Dollywood Theme Park

Vote For Dollywood In USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Published May 25, 2021 / Last Updated May 25, 2021

Cast your vote for Dollywood, nominated in six different categories for the USA Today 10Best Awards.

It’s time for you to vote for your favorite theme park, Dollywood, and let the world know why it is continually nominated for USA Today 10Best Awards. A leader in the theme park industry, Dollywood once again has been selected as a nominee in a variety of categories in USA Today’s 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice awards.

A panel of experts and USA Today 10Best editors selected Dollywood Parks & Resorts properties and attractions in six categories. The nominations include:

  • Best Amusement Park- Dollywood
  • Best Amusement Park Roller Coaster- Lightning Rod
  • Best Amusement Park Entertainment- Dreamland Drive-In
  • Best Amusement Park Hotel- Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; Dollywood Cabins
  • Best Amusement Park Restaurant- Aunt Granny’s Restaurant
  • Best Outdoor Water Park- Dollywood’s Splash Country

Voting is Now Open

Voting opened Monday, May 24, and runs through Monday, June 21. A page with links to each voting page can be found at www.dollywood.com/vote. Results will be revealed on Friday, June 25. 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 include a combination of editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, relevant expert contributors, and more.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2021 season, operating calendars and more, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Michael MartinVote For Dollywood In USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

Good Morning America Live From Dollywood With Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts

Published May 13, 2021 / Last Updated June 4, 2021

Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts covered several topics during the Good Morning America live broadcast from Dollywood on May 12.

Featured photo courtesy of Curtis Hilbun

Good Morning America filmed from Dollywood this week. Robin Roberts and Dolly Parton discussed everything from Dollywood’s Flower and Food Festival to the impact of the pandemic and vaccine plus Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The park, like all industries, was shaken with closures during the pandemic; however, Dolly credits her staff, or as she refers to them her family, for making it through the tough times:

“People here are like family, so anytime you have a crisis of any kind, you just kind of pull together and get it done.”

It’s Dollywood’s 36th season, and Robin greeted Johnnie Crawford, a Dollywood employee that has worked at the parks since the beginning. Dolly credits her partners, meaning all the employees, for making Dollywood such a success.

Flower & Food Festival in Full Bloom

Beautiful flowers and delicious food is around every corner for the Flower & Food Festival at Dollywood. Last year, the closure pushed the Flower & Food Festival to the summer months, but this year it is in full bloom for the springtime.

Dollywood’s Culinary Director Aaron Banks joined Dolly and Robin for one of the Good Morning America segments. Aaron taught them how to make the Lavender Honey Mini Funnel Cakes, a featured dish during the festival. He also detailed several of the delicious dishes you can find at the park, including the Barbecue Brisket Sliders with brisket that has been smoked for more than six hours. Dolly commented:

“We cheer him [on] all the time here at Dollywood because he makes sure all the food is great. Everybody loves it. He’s a great boss and has a lot of talent — we’re lucky to have him.”

This marked the first visit for Dolly since last year when the park had to close due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in March 2020. The festival features a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. Dolly was quite emotional upon seeing this in person and knowing how the coat has impacted her life and career, detailing in the interview:

“Just having that big thing there that represents who I am as a person, who my parents were and the kind of mother that I was lucky enough to have and that that little coat has carried me so far. It’s kind of like a little signature thing. My life has been a life of many colors, not just the coat.”

Dolly performed “Coat of Many Colors” during the Good Morning America broadcast.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The Imagination Library is on its way to gifting 200 million books to children. This program was created to help childhood literacy by gifting one book a month to children from birth to age five.

Originally started in Sevier County, TN, the program has since grown globally to include programs in all 50 states as well as the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia and Canada. Robin and Dolly discussed the impact this program has brought to little ones worldwide.

Dolly was inspired to create the program because of her father’s inability to read and write. Even though he was brilliant, she saw the struggles this created and wanted to help others avoid them. In the interview Dolly said:

“I’m the Book Lady. My dad took great pride in that. He got to live long enough to see the Imagination Library doing well. He got such a kick out of them calling me the Book Lady.”

Michael MartinGood Morning America Live From Dollywood With Dolly Parton and Robin Roberts

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins April 23

Published April 19, 2021 / Last Updated May 13, 2021
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

Guests can enjoy more than half a million blooming flowers, a new dining pass and inspirational music at Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival.

As spring continues to blossom throughout the Smoky Mountains, guests to Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health can enjoy more than half-a-million blooming flowers, a new dining pass that provides an unforgettable culinary journey, and a warm spring atmosphere filled with the sounds of inspirational music emanating from stages throughout the Pigeon Forge park.

Held April 23-June 7, the Dollywood Food & Flower Festival delights guests with lavish landscaping and massive floral sculptures that are brought to life by an array of more than half-a-million bright and vibrant flowers. Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to expansive displays which include a vivid butterfly umbrella, various scenes featuring mischievous and friendly animals, and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. These “Mosaicultures” are developed in partnership with Mosaicultures International, an internationally-known company from Montreal that specializes in these one-of-a-kind creations.

