Tiny Travel Essay: Dollywood


By Sally Dadisman

Show times were every hour.

First attempt: Missed by 6 minutes. Time for more sweet tea.

Second attempt: Wait time was 35 minutes. Time for a train ride through the park grounds.

We may not have been “good” at keeping time, but we’d have waited all day to see HeartSong — what promised to be an unforgettable interactive movie experience set in the heart of a real national treasure: Dollywood.

In the film, we travel through Dolly’s life as she sings over reenactments of her childhood in the Smoky Mountains. Minutes in, I knew this truly was an experience I would never forget…

But interactive?

Then, during a particularly tumultuous time in dear Dolly’s life, the thunderstorms started. The ceilings opened up and — as if someone was spitting on us from above — random drops of water fell upon our heads. Just enough to really piss off the old lady in front of us.

Then it was over.