Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins June 15

Published June 15, 2020 / Last Updated June 15, 2020
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

Guests can enjoy a colorful kaleidoscope of more than half-a-million flowers at Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival

Dollywood’s inaugural Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health blooms to life with a vibrant new event that adds another touch of dazzling color to the natural beauty that already surrounds the award-winning theme park.

Originally scheduled for mid-spring, the breathtaking festival now begins when Dollywood reopens to season passholders on June 15. During this spectacular event, guests can explore larger-than-life plant sculptures adorned in half-a-million colorful flower blooms. These colossal displays reach heights up to 14 feet and create breathtaking displays celebrating the spirit of the Smoky Mountains. Floral carpet beds envelope walkways, embellish buildings and fill flowerbeds throughout the park.

Nightly Fireworks

Throughout the festival, the park stays open until 9:30 p.m. every night to allow families more time to make memories together. Additionally, each evening concludes with a fireworks show to put an exclamation point on the day.

“I know everyone is tired after being cooped up inside for the last few months, but I think all of us probably appreciate our family and friends even more right now,” Dolly Parton said. “I’m glad we’re able to start welcoming folks back to Dollywood with a brand new festival to help them make fresh memories together. Things may look a little different, but when they see all those beautiful flowers in bloom, I think it will help them take a bit of a break from everything that’s been going on.

“When we had the idea for this festival, I definitely gave them some input because you know how much I love flowers,” she added with a laugh, “but I was just delighted when my creative team told me their idea for the biggest flower display would be my mama sewing the Coat of Many Colors. I was so surprised, and I know she would be so proud they represented her in this way.”

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival brings Dolly’s dreams to life with floral displays blooming in a kaleidoscope of colors. In partnership with internationally-acclaimed Mosaicultures flower sculpting team, a multitude of flowers come to life throughout Dollywood as Smoky Mountain turtles, raccoons, frogs and black bears. Dolly’s rich influence through song comes alive thanks to tributes of “I Will Always Love You” with a floral heart umbrella, as well as “Coat of Many Colors” with the marvelous scenic sculpture of her mother Avie Lee sewing the priceless garment.

Take Great Photos

The festival takes its blooms and brilliance throughout Dollywood, starting with photo opportunities as soon as guests step foot through the turnstiles. Once in the park, guests quickly find themselves under an Umbrella Sky, an awe-inspiring sight which features more than 600 umbrellas dancing above their heads.

Special “Instagram-able” photo locations allow families to capture special memories that will live on long after the festival flowers bloom.

Savory Flavors

The colorful splendor created by an artful array of flowers and plants is accented by delicious dishes of mouth-watering festival flavors. Dollywood’s team of culinary experts dug deep into the traditions of Southern and Smoky Mountain cuisine to create garden-fresh items sure to delight.

Items on the menu include grilled citrus shrimp over delta peas and rice, gyros, Greek orzo pasta, grilled chili lime skirt steak, chicken stir fry, zucchini fritters, lobster rolls, charcuterie in a cone, and pork sliders with pineapple chutney.

Dessert highlights include chocolate-dipped macaroons, toasted coconut cupcakes, blueberry tarts, and chocolate ganache brownies. Guests looking for a way to cool off have a number of refreshing beverages to enjoy during the festival. The selection includes strawberry guava, blueberry lavender lemonade, blood orange lemonade, and watermelon lime fresca.

Reopening Hours & Guidelines

After much careful preparation, Dollywood Theme Park and Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park open June 15 and 16 for season pass guests only. Both parks open to the general public on June 17.

Social distancing guidelines will limit the capacity of the parks on a daily basis. As a result, season passholders will be required to reserve the date and time they wish to visit, and general admission guests will purchase a date-based ticket to ensure all have a safer, socially-distanced experience. Reservations can be made at Dollywood.com/reservations and on the Dollywood mobile app where a how-to video will demonstrate the process. Guests should book their reservations early to ensure the date of their choice.

Additional information and a video detailing the safety and operational changes at the park are available for review at Dollywood.com/playsafe and on the mobile app.

Team DollyDollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins June 15

Dollywood And Dollywood’s Splash Country Set Opening For June 15

Published June 3, 2020 / Last Updated June 3, 2020
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

Dollywood announces reopening dates for both parks and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

After much careful preparation, Dollywood Parks and Resorts start reopening beginning with Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa on June 10. Dollywood Theme Park and Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park open June 15 and 16 for season pass guests only. Both parks open to the general public on June 17.

