Find out all about the food fare at Dollywood. You will be surprised at just what you may find there!
Come along with me as I eat my way across the park!
Autumn is my favorite season. There’s pumpkin and cinnamon, cool temperatures and fall colors. And autumn at Dollywood is no exception. Although this year the weatherman could have used a reminder that the weather should have been cooling down a bit.
But fall colors? Check!
Pumpkins? Everywhere you looked!
Cinnamon? That and all the flavors of the season!
Fall is such a great time to visit Dollywood. The park is decorated to the nines, with pumpkin people in every corner and even hanging from tree branches! The park is in full swing, yet you don’t have all of the long lines that you would in the summertime, when schools are out and the families are all on vacation. So you have the opportunity to see more and do more than you might ordinarily. And believe me, there is a lot to do!
But today I am going to talk about the food.
The Food of Dollywood
Now when you think of theme parks and food, you often think of things like giant pretzels, pizza and hot dogs. But you would be surprised to see just what Dollywood has to offer.
I was recently honored with an invitation to come on a Dollywood food tour with several other food writers, and man alive! There was so. much. food.
My friends and I stayed at the Dollywood Dream More Resort and Spa (which I will share a little about in another post.) We got up bright and early, grabbed a photo by the fountain, and hopped on a trolley to the park.
Our food journey all started at the Spotlight Bakery and Sandwich Shop.
Dollywood’s Spotlight Bakery and Sandwich Shop
We walked into the shop and the first thing we saw was the pastry case filled with all sorts of goodies to choose from.
We were treated to a whole selection of these to sample, including cinnamon rolls, caramel apple cheese danishes, Monster rice krispies, cranberry orange muffins and more.
But what really caught our attention was the apple pie.
This wasn’t any ordinary apple pie, this was an apple pie made from 25 pounds of apples! Once slice of this pie alone, could feed a whole family!
The pie was so heavy, I could barely hold it up for the photo!
This pie didn’t just catch our attention either. They wheeled it out on a cart for us to get a look at, and everyone that walked in the door was instantly wowed by it as well.
Now I had a couple people see this apple pie on my Instagram and wondered if a pie that big could possibly taste any good.
Let me say something.
We were able to taste this gigantic pie, and not only did it taste good….it tasted great! The apples were cooked to just the right texture, and it wasn’t so heavily seasoned that you could still taste how fresh the apples are. It was really, really good!
And by the way, they will ship these pies! You can call the park, ask to speak to the Spotlight Bakery and they will patch you through.
The Spotlight Bakery and Sandwich Shop doesn’t just have sweets, they also have a variety of fresh breads and other baked goods.
Dollywood Sweet Shoppe’s Candy Kitchen
Our next stop on the tour was just across the way to the Sweet Shoppe’s Candy Kitchen.
One side of this place is an ice cream shop. And oh the ice cream! It being the harvest season and all, here we had a Pumpkin Spice Milk Shake.
Or how about a Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich the size of your head?
And of course, you can’t have a candy shop without candy.
One of the pleasures of visiting Dollywood, was getting to meet some of the wonderful people that work there. People like Linda, the master candy maker. She has been making candies in this shop for 38 years!
Country Cooker’s Kettle Corn at Dollywood
As we continued our journey across Dollywood, our next stop was to see fresh Kettle Korn being made. This was quite a sight in and of itself. And there are so many flavors to choose from, like cherry cordial or candy corn.
Now you might think that this is already a ton of food, but hold on. Because this was still the morning in Dollywood! Next up, lunch!
The Market Square at Dollywood
For lunch we were served a selection of foods from the Market Square, but they served us over in the covered patio at the nearby Red’s Drive-In.
Once again, were were blown away by the offerings. A Low Country Boil, Skillet Potatoes, Fried Green Tomatoes, a Fried Green Tomato BLT and Pierogies!
Oh those pierogies! I may have had seconds of those…
The Dollywood Grist Mill
After lunch we headed to a very well-known location in Dollywood – the working Grist Mill. There we watched their famous cinnamon bread being made, and of course sampled that as well.
Pork Rinds in the Craftman’s Valley of Dollywood
Kettle Korn and candies weren’t the only things we got to enjoy seeing made. There were several other demonstrations we were honored to watch as well, like fresh pork rinds, hot out of the oil. Pumpkin spice pork rinds!
After that, there was a couple more stops before taking a break for the afternoon. We were off to see what could have been classic theme park food…funnel cakes and pizza.
Dollywood’s Lumber Jack’s Pizza
Lumber Jack’s pizza, located in the Timber Canyon area of Dollywood, is a great place for families with kids to have a seat and enjoy some Meatlovers or Margherita Pizza or even some Chicken Applewood Pasta.
Splinter’s Funnel Cakes at Dollywood
Now I mentioned the other “park food” – funnel cakes. But I haven’t seen funnel cakes like these before! There were funnel cakes, hot Fried Apple Pies and even a harvest Harvest Float. But the Funnel Cakes!!!
And Pumpkin Pecan…. Oh. My. Word. Have I ever mentioned how much I love pumpkin everything? Just scroll through my recipes and you’ll see pumpkin frequented often as an ingredient.
Also…funnel cakes are my fair food of choice. Except as a kid growing up in Wisconsin. Then it was a fresh Eclair from the state fair.
But I digress. This pumpkin pecan funnel cake was my new favorite. Seriously!
I know you are probably thinking, “How in the world??? There’s so much food at Dollywood!” Yes there is!
At this point, we all took a break and did some exploring around the park. I did a little shopping and gave my stomach some time to rest before suppertime. I could spend an entire day just in the Craftsman’s Village, with all of the skilled artists and creators there.
Have I mentioned how decorated Dollywood is for harvest season? It is pretty astounding, and definitely a must see!
So after a few hours, we met again for one more meal. As if we hadn’t had enough to blow us away, this was the ultimate finale for the day.
The Front Porch Cafe at Dollywood
Once again, there is so much at Dollywood that you would not expect to find in a theme park. Of course you have great shows and rides and all that. But who would ever think you could sit down to a home style meal? Well you sure can!
Here we were treated to the classic picture of southern, country cooking.
Meatloaf, Green Beans, Corn, Cabbage Rolls Reuben Wontons as an appetizer, and hand made Biscuits. The lady who makes these wonderful biscuits, makes between 1400-2000 biscuits per day and folds the dough by hand. That is the sort of care and attention to detail that goes into the food prep at Dollywood.
And last but not least, you can’t finish off a meal without dessert.
But I have to say, I saw something I haven’t seen before. The Front Porch Cafe has a variety of desserts. So many that it could be hard to choose. But that’s okay. You’ve heard of a “flight of beer”? It’s when they bring out a board with small glasses of craft beers for you to sample several at once.
They have a flight of desserts!
Key Lime Pie, Banana Pudding, Chocolate Pudding & Crème brûlée!
That was the perfect finish to an amazing day of eating my way across Dollywood. But the crazy thing about it, is that there are so many more places to eat there, that we barely even touched on it!
So the next time you plan a trip, head to Pigeon Forge and when you go to Dollywood, I suggest you come hungry. Very hungry. Because just like any good country woman worth her salt, Dolly’s folks know how to feed you well!
And be sure to check out my foodie friends who were on this adventure with me: