fun Pass, available now through September 3rd through Starr Crest Resort, allows families to buy an all-access pass to the Dollywood theme and water parks for unlimited days for only $99 per person. In order to be eligible for the Summer Fun Pass, guests have to stay at the Starr Crest Resort in Pigeon Forge. Have to, however, is hardly how I would describe the experience.

The cabins at Starr Crest Resort are not your traditional brand of camping. Equipped with outdoor hot tubs, game rooms with pool tables, fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, washers and dryers, a big screen TV, and private sun decks with charcoal grills, a Starr Crest cabin is akin to a five-star experience.

But the amenities don’t end there. Guests staying at the Starr Crest Resort also have access to the resort’s swimming pool, a children’s playground, and a community pavilion that offers great views of the Smoky Mountains.

Cabins at Starr Crest Resort vary in price, depending on when you book your vacation. This summer, rates start as low as $179 per night for a mid-week vacation, with a minimum of a three night stay required. Remember, though, you’re not just renting a hotel room: For $179 you get a full sized cabin complete with all the amenities mentioned above.

To save a little bit of money, plan your vacation for the month of August. From August 1st to August 31st, families can book a four night stay in any of the Starr Crest cabins and get one night free. Starr Crest Resort also offers a Military Discount (10% off of cabins) and a Returning Guest Discount (15% off of cabins), so be sure to check if either of these deals apply.

And now for the real deal: The Summer Fun Pass.

With the pass, families get unlimited access the Dollywood theme park and the Dollywood Splash Country water park for the duration of their stay, a complimentary Qbot electronic line management device, free reserved parking at both parks, and a Passport of Savings coupon book for area malls. And only for $99.

So what does that really mean? Luxury cabins for a four night/five day vacation, guaranteed entry to both parks for as long as you’re staying at the resort, no lines for any of the rides, and an excuse to do some shopping when you’re in town. Worth under $1,000? I think so.

For more on Dollywood and the Pigeon Forge area, read our article “Dollywood and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

With over 20 water slides and thrill rides, a day at Dollywood Splash County is sure to be exciting. There are plenty of rides for every age, so go ahead and bring the whole family.

Shaded rental areas are also available for purchase while you’re visiting Splash County. If you’ve got an extra bit of cash ($150, to be exact) and are traveling with a larger family, booking one of the Retreat spaces is definitely a good idea. With 200 square-feet of shade (an area that includes a six person dining table, 2 lounge chairs, a TV, and Splash County’s own take on room service) and 100 square-feet of sun deck, this 12 person space is a nice bit of luxury. Another perk: Massages for anyone 18 and older are also available for purchase to any guests renting this space.

KidsFest 2011 at Dollywood Theme Park

But let’s not forget Dollywood theme park, home of KidsFest, one of the largest children’s festivals in the south. Performances by The Junk Beats and the Penguin Playhouse will run throughout the event. The Gazillion Bubbles show is also a must see. With laser-lighting and bubbles blow like you’ve never seen them before, this show takes every kid’s favorite pastime to a completely epic level.

This year, the festival is running from June 17 to August 7th. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to buy tickets. But if you’re in the area and are looking for a good weekend, KidsFest is something the whole family will enjoy.

With over 40 rides of all thrill-seeking levels, you might need more than one day to experience all of Dollywood. So take a weekend off and relax in the Smoky Mountains. Just don’t forget to include the Summer Fun Pass.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and Dollywood.


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  2. Hi Kyle,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about the Starr Crest Resort to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
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