“We are excited to get open and to welcome families back to the Great Smoky Mountains. Brighter Days are here!” Dolly Parton said. “We have been blessed to work with some incredible experts at Covenant Health and with the State of Tennessee as we have navigated this extraordinary situation. Their advice and teamwork have provided untold help to make sure we are doing the right thing.”

All operations will adhere to the Tennessee Pledge and state operational restrictions.

“As Dolly said, we are now ready to reopen and get back to the business of ‘Making Memories Worth Repeating’ for our loyal and passionate guests to both our parks and resort,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “The team has faced this challenge head on and they have made numerous operational changes we believe will help with the safety of our guests and hosts as we continue to deal with the coronavirus. Safety is—and always will be—one of our highest priorities.”

Social distancing guidelines will limit the capacity of the parks on a daily basis. As a result, season passholders will be required to reserve the date and time they wish to visit and general admission guests will purchase a date-based ticket to ensure all have a safer, socially-distanced experience. Reservations can be made at Dollywood.com/reservations and on the Dollywood mobile app where a how-to video will demonstrate the process.

Additionally, prior to entering the facilities, hosts and visitors must have a touchless temperature screening and wear a mask. Children under three are not required to wear a mask at any time. Guests will not be required to wear a mask while eating. Masks are not required on all waterpark attractions at Dollywood’s Splash Country or on select coasters and water attractions at Dollywood due to the dynamics of the attractions. Additional information about masks and a video detailing the safety and operational changes at the park are available for review at Dollywood.com/playsafe and on the mobile app.

Dollywood will continue monitoring any changes in the CDC or state guidelines as operations begin and will make the appropriate adjustments to the guest experience.

Team DollyDollywood And Dollywood’s Splash Country Set Opening For June 15

DOLLYWOOD TO POSTPONE GRAND OPENING TO PARK GUESTS

Published March 13, 2020 / Last Updated April 28, 2020
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

UPDATE: THEATERS AND DINNER SHOWS TEMPORARILY CLOSED – REOPENING SOON

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 16, 2020) — The coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, and Centers for Disease Control guidelines continue to change. As a result, World Choice Investments is closing its facilities in Branson, Missouri; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and will reopen soon. Those closures affect The Comedy Barn Theater, Dolly Parton’s Stampede (Pigeon Forge and Branson), Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, Pirates Voyage (Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach), and Smoky Mountain Opry.

“We have been following the coronavirus crisis very closely and based on the new guidelines provided by the CDC yesterday and in consultation with the health experts, we are closing all of our theater facilities,” Jim Rule, CEO, said.

The team at World Choice Investments will meet with the cast members at each facility this week. They continue to watch the conditions within our markets, consult with its medical experts and to follow CDC guidelines. Any additional changes will be released at a later time should they occur.

For guests with tickets for this period of temporary closure, please contact 865.453.4400 for rescheduling information.


The coronavirus pandemic is an escalating and ever-changing issue. As a result, The Dollywood Company is delaying the opening of its Dollywood theme park to guests for the next two weeks beginning tomorrow (March 14). Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Pirates Voyage also will be closed beginning March 16. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins will remain open at this time.

“We have been following the coronavirus crisis very closely and based on developments within the last 24 hours and in consultation with health experts, we are going to delay our season opening,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “Despite the delay in opening, we are committed to taking care of our hosts while the park remains closed.”

“We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead,” Dolly Parton added.

Dollywood continues to watch the conditions within the East Tennessee area, to consult with its medical experts and to follow CDC guidelines. The park will communicate any additional changes should they occur.

Team DollyDOLLYWOOD TO POSTPONE GRAND OPENING TO PARK GUESTS

Dollywood Offers Free Pre-K Imagination Season Pass In 2020

Published March 11, 2020 / Last Updated March 11, 2020
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

New pass allows Pre-K kids to visit Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country for free in 2020.

Last season, Dollywood officials announced the free Pre-K Imagination Season Pass to celebrate the park’s milestone 35th anniversary season in 2020. With the pass, children born in 2015 or 2016 are able to visit Dollywood absolutely free for the entire 2020 season. Additionally, the pass allows children to splash and play for free during Dollywood’s Splash Country’s 20th anniversary season.

With a high demand for the free pass, Dollywood officials have extended the deadline for children to be registered. Adults now have until March 15 to sign up their children by registering them online at Dollywood.com/Pre-K.

