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Traveling with Autism: Dig'n Zone Theme Park

Does your child like to watch the large yellow vehicles at construction sites, like mine? Is your child mechanically inclined, like mine? Does your inner child like to operate an excavator, like mine? If so, we have found a great spot for your family to have fun day!

While visiting Sevierville, TN, we unexpectedly stumbled upon a new theme park that opened in March 2024, Dig'n Zone. We were able to take advantage of a two-hour Spring Special one afternoon during our vacation. With most kids in school, waiting lines were pretty much non-existent. This allowed us to try all of the rides and activities within the two-hour time slot before closing time. Bryce loved it so much that he wanted to return the next day! If we were locals, we would have definitely invested in an annual pass.

Bryce was the only one of us who bravely rode The Decimator, an excavator swinging ride powered by a 50,000 pound CAT 320. He seeks vestibular feedback, so he rode it several times. With all new rides, we are never quite sure how he will like them until we see his post-ride reaction. Once we saw him doing his happy-flappy moves, we knew it's a winner!

All three of us tried the excavator games. We operated the machines and either knocked down standing buildings with a little wrecking ball or scooped up or tried to pick up gators from the water pit with a hook. It's a great hand-eye coordination exercise which is something we work on with Bryce consistently.

The Dig'n Pit had 4500 lb CAT 302 excavators in the sandpit for each of us to dig and fill holes. It was not easy for me to do, but I sure had fun trying!

We loved that the parents could also ride comfortably on most rides which gave us the opportunity to participate with Bryce instead of just observing from the sidelines. Allowing all of the family to play together made this a more memorable experience for all of us.

Some of the things to do include:

  • Steamrollers

  • John Deere Mowers

  • Electric SUVs

  • John Deere Tractors

  • John Deere Gators

  • CAT 236

The park also has a train that lets you ride around the park for a better idea of how to plan your day. I was able to ride the train with Bryce with enough comfort to enjoy it.

You can visit their website for more details. There are plenty of fun options for different ages and abilities! I know we plan to return next time we are in the area.

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