Hello friends and happy hump day! I am so excited to share today’s post with you guys, because if you’re looking for a little fall or winter getaway with the family, I highly recommend the two places we visited! My only regret is that I wish we would have stayed one more night so we could have stopped in Hendersonville and spent the day at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard
. That being said, we just didn’t have time since the kiddos had to get back to school so we’re planning to go next year with our newest addition in tow 😉
This was our first time ever visiting Dollywood and everyone highly recommended that we stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort
! I am so glad that we listened because the DreamMore
was not only gorgeous, but the rooms were amazing, the food was excellent, and we had fast and free transportation where they drop you off right at the front of the theme park entrance!
Up early and ready to hit the parks on our first day!
But not before stopping by the doughnut breakfast buffet! This was the only picture I snapped, but the buffet was huge with so many delicious breakfast options for everyone even if you have picky eaters!
Our first day at the park was a blast, there were zero lines, and Taylor was just tall enough to ride almost every single one of the rides! And let me tell you, most of these roller coasters and rides aren’t just kiddie rides. A few of them made even the biggest Disney rides look like child’s play…ha! Todd even admitted that the Lighting Rod
was the scariest roller coaster that he’d ever been on.
The weather was nice and cool so I was super excited to be able to wear one of my new sweaters.
Both kids loved the bumper cars!
We had lunch at Red’s Drive In
where we all enjoyed the burgers, fries, and the cool 50’s theme atmosphere.
After lunch Todd and the kids enjoyed more rides. And honestly, I thought I was going to be more sad that I wasn’t able to join in on all the rides, but it was so awesome getting to see their happy faces watching them have so much fun and I didn’t even mind having to sit out and just watch.
Around 3:00 we headed back to our room to check out the hotel arcade and rest for a little while before heading back to Dollywood for the nighttime harvest festival.
The harvest festival lights were SO awesome! It was definitely the best Halloween lights we have ever seen before.
Riding their favorite ride for the 10th time…The FireChaser!
All jokes aside, we counted, and between both days at the park, they rode this ride 14 times! It really did look like a lot of fun and not too scary/fast!
The next morning the kids were up early again and ready to hit the park.
This was the view right outside our room. It was so nice waking up and looking at the beautiful mountains every morning.
After about an hour at the park on Friday it started to drizzle a little, and honestly, I think both kids were still a little worn out from the day before so we rode a few rides, watched the bird show, did some rock mining (the kids loved this), and had our first ever Fruity Pebble funnel cake!
Since the weather wasn’t the best, they ended up giving us rain passes to come back the next day which made the kids so excited and made it easy to get them to head back to the hotel. We ended up eating an early dinner at the lounge in the hotel and let the kids enjoy the indoor pool. Surprisingly, everyone was ready for bed and out by 9pm!
On Saturday, we had breakfast delivered to our room while Todd and I got everything packed up and ready for checkout before we headed back to the park one last time.
By this time we knew our way around the park pretty well, so we went straight to all their favorite rides. We ended up heading out around 3:00 and we set off to Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg was only about a 30 minute drive from Dollywood and the drive was full of beautiful mountain views.
We checked into the Margaritaville Resort
around 4pm and enjoyed a few of the appetizers off their yummy menu, and man, was I sad I couldn’t have a margarita because they all looked so good! After that we let the kids swim for a while (they also have an indoor pool) and headed to our room to watch a movie and get a good night’s sleep so we would be well rested for the next day at Anakeeska
Anakeesta was so much fun and the views were some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen!
I snapped this photo on the way up in the chondola.
When we got to the top of the mountain the views were even more breathtaking and there was so many fun things for the kids to do. The rail runner mountain roller coaster is a must…Todd and both kids said it was awesome!
They had a really good rock mining setup and the kids found a lot of good gems and fossils, which they were both super excited about.
They also had the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted and now I’m going to be on a mission to find banana pudding ice cream somewhere here in Charleston.
Dollywood and Anakeesta truly were such great places and it really was the best little fall vacation. We made so many fun, happy memories that I know we will always remember. And we will definitely be planning a trip back without a doubt!