Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Expansion Exceeding Goals Ahead Of Schedule

Published March 23, 2017 / Last Updated March 23, 2017
Team Dolly

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
Team Dolly

Outpacing expansion estimations, Dollywood is quickly becoming a renowned vacation destination and increasing their economic impact!

In 2013, Dolly Parton promised to deliver $300 million in expansion investments over 10 years to her Smoky Mountain businesses. Part of that plan included the 2015 opening of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. The resort had been a dream of Dolly’s since first opening the park back in 1986.

In addition to the resort, two award-winning Dollywood roller coasters were built and a new dinner theater opened in Pigeon Forge. Current aspects of the investment plan include two new events and two family attractions coming to Dollywood. Dollywood’s Splash Country is also expanding. This summer guests can expect to enjoy a new five-story tall family racing slide called TailSpin Racer.

With the current level and pace of investment, Dolly and her talented team will exceed $300 million in investments well ahead of their original timeline. Craig Ross, Dollywood President said,

“Our financial successes are based on our loyal customers and new consumers who have been sampling Dollywood thanks to smart investment and solid marketing. We will continue to fulfill Dolly’s dreams and will continue to expand our lodging and entertainment offerings as the Great Smoky Mountains becomes a year-round destination.”

Economic Impact

A study commissioned in 2013 to project Dollywood’s economic impact and future growth put its impact at $1.1 billion annually, creating more than 12,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs to the region. It was projected that Dollywood’s 10-year investment would create 2,500 additional direct, indirect and induced jobs in the area and would pay $7 million in additional state and local taxes.

An updated study was conducted by Dr. Burton English and his team at The University of Tennessee. Results show Dollywood has already exceeded the projected levels after setting earnings records in each of the previous five years. Dollywood’s impact is projected to exceed $1.84 billion annually. Also, the company expects to create more than 23,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the region.

Dollywood celebrated opening day on March 18 with the park’s annual Festival of Nations. The 2017 season is known as the “Year of the Family.” Dollywood will devote the year to creating getaway opportunities for families to make lasting memories and continue traditions.

Explore Dollywood’s “Year of the Family”

 
 
 
 
Team DollyDollywood Expansion Exceeding Goals Ahead Of Schedule

Dollywood’s “The Year of the Family”

Published March 17, 2017 / Last Updated March 17, 2017
Team Dolly

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
Team Dolly

Visit Dollywood in 2017 and celebrate “The Year of the Family”

The “world’s friendliest park” is set to celebrate 2017 and “The Year of the Family!” When visiting Dollywood, friends and families can enjoy more than 40 rides as well as 15 outstanding shows. The park also features five of the South’s largest festivals and plenty of Southern-style dining!

2017 Highlights

The exciting 2017 season starts on opening day, March 18. Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (March 18 – April 9) displays the most captivating entertainment from around the world. Park visitors can sample a celebration of music, dance, food and art. Many guests are excited about the return of Mother Africa. This amazing show combines skillful acrobatics, modern and traditional dance, comedy and colorful costumes, all set to the music of a renowned live band.

Slask, one of Europe’s most prominent folk dance and music ensembles will perform at Showstreet Palace Theater. Hodman & Sally from the country of “Oblivia” will stroll the park and pose for photos. Husband and wife duo, Dearbhail Finnegan and Robin Slater will bring their Irish harp and flute duo to the Back Porch Theater. Other acts include Streichmusik Alder, Invaders Steel Orchestra and Kelly Shipe!

This summer, Gazillion Bubbles Show returns to Dollywood’s Summer (June 17 – Aug. 6)! Guests visiting during this time can enjoy extended hours and nightly fireworks. Plus, Parade of Many Colors will return during Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 4 – Jan. 1, 2018).

New additions include Great Pumpkin Luminights during the Harvest Festival (Sept. 29-Oct. 28). Also, enra, a Japanese performance art company, will perform during Spring Break (April 10-22).

Special Events

Festival of Nations: March 18 – April 9
Barbeque & Bluegrass: May 26 – June 4
Spring Break Featuring enra: April 10 – 22
Dollywood Summer (Extended Hours & Nightly Fireworks): June 17 – Aug. 6
Harvest Festival Featuring Great Pumpkin Luminights: Sept. 29 – Oct. 28
Smoky Mountain Christmas: Nov. 4 – Jan. 1, 2018

New This Summer – Dollywood

Drop Line
Whistle Punk Chaser

New This Summer – Dollywood’s Splash Country

TailSpin Racer

Stay & Play

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In 2017, Dollywood’s “The Year of the Family” offers 250 days of memory-making fun starting March 18! Visit Dollywood.com for dates & hours, show schedules and to get your season passes.

