Dollywood Theme Park

Dolly Parton Opens Wildwood Grove At Dollywood

Published May 11, 2019 / Last Updated May 11, 2019

Team Dolly

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

Dollywood officially opens the largest expansion in park history as guests experience $37 million Wildwood Grove.

Dollywood again solidified its place among the nation’s premier family destinations as Dolly Parton officially opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in park history. Dolly opened the fascinating new land to visitors ready to enjoy its 11 thrilling new experiences. During an early morning media event, she shared the inspiration and dreams that led to the creation of Wildwood Grove, calling the area the new standard for Dollywood.

At $37 million, Wildwood Grove is Dollywood theme park’s largest capital investment ever and is the first new area added to Dollywood since Wilderness Pass in 2008. The biggest adventure in Dollywood’s history provides guests of all sizes unique experiences to enjoy together as a family.

“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away—something I still do now—dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” Parton said. “All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove. We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.

“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross explained the significance of the newest addition to the storied theme park.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting days in the history of our company,” Ross explained. “It is rare in our industry that a park adds a completely new land in its entirety, and as we continue to grow and set attendance records, we needed to add more area to give guests more room to spread out and explore. Additionally, we were able to take many of Dolly’s childhood dreams and create experiences that are uniquely Smoky Mountain-themed and really help tell the story of this beautiful area.

“I know our guests will be thrilled with the great diversity of attractions they will be able to enjoy when they visit Wildwood Grove. We’re extremely proud of the fact that there are experiences here that every member of the family will love and enjoy.”

 

 

Photo Credits: Curtis Hilbun

After stepping into Wildwood Grove, imagination takes flight, delivering explorers on a journey of discovery in this breathtaking area. Remarkable sights await visitors throughout the land. In the distance, the breathtaking Wildwood Tree catches the eye as lively butterflies shimmer in the daylight. Families laugh and play, taking rides inside giant acorns at Treetop Tower and aboard a thrilling “leaf boat” on the Great Tree Swing.

Even the bears are friendly in Wildwood Grove, as they let guests meander with them through their own natural habitat at the Black Bear Trail. If smaller guests need a quick break, Hidden Hollow contains a 4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides and games where kids and their parents can enjoy play time full of exploration.

Nearby, families scream with delight as they take a ride with Tennessee’s state symbol—the mockingbird—in an experience they control themselves at The Mad Mockingbird. Others dip and dart through geysers while suspended from dragonflies on the area’s signature ride attraction, Dragonflier.

At the heart of it all is The Wildwood Tree. This focal point is a beacon for all, drawing families to watch the butterflies play in its leafy canopy, while encouraging others to splash and play in the winding creek that flows at its base. As the daylight fades, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life.

Wildwood Grove also features new merchandise and dining options for park guests. Till & Harvest, which is expected to open around Memorial Day, provides the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain flavors and fresh Mexican cuisine. The menu features a variety of build-your-own style entrees such as burritos, bowls, salads and nachos all filled with wood-fired meats, fresh vegetables and flavorful sauces. Along with the Smoky Mountain Mexican flavors, Till & Harvest also provides a spacious open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood Grove while they enjoy their meal.

Mountain Grove Merchants is the one-stop-shop for guests looking for the perfect gift or souvenir to celebrate their adventure in Wildwood Grove.

Nearly $1 million has been invested in Wildwood Grove’s landscaping, with more than 400 trees and 2,300 shrubs creating a beautiful, yet decidedly natural atmosphere to enjoy. As the landscaping continues to mature, the visual appeal of the area will only increase.

Each day of exploration in Wildwood Grove is an experience families don’t want to miss. These merry memory making moments are certain to become a treasured part of every family’s visit.

Wildwood Grove Facts

The Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening during a unique nighttime experience which begins June 15. Each season of the year features a spectacular new experience for guests. The Wildwood Tree features nearly 650 lighted butterflies (orange, blue, yellow, pink and multi-colored) and almost 9000 leaves.

  • Dragonflier— This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove. (Vekoma 453m suspended coaster) (1486 ft. in length)
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. (Metallbau Emmeln Pony Trek)
  • Great Tree Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree. (Zamperla Galleon)
  • Treetop Tower— This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor. (Zamperla Samba Tower)
  • The Mad Mockingbird— Tennessee’s state bird—the mockingbird—gives visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground. (Larson Flying Scooter)
  • Frogs & Fireflies— Adventurous guests can hop aboard one of these friendly frogs as they chase each other in a spirited race around the lily pad. (Zamperla Jump Around)
  • Hidden Hollow— This 4,000 sq. ft., climate-controlled area allows families to explore and play in an indoor environment.

Wildwood Creek features pop jets, splashing pools and more wet play activities, while the dry play area at Wildwood Creek features “music instruments” for guests to enjoy.

Three new costume characters call Wildwood Grove home. Flit and Flutter serve as Wildwood Grove’s ambassadors and Benjamin Bear loves to make new friends. Characters will have scheduled opportunities to meet guests each day.

