Dollywood Theme Park

Big Bear Mountain Roller Coaster Set to Open at Dollywood in Spring 2023

Published August 5, 2022 / Last Updated August 7, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dolly Parton announces Big Bear Mountain, the longest coaster in Dollywood history, opening in 2023.

Dolly Parton announced the newest addition to Dollywood Parks & Resorts, the $25 million Big Bear Mountain, a nearly 4,000 ft. long roller coaster which allows guests to embark on an unforgettable expedition through the Smokies in search of the elusive “Big Bear.” Big Bear Mountain, which at 3,990 ft. becomes the longest roller coaster at the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee park, marks the expansion of Dollywood’s newest area, Wildwood Grove.

“The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring,” Dolly said. “I’m excited our guests will be able to head out on their own trip into the Smokies to see if they can find that Big Bear! Whether he’s out there or not, I’m sure they’ll find a lot of memories along the way that they’ll keep forever.”

Dolly Parton announces Dollywood's 2023 Coaster Big Bear Mountain, photo by Curtis Hilbun Photo by Curtis Hilbun

Big Bear Mountain’s massive structure hugs six acres of undulating topography which runs along the border of Wildwood Grove, with riders racing through the wilderness before soaring high above the forest on the search for the legendary bear. Featuring a top speed of 48 mph, Big Bear Mountain takes guests through three separate launches, multiple airtime hills, high-speed carousel turns and tunnels, including a pass behind a waterfall. And, the minimum height requirement for Big Bear Mountain is 39”, allowing even younger adventurers to come along for the ride.

A Daring Adventure Through Wildwood Grove

According to legend, Big Bear is a massive black bear who has been roaming through Wildwood Grove for as long as anyone can remember. While no one has ever seen him, telltale signs regularly appear in the hills surrounding the Grove. Dollywood guests are invited to join Wildwood Grove’s resident wilderness explorer, Ned Oakley, on an adventure to find Big Bear. From his base camp, located just a stone’s throw from the Grove’s Hidden Hollow, Oakley takes adventurers for the rides of their lives in his specially-outfitted, “four-wheel drive SUVs.”

The First Dollywood Attraction to Feature On-Board Audio

In addition to becoming the longest roller coaster at Dollywood, Big Bear Mountain, built by ride manufacturer Vekoma, also marks the first attraction at the park to feature on-board audio. The sound system provides auditory thrills to match the ride’s dynamic movements as guests come daringly close to Big Bear. Dollywood Company president Eugene Naughton shared,

“Big Bear Mountain is an exciting ride that really is going to be a game changer for us. Not only is it the largest coaster we’ve built, but it includes features—like on-board audio—that are new for our company. Big Bear Mountain also expands the footprint of Wildwood Grove and serves as another monumental step in the ongoing investment plan Dolly and I announced in June 2021. She’s keeping me busy. Now that we’ve announced Big Bear Mountain, I’ll start working on the next projects she has lined up for me!”

Opening Spring 2023

With an anticipated opening date in the spring of 2023, daring adventurers will not have to wait long to join Ned Oakley on his search for Big Bear on Big Bear Mountain. Guests ready to join in the excitement can pre-register for a 2023 Dollywood season pass by visiting Dollywood.com/2023SP from August 5 – September 30. Those who register during this time receive the guaranteed lowest price on passes, as well as access to an exclusive ride event for Big Bear Mountain in spring of 2023. Pre-registrants are able to purchase 2023 season passes beginning October 17.

In 2022, Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. After the conclusion of the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, thousands of pumpkins glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (September 23 – October 29). The season concludes with the most popular theme park Christmas event in the world, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (November 5 – January 1, 2023).

For more information about Big Bear Mountain, please visit dollywood.com/BigBearMountain.

Team DollyBig Bear Mountain Roller Coaster Set to Open at Dollywood in Spring 2023

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Nominated for Best Family Resort

Published July 26, 2022 / Last Updated August 5, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Vote for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa in USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

After being named runner-up in 2021 by USA Today readers in the publication’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Family Resort, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa has another opportunity to be named number one in the category.

DreamMore Resort, which celebrates its seventh anniversary this month, has quickly become a sought-after resort. With the upcoming addition of HeartSong Lodge & Resort, which is set to open in fall 2023, Dollywood Parks & Resorts has become well-known as a family vacation destination. In June, DreamMore Resort opened Suite 1986. This new experience invites guests to stay inside Dolly Parton’s former tour bus, which has been turned into the ultimate hotel suite. Suite 1986 illustrates another facet of the country music icon’s life—the free-spirited traveler. The Prevost was Parton’s home away from home as she traversed the country throughout the last 15 years.

Cast Your Vote

Voting is now open and runs through Monday, August 15 at 11:59 a.m. EDT. A link to the voting page can be found at www.dollywood.com/vote. Anyone is eligible to vote and may do so once per day, per device. Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which includes a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, other expert contributors and more.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa provides guests with a full-service, comfortable home-away-from-home experience that only Dolly Parton could create. Inspired by Dolly’s childhood in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, a love for music and storytelling and a desire to create a place for families to grow and play, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa brings Dolly’s vision for a premiere family destination to life.

This wonderful resort has several unique areas and experiences for families to spend quality time together. Families can gather to play checkers by the fireplace in one of the resort’s grand living rooms, enjoy a glass of sweet tea in a rocking chair on one of the many porches or swap stories on one of the beautiful garden benches. The resort’s lavish 20-acre property includes premiere amenities and perks to help guests create their own special moments and memories.

Full-service dining, indoor and outdoor pool complexes, and exclusive park privileges—like complimentary transportation to Dollywood theme park and complimentary TimeSaver passes for Dollywood rides and shows—make the property a must-visit experience. Additionally, there are a variety of on-site activities at the resort for families. Through fun-filled activities, including arts and crafts, storytelling and summertime pool parties, Camp DW is designed to inspire children’s imaginations. At night, families gather around the fireplace for a bedtime story with a book selected from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Guests can also roast complimentary marshmallows to make s’mores each night around the fire pit.

During its history, DreamMore Resort has earned several awards. It was named the #1 Amusement Park Hotel in 2018, 2021 and 2022, by USA Today. It has also been named one of Southern Living’s “Best Places to Stay in the South” and one of Travel + Leisure’s “25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families.”

For more information about Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, as well as special offers available at the Smoky Mountain resort destination, visit Dollywood.com/resort.

Team DollyDollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Nominated for Best Family Resort

America’s Summer Road Trip Destination is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration

Published June 17, 2022 / Last Updated June 17, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

New experiences and popular guest favorites return during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration June 18 – Aug. 7

With a wide range of new experiences and returning favorites occurring throughout the day and into the night—and with its new recognition as Tripadvisor’s number one park in the nation—Dollywood finds itself atop the list for best family road trips this summer. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Bush’s® Beans takes place June 18 – August 7 and invites guests to experience summer as if they were in Dolly’s own backyard! During the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, guests can take advantage of extended summer hours, allowing them to make memories until 9:30 p.m.

Sweet Summer Nights

Two popular Dollywood favorites return this season and are sure to put smiles on the faces of guests throughout the park. “Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights” returns bigger, brighter and bolder with even more drones lighting up the night sky, high above the Pigeon Forge park. A first-of-its-kind within the industry, the guest favorite is back with a show that combines 500 high-tech drones, with a world-class fireworks show designed to put an exclamation point on the evening.

As part of the Sweet Summer Nights experience, a DJ and energetic dancers bring fun to the streets of Wildwood Grove during two dance parties that ensure every member of the family is on their feet. As the party nears its finale, the celebration takes to the sky as the drones launch into the air for an unforgettable experience.

Wildwood Grove Sweet Summer Nights

Interactive Shows and Refreshing Performances

Returning to Dollywood for the first time since 2017, “Gazillion Bubble Show Aurora” is back to deliver a mesmerizing burst of excitement to guests in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater. The show provides many moments where guests will be enveloped by “gazillions” of bubbles for a fun and unpredictable experience that captivates the entire family.

Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration features many fun ways for guests to interact with water during their day at Dollywood. All-new interactive shows, “Liquid Beats” and “Hydro Jive Junction,” will have guests splashing and singing along during refreshing performances. Guests can cool off on a hot summer day in the wonderful garden hose fountain installation found in Market Square during “Liquid Beats.” This interactive performance brings together dozens of garden hoses to create a fountain that delivers bursts of cooling excitement to guests of all ages. During “Liquid Beats,” a landscaping-themed percussion troupe maintains the natural beauty of the Smokies, as they bring this new entertainment vision to guests.

