Dollywood Theme Park

Hallmark Channel Announces “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar

Published July 12, 2019 / Last Updated July 12, 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

Production to begin on Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar with a special appearance by Country Music legend and American Treasure, Dolly Parton

A Must-See Film, In a Must-See Place, Just in Time for Hallmark Channel’s Ratings-Winning 10th Anniversary of COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

Hallmark Channel announces Danica McKellar, is set as the lead of the World Premiere Original Movie, “Christmas At Dollywood,” premiering in December as part of the network’s 10th Anniversary salute to its #1-rated COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS program event. Making a special appearance in the film is Dollywood’s beloved namesake, country music legend and American treasure, Dolly Parton. The film commences principal photography at the theme park in November.

In “Christmas At Dollywood,” Rachel Lewis (McKellar) is a single mom and award-winning Broadway producer who learns investors have mismanaged her latest theatrical – a holiday extravaganza – into bankruptcy, forcing the show to close before it opens. Rachel is dismayed, but not for long, as her friend calls from Tennessee to let her know there is an opportunity for a seasoned pro to produce a show for the 20th anniversary of the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas festival at Dollywood. One caveat, Rachel learns this is a co-production with Luke Hakman, entertainment director for Dollywood.

Luke is a long-time Dollywood employee who sees the holiday show as key to him becoming the park’s next GM. With nine-year-old daughter Amy in tow, Rachel leaves New York City to return to her Appalachian mountain roots. Every night as Rachel tucks Amy into bed, she tells the child a new ADVENTURES OF AMY story, a collection of personal mother-daughter bedtime stories Rachel hopes to author someday. One night, Rachel tells Amy about a little girl following Santa Claus on his route. Using the stars as her guide, fantasy Amy travels with Santa to the Northern Lights. Rachel tells her child the lights are so magical and beautiful that Amy can always look to the night sky to find her way home. Is this an idea for the new Dollywood show? Rachel thinks so, though she will have to convince a skeptical Luke who has his own vision of success. As the pair meets in the middle to please the boss, little do Rachel and Luke realize love lurks in all the unexpected places because this isn’t the Great White Way. Or Hollywood. This is Dollywood!

“Dolly Parton is a bright light who is rich in spirit, kindness, and love. ‘Christmas At Dollywood’ features Danica McKellar in a story about finding love and new beginnings in the most familiar place — home. A holiday movie set in a winter wonderland like Dollywood exemplifies the quality of the talent, storytelling, and filmmaking that has made COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS the #1 program event on television for ten years,” said Michelle Vicary, Executive Vice President, Programming & Publicity, Crown Media Family Networks.

Danica McKellar and Dolly Parton share a special connection to children’s literacy: both are successful authors and two of Danica’s books can be found in Dolly’s world-renowned Imagination Library.

“Christmas At Dollywood” is written by Nina Weinman. Executive Producers are Alan Ett and Bruce Hendricks.

Team DollyHallmark Channel Announces “Christmas At Dollywood,” Starring Danica McKellar

Dollywood Hosts A “Summer Celebration” Everyone Will Enjoy

Published June 24, 2019 / Last Updated June 26, 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
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

Wildwood Grove, nightly fireworks, extended hours highlight summer at Dollywood

With summer quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to enjoy the biggest season in Dollywood’s history, as the award-winning vacation destination has a sensational celebration that provides families more time to enjoy together. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features extended park hours—10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily—as well as a nightly fireworks spectacular, thrilling new entertainment and the fun of Dollywood after dark!

Wildwood Grove

For the first time, families can enjoy the beauty of Wildwood Grove in the evening. As the sun sinks in the sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the green, leafy canopy of the Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime experience that features nearly 650 lighted butterflies dancing playfully in the warm evening breeze.

Dollywood Opens Wildwood Grove Blackbear Trail

Thrilling New Entertainment

Summer Celebration also is full of new entertainment offerings, including an exciting production from Dollywood’s talented entertainment team called “Summer Feels…” Taking place in DP’s Celebrity Theater June 22- Aug. 4, “Summer Feels…” is highlighted by 10 talented performers and six world-class musicians who take audiences on a musical journey through today’s hits with a few surprising old favorites mixed in!

Several special entertainment guests visit Dollywood this summer as well. In partnership with Humana, Dollywood hosts the Tennessee Air National Guard Band of the South—which features a concert band, a classic rock and country rock band, and a brass quintet—on Monday, June 24. The group performs multiple concerts at three different performance venues in the park and inspires patriotism by fostering a deep appreciation of the rich history and legacy of the Air Force. One of the group’s missions is to increase the public’s understanding of the importance of air power, the missions and programs of the Air Force and Air National Guard and the bravery, sacrifice and dedication of Airmen across the globe.