For more information about Wildwood Grove or Dollywood’s 2019 season, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDolly Parton Opens Wildwood Grove At Dollywood

Dollywood Partners With TVA

Published May 7, 2019 / Last Updated May 8, 2019

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

TVA Named “Official Education Partner” of Dollywood in Multi-Year Agreement

Officials from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Dollywood theme park announced a relationship naming TVA the “Official Educational Partner” of the award-winning park.

As part of the multi-year commitment, Dollywood and TVA will collaborate to create dynamic and impactful messaging that fosters public awareness and understanding of the region’s abundant natural resources.

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Logo

“TVA is proud to join Dollywood and Sevier County Electric System in helping Dollywood visitors of all ages learn about the Tennessee Valley region and its natural environment,” said Janet Brewer, TVA Chief Marketing Officer. “By partnering with Dollywood, we can encourage everyone who visits the park to help care for our region’s natural resources so it continues to be a great place to live.”

Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company, says the new partnership makes perfect sense, considering the park’s location and guest demographics. Ross said,

“Many of Dollywood’s guests call the service area of TVA home. As our Educational Partner, TVA will be able to educate the people of the region about how all of us can help protect our natural environment.”

“Most people don’t think about the vast scope of TVA’s tremendous work with the environmental stewardship and conservation, air and water quality, and land management. We’re glad to help them tell this part of their story as it relates to those of us living here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and throughout this beautiful region. We look forward to working with the great folks at TVA to create fun, informational messaging that fits well within our park’s East Tennessee theming.”

Generating Electricity

From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi River, TVA does much more than generate electricity that powers homes and businesses. TVA exists to make life better in the Tennessee Valley for the people, including taking care of the public lands and waters. TVA provides 80 recreation areas across its service region with campgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas and much more for public enjoyment.

Flood Control

Additionally, TVA’s flood control network protects people and property along the Tennessee River system and helps prevent flood damage along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The Tennessee River system also allows for the unparalleled fishing, boating and water sports activities found in the region. The Tennessee River and its tributaries host 230 species of fish, making it one of the most biodiverse river systems in North America.

Hydropower

TVA and 154 local power companies—including Dollywood’s home electric system, Sevier County Electric System—work together to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley. TVA generates most of its energy from carbon-free sources, such as hydropower and other renewables, which helps park guests get a clear view of the Great Smoky Mountains on rides such as Wild Eagle or Drop Line.
Tennessee Valley Authority

Dollywood In 2019

The partnership comes as Dollywood theme park currently is celebrating its biggest season ever. In addition to the park’s fabulous festivals, the largest addition in Dollywood’s storied history, Wildwood Grove, opens on Friday, May 10. The area features 11 thrilling new experiences for guests to enjoy together in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.

To learn more about Dollywood’s 2019 season, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.

Team DollyDollywood Partners With TVA

Dollywood Begins Season-Long Celebration Of Biggest Year In Park History

Published March 16, 2019 / Last Updated March 22, 2019

Team Dolly

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

Dolly Parton surprised guests on opening day helping launch Dollywood’s season-long celebration of the biggest year in the park’s history!

Dollywood’s 34th season—and undoubtedly the park’s biggest ever—opened today with a special preview day for season passholders and a surprise visit from Dolly Parton. In a year that also includes the opening of the largest addition in Dollywood history later this season—the $37 million Wildwood Grove—the award-winning park’s range of unique festival offerings, spectacular shows and memorable experiences make this the best year yet to experience the spirit of the Smokies.

Veteran Dollywood guests know each season offers a completely new atmosphere for families to enjoy. With Wildwood Grove’s thrilling new attractions, award-winning entertainment and fabulous festivals, 2019 is the perfect year to take advantage of a Dollywood season pass or multi-day ticket.

Festival of Nations

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (now-April 14) allows guests to travel the world without leaving the Smokies. Cultures from around the globe come together in this festive event which offers the excitement of traditional music, dance, food and art from a wide array of countries. A number of internationally-recognized performing groups come to Dollywood for the first time in 2019. Headliners Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drum Struck bring unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood’s stages, while a number of returning favorites allow guests to reconnect with old friends. Festival of Nations is a fun, educational and uplifting experience for families to enjoy. The Passport to Food features authentic international cuisine, while daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide an exceptional escape to another world.

Barbeque & Bluegrass

Bluegrass fans know Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 24-June 2) provides them with 10 days of toe-tappin’ music served up alongside some of the tastiest pulled pork, barbequed chicken and traditional sides anywhere! This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Dailey & Vincent are just a few of the headliners who make this annual tradition, music to the ears! With the tantalizing treats from Dollywood’s award-winning chefs and the sweet sounds of bluegrass, Dollywood guests have the perfect recipe to kick off the summer!

Summer Celebration

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22-Aug. 4) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! With the opening of Wildwood Grove, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life when the sun sets. Each evening ends with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza that lights up the night sky. High-energy music and shows like Dreamland Drive-In make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is a great reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.