“When I was a little girl, I loved springtime because everything seemed so bright with color,” Dolly explained. “It started to get warm outside and you just felt like you could finally get out of the house after being cooped up in there for so long, which is something I know we’re all feeling right now. But the thing I remember most about those spring days were the flowers that would start blooming all over the hills. So, the Smokies really were the inspiration for this festival.”

“And I just love we made that big, beautiful display of my mama with all those wonderful flowers. It’s special to me, and I know she would have been so proud of it. But something else I’m happy about this year is that not only do we have all the flowers, we’re also bringing in a lot of great music to the festival. I just know it is really going to make the whole park feel so joyful. It’s a special time of year, and I really think Dollywood is a great place to get outdoors and enjoy it all!”

Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass

In addition to the beautiful flowers, culinary creations abound with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in 2021 is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple items at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.

The dining pass, which is available online or at the park, is just $29.99 plus tax or $27.99 plus tax for season passholders. With the pass, guests can sample five meals at any of the Flower & Food Festival culinary locations. Among the items featured on this year’s festival menu are a Cuban sandwich with plantain chips, fish and chips, mountain paella, summer succotash featuring pan-seared chicken, lobster roll, beef bulgogi nachos, blueberry and blackberry mini funnel cake, lemon curd and blueberry liege waffle, and much more.

Melodies of Spring

Entertainment is a major component of this year’s festival, thanks to a number of performances and shows—as well as a new concert series—which take place during the event. The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspirational acts appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and more.

Guests also will enjoy a number of performances throughout the park from groups including The Voice contestants Worth The Wait, Willow City, The Hall Sisters and the 3 Heath Brothers. Music fills the air with the sounds of spring, thanks to Kelle Jolly at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel and roaming performer Stephani Ezatoff. All shows are included with park admission. A full schedule of performances can be found at Dollywood.com.

In addition to the visiting entertainers, several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted earlier this spring including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits.

Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season
Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival

Stunning Displays of Uplifting Art

Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet. The display proved to be an overwhelming hit with the bright umbrellas serving as the perfect “Instagrammable” backdrop for guest photos. A number of “Insta” opportunities are available throughout the park to help guests document the experience for their friends on social media. A new feature this year, chalk art dazzles guests with incredible displays in Adventures in Imagination. Every day, one of Dollywood’s talented artists creates uplifting works of art inspired by springtime in the Smokies.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa celebrates the Flower & Food Festival with a number of special events that bring the fun of Dollywood to the resort with blooming festival décor and floral designs. Families will find live entertainment from featured festival performers, festival-themed activities at Camp DW, as well as a special spring menu and chef demonstrations at the resort’s restaurant. The resort also partners with Biltmore Winery for a Winemaker’s Dinner on Saturday, May 22.

Exceptional Experiences, All Year Long

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. It’s the perfect year for a season pass, as guests will want to return throughout the year to enjoy it all. After the Flower & Food Festival, guests can enjoy Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which includes a new evening drone show and dance party every night. Thousands of pumpkins glow to life as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24- Oct. 30), and Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022) celebrates the spirit of the season.

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

Team DollyDollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Begins April 23

Dollywood Is Open For 2021 Season

Published March 15, 2021 / Last Updated March 16, 2021
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 is open for the 2021 season with a myriad of festivals, new shows, entertainment and food planned throughout the year.

Dollywood is open for 2021, welcoming guests throughout the weekend. After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, the Pigeon Forge family destination has a bright outlook for 2021, its 36th season. The award-winning park is ready to welcome guests of all ages to an exciting year filled with festivals, entertainment and delicious cuisine.

Dollywood Company Awards

After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, Dollywood has a bright outlook for 2021. The Dollywood Company earned several impressive awards and designations last year, including Dollywood theme park being recognized by Tripadvisor as the #8 best park in the world. In addition, Dollywood’s Splash Country was named a top-five water park by USA Today readers, while Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa was named a “Top 15 Best Resort Hotel in the South,” as well as one of the “Top 25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families” by Travel + Leisure.

“Our people are doing a great job to care for our guests, and I’m just glad that everyone is seeing what the good folks at Dollywood have been doing to make it one of the best family destinations in the entire country,” said Dolly. “What we have is special. It’s a place where folks can come to enjoy those precious moments they will cherish forever. This season looks bright, and I just know families are going to love making a lot of great memories this year.”

Dolly continued, “I wish I could be there for the opening, but the doctors said I need to wait until after I’ve had the second dose of the vaccine. Let’s all be patient. All of this stuff is going to be over soon, and I know it won’t be long until we can be together.”

Off-Season Prep

A number of projects, including park infrastructure enhancements and ride retracking efforts, took place during the off-season, and all are designed to add to the guest experience. New restaurant seating areas have been added to the park, while projects at roller coasters Lightning Rod, Blazing Fury, Thunderhead and Mystery Mine took place with guest satisfaction in mind. It all adds up to a season Dollywood guests won’t want to miss.

