Dollywood Theme Park

DOLLYWOOD TO POSTPONE GRAND OPENING TO PARK GUESTS UNTIL MARCH 28

Published March 13, 2020 / Last Updated March 16, 2020

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

UPDATE: THEATERS AND DINNER SHOWS TEMPORARILY CLOSED UNTIL MAY 9

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 until May 9. 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 until May 9,” Jim Rule, CEO, said. “We can control the group size in our Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café, and it will remain open at this time.”

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 until March 28,” 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 UNTIL MARCH 28

Dollywood Offers Free Pre-K Imagination Season Pass In 2020

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

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

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 DreamMore Resort and Spa To Host Lyrics & Lore

Published January 3, 2020 / Last Updated January 3, 2020

Attend the fourth annual Lyrics & Lore hosted at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa Jan. 17-18

January 17-18, 2020, join some of the country’s most talented storytellers and songwriters for an unforgettable weekend of music and storytelling at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. The fourth annual Lyrics & Lore, an event hosted by the Dollywood Entertainment team, The International Storytelling Center and Bandtwango, brings the beauty and inspiration of songs and stories to the Great Smoky Mountains and celebrates their rich traditions in the Appalachian region.

Workshops and other activities give event guests the opportunity to learn from internationally-recognized storytellers and hit songwriters as they share their stories and offer guidance. Additionally, everyone can sit back and enjoy as these artists perform some of their chart-topping songs or favorite stories. Interested guests do not have to stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa to attend Lyrics & Lore.

Lyrics & Lore Headliners

Event headliners Beth Nielson Chapman and Deana Carter bring excitement and inspiration to this year’s event. Chapman has made her mark in the music world by writing award-winning hits for a variety of artists including Elton John, Bette Midler, Faith Hill, and Martina McBride. Chapman’s music has made its way to the big and small screens with tracks in projects including “ER,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “The Rookie,” and “The Prince of Egypt.” Chapman is also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Guests can enjoy Chapman’s headline performance on Friday, Jan. 17.

Country songwriter, recording artist and producer Deana Carter is known for her 1996 multi-platinum international debut album “Did I Shave My Legs For This,” which included her wildly popular single “Strawberry Wine.” More recently, she co-wrote Kenny Chesney’s Grammy-nominated single, “You and Tequila.” Carter also co-wrote and produced an album for recording artist Audra Mae while putting the finishing touches on her own latest album, “A Southern Way of Life.” Carter will give a special performance on Saturday, Jan. 18. Guests can attend both Chapman’s and Carter’s performances at no cost.

Event Schedule

The event kicks off Friday morning with a performance by International Storyteller Geraldine Buckley. The award-winning storyteller has been telling stories for more than 30 years across multiple countries. Buckley is known for sharing personal anecdotes that showcase her charming wit, warmth, and humor.

Friday continues with songwriting workshops featuring discussion and instruction from Dave Berg, Tim James, and Chapman. Dave Berg is a country music songwriter whose list of credits includes the Top 10 hits “Stupid Boy” by Keith Urban and “Don’t Make Me” by Blake Shelton. James is an accomplished country music songwriter with hits including Trace Adkins’ Grammy-nominated song “All I Ask For Anymore” and Lee Brice’s radio favorite, “Love Like Crazy.”

Saturday’s workshops showcase the talents of storyteller Andy Irwin and songwriter Guthrie Trapp, as well as more from Berg. Trapp is one of Nashville’s preeminent guitar talents and currently, is finishing work on a follow-up to his successful solo album, “Pick Peace.” Irwin is a one-person showman and one of the most sought-after performing storytellers in the country. He is known for his whimsical voice, hilarious heart-filled stories, and incredible whistling.

A full schedule and registration details for Lyrics & Lore is available at Dollywood.com. Please note that some of the music concerts are separately ticketed events.

To stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa for the event, visit Dollywood.com or call (800) DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa To Host Lyrics & Lore

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”

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Brings Vibrant Spring Fun To The Smokies In 2020

Published November 7, 2019 / Last Updated November 7, 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

New five-week event highlights Dollywood’s 35th anniversary season

Spring in the Great Smoky Mountains is about to get a little brighter thanks to Dollywood’s inaugural Flower & Food Festival, a vibrant new event that adds another touch of dazzling color to the natural beauty that already surrounds the award-winning theme park.

Coinciding with the park’s 35th anniversary, the first new festival experience at Dollywood since 2006 immerses park guests in the splendor of spring flowers through creative and aromatic displays as well as the freshest food flavors of the spring with delicious and mouth-watering Smoky Mountain cuisine selections. The five-week festival is slated for May 8-June 14.

Dollywood’s Dreamer-In-Chief Dolly Parton loved springtime in the Smoky Mountains as a child and continues to draw inspiration from the beauty of what she calls “God’s Coloring Book.” With nearly half-a-million plants and flowers throughout the park, it will be easy for guests to feel as if they are walking through those pages.

“When I was just a little girl, spring was a wondrous time,” Parton explained. “Everything came to life – flowers bloomed in the meadow near our house, and the Dogwood, red bud and fruit trees blossomed with the sweetest smells. I imagined having my own special field of flowers that were a fragrant home to my favorite animal friends in the woods. Now, my Dollywood becomes that special place with everything made of flowers – I can’t wait to share it with everyone just in time for our 35th season!”

Flower & Food Festival

Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival brings Dolly’s dreams to life in an all-new way with floral displays that bloom 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 in blooming topiary tributes to “I Will Always Love You” with a floral heart umbrella and to “Coat of Many Colors” with a brilliant butterfly and a marvelous scenic sculpture of her mother sewing the priceless garment. Just like Dolly, these topiaries are larger than life – measuring 10-15 feet tall – and each spring sculpture offers a variety of colors and flowers.

The festival takes its blooms and brilliance throughout Dollywood, starting with photo opportunities before guests step foot through the turnstiles. Once in the park, the Showstreet area of Dollywood becomes a colorful shower of flowers – literally! Guests quickly find themselves under an “Umbrella Sky” with hundreds of multi-colored umbrellas dancing above their heads. “This gives all new meaning to one of my favorite sayings – ‘If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain,’” Parton said. “With these umbrellas, it’s sure to be a sunshine kind of day no matter what!”

Flit and Flutter, the colorful characters from Wildwood Grove, venture throughout the park for special meet and greet experiences and photo opportunities during this new event. Special “Instagramable” photo locations and interactive activities allow families to capture special memories that will live on long after the festival flowers bloom.

Fresh Tastes & Fragrant Smells

The colorful splendor created by an artful array of flowers and plants is accented by the delicious dishes of spring’s freshest tastes for a mouth-watering festival of flavors. Dollywood’s team of culinary experts dug deep into the traditions of Southern and Smoky Mountain cuisine to plant tantalizing tastes sure to take root on the list of favorite foods for every festival visitor.

The fragrant smells of flowers and food are sure to become a guest favorite when this new festival is the main course for Dollywood visitors in spring 2020. Every member of the family should have their 2020 Dollywood season pass early, because it’s going to be an anniversary celebration no one will want to miss!

For more information about Dollywood—the Golden Ticket winner for the Best Guest Experience of any theme park in the world—visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Flower & Food Festival Brings Vibrant Spring Fun To The Smokies In 2020