We just returned from Pigeon Forge a few hours ago. We were there Thursday night until lunchtime today. We hoped to visit Dollywood on Friday, but decided against it because of forecasted rain. We purchased season passes, but we had other friends with us who needed a one-day pass, so we hated to chance the rain. We went on Saturday instead. Oh my goodness- I certainly wasn't prepared for the crowds! We arrived around 10:00- Dollywood opened at 9:00 (it took 30 minutes just to get to the parking lot). The parking lots were full up to lot F by 10:00- there was a 20 minute line for the tram, so we decided to walk. We were picked up by a tram in parking area C/D. We stood in line to purchase our friend's tickets and then the scanner would not take our new passes we purchased through the mail. After about 10 minutes, the host put in some type of override code and we got in. We decided to wait about getting our photo IDs until later in the day since I had read there is usually a long line right after the park opens. We stood in a 40 minute line for the Thunderhead roller coaster and then a 50 minute line for Timber Tower ride. We then walked to the exchange booth to have our photos taken, only to see a 20-30 minute line there. We split up and my husband stood in line there while the rest of our group got in line at Red's Diner for lunch. We ordered hamburgers and hotdogs (cost $40 for a family of 4 after gold discount)- line wait 25 minutes. As soon as we got our food and were seated, we went to check on my husband's progress in the other line and had to join him for our photos before we could eat. The rest of the day had shorter lines for the rides- we rode almost every ride, but didn't watch any shows. The weather was perfect- not too hot and not too cool. While we enjoyed the visit, I will try to go the next time on a weekday to avoid the long waits for food and rides. The gold upgrade saved us $6 on parking and over $20 on food and souvenirs. Any tips for avoiding the long waits for rides for our next visit?