Staying at Dollywood’s Dream More Resort makes visiting the theme parks easier and more fun. You get a few perks such as a trolley that takes you to and from the parks and free fast passes to Dollywood (for a detailed review of Dollywood and Splash Country, click here). The resort is only one year old and is absolutely gorgeous. It is nested in the Tennessee mountains and is decorated in a serene color palette with hints of Dolly Parton throughout. The outdoor area with a pool, fire pits, and lots of seating is a great place to spend some time and there’s also a gym and arcade. The Dream More Resort is a wonderful place to stay but it is expensive and the nickel and diming was frustrating and the customer service throughout the resort was abysmal. Also worth noting it that there was a complete lack of diversity at the resort or as my teenage nieces put it, “We are the only brown ones here and people keep staring at us.” Despite these annoyances, staying at Dollywood was a nice experience.
Below is a picture taken from the front of the hotel. The truck on the right is pulling into valet which is $14.95 a day. I recommend doing self park because it is free and the lot is only a few steps away to the left of valet as you can see in the picture. Even if you plan to self park, pull into valet because they will load all your luggage onto a cart and deliver it to your room for free. The valet guys were the only staff members throughout our 3 day stay who offered excellent customer service.
The front valet area is also where the trolley to the parks pulls in every 15 minutes. To board the trolley, you must prove you are resort guest by showing the driver your room key or fast pass. The trolley first stops at Splash Country and then goes on to Dollywood. These trolleys will also bring you back to the resort. The last trolley from Splash Country is at 7:30pm and the last trolley from Dollywood is at 10:30pm.
LOBBY LEVEL (2nd FLOOR)
When you first walk into the resort you are on the second floor. This is where the lobby is which has a large staircase with a gorgeous view of the pool and also a comfortable seating area.
Between 4-6pm, Dolly’s Pink Lemonade is available in the Lobby. We were surprised it was free considering there was a charge for every little thing at the resort.
There are two large living rooms on the second floor (Lobby Level), one on each side of the giant staircase. One has cushy sofas, Jenga, and checkers. The other living room has small tables and chairs. Both living rooms have outdoor balconies with rocking chairs.
To operate the fast pass, you press the arrows until you find the ride you like, then press the red button to reserve it. The screen will show you how many minutes you have to wait until you can get into the fast pass line. When that time arrives, it will buzz to let you know to get into the line. Usually, we were buzzed in 5 minutes but once it was 17 minutes and another time it said a certain ride was no longer accepting fast pass reservations. Still, it was nice not having to wait in the long lines.
The public bathrooms at the resort were very nice.
There was one gift shop called Pokeberry Lane that carried t-shirts, jewelry, soaps and lotions, and Dollywood themed items.
LOWER LEVEL (1st FLOOR)
When you go down the giant staircase, you are on the first floor.
Underneath the stairs is a display case showing some significant Dolly Parton items. To the left is a plank of wood from the front porch of Dolly’s childhood home. To the right is a “Dream Box” that holds Dolly’s hopes for the future and a song she wrote called “My Place in History.” It won’t be opened until Dolly’s 100th birthday on January 19, 2046.
When you go down the stairs and turn right there is a long walkway that leads to a few different things. First is this hall of Dolly pictures.
Further down the hallway is this really neat game room but none of the games are free. Hours are 9am-10pm.
At the very end of the hallway is this beautiful indoor pool which is open from 8:00am-11:00pm and a lifeguard is always on duty. This pool was usually quiet since everyone seemed to prefer the outdoor pool.
With your back to the staircase, to your left is the Song and Earth Eatery. They offer a breakfast buffet from 7:30am-11:00am and then an Ala Carte lunch is offered from 11:00am-2:00pm. Following that, a dinner buffet is available from 5:00pm-9:00pm on Monday- Thursday and Sunday. The dinner buffet on Friday and Saturday is from 5-10pm. We visited the dinner buffet on Saturday night and were surprised that there were no more than about 20 people there. The food options were limited but were better quality than at a Golden Corral. Still, it was not worth $25 per person. Also, the service was truly terrible.
Fresh baked bread.
Fried okra and corn.
Mixed vegetables and mashed potatoes.
Green beans and wild rice mix.
Fried chicken and pot roast. The pot roast was tender and juicy and had an excellent flavor.
Pan seared haddock with summer vegetables and lemon butter sauce.
Chicken strips, tater tots, carrots.
Pork pot pie. This just tasted like ham.
Fried eggplant sliders with roasted red pepper, mushrooms, and roasted garlic aioli.
Stone soup. Dolly Parton’s mother used to make this for the family when Dolly was growing up and Dolly has said that it’s very special to her so I was eager to try it. Unfortunately, is was so bland I didn’t want more than a few spoonfulls.
This was just labeled as “cake.” I tried it and discovered it was just cold cream with chunks of strawberry and blueberry in it.
The strawberry and chocolate mousse was very tasty.
The brownies and cookies were also very good.
The bread pudding was unremarkable.
The rooms on the front side of the hotel overlook the parking lot and the rooms on the back of the hotel over look the pool. There are several types of room to choose from. For example, they have a single king bed room, and room with two queen beds, and a room that has a king bed with bunk beds right next to it. Since I was traveling with two teenage girls, I knew they would want some privacy so I selected the family suite that had bunk beds and a TV in its own room and a king bed and TV in another room.
The two bedrooms are separated by a narrow walkway that has a closet area, a mini kitchen area, and the bathroom.
The mini kitchen area has a sink, coffee maker, and fridge. No microwave. We brought an ice chest that had sandwich meat, mustard, lunchables, milk, and water bottles. All this fit into the fridge. For food we brought cereal, bread (for sandwiches) chips, crackers, and cookies. We moved the coffee maker under the sink and put our food on the counter top. We saved a lot of money by having cereal in the morning and bringing sandwiches and snacks to the park. Food and drinks are allowed at Dollywood but not at Splash Country.
The bathroom was spacious and the toilet was in its own room with a door.
My room had a king sized bed, desk, TV with HBO and Showtime, a safe under the TV, and a little closet.
The pool is open from 10:00am-10:00pm and there are always lifeguards on duty. This was the view from our room – 655. The water was warm and very comfortable. Towels are provided and there are tables and chairs surrounding the pool.
Outside the pool gate are three fire pits surrounded by rocking chairs. The fire pit below is used exclusively for making smores. An employee sets up the fire each evening and then sells smores kits. For $5 you get a small ziplock bag with enough ingredients in it to make only 2 smores.
Behind the smores fire pit is this grassy area where you can play corn hole.
From the outdoor area you can see the Dollywood fireworks show from 9:30pm-9:40pm.