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Dollywood’s Splash Country Hosts Ninth Annual Water Safety Day

Published June 19, 2018 / Last Updated June 19, 2018

Discounted ticket and free swim lesson offered at Splash Country’s Water Safety Day

Swimming lessons save lives. Because of its passion for safety, Dollywood’s Splash Country once again is hosting Water Safety Day to raise awareness and is offering a discounted ticket so more guests will take advantage of this opportunity to learn. This ninth annual event includes a free 30-minute swim lesson on Thursday, June 21. Water park guests also are invited to visit vendor booths to learn about staying safe in the water and sun. Area partners LeConte Medical Center, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, WVLT Local 8 News and Star 102.1 join with Dollywood’s Splash Country to host the event.

Dollywood’s Splash Country season passholders and super passholders are invited to bring a friend to the water park for a special $30 ticket through July 1. For Water Safety Day only, this offer will be extended to all guests! To take advantage, you must ask for the $30 ticket at the front gate on June 21.

“Across the country, more children drown in the month of June than any other month,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “And, according to a 2014 survey completed by American Red Cross, more than half of all Americans (54%) either can’t swim or don’t have basic swimming skills. As a water park, we want to lead the way to educate our community about being safe in the water.”

Free Swim Lessons

The swim lesson happens at pools and water parks around the world on June 21—in an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record™ for the world’s largest swimming lesson. Dollywood’s Splash Country is one of the participating venues. Last year, more than 41,000 kids and adults participated in 26 countries. This year, the goal is to have more than 42,000 participants worldwide!

To lead the lesson at Dollywood’s Splash Country, Olympic gold medalist Jenna Johnson and legendary swim coach Jackie Bertucci are teaming up to get swimmers comfortable in the water.

“Water Safety Day is extremely important to our local community to raise awareness about staying safe on or near the water,” said LeConte Medical Center President and CAO Gaye Jolly. “LeConte Medical Center is proud to partner with the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation and Dollywood’s Splash Country on this event.”

Time in the water can be dangerous for children because drowning remains the leading cause of unintended injury-related death for kids ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children younger than 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1 to 4.

The swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. at Mountain Waves wave pool. Vendor booths are open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Guests who visit the vendor booths receive a Splash Pass, allowing them to receive a prize at each booth. Once the participants have visited all vendors, they may turn their pass in for the chance to win two season passes to Dollywood’s Splash Country.

Event Details

Water Safety Day and WLSL registration begins Thursday, June 21 at 9 a.m. at Dollywood’s Splash Country. The park opens to guests at 9:30 a.m. Guests should arrive early to register before the swim lesson begins at 10 a.m. Dollywood’s Splash Country admission is required to participate in Water Safety Day and may be purchased on-site or online at

Team DollyDollywood’s Splash Country Hosts Ninth Annual Water Safety Day

Dolly Parton Teams With Netflix For New Television Film Series

Published June 4, 2018 / Last Updated June 4, 2018

Warner Bros. Television to produce eight episodes in the inaugural season of television film series based on Dolly Parton’s classic songs!

Dolly Parton Teams With Netflix For New Television Film Series

Emmy award-winning global superstar Dolly Parton announced this morning that her Dixie Pixie Productions is partnering with Warner Bros. Television to produce a series of television films to premiere on Netflix in 2019. Each installment will be based on a different Parton classic song, with the singer-songwriter appearing in select episodes. Dolly said,

“As a songwriter, I have always enjoyed telling stories through my music. I am thrilled to be bringing some of my favorite songs to life with Netflix. We hope our show will inspire and entertain families and folks of all generations, and I want to thank the good folks at Netflix and Warner Bros. TV for their incredible support.”

Currently, Dolly is wrapping production on the music for the upcoming film “Dumplin’”, to be released as a soundtrack album via Dolly Records/Sony Music Nashville.

Dolly, who teamed with Warner Bros. Television to produce her 2016 NBC-TV film “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” (drawing more than 11 million first-run viewers) as well as its precursor, 2015’s “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors” (drawing more than 13 million first-run viewers), is executive producing this Netflix series for her own Dixie Pixie Productions.

Photo credit: Fran Strine

Team DollyDolly Parton Teams With Netflix For New Television Film Series

Extraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment, Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival May 25 – June 10

Published May 22, 2018 / Last Updated May 22, 2018

Dollywood’s Season of Showstoppers really heats up during Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® May 25 – June 10.

The festival features a stellar lineup of bluegrass music’s best artists as well as expertly-prepared barbeque from Dollywood’s Golden Ticket Award-winning foods team.

The opening weekend of the festival kicks off with The Gibson Brothers (May 25) and the “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 26-27). Dailey & Vincent (May 29-30), Molly Tuttle (May 31) and The Seldom Scene (June 5) are among the headliners during the festival. Seven-time International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Vocal Group of the Year Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (June 7) also makes an appearance during the event.

“When I decided this would be the Season of Showstoppers,” Dolly Parton began, “I couldn’t wait to see what kind of talent our folks would be able to round up to perform during my Barbeque & Bluegrass festival. Well, I’ll tell you they definitely did me proud, because it’s quite the lineup. It’s always a real treat to have these performers with us, folks like Doyle Lawson and my good friend Rhonda Vincent. All these performers are the best in the business.

“Plus our foods team—which won a pretty big award last year—is cooking up some great barbeque to go along with all that good music. You know how much I love their ribs! I suggest everyone sit down with a big plate of them and take in those beautiful bluegrass sounds.”


Doyle Lawson is a regular during this festival. He counts Dollywood among the best places to perform. He said,

“Just as Dolly is an exciting entertainer, Dollywood is an exciting place to entertain! Great venue, great audience.”

An impressive calendar of bluegrass talent performs throughout the festival with more than 350 individual concerts—all included with park admission—scheduled during the festival.

Groups Performing In Celebrity Theater:
The Grascals (May 28)
Blue Highway (June 2)
Flatt Lonesome (June 3)
Darin and Brooke Aldridge (June 10)

Groups Performing In Showstreet Palace Theater:
Po’ Ramblin’ Boys (May 25)
Phil Leadbetter’s Bluegrass All-Stars (June 9)
America’s Got Talent semi-finalists Mountain Faith (May 30)

For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit or view the Dollywood App.

Darin and Brooke Aldridge make their first trip to perform at Dollywood and eagerly anticipate performing at the place they’ve grown up visiting for years.

“We are so excited to make our very first appearance at Dollywood this June,” Brooke Aldridge said. “It’s been a theme park we’ve always loved and attended since we were kids. The shows there are always stellar, and we can’t wait to showcase our musical talents in Dollywood’s family-friendly environment.”


Fresh off Amusement Today’s 2017 Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Food, Dollywood’s foods team offers dining options that create a sweet harmony with the music from the finest in bluegrass. Traditional items, including hickory-smoked ribs, slow-smoked pulled pork and beef brisket, highlight the menu, while a number of new favorites make their debut.

Dollywood chefs took advantage of the park’s new partnership with BUSH’S® Beans to create several tantalizing new recipes, including Cowboy Kettle Beans. BBQ pork nachos, pork belly mac & cheese, and the BBQ bowl—featuring pulled pork atop Dollywood’s famous BIG SKILLET potatoes—are new this year. Chicken and waffles funnel cake, Dollywood’s twist on chicken & waffles, appears for the first time as well. Grilled watermelon salad and a bacon-wrapped hot dog on a pretzel roll also are new in 2018.

For more information, show times and food information for Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S®, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, visit or download the new Dollywood App.

Team DollyExtraordinary Bluegrass Entertainment, Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival May 25 – June 10

Dolly Parton Unveils Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden At Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Published May 22, 2018 / Last Updated May 23, 2018

Dolly Parton helped unveil the newly-added Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital honoring her niece.

Hannah Dennison, Dolly’s niece, was diagnosed with leukemia as a child and received treatment at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Today she is a beautiful example of hope and inspiration and recently celebrated her 30th birthday. Dolly calls Hannah her “chemo hero” and wrote and recorded a song of the same name on her “I Believe In You” children’s album.

On Thursday, May 17, Dolly donated $1 million to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and helped unveil the Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden honoring her niece. Dolly said,

“Twenty-six years ago was when Hannah was diagnosed with leukemia and for five years, we didn’t know if we would be keeping her or not but Hannah now stands here as our chemo hero and she actually shows us all that miracles do happen.”

Listen to a preview of, “Chemo Hero” from Dolly’s “I Believe In You” children’s album which benefits Dolly Parton

Photo Credit: John Russell

Team DollyDolly Parton Unveils Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden At Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Dollywood’s Splash Country Slides Into 18th Season With Park Upgrades

Published May 16, 2018 / Last Updated May 16, 2018

Guest comfort and new options are the focus of 2018 at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

At Dollywood’s Splash Country, summertime is playtime! Children are out of school and families have the opportunity to spend more time together making memories. In celebration of the water park opening on May 19, Dollywood is offering a weeklong sale to kick off the season: purchase a two-day Dollywood ticket and upgrade to a two-day, multi-park ticket for free! Guests can take advantage of this online offer until May 18 and the tickets can be used through June 3.

A special ticket offer isn’t the only exciting news. For its 18th season, Dollywood’s Splash Country is delighted to showcase park upgrades. The water park is introducing Too Hot Tuesdays with a DJ on the wave pool deck and lots of new menu items. Guests won’t know which way to look first!

Comfort Upgrades

From new landscaping and additional shade to new paint and theming, Dollywood’s Splash Country is hoping to treat water park guests to a mountain oasis getaway. Guests will find new lounge chairs throughout the park this season, and now they can rent Luxury Loungers in addition to Retreats and Canopies for guaranteed shade and comfort in between splashing and playing. The water park also has made improvements to wait times including self-serve ticket kiosks and opportunities to save 90% of the ride wait time with new TimeSaver H2O options—perfect for those hot days when you want to be in the water as much as possible.

“We love combing through guest feedback and delivering solutions to those requests,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This season we’re pleased we can provide so much added value including Platinum TimeSaver H2O, new shade structures over queue lines, and new aquatic wheelchairs.”

Building on the response to the water park’s calming area and accessibility tubes, Dollywood’s Splash Country also is adding aquatic wheelchairs and adult changing tables for families to utilize this season. It is Dollywood’s Splash Country’s desire to make the water park fun for everyone, and simple additions like aquatic wheelchairs can make a big difference for families who have never been able to enjoy water attractions before.

“Our lifeguards and hosts can’t wait to welcome guests back to Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2018,” Dawson continued. “We are so proud of the work we accomplished in the off-season and we know our guests are going to love the upgrades, too. Splash Country will be the place to be this summer!”

Entertainment & Dining Upgrades

New this season, guests can look forward to Too Hot Tuesdays featuring a DJ on the wave pool deck noon – 3 p.m. (Tuesdays May 22 – June 26). Expect family-friendly summer hits and interactive games to enhance the experience.

When it’s time to take a break and enjoy a meal or snack, there are plenty of new offerings for guests to try! Trailhead Tacos is a newly-rethemed eatery that will feature a Tex-Mex menu, while other venues will boast new menu items. Make 2018 the year to try Loaded Tots, a new BeaverTail flavor featuring MoonPie, and a Cookie Dough Dream flavored gourmet milkshake. If guests need more reasons to be excited about topping off their water park day with refreshments, they also can enjoy Splash Country’s new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

Opening Day

Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday, May 19. Daily operation continues through Sunday, August 12. After that, the park shifts operations to Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends with the last day being Labor Day (Sept. 3). For more information about Dollywood’s Splash Country or any of The Dollywood Company properties, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s Splash Country Slides Into 18th Season With Park Upgrades