For adults registering their children for the Pre-K Imagination Pass and looking for the best value on their own passes, now is the best time to lock in the best price. Because the Pre-K Pass provides access to both Dollywood and Splash Country, the best option for parents is the Two-Park Super Pass. By purchasing before March 15, parents can take advantage of a six-month payment plan, plus they receive two bring-a-friend free tickets and they save $10 off summer pricing.

The park’s 2020 season features a calendar full of events that make it the perfect year for a season pass. The year begins with international fun during Festival of Nations (March 14-April 20). The biggest names in bluegrass visit during Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’s® (April 24- May 3), while the park’s newest event, Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival, takes place May 8 –June 14. Summer Celebration (June 20- Aug. 2) features later hours and the return of the Gazillion Bubbles Show.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 25-Oct. 31) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s season concludes with the 12-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 7, 2020 -Jan. 2, 2021.

Learn more about the free Pre-K Imagination Pass online or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood Offers Free Pre-K Imagination Season Pass In 2020

Dollywood’s Lighting Rod Earns “Wooden Coaster of the Decade Award”

Published December 20, 2019 / Last Updated December 21, 2019

Dollywood’s Lightning Rod Earns Coaster101.com’s “Wooden Coaster of The Decade Award”

Roller coaster enthusiasts around the world have come to appreciate the impressive portfolio of world-class rides and attractions available to experience during a trip to Dollywood. Now, a top website for enthusiasts has named Lightning Rod number one in its Top-10 Wooden Coasters of the 2010s.

To wrap up the decade, Coaster101.com is naming the top attractions in the theme park industry in a number of categories. Readers were asked during the month of November to nominate their favorite attractions in five different categories. According to the website, “The Coaster101 team gathered the nominations, narrowed them down and ranked them in a list of 10 for each category.” Coaster101.com writer John Stevenson added,

“Lightning Rod was undoubtedly one of the most defining moments of the past decade for wooden roller coasters. From having the first launch on a wooden coaster to the world record-breaking speed, Lightning Rod has amassed widespread acclaim from the coaster enthusiast community.”

Stevenson went on to say, “After reviewing our readers’ nominations, Lightning Rod was the clear frontrunner for the top spot on this list. From its innovative launch to its world record-breaking speed, Lightning Rod has become a favorite among coaster enthusiasts who have ridden it and a must-ride for those who haven’t. The competition was fierce, but our readers overwhelmingly named Lightning Rod as the best wooden coaster of the last decade. It redefined the limits of a wooden coaster and provided thrill-seekers a ride like no other.”

Lightning Rod

Lightning Rod currently is the only wooden launch coaster in the world, meaning riders hit the gas on the hot rod-themed ride as soon as they reach the lift hill. Once at the top of the hill, riders encounter the ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills before racing down the 165-ft. first drop.

The ride reaches a top speed of 73 mph at the base of the drop. From there, the coaster races along its 3,800-ft. track through the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. Thanks to the rolling topography, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park, serving only to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step aboard the thrilling ride.

The article says Lightning Rod is “…short and sweet, but not a single foot of track is wasted following the 40 mph launch. The coaster’s quadruple-down—four consecutive drops down a hillside—provides sustained airtime that must be experienced firsthand to fully appreciate. Lightning Rod represents another redefining moment for the coaster industry we experienced in the 2010s.”

The ride, which is located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.

Dollywood’s Award-Winning Entertainment

The honor is just one of many Dollywood and its attractions have earned in 2019. The park earned Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Christmas Event, Best Guest Experience and Best Kids’ Area (Wildwood Grove) this season, while also winning the USA Today 10Best award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event for Great Pumpkin LumiNights.

All of these honors further underscore the quality experience guests have during a visit to Dollywood. The park celebrates its 35th anniversary season in 2020 with the new Flower & Food Festival, returning favorites like the Gazillion Bubbles Show and Great Pumpkin LumiNights, and heartwarming traditions like Smoky Mountain Christmas. The park’s new Pre-K Imagination Season Pass allows children born in 2015 or 2016 to experience the milestone season for absolutely free! Kids must be registered online by Jan. 5 to claim the pass for 2020.

Read Coaster101.com’s full article at “Top 10 Wooden Coasters of the 2010s Decade – Attraction Awards

For more information about Dollywood, please visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Lighting Rod Earns “Wooden Coaster of the Decade Award”