I stayed at the Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, Dolly Parton's hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
I was surprised to find Dollywood specialties like cinnamon bread at the hotel with shorter lines.
I also enjoyed the free shuttle to the theme park and live music played in the lobby.
I was surprised by just how convenient the hotel's Dollywood shuttle was, getting me to and from the theme park in a matter of minutes.
Dollywood's DreamMore Resort shuttle transports hotel guests to and from Dollywood throughout the day.
When I visited Dollywood, the shuttle dropped me off right at the park entrance first thing in the morning. The driver also provided some helpful tips during the short drive, like the fact that we could get free ice water at any concession stand.
After the fireworks and drone show that closes out summer nights at Dollywood, the shuttle picked me up in the same convenient spot. I was exhausted after spending all day on my feet, and loved that I didn't have to make the long trek back to the parking lot. I was surprised at how I was able to get from Dollywood to my hotel room in just a few minutes.
Like the Dollywood theme park, Dollywood's DreamMore Resort featured live music.
Live music can be found around every corner of Dollywood. Singers stand outside restaurants accompanying themselves on guitar, bluegrass bands play under gazebos, and various theaters host concerts every few hours.
I didn't expect to also find live music at the DreamMore Resort, but I was greeted with beautiful renditions of Dolly Parton hits and Disney songs like "Let It Go" as I checked in.
Dollywood's famous cinnamon bread was available at the Starbucks in the lobby.
Baked fresh daily, the pull-apart cinnamon loaves are soaked in butter and cinnamon-sugar before baking. Each one comes with dipping sauces of buttercream icing and apple butter.
It's such an iconic treat that Dollywood gift shops even sell t-shirts that read "I'm just here for the cinnamon bread."
At Dollywood, the cinnamon bread is sold at The Grist Mill in the Craftman's Valley area and the Spotlight Bakery on Showstreet, but the line can snake around the building. I was surprised to see the same cinnamon bread sold at the DreamMore Resort's Starbucks, where the line was much shorter.
In another similarity to Dollywood, coolers of free ice water were available by the hotel pool.
Dollywood doesn't serve alcohol, but free ice water is available all over the park at any vendor with a soda fountain. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the hotel offered this same perk.
The hotel also pays tribute to Parton's philanthropy with painted benches.
"Dolly Parton developed the Imagination Library in 1996 to encourage a love of reading," a plaque near the benches reads. "These two benches represent the millions of books that have been distributed to young readers in the US, Canada, and the UK."
"Camp DW," a series of family-friendly activities like s'mores roasting and bedtime stories, wasn't just for kids.
Most of the programming was geared towards families, but I still enjoyed a complimentary glass of pink lemonade courtesy of Camp DW. Sipping pink lemonade in a rocking chair on the hotel's porch, I felt like I was living in a Dolly Parton song.
Tucked into a corner of the lobby's lower level, an unreleased Dolly Parton song written to be her last sits in a display I almost walked right past.
A blink-and-you-miss-it chestnut "Dream Box" displayed in a glass case contains a recording of "My Place In History," a song Parton wrote to be released on her 100th birthday in 2046.
Parton wrote "My Place In History" in 2015, the year that she opened the DreamMore Resort. She recorded the song on a CD and included a CD player in the chestnut box as well.
The glass case also features a piece of wood from the front porch of Parton's childhood home in Sevierville, Tennessee, where she grew up singing with her 11 siblings.
Read the original article on Insider