Dollywood – A Day in Pictures

This past Sunday, I went to Dollywood with my wife Megan, my parents, and my older sister and her family. Megan’s dad runs a non-profit production company, and he has performed a one-man show called “The Whittlin’ Man” for the past seven summers. Ash’s show is the best thing going at Dollywood, unless of course you count all of the things below.

Dollywood season passAsh procured complimentary season passes for Megan and me. Dollywood isn’t the DMV; the people on the other side of the window don’t care in the least if you look ridiculous in the picture on your ID. In fact, they’re too polite to say, “Give me a real smile.” For all they knew that was really the way I look. I’m pleased with the end result. I think the look of my face looks like a delicate blend of constipation and confusion.

The fun continued from there. We weren’t inside the park for ten minutes when I thought I smelled sewage. Judging by the way a boy in front of me was walking, I’d say he had soiled his britches. He was doing the side-to-side waddle that minimizes contact between one’s legs—dead giveaway.

This sad, hilarious happening set the tone for the rest of the day. What follows is a journey in pictures. I hope you enjoy it.

Dollywood is indeed the site of amazing phenomena. I can guarantee that you will see and hear things which you can’t explain.

amazing phenomena

Those things include Dolly herself. Apparently, the woman hasn’t aged in the last fifty years.

dolly parton dollywood

And trees made out of plastic candy.

plastic candy tree

My nieces Emery and Merrill lost no time in asking for candy.

little girl eating candy

Of course, meltdowns were inevitable. Merrill was too small to go on a ride. The old man running it had let a boy her same size on the ride just moments before. The injustice!

little girl crying

It was easier to let my mom and older sister set the itinerary. Which mind-numbingly cheesy shows would the kids enjoy? (I’m thankful for smart phones.)

women at dollywood

At least my mom was willing to get her picture taken with this cracked-out bear. I think the plastic poncho she’s wearing adds a nice touch.

funny mom

Now, we’re getting into the good stuff. Check out the cheeks on that child.

chubby baby

…and the close-up.

Let me paint a picture for you: the girl farthest to the left in the picture barfed three times. Nothing says fun like the sound of vomit hitting pavement. A Dollywood employee grabbed a shovel and threw sawdust on top of it. That’s the way we do it in East Tennessee.

girl throwing up

Megan’s dad, Ash Ashburn, has the best show at Dollywood. Here he gives the characteristic Ashburn Nostril Flare. It is also know as “The Moneymaker.”

whittlin man dollywood

Giant vegetables.

giant vegetables

A man with a curly mullet.

man with curly mullet

Another perspective on a man with a curly mullet.

guy with curly mullet

Back sweat and tattoos.

sweaty woman

A close-up of a tattoo of a butterfly with a wolf in each wing.

butterfly tattoo

Face paint.

little girl with face paint

Mild thrills. Isn’t that an oxymoron?

mild thrills

Quality time on Amazing Flying Elephants.

quality time

Muffin tops peeking out.

girl with a muffin top

Muffin tops peeking out while the owner tries to win a gigantic plush banana with one red tooth.

woman with muffin top

Wasting money trying to win a giant green frog. The attempt was unsuccessful.

wasting money

Bored employees watching people play skee ball to win a plastic alien.

grumpy employees

Winner’s remorse? After you finally win the giant pink crayon, you have to carry it around all day.

pink crayon

Diaper changes in public. And sometimes not just babies.

change diaper in public

Sleepy toddlers.

tired toddler

Sleeping boys with boobs.

fat boy sleeping

A very rare sighting of a double wedgie pick. No comment on his t-shirt.

picking a wedgie

A wedgie that should have been picked but wasn’t.

what is a wedgie

That about sums it up.

hot grease

High-calorie foods.

high calorie foods

An ardent supporter of high-calorie foods.

fast food lover

An endearing illustration of the edible parts of a hog.

butchering a hog

The Barnstormer at Dollywood

barnstormer at dollywood

A family on the Barnstormer at Dollywood.

family on theme park ride

A little girl’s mind being blown while with her family on the Barnstormer at Dollywood.

little girl on ride

A little boy on a leash.

child on a leash

A second little boy on a leash.

baby on a leash

A third little boy on a leash.

boy on a leash

A bald eagle in a cage.

bald eagle in a cage

A teenage boy’s hair that never should have happened.

boy with bad hair

An entire rotisserie, one per person, at a Dixie Stampeded dinner.

dinner at dixie stampede

Thanks for spending a day at Dollywood.

Just in case you were wondering, that privilege will set you back $57.

facebook comments:

12 Comments

  1. Posted June 30, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    That was incredible and hilarious. Thanks for a few good laughs.

  2. Posted June 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Bethany, I’m glad you enjoyed it! The first-hand experience was, um, rich.

  3. Daniel
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Awesome. I was laughing out loud in my cube. This is better than People of WalMart.

  4. Lula
    Posted June 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine tweeted this…I then posted it to my Facebook. Because THIS IS THE STUFF THAT (Redneck) DREAMS ARE MADE OF. I thank you for sharing.

    God Bless Dolly Parton. Amen.

    p.s. For more “amazing phenomena,” watch The Wild, Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll say, “Yes, these people would bring the noise in Dollywood.”

  5. Posted June 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Daniel, I will definitely take that as a compliment, though I’m not sure it’s a compliment to the people in the pictures.

  6. Posted June 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Awesome, Lula! Thanks for spreading the love on Facebook. Dollywood is totally the fabric of dreams. I will say that I’m glad the people there are spending time together as families. That is definitely a redeeming factor. But there is no excuse for some of those outfits.

  7. Posted July 1, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    I love how you really made an effort to fit in with the Dollywood culture in your ID photo.

    Loved this!

  8. Posted July 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Erin, I strive to be all things to all people.

  9. Lauren
    Posted July 1, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    What a special weekend for you guys. I’m sure you’ll treasure it forever and go back for your 5th wedding anniversary.

    I’d also like to note the creeper in the picture with your mom. His outfit is…?

  10. Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Lauren,
    My hope is that the creeper will still be there on our 5th wedding anniversary. It would be all the more special to have our officiant there!

  11. Posted July 14, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Do you think the wolves in the wings of the giant, shoulder to shoulder, multi-colored butterfly tatoo were premeditated? Or were they a gametime decision influenced by the consumption of a 24 ounce Mountain Dew? My vote is for the latter.

    Seriously that’s the best picture I’ve seen in 2011. Thank you.

  12. Posted July 14, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Chris, It’s hard to say whether the caffeine in Mountain Dew or a 96oz. Monster Energy drink is responsible for the mournful howling of those wolves, though I do think it’s safe to say that they would be very expensive to remove. I’m glad you enjoy the picture. I’m going to submit a collection to the Tate Modern in London under the title “Tramping in Tennessee: Story of an Amusement Park.”

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Friday Finds: July 1, 2011 « Practicing Jane on July 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

    [...] will laugh out loud for real with Austin’s post Dollywood–A Day in Pictures on his blog What’s Left Out. And if you live in the South, you can believe all the glorious [...]

  2. By Extasy at Die Prater on July 16, 2011 at 9:22 am

    [...] a surprising number of German-speakers were present. Whether you’re visiting Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, or the coffee capitol of the world with an internationally-acclaimed opera, you’ll [...]

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