I also stayed in a Dolly Parton-themed RV through Airbnb, which you can read about here.Here are eight things I found surprising about Dollywood during my first visit.I assumed that Dollywood would play Parton songs throughout the park all day every day. I was surprised to mostly hear artists like Taylor Swift and the Jonas Brothers as well as instrumental country and bluegrass music, with only the occasional Parton tune mixed in.I expected to see Parton's face around every corner at Dollywood, but I only encountered a few prominently-displayed photos of her during my day in the park.Walking around Dollywood turned out to be quite the workout. The park embraces the natural landscape of its location near the Great Smoky Mountains, resulting in some steep inclines.Parton has often spoken about how her Christian faith has shaped her life and music, telling People magazine in 2019 that I've always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. My trip to Tennessee was my first visit to the Bible Belt, where religion plays an outsize role in the region's culture and politics. I knew that Dollywood paid tribute to her Christian upbringing with attractions like gospel music performances, but I was surprised to find souvenirs such as cross necklaces, Jesus iconography, and shirts with Christian nationalist messages for sale.We're very much a park that represents the area of the country we're in, Dollywood public relations manager Ellen Liston told me when I asked about the role of religion in the park. We love that we are literally sitting in the Great Smoky Mountains, and so much of the nature of that and how the people here grew up was very strong faith that God was going to see them through any hard times that may befall them. Dolly grew up here, she's a very spiritual person. You're brought up to believe you treat people the right way. You treat everybody like your neighbor, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' Treat people with respect and help them out when they need it. That's the faith-based part that I think you see a lot of here at Dollywood. It's part of our heritage, it's part of who we are. Everybody is welcome.The Robert F. Thomas Chapel is named for the doctor who delivered Parton.It's very unique, and we love being unique, Liston said of having a chapel in the middle of the theme park. One of the things I love about what we are and what we do is that we don't try to be anybody else. We just try to be the best Dollywood we can be. And I think we get that inspiration from Dolly too. She's one-of-a-kind.Dollywood's DreamMore Resort near the park does serve alcohol at its Song & Hearth restaurant.The driver on the DreamMore Resort shuttle to Dollywood announced that we could ask for free ice water at any vendor with a soda fountain at the park. In the 90-degree heat, that ice water was a lifesaver.I visited Dollywood in June, also known as Pride Month. Since Parton is known as a queer icon and staunch LGBTQ+ ally, I thought Dollywood might acknowledge Pride Month in some way.While rainbows are a part of Parton's vibrant style and were all over the park, I didn't see any explicit mentions of Pride Month the way Disney parks mark the occasion with pride flag floral arrangements and cupcakes.