“There is no doubt; this is the year to have a season pass,” explained Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company. “We have so many exciting things planned for our festivals this year—like concerts, new shows and entertainment, a number of new culinary items and more—that our guests are going to want to come back time and time again to experience the fun of Dollywood and the beauty of the always-changing Smoky Mountains.

“Our goal every single day is to provide the best possible experience for our guests. It is a lot of hard work, but the reward for all of us is to see the smiles, hear the laughter and read the great notes and emails about how they love the moments they have here at Dollywood. They tell us it is that time that helps them come closer together as a family and that those are the memories they will keep forever. That is the reason we all do what we do.”

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival

As always, Dollywood’s teams work hard to incorporate the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains into the park atmosphere, especially during the multiple festivals that take place each year. A different festival accentuates the outdoors each season of 2021, bringing the Smokies into the park for a truly unparalleled experience.

A fresh festival highlights the spectacle of spring with Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 23-June 7). Guests will be delighted by more than half-a-million brightly blooming flowers that make up numerous displays and lavish landscaping throughout Dollywood. Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to larger-than-life sculptures including a butterfly umbrella, various animal scenes and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet.

Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass

In addition to the beautiful flowers, a wide selection of culinary creations abounds to delight guests’ taste buds with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in Dollywood’s 2021 season is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple entrees at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.

Melodies of Spring Concert Series

Entertainment—a vital component of the Dollywood experience—plays a lead role this season thanks to a number of new shows, as well as a concert series which debuts during the Flower & Food Festival. The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspiring acts all appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and many more.

Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival
Dollywood is Open for 2021 Season - Flower and Food Festival

Dollywood’s Upcoming Festivals & Entertainment

Several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted during today’s park opening, including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits. Performances of all three will continue until the fall.

Summer Celebration

Guests visiting during the park’s warmer months can enjoy Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which is—just as the name implies—a celebration of family fun and laughter at a place everyone loves. With later nighttime hours, families can ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters all day and well into the night. New during Summer Celebration is a groundbreaking, multi-sensory experience that paints the night sky above Dollywood with stunning animations and superior storytelling to create a symphony of light that represents a true evolution in traditional theme park entertainment.

Taking place every night during Summer Celebration, this sensational show features hundreds of drones flying high above the Smoky Mountain destination to create stunning 3D animations that tell a dynamic, Dollywood-exclusive story. As seen at some of the biggest events around the world, the drones—which are accented by a musically-choreographed fireworks show—create a visual and audial event of epic proportions.

As part of the half-a-million-dollar production, a hyped DJ and energetic dancers bring the fun to the streets in Wildwood Grove and make guests part of the action during a 30-minute party that ensures every member in the family is on their feet. As the dancing nears its finale, the party takes to the sky when the drones launch into the air for an unforgettable end to the evening.

Harvest Festival

Later in the season, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24-Oct. 30)—named by readers of USA Today as the best theme park harvest event in the world—provides bushels of fun thanks to everyone’s favorite Smoky Mountain tradition, Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Dollywood stays open late each evening, giving families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. During the day, guests can expect a packed concert schedule, with hundreds of performances across several genres occurring during the festival.

Smoky Mountain Christmas

The season ends with the event that has set the standard for theme park holiday events, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022). It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit with more than five million holiday lights, festive and warm holiday performances, a traditional Christmas atmosphere, and the comforting tastes of classic holiday-themed food. It is easy to see why it has become a family favorite for so many.

Plan Your Trip

With so much excitement planned for 2021, Dollywood season passes are must-haves to enjoy a year of fun and festivities the whole family can enjoy. Pair it with a trip to Dollywood’s Splash Country and stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort for your family’s most memorable 2021 vacation.

For more information about Dollywood’s 2021 season, operating calendars and more, please visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood Is Open For 2021 Season

Dollywood Prepares For 2021 Season Opening

Published March 11, 2021 / Last Updated March 11, 2021
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

The Dollywood Maintenance Team is working to ensure all rides are ready for opening day. 

Dollywood opens Saturday, March 13, (Friday, March 12, for season passholders). With only a few days until the 2021 season opening, the maintenance team is busy wrapping up their usual off-season ride maintenance. Dollywood’s Rides Maintenance Director, Barry Stiltner said,

“What I love about Dollywood maintenance is just that they are so genuine about their job. They love making sure that the rides are operating as high of percentage time as they can.”

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the maintenance shop with Barry as he shows the team’s hard work and dedication.

Plan A Visit

With thrills for all ages, it is a place the whole family can enjoy. Plan your trip to Dollywood and be sure to check out a season pass for an entire year of laughter, entertainment, thrill rides and memories. 

For more information about the upcoming season and a park opening calendar, visit Dollywood.com or download the Dollywood app.

Team DollyDollywood Prepares For 2021 Season Opening