Harvest Festival

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with the new Smoky Mountain tradition, Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every evening allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. Several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists make the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s largest event in America. Grammy nominees The Isaacs and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound already are set to perform. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Smoky Mountain Christmas

Named the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide for more than a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 9- Jan. 4, 2020) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than five million holiday lights, enjoy the festive holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Glacier Ridge returns to transport guests to the arctic with the Northern Lights, the Arctic Passage and a 50-ft. tall animated tree. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in this merry environment. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.

For more information about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.

Team DollyDollywood Begins Season-Long Celebration Of Biggest Year In Park History

Full Artist Lineup Announced for Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies

Published March 13, 2019 / Last Updated April 3, 2019

Team Dolly

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
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

For King & Country and Zach Williams headline Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies on August 24

Families and church groups looking for an inspirational way to put an exclamation point at the end of summer should circle August 24 on their calendars. Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies returns with headline performances in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater by For King & Country (“Fix My Eyes”) and Zach Williams (“Chain Breaker”).

The Smokies will rock with the hit music of several of contemporary Christian music’s biggest names during this extremely popular annual event. Tickets sold out early last season and the same will be true for this year’s fifth-anniversary event. Special early bird pricing is available now through June 28 and is available at rockthesmokies.com.

Rock The Smokies Performances

Rock The Smokies - Christian Music Festival at Dollywood

Tauren Wells, Micah Tyler, and Jordan Feliz are set to perform on additional stages throughout the park. All performances outside of Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater are free with park admission. Mr. Talkbox, a four-time Grammy winner, and Egypt Speaks, a dynamic author and spoken word artist, serve as emcees for the headline performances at Celebrity Theater.

Meet & Greet opportunities with Rock the Smokies artists are available for anyone who visits the Rock the Smokies website and follows the link to sponsor a child through Compassion International. Special Dollywood season pass holder pricing also is available on the event website.

By combining all the adventure of a day at the theme park with great music, Dollywood has crafted a unique event packed with fun for all ages. Ticket purchase includes admission to Dollywood; discounts are available for groups, season pass holders, and guests who order tickets early. Packages are available that include VIP seating, t-shirts, pictures with the artists, and much more!

For more information about the event, visit RockTheSmokies.com. To learn more about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.

 

Zach Williams at Dollywood's Rock the Smokies
 
Zach Williams at Dollywood's Rock the Smokies
Tauren Wells at Dollywood's Rock the Smokies
 
Tauren Wells at Dollywood's Rock the Smokies
Micah Tyler at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
 
Micah Tyler at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
Jordan Feliz at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
 
Jordan Feliz at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
Mr. Talkbox at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
 
Mr. Talkbox at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
Egypt Speaks at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
 
Egypt Speaks at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
For King & Country at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
 
For King & Country at Dollywood's Rock The Smokies
Team DollyFull Artist Lineup Announced for Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies

Festival Of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever

Published March 12, 2019 / Last Updated March 12, 2019

Two new headline acts and World Passport to Food highlight season opener

Dollywood’s thrilling 2019 season begins with one of the park’s greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which runs March 16-April 14, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Food and special cooking demonstrations, including opportunities to see world-renowned Chef Pepin whip up his favorite dishes. Season pass holders can visit a special preview day event on March 15.

Guests can experience the spirit of the Smokies at Dollywood while also taking a trip around the globe thanks to authentic glimpses into a number of fascinating cultures. It’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate spring break!

New Headline Acts

Cuba Vibra!Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. Considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba, the group has been together for more than 25 years and has entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience, Drumstruck leaves families laughing and creating memories to remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they will find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the show, playing along with the performance on stage. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.

Passport to Food

This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries, including grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth.

Chef Pepin, a well-known celebrity chef from Cuba, hosts several cooking demonstrations during the opening weekend of the festival, while additional chefs share their secrets each subsequent weekend during Festival of Nations. Cooking demonstrations currently are scheduled to take place each Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. in Dollywood’s Market Square area.

Dollywood’s 2019 Festival of Nations Lineup

Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away.
Location: The Valley Theater

Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture, and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world.
Location: Showstreet Gazebo

De Temps Antan – Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. This talented trio combines contemporary music, uncontrolled laughter, deep-routed couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts for memorable songs that speak to the familiar rhythms of yesteryear.
Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24)

Les Grands Hurleurs – Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Paying respect to their traditional roots while creating original music, this trio flirts with classical, Manouche, electronica and folk music for shows that bring audiences alive. Prepare to experience a musical journey with groovy, energetic and swing styles.
Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)

More 2019 Fun!

The largest expansion in the park’s history, Wildwood Grove, opens this spring to provide families with thrilling new experiences and attractions for guests to explore together. Summer kicks off with Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 24- June 2), while the park’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features later hours and the first chance to experience the wonder of Wildwood Grove at night. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2019 season concludes with the eleven-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 9-Jan. 4, 2020.

If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and a vast amount of entertainment and festivals (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2019.

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting Dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Mike KuczmarskiFestival Of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever