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Dollywood Rides – The Best in the Park and Who Can Ride

Dollywood has something for everyone in the family and if you are the family thrill seeker, you’ll find so many amazing Dollywood rides to satisfy you! Here’s a comprehensive list of all the rides at Dollywood and who can ride them.

When I say there’s something for everyone at Dollywood, I’m not exaggerating at all. It’s a great place to visit with the entire family, even multiple generations, because every age will enjoy the sights, sounds, and adventure at the Friendliest Theme Park in America.

Whether you enjoy shopping, watching world class entertainment, eating the most delicious cuisine, or riding some amazing theme park rides, you’ll find it all there. 

But today, we’re definitely focusing on the 40 rides and attractions at Dollywood… which ones are the BEST [in my humble opinion, of course, after visiting for the past 37 years] and which Dollywood rides and attractions each member of the family can ride.

Below you’ll find an amazing list and you’ll notice that Dollywood Rides marked with * are my family’s favorites!

If you want to skip right to the coasters, check out this post all about Dollywood Roller Coasters Ranked.

What are the Newest Dollywood rides?

The newest rides at Dollywood are in the newest area, Wildwood Grove, which happens to be my favorite area of the park!

Wildwood Grove officially launched in 2019 and is still the newest area at Dollywood. And in 2023 – they’ve added a NEW roller coaster – Big Bear Mountain!

Big Bear Mountain [39″] – Things are about to get BIGGER when it comes to Dollywood and Wildwood Grove. The fun announcement of this coaster came from the Dreamer-In-Chief herself and there have been signs up all over Dollywood to get the excitement going.

Debuting in the spring of 2023, Big Bear Mountain is the longest coaster at Dollywood, taking guests of all ages on an unforgettable family-friendly expedition in search of the Big Bear.

Circling Wildwood Grove for nearly two minutes on 3,990 ft. of track, this gigantic coaster is a first of its kind at Dollywood with onboard audio, including music and announcements from Ned Oakley himself.

This long coaster literally wraps around the entire Wildwood Grove area holds 20 passengers at a time. While it’s considered a family roller coaster, it goes pretty fast… reaching top speeds of 48 mph, which just barely beats out the 47mph of The Dragonflier. I LOVE the 3 launches in the coaster too!

Photo courtesy of

Click here to see the Rider POV in a video from Dollywood.

The Dragonflier [39″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – This family coaster is one of the most popular in Wildwood Grove. It’s just a bit smaller than Firechaser Express, Dollywood’s other family coaster.

It’s uniqueness is that the rider will sit with their legs hanging in this family coaster. It totally feels like you are really buzzing around the grove as a dragonfly would!

Black Bear Trail [36″, Under 42″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – An adorable ride for all ages and it celebrates the Smokies most famous inhabitants!

Frogs & Fireflies – No height requirement for this one, but definitely more fun for little ones.

Great Tree Swing [36″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – This is reminiscent of the big rocking pirate ships, but with a mountain theme. 

Photo taken during construction tour in 2019.

Hidden Hollow – This area isn’t a ride, but more of an attraction. It is an indoor play area for ages up to 12, with climbing structures and more. It really is a great way to get little ones out of the heat and a place to relax inside for a bit.

The Mad Mocking Bird [36″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – While it may look like a little kid ride, this one brings some pretty good thrills!

Treetop Tower [No minimum, Under 42″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – This is probably my least favorite ride in Wildwood Grove, but only because it tends to make me a little sick. I do love that there’s no minimum height so kids of all ages can ride.

Wildwood Creek – Another attraction rather than a ride, but Wildwood Creek is sure to be a family favorite. It features a splash pad and the perfect way to cool off on a hot day!

Dollywood rides the whole family can enjoy:

Believe it or not, there are even more rides and attractions at Dollywood that the whole family can enjoy together – no height requirements! That is Dolly’s ultimate wish for visitors, after all. That Dollywood is a place for the whole family to come together and make lasting memories.

In addition to the rides in Wildwood Grove I’ve already shared, these Dollywood rides, except for Rockin’ Roadway can be found in the Country Fair area [or really close to this area].

Dollywood or Bust Collage

*Dollywood Express – Take a ride through the Smoky Mountains on this unique coal-fired steam engine. Find out why it’s such a unique train here!

Dollywood Express

This is also the most popular ride at the theme park, so make sure you ride it at least once!

Lemon Twist [under 48″ must be accompanied by 16+ year old] – This ride is similar to “tea cup” type ride.

*Amazing Flying Elephants [under 48″ must be accompanied by 16 year old] – This is a MUST RIDE if you have little ones! It’s still one of my 6 year old’s favorites! The height of the elephants is controlled by a button, which is super fun for little ones to control.

Village Carousel [under 42″ must be accompanied by 16+ year old]

*Scrambler [under 48″ must be accompanied by 16+ year old] – Reminiscent of the old carnival ride, this one is SO FUN and seats a lot of riders at once so it’s usually a quick wait line.

*Rockin’ Roadway [under 42″ must be accompanied by 16+ year old] – Driving mini classic cars should be on everyone’s must-ride list.

This is a ride for everyone in the entire family and one that you definitely need to put on your list!

Littles only – These rides are for small children only [those who can sit unassisted and have head control] and are located in the Country Fair section of the park: Busy Bees, Lucky Duck, and Piggy Parade.

There are also play areas for all ages, but mainly focused on younger children throughout the park [check your map]: Firehouse Fun Yard, Granny’s Garden, Pig Pen, and Lil’ Pilots Playground.

Dollywood Roller Coasters

While some might think that Dollywood is just for little kids or just for the older generations that like shows, they were busy building a roller coaster empire that can rival just about any other theme park! Check out the 10 amazing coasters that you can ride today.

*The Wild Eagle [50″ – 78″] – Truly one of my favorite roller coasters EVER. It’s the smoothest coaster I’ve ever ridden and the winged sitting position [it’s America’s first winged coaster] is so unique. This will be one of your favorites that you’ll wanna ride over and over.

*Lightning Rod [48″] – This is the newest coaster of the bunch and the fastest, topping speeds of 73 mph! It’s unique in that it’s a hybrid coaster that launches riders from 0 to 45 UP a hill. You can NOT miss this one.

Mystery Mine [48″] – This is actually used to be my least favorite coaster at the park as it was a bit of a bumpy ride, but the track has been redone so if you haven’t ridden it in a couple years, give it another try. Plus the theming is incredible!

Thunderhead [48″] – It’s been named the best wooden coaster more than a few times and once you ride it, you’ll see why!

Tennessee Tornado [48″] – This is the first BIG coaster that my daughter, Sophia, was able to ride so it’s always going to be one of her favorites. If going upside down 3 times at 70mph sounds exciting… this is your ride!

Photo courtesy of Dollywood

*Blazing Fury [42″] – This is the iconic Dollywood ride that you absolutely can’t miss. In fact, it’s been a part of the park since before it was even Dollywood. It even has a bit of a cult following, with it’s own Wikipedia page, and when you ride you’ll more than likely hear someone quoting half of the ride!

*Firechaser Express [39″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16 year old] – This family coaster is SUCH a good coaster that even if the kids aren’t with us, my husband and me always ride it.

Dollywood FireChaser Express Collage

Whistlepunk Chaser [36″, Under 42″ accompanied by 16 year old] – This junior coaster is a great way to get the little ones starting on riding roller coasters early. It’s a fun loop, that goes around 3 times, in Thunderhead’s shadow.

*Big Bear Mountain [39″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16 year old] – Our new favorite Dollywood roller coaster. This one is even smoother than Firechaser Express and is the longest roller coaster at Dollywood.

Wet Rides

*Daredevil Falls [42″] – This is a super fun thrill ride similar to Splash Mountain. 

*Smoky Mountain River Rampage [36″] – An iconic water ride, just about everyone in the family can enjoy a ride on the River Rampage together. It’s so fun to see who will get the wettest on this ride!

Other Dollywood Rides

Barnstormer [48″] – Not for the faint of heart. I can ride all of Dollywood’s rides but this one was a one-time only for me. It’s a little hidden too, so be sure to check your map for the location if you’re brave enough to try!

*Demolition Derby [42″ to ride; 48″ to drive] – The bumper cars are one of our family’s favorites!

*Dizzy Disk [48″] – If you don’t mind going in circles and feeling like you’re going to fly right through the air, you’ll love this one. My oldest daughter and I never miss it and the wait times are usually low as well!

*Drop Line [48″] – Are you brave enough to drop 20 stories at over 75 miles an hour?! It’s a FUN ride for sure! The anticipation of dropping is the best part, I think!

Lumberjack Lifts [40″] – Located in Timber Canyon, this one definitely takes some muscle.

*Shooting Star [36″, Under 42″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – This ride is one that my girls have been riding each time  we go since they were tiny. It’s a fun, mini version of Drop Line, but totally worth the ride even for us adults. It’s located in Country Fair.

Sky Rider [42″] – This picture says it all. You can get some great views of the park without too much thrill!

Photo Courtesy of Dollywood

*Waltzing Swinger [42″, Under 48″ accompanied by 16+ year old] – Littles will need to ride in a double swing with you, but this is a fun, iconic Dollywood ride.

Our usual path for the best Dollywood rides:

I shared with you above some of our favorite Dollywood rides [marked with an * in the lists above] so here’s our usual path to be able to hit all of them every time we go!

Whether you’re a Dollywood season pass holder or just visiting for the day, you’ll want to have your ride plan mapped out so you make sure and hit the rides that your family most wants to enjoy.

We always try to arrive at the park early, be sure to check the Dollywood hours of operation on the day you’re visiting, to miss some of the crowd.

As soon as we enter the park, we turn left to head up towards Timber Canyon because a lot of our favorites are here – Wild Eagle, Firechaser Express, Thunderhead, and Drop Line. This is also the way to Wildwood Grove! Since Wildwood Grove and Firechaser Express are usually the busiest, I’d recommend hitting one of those first.

Plus if you’re a Gold or Diamond Season Passholder, you’ll get a FREE hour of TimeSaver when the park opens during the Golden Hour.

We usually hit our favorite coasters then follow the path around to Tennessee Tornado and Blazing Fury. After a quick stop for Cinnamon Bread, we head to the Country Fair area and round out our day with a stop at Rockin’ Roadway and The Lightening Rod!

Although this is our normal path, with the opening of Wildwood Grove, the crowds do tend to be high in this area. It’s always a good idea to check the Dollywood app for ride times and try to go opposite the crowd for optimal ride time.

Are Dollywood Rides Open in December?

YES! The majority of Dollywood rides are open in December. The only rides that you’ll likely see closed are The River Rampage and Daredevil Falls because they are water rides.

Some of the Dollywood roller coasters also have to be shut down if temperatures drop to certain degrees, according to ride manufacturer guidelines. Before you go, download the Dollywood app, which will show if any specific rides are closed for the day.

There you have it – a comprehensive list of Dollywood rides and our thoughts on them too! 

What are YOUR favorite Dollywood rides?

This post was originally published on April 17, 2019. It was last updated on May 17, 2023.

alice marie knautz

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

I have a seven year old autistic granddaughter who is non verbal,but ambulatory. Would there be enough for her to enjoy if we came to dollywood? wish there were special days and hrs as shes not very social. doesn't have any behavior issues. loves tame rides,water and to climb etc.