In Jukebox Junction, “Hydro Jive Junction” features a musical maintenance worker trying to repair a faulty fire hydrant. Dancing ensues as the fire hydrant turns into a refreshing sprinkler for guests to enjoy, as the cast sings and dances to familiar favorites such as “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Splish Splash.”

Music is the soundtrack of our lives, especially during a summer family road trip. Dollywood’s Entertainment Team brings to life the road trip “vibe” and takes guests on a summertime journey with the return of “Good Vibes” and its playlist of summer road trip classics. The Tones and Wild Roots Band also have summer playlists that will have families wanting to hit cruise control and sing along.

An authentically-Southern summer greets guests as soon as they enter the park. The Dollywood entry statement in front of Showstreet Palace Theater welcomes guests with themed decor, including the all-new Kite Sky. Throughout the park, colorful outdoor decor and experiences will immerse guests in simple southern sweetness. These brand-new, larger-than-life activities, including Jumbo Backyard Games, Parachute Play Party, Noodle Takeover! (a dazzling array of suspended pool noodles hanging in the summer sky) and more, allow parents to relive beloved childhood pastimes while creating new memories with their own children. The Bubble Foam Zone will cool guests off on the hottest of summer days by covering families head to toe in a giant, bubble-filled plaza.

Imagination Playhouse Takes the Stage

It’s story time again as Imagination Playhouse showcases three favorite books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, including “Coat of Many Colors,” based on Parton’s song and childrens’ book of the same name. “Coat of Many Colors” and an all-new show called “Violet the Pilot” feature sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. Everyone’s favorite, “The Little Engine That Could,” also comes to the stage with a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination. Thanks to Penguin Books, guests can enjoy several decorative and interactive photo opportunities for children and their families in the lobby of the theater prior to each show.

Summer Tasting Pass Now Available

Dollywood’s Culinary Team is cooking up summertime favorites full of flavor. Fried fish and hushpuppies, BBQ pork nachos, Southern-fried corn and an open-faced grilled cheese are just a few of the savory items guests can enjoy during the festival. Sweet treats include peanut butter candy liege waffles, s’mores funnel cake and an orange Fanta float. Guests will also be able to visit the Food Truck Neighborhood in Adventures in Imagination for a variety of road trip treats.

After the success of the Flower & Food Festival Tasting Pass, the tastes of summer are now available with a similar option for guests. The tasting pass, which can be purchased in the park or online, is $34.99 plus tax or $31.99 plus tax for gold and diamond passholders. The tasting pass is available each day of the festival.

Plan Your Visit

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. After the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, thousands of pumpkins will glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana, happening September 23 – October 29. The season concludes with the most popular theme park Christmas event in the world, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, happening November 5 – January 1.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyAmerica’s Summer Road Trip Destination is Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration

Tripadvisor Names Dollywood #1 Theme Park in the United States

Published June 15, 2022 / Last Updated June 15, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood Named #1 Theme Park in the United States and #8 Theme Park in the World in 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards

Tripadvisor officials named Dollywood the #1 theme park in the United States and the #8 theme park in the world during the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards. It’s an honor that won’t come as much of a surprise to Dollywood’s park-goers who frequently compliment Dollywood on its exemplary guest experience.

The 160-acre destination earned top honors with Tripadvisor users. Dollywood ranked #1 in the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States and #8 on the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Worldwide Amusement Parks list. The awards were calculated based on reviews and ratings from travelers on Tripadvisor during the 12-month period from May 1, 2021 through April 31, 2022.

“I’m so proud of the work my people do to make Dollywood such a great place for families,” Dolly said. “When I started dreaming up Dollywood all those years ago, I hoped it would be somewhere folks were excited to come visit and enjoy time together. To hear that they are leaving so many positive comments about their time here really shows what we’re doing is working. In the current world, I want Dollywood to be a place where the light shines every day.”

Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company, echoes the thoughts of the park’s Dreamer-in-Chief.

“We’re working every single day to ensure our guests have the best possible time while they are with us,” explained Naughton. “This award is a little bit different because there is no voting factored into these rankings. The Tripadvisor rankings come from actual reviews left by guests about their time here with us at Dollywood. It is extremely gratifying to see this recognition for the effort our hosts give to ensure our guests have an unforgettable time while they are here.

“We are humbled by the results of this ranking, as well as the recent USA Today 10Best #1 finish for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. These awards continue to show what we’ve been saying for so long—the Dollywood Parks & Resorts experience truly is world-class.”

Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards

According to the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best website, “The Best of the Best Things to Do Awards are calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings for experiences, tours, activities and attractions on Tripadvisor.”

“Congratulations to the 2022 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Winners,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “The Travelers’ Choice Awards recognize the best in tourism and hospitality, according to those who matter most: actual guests. Ranking among the Best of the Best is always tough — but never more so than this year as we emerge from the pandemic. Whether it’s using new technology, implementing safety measures, or hiring outstanding staff, I’m impressed by the steps taken to meet travelers’ new demands.”

Top 10 Theme Parks in the United States

  1. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
  2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando, Florida)
  3. Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park (Orlando)
  4. Universal Studios Hollywood (Los Angeles, California)
  5. Universal Studios Florida (Orlando)
  6. Silver Dollar City (Branson Missouri)
  7. Funland (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)
  8. Fun Spot America (Kissimmee, Florida)
  9. Santa’s Village (Jefferson, New Hampshire)
  10. Busch Gardens Tampa (Tampa, Florida)

Top 10 Theme Parks in the World

  1. Siam Park (Adeje, Spain)
  2. Puy du Fou (Les Epesses, France)
  3. Beto Carrero World (Penha, Brazil)
  4. Puy du Fou España (Toledo, Spain)
  5. The Milky Way Adventure Park (Clovelly, United Kingdom)
  6. Hot Park (Rio Quente, Brazil)
  7. Waterbom Bali (Kuta, Indonesia)
  8. Dollywood (Pigeon Forge)
  9. Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando)
  10. Parque Terra Magica Florybal (Canela, Brazil)

With Dollywood ranking at #8 and Universal’s Islands of Adventure ranking at #9, American parks hold only two of the 10 spots on the worldwide theme park list. To see the full rankings, visit the Tripadvisor website.

Plan Your Visit

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration opens Saturday, June 18, and provides guests with extended hours and fun family festivities that will leave everyone with a smile on their face. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 23-Oct. 29), and the season concludes with the most popular theme park Christmas event in the world, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, happening November 5 – January 1.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyTripadvisor Names Dollywood #1 Theme Park in the United States

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Voted Best Amusement Park Hotel

Published May 10, 2022 / Last Updated May 10, 2022
Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Earns Top Award in USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice

For the third time since the award’s inception in 2018, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa was named the number one Amusement Park Hotel in the country by USA Today readers in the publication’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.

A Dollywood Hot Streak

A panel of experts and USA Today 10Best editors selected which properties and attractions would compete for titles, across several categories in the award competitions that took place in April. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa earned the top spot for best Amusement Park Hotel, while Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins finished sixth in the same category.

During its history, DreamMore Resort and Spa has earned several awards, including being named one of Southern Living’s “Best Places to Stay in the South,” one of Travel + Leisure’s “25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families” and the #2 Best Family Resort in 2021 by USA Today.

World-Class Resort

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which celebrates its seventh anniversary in July, has quickly become a sought-after resort destination. Nestled in the Smoky Mountains next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa provides guests with a full-service, comfortable home-away-from-home experience that only Dolly Parton could create. Inspired by Parton’s childhood in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, a love for music and storytelling and a desire to create a place for families to grow and play, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa brings Parton’s vision for a premiere family destination to life.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa has several unique areas and experiences for families to spend quality time together. Families can gather to play checkers by the fireplace in one of the resort’s grand living rooms, enjoy a glass of sweet tea in a rocking chair on one of the many porches or swap stories on one of the beautiful garden benches. The resort’s lavish 20-acre property includes premiere amenities and perks to help guests create their own special moments and memories.

Premier Family Destination

Full-service dining, a full-service salon and spa, indoor and outdoor pool complexes and exclusive park privileges—like complimentary transportation to Dollywood theme park and complimentary TimeSaver passes for Dollywood rides and shows—make the property a must-visit experience. Additionally, there are a variety of on-site activities at the resort for families. Through fun-filled activities, including arts and crafts, storytelling and summertime pool parties, Camp DW is designed to inspire children’s imaginations. At night, families gather around the fireplace for a bedtime story with a book selected from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Guests also can roast complimentary marshmallows to make s’mores each night around the fire pit.

For more information about Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa and Dollywood’s 2022 season, please visit Dollywood.com.

Team DollyDollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Voted Best Amusement Park Hotel