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Dollywood Splash Country: Best Rides For Young Kids & Toddlers

Cool off in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee when you visit Dollywood’s Splash Country Waterpark. With over 35-acres of attractions, and sitting adjacent to Dollywood park, it’s a must-do for family fun. If you’re bringing the whole family, here’s what you need to know before you go. These are the best Splash Country rides for young kids and toddlers to enjoy.

What to know before going to Dollywood's Splash Country with toddlers: The best rides, life jacket policies and stroller information.

Let’s be honest, waterparks are so much fun for families, but they’re a bit more difficult for young kids – especially toddlers. In order to take the older kids though, it means that you’re toting the little ones too. A little preparation can make a big difference in your visit. Going to the waterpark, with a plan in place, can have a big impact on your day.

Part of your plan should be knowing what Splash Country rides are best for the tiny tykes. Having a plan will help you feel more confident and you’ll feel like you’re getting the full ticket price worth of fun!

Related: Outdoor Fun in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee For Families

Best Rides For Young Kids & Toddlers At Splash Country

Before your trip, know how tall your kids are. Most toddlers, ages 2+, are tall enough to ride the attraction with a 36″ height requirement. The next height requirement jump, after 36″, are the 42″ rides. Once kids hit the 36″ there are nine Splash Country attractions they can do and three more are added to that list once your kids are 42″ tall! That’s more than enough for a full day of fun in the sun.

Water safety is top priority for the team at Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge. The lifeguards are ranked in the top 10% in the country and best in the state of Tennessee. The lifeguards receive continuing education on a regular basis and take tests to ensure rapid reaction times. That’ll put any mom’s heart at ease.

How Splash Country Measures Your Child’s Height

To determine which slides and attractions are suitable for your child, visit Dollywood’s Splash Country’s Centralized Measuring station. It’s located next to the first bridge upon entering the park (the building shared with Splash Photos). 

Your child will be measured by a Splash Country host and given a color-coded wristband to help you identify which attractions he or she is tall enough to enjoy. The wristband’s color corresponds with the information displayed on signs at each attraction.

I recommend doing this before you attempt to stand in any ride line. You can avoid disappointment and frustration if you follow the park’s coloring coding to determine what your child can ride.

Kids playing at Dollywood's waterpark
Kids love the water table ares at Splash Country! ©Dollywood2022

The Cascades Area

Perfect for the kiddos, the Cascades area is tucked away from the high-traffic slides and is located towards the back of the park. It’s a shallow lagoon area that includes a splash pad. There are plenty of lounge chairs surrounded Cascades for parents to use. Kids can play with the water tables, climb a sunken ship or enjoy pint-sized slides. As a parent, you’ll love the amount of visibility – in case your kids are old enough to play on their own.

The Cascades area is close to Campsite Grill and a drink re-fill station. You might want to plan your time at Cascades around your family lunch hour for simplicity.

Dollywood Splash Country Rides For Toddlers
My boys could play all day in the shallow pool areas!

Little Creek Falls

Kids will love the giant butterflies that provide shade and the interactive water features of Little Creek Falls. Plus, there are two long and slow slides for the kids to enjoy, along with a water mushroom to play around. Pro tip: lounge spots under the giant butterfly wings get snatched up quickly, so you might want to head there when the park first opens.

Bear Mountain Fire Tower

If your youngster is a thrill-seeker, you may want to bypass Little Creek Falls and opt for Bear Mountain Fire Tower.  It’s for young children, but it has an extra level of thrill with seven slides and water cannons, and a gigantic bucket above that spills 1,000 gallons of water overhead. It’s located near Dogs-N-Taters, which has great food options for kids! You can find hot dogs, chicken nuggets, corn dog nuggets, nachos, and fries at Dogs-N-Taters. Use your Splash Country Dining Pass here!

Bear Mountain Fire Tower Splash Country
Kids will love the thrills of Bear Mountain Fire Tower! ©Dollywood2022

Mountain Waves

If you want to spend some time in an area that the older kids will love to, consider splashing around in the shallow end of Mountain Waves. It’s a 25,000 square foot wave pool that the whole family will enjoy. Young kids love to sit in the very shallow end of the wave pool and feel the last ripples of every wave.

Splash Country Family Slides: Big Bear Plunge & Raging River Rapids

If your kids are above 36-inches, they can accompany adults on the family tube slides. They can side in a round raft and slide down the twists and turns with you. Keep in mind that parties are 4 people will be divided and parties under 3 people might be seated with other guests. Kids can be a bit reluctant to conquer their first “big” slide, but the family rides are a great way to dip their feet in the water (pun intended).

Downbound Float Trip

Our family can spend all day long in the lazy river. I’d buy Splash Country tickets just to float in Downbound Float Trip all day long. It’s the waterpark’s lazy river and it’s perfect for families. Pop your toddler, in your lap on a float, and you can float together. You can float around waterfalls that drench and refresh.

All Guests measuring less than 36 inches must wear a lifejacket and be accompanied by an adult 16 years or older while enjoying the Downbound Float Trip. Pro Tip: this is a great attraction when it’s nap time! The little ones might fall asleep on your lap.

Dollywood Splash Mountain Slides For Young Kids
I love the beautiful mountainside views of Splash Country. ©Dollywood2022

Related: Dollywood Heartsong Resort Coming Soon

Splash Country Baby Centers & Changing Areas

I love that Splash Country offers family changing areas so you don’t have separate from the little ones. There are also numerous bathrooms throughout the park with Cascades having ones that are very close by (which is most convenient for potty-training toddlers).

The Baby Care Centers make life a little easier for nursing moms. Breastfeeding at Splash Country waterpark is easy with the privacy that the Baby Center offers. You can easily change diapers, nurse or give a bottle in a cool place that’s calming. If your littles ones are easily overstimulated, the Baby Centers offer a little escape.

Every Baby Care Center is equipped with a glider and foot stool, baby-changing station and sink.

Splash Country Life-Jacket & Stroller Rentals

Strollers are allowed in the waterpark and there are a limited number of single-child stroller to rent for $10 per day. Discounts are available on stroller rentals for Dollywood’s Splash Country Gold and Super Gold Passholders.

Life jackets are available for free and located throughout the park (and very easy to find near the designated kid areas). Water wings, flotation seats or bubble packs may not be used. Guests are allowed to bring in life jackets and Puddle Jumpers.

Dollywood Splash Country With Toddlers and Young Kids

So don’t stress, Mama! There are plenty of ways to enjoy Splash Country with toddlers and young kids. You’ll make some great memories, get some fun in and I promise that they’ll sleep so well that night. It’s definitely worth the ticket price to go with young kids!

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