You could always spend one night in Memphis and the Smokies during the trip.
I live 30 minutes from Pigeon Forge, and yeah it’s a tourist trap, but I doubt the traffic will be that bad during the day during the week. I haven’t been to Dollywood since I was a kid, so I can’t help you there.
Find a site that lists things to do in Pigeon Forge and see is any of it interests you, because I live nearby and it doesn’t interest me. There is a lot of shopping and some shows ranging from Chinese acrobats to country music.
The mountains are nice though. For 80 year olds, I suggest Cades Cove, which is an 11 mile loop where you can see deer, turkeys, possibly a bear or coyote, rustic cabins, and take a hayride or a ride in a carriage. There are nice photos to be taken, and you don’t even have to get out of the car if you don’t want to. However, it’s about an hour from Pigeon Forge, but if you go to through Gatlinburg and hang a right to get to Cades Cove, it’s a nice drive through the mountains.
I don’t think they close the roads until it actually snows, and even then they may let 4-wheel drives through until it gets bad. But it won’t snow in november, and you won’t miss much unless you want to hike, fish or drive to North Carolina.
I know a couple who live near the smokies and get up early once a month and drive to Memphis, eat at their favorite restaurant, and drive home, but I sure couldn’t/wouldn’t do it.