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Dollywood’s Splash Country Opens With New Experiences And Innovation

Published May 17, 2019 / Last Updated May 17, 2019

Interactive Events And Less Wait Time Shine In Water Park’s 19th Season

Dive into summer and Dollywood’s Splash Country for the water park’s 19th season! This year features an elevated guest experience, exciting events and new offerings—with a splash of innovation. Opening day is Saturday, May 18.

Guests will be delighted to find more picnic tables and more shade this season. In addition to 6,000 square feet of newly-shaded space on the wave pool deck, there are new structures covering more queue lines which gives guests a cooler wait for their favorite Dollywood’s Splash Country attractions. Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson said,

“Safety and guest excellence are the two most important measurements by which we judge our season’s success. In the heat of summer, our water park may be the coolest place to be in town, but it can still get hot! For the best experience, we’re always on the lookout for ways to give guests more shade. We think we came up with some new spots that our guests truly will appreciate this season.”

The best way to experience Dollywood’s Splash Country is with your own private mountain oasis—better known at our water park as Retreats. New in 2019, guests have the opportunity to upgrade that Retreat experience with more plush amenities: four Deluxe Retreats now offer a couch, love seat, a fridge stocked with bottled water, and barstool seating overlooking the lazy river.

Another upgrade to look for this season includes even more TimeSaver H2O options. On busy days, water park guests have four ways to spend less time waiting in line. Depending on which level guests purchase, this enhanced wristband technology enables park goers to cut their wait time up to 90 percent!

Picnic In The Park

One of the most anticipated rollouts at Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2019 includes a new dining option called Picnic in the Park. The innovative genius in this new option lies in the opportunity guests have to place a meal order ahead of their visit so that the food is ready when they are.

“Our guests tell us they love our food, but they’ve asked us to find ways to cut down their wait time,” Dawson explained. “With Picnic in the Park, guests can pre-order their food so it’s waiting for them to pick up! We think this will revolutionize the lunchtime experience at our park.”

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment takes center stage this season—literally! The wave pool deck hosts live bands every Saturday in July and August. Splash Bash LIVE brings artists of all genres to celebrate summer with familiar tunes. Meanwhile, Too Hot Tuesdays with Hot 104.5 will return with a live DJ and family-friendly interactive games. Guests also should mark their calendars for the American Cornhole Organization’s tournament at Dollywood’s Splash Country (June 1) and Water Safety Day in conjunction with World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (June 20).

To kick off the season, Dollywood’s Splash Country is offering Bring-A-Friend-FREE tickets for every Season Pass purchased online through Sunday, May 19. The water park is adding to that incentive with a week of Passholder appreciation offers including 50% off Retreat rentals, as well as discounted souvenir photos, food, merchandise, and a FREE one-time ride TimeSaver H2O coupon.

Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday, May 18. Daily operation continues through Sunday, August 11. After that, the park shifts operations to Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends through Aug. 25. Splash Country opens one final weekend Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 with the last day being Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2).

For more information about Dollywood’s Splash Country or any of The Dollywood Company properties, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

 

Team DollyDollywood’s Splash Country Opens With New Experiences And Innovation

Imagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar

Published May 16, 2019 / Last Updated May 16, 2019

Danica McKellar Records Narration For Upcoming Imagination Library Documentary

Dolly is pleased to announce that Danica McKellar will narrate the upcoming documentary, “The Library that Dolly Built.” The documentary, directed by Nick Geidner and written by Abby Bower, explores the journey of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library from a local program to an international partnership that has now gifted over 115 million books. Dolly said,

“I was thrilled that Danica agreed to narrate our documentary. She is the perfect person to help us tell our story. She is very talented and she has such a giving heart.”

Danica is an actress, mathematics writer and education advocate. Her successful acting career includes her role as Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” several notable voiceovers for animated movies and a number of well-received movies on the Hallmark Channel. Danica said,

“I’ve admired Dolly Parton since childhood, and even more so upon learning of her Imagination Library. I can’t wait for the world to learn more about the Imagination Library through this beautiful documentary, and I couldn’t be prouder to narrate it.”

In addition to her acting work, McKellar has written eight books, all encouraging children, especially young girls, to have confidence and success in mathematics. Her book, “Goodnight, Numbers,” is currently included in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

 

Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.
Dolly Parton and Dollywood Sponsored NASCAR at BMS Photo Credit: Bristol Herald Courier, David Crigger.

Photo Credit: Nick Geidner

 

“The Library That Dolly Built”

“The Library That Dolly Built” is a feature-length documentary, covering the history, impact and future of America’s largest non-governmental children’s literacy program. It features the music of Dolly Parton and includes original interviews with recipients of the books, parents, policy makers, authors, program organizers, and the legend herself, Dolly Parton. With this film, we hope to celebrate one of Tennessee’s greatest exports, the Imagination Library, shine a light on the importance of children’s literacy and put a human face on the many people who make DPIL happen.

Land Grant Films

“The Library That Dolly Built” is being produced by Land Grant Films, a documentary production program housed in the School of Journalism and Electronic Media at the University of Tennessee. Land Grant Film’s mission is to provide University of Tennessee students with real-world experience in documentary storytelling while providing local non-profit organizations with videos assets that can be used to raise awareness and funds. Land Grant Films’ documentaries have been aired on Knoxville’s NBC and PBS affiliates, screened in film festivals, and won numerous awards. All of our films are created by University of Tennessee students or involve students in key crew positions. The Library That Dolly Built was directed by journalism professor Nick Geidner, edited by video instructor Clinton Elmore, and crewed by 15 University of Tennessee students.

Team DollyImagination Library Documentary To Feature Actress & Author Danica McKellar

Dolly Parton Opens Wildwood Grove At Dollywood

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

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

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

The FBI Honors The Dollywood Foundation

Published May 6, 2019 / Last Updated May 6, 2019

The Dollywood Foundation received the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.

On May 3, 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) held an annual event at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. During this event, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented 57 individuals and organizations with the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

The Director’s Community Leadership Awards honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs and violence in America. Dolly Parton and the Dollywood Foundation received this honor from the Knoxville Division for the generous support and goodwill provided to the people who were affected by the 2016 wildfires. David Dotson, Chief Executive Officer of the Dollywood Foundation accepted the award on behalf of the Foundation. Dolly Parton responded to the honor with a special message.

Director’s Community Leadership Award

The awards were formally created in 1990 to honor the work of community leaders supporting the FBI’s mission. Honorees are nominated by leaders of the FBI’s 56 field offices and the Bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division.

2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award Winners

 

FBI Director Christopher Wray presented 57 individuals and organizations with the Director’s Community Leadership Award.

 

Team DollyThe FBI Honors The Dollywood Foundation