On select Thursdays throughout the summer, WIVK and Dollywood team up to present the New Faces of Country concert series. These concerts at Back Porch Theater offer an intimate setting for fans to hear from some of the genre’s next big stars. Be sure to catch them as they begin their rise up the charts! Artists currently scheduled to appear include Adam Craig, Caylee Hammack and King Callaway.

It’s story time again as The Little Engine Playhouse showcases three favorite books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, including Coat of Many Colors, based on Parton’s children’s book. Coat of Many Colors and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (new for 2019), feature sing-along songs that kids of all ages will enjoy. Everyone’s favorite, The Little Engine That Could, also comes to the stage with a delightful reminder of what can happen with just a little bit of determination.

Award-Winning Rides

While Dollywood guests have an amazing amount of entertainment options to enjoy during their visit, they also can experience the park’s award-winning rides in a completely different environment. Once the sun sets, Dollywood’s trademark attractions, like Wild Eagle, Lightning Rod and Thunderhead, provide a unique experience for those who climb aboard. These rides thrill guests who race through the summer night with no idea which way the track will turn next!

Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors

Each evening during Summer Celebration ends with Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a thrilling fireworks extravaganza synchronized to music. There is no better way to finish a day with family than by enjoying the moment together.

For more information about Dollywood’s Summer Celebration, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. For show schedules, park maps and more, download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood Hosts A “Summer Celebration” Everyone Will Enjoy

Award-Winning Bluegrass Music & Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival

Published May 20, 2019 / Last Updated May 28, 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
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

Nearly 450 Bluegrass artists appearing at Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass Presented By BUSH’S®

Perhaps the best way to celebrate the approaching summer is a trip to Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S®, May 24-June 2. Thanks to an impressive lineup of talented bluegrass musicians and menus full of expertly-prepared barbeque from Dollywood’s culinary team, the hardest part for guests may be deciding where to start! This 10-Day festival runs May 24 – June 2.

Celebrated Bluegrass Artists

The event kicks off in style with a blockbuster opening weekend featuring bluegrass music’s biggest names performing at DP’s Celebrity Theater. Multi-time International Bluegrass Music Association Vocal Group of the Year, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (May 24), and the “Queen of Bluegrass” Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 25-26) headline the first three days of the festival. The hits keep coming from the finest musicians in the genre, including Dailey & Vincent (May 27-28).

Artists appearing at DP’s Celebrity Theater:

  • Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver (May 24)
  • Rhonda Vincent & The Rage (May 25-26)
  • Dailey & Vincent (May 27-28)
  • The Grascals (May 29)
  • Sister Sadie (May 30)
  • Flatt Lonesome (May 31)
  • Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers (June 1)
  • Blue Highway (June 2)

One of the largest bluegrass events around, Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass offers guests more than 40 individual performances—all included with park admission—every day of the festival. That means nearly 450 bluegrass performances take place during the run of the event.

Groups featured at Dollywood’s Showstreet Palace Theater:

  • Sugar & The Mint (May 24)
  • Former America’s Got Talent contestants Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band (May 26)
  • Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper (May 27)
  • Lonesome River Band (May 28)
  • The Kenny and Amanda Smith Band (June 1)
  • Volume Five (June 2)

Additional performances take place at The Plaza Stage at Wilderness Pass:

  • Gate 10 (May 24)
  • The Burnett Sisters (May 28)
  • Turning Ground (May 30)
  • Unbridled Strings (June 2)

Several roving performers keep the sweet sounds of bluegrass music echoing throughout the streets of Dollywood, including the unique championship buckdancing and fiddling of Nashville’s Hillary Klug (May 24-June 2).

For a complete lineup of concert performances and show times, please visit Dollywood.com or view the Dollywood App. It’s a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers.

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Dailey and Vincent at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Flatt Lonesome at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Blue Highway at Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage at Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass

Stellar Barbeque Selections

Dollywood’s award-winning foods team has turned up the heat on the culinary offerings during this festival with a plethora of delights that perfectly complement the amazing music ringing through the air. Traditional items, including smoked ribs and slow-smoked pulled pork highlight the menu, while a number of additional options are sure to become favorites.

Dollywood chefs took advantage of the park’s partnership with BUSH’S® Beans to include several tantalizing recipes, including Cowboy Kettle Beans, while BBQ pork nachos, roasted corn on the cob, and even BBQ shrimp skewers are sure to be hits.

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

Dollywood's Barbeque & Bluegrass
Discover Barbeque & Bluegrass
Team DollyAward-Winning Bluegrass Music & Tasty Barbeque Headline Dollywood’s Annual Festival

Dollywood’s Splash Country Opens With New Experiences And Innovation

Published May 17, 2019 / Last Updated May 17, 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
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb

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

Dolly Parton Opens Wildwood Grove At Dollywood

Published May 11, 2019 / Last Updated May 11, 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

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