Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Barefoot at Dollywood

I spent a day at Dollywood last week. The park is truly wonderful with lots of fun rides for kids and adults, and entertaining shows every hour. There's a genuine steam-engine train that takes you on a tour through the park and a new zip line (extra $36) that lets you soar above it all. (I didn't ride the zip line, BTW). Overall, it's a place I would recommend and I’ll probably be going back myself.

The day I was there I was barefoot (surprise). In fact, I didn't even take shoes with me. Admittedly, I "snuck" in by staying deep within the crowd, but after gaining entry I wandered rather carefree throughout the park. For the most part I was not hassled for my free feet (which were plainly visible since I was wearing shorts), and I passed many, many park employees. I was denied entry onto one ride - a water ride at that! And I was informed I needed "to wear shoes throughout the park" by a park employee while I was perusing the museum exhibits. That dictum was clearly not true since there are several rides in the park on which shoes are *not allowed* and a play fountain where kids and parents tromped barefoot in the water. Indeed I wish I had read the parks rules *before* I went because according Dollywood’s website the only footwear rules are these:

“Shoes, sandals or footwear with buckles are not permitted on the attractions. No footwear may be worn on the Mountain Scream, Wild River Falls, SwiftWater Run, The Butterfly or Bear Mountain Fire Tower. Water shoes or similar footwear is acceptable on all other attractions.”

BTW, Dollywood made a big deal about the “no shoes” rule at those rides: Several signs were posted and water was sprayed on the pavement at the rides to keep it from getting too hot (i.e., too hot for tender feet; my feet withstood the hot pavement throughout the park just fine).

So it seems that no shoes are required “throughout the park” and going barefoot is perfectly acceptable. Yeah, I think I will go back, and next time I won’t sneak in!

(The statue above is of Dolly Parton).

1 comment:

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