Team DollyDollywood’s “The Year of the Family”

My People: Dolly Parton’s Greatest Investment

Published March 15, 2017 / Last Updated March 15, 2017
Team Dolly

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
Team Dolly

A reflection on Dolly Parton’s devotion to her people and her home.

By 1985, Dolly was a CMA, ACM and GRAMMY award-winning artist. Her acting career was flourishing with blockbuster hits such as “9 to 5” and she had earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Dolly had reached superstar status. Yet, to the surprise of many, she dreamed of home and the people living there. Her vision, to build a place where her success would be enjoyed by many for generations and generations to come.

A Dream

Most folks have heard how Dollywood got its name. On one of her first trips to California, Dolly fantasized about changing the H to a D in the iconic Hollywood sign. But what about her vision for the actual park. What motivated the young star to invest so much of herself back home in the mountains of East Tennessee? The answer is simple, Dolly loves her people, her home and everything about her heritage that helped shape her into not just the star but the person she became. A kind, generous, real soul who knows where she is going and loves where she came from.

In her autobiography, “Dolly My Life and Other Unfinished Business” Dolly reflected on why she wanted to open Dollywood. She said,

“The theme park is much more about the mountains and the culture of the people who live there than it is about Dolly Parton. Dolly Parton simply happens to be the most famous hillbilly from those particular hills, and a lot of people are curious about me and my life. There is plenty there to satisfy that curiosity, but there is also plenty that celebrates the spirit of a people who made a life for themselves in that very stingy countryside. These are my real people, the seed from which I sprang. I saw Dollywood as a chance to honor them.”

Grand Opening

Despite naysayers, the park was nearly an overnight success. The 1986 grand opening saw around 10,000 guests pass through the gates. Five months later, the park welcomed its one millionth visitor. Today, Dollywood sees 2.5 million visitors per year. That number hits 4 million when combined with other Dollywood properties such as Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. In 2013, Dolly and the Dollywood Company announced a 10-year, $300 million expansion plan. The plan included the 300-room resort which opened in 2015.

While the guest experience is at the center of the “world’s friendliest park” the people are still the heartbeat. The Dollywood Company now employs over 3000 people. In her book, published in 1994, Dolly wrote,

“I love the fact that I am able to give something back and provide so many people with jobs where none existed before. Of course, the Great Smoky Mountains were there for a couple of million years before I came along, and they are still the main attraction in the area, which is as it should be. If Dollywood can give some people a little extra incentive to visit there, then I am absolutely tickled.”

Perhaps Dolly’s sentiment for her people is best expressed in the words to her song, “My People, My Home” the opening number at Dollywood’s My People show.

These are my mountains, these are my valleys,
these are my rivers flowing like a song.

These are my people, these are my memories,
These are my mountains, this is my home.

“My People, My Home” – By Dolly Parton

 
 
 
 
 

Dollywood opens March 18, 2017! This year, the park will unveil two new rides, Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser, and Dollywood’s Splash Country will debut TailSpin Racer later this summer.

Visit Dollywood.com to see upcoming festivals, events and more!

Team DollyMy People: Dolly Parton’s Greatest Investment

Winter Projects Total Upwards of $11.5 Million At Dollywood

Published February 16, 2017 / Last Updated March 13, 2017
Team Dolly

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
Team Dolly

Dollywood crews are working to finish nearly 250 projects before opening day on March 18!

This winter, Dollywood is vigorously working through a 250 point check list of both small and large projects. These range from total renovations of some areas to adding a fresh coat of paint to others. All total, $8-9 million is being invested at Dollywood and $2.5 million at Splash Country making it one of the busiest off-seasons the parks have ever seen.

Notable renovations include a total transformation of Backstage Restaurant to what will become Front Porch Café. Guest are also in for a treat with a newly remodeled Rainbow Blown Glass shop which will become Mountain Blowing Glass. The new configuration will allow for two glass blowing artisans to work at the same time. Visitors can enjoy a new area dedicated to making their own ornaments where items will be available to take home the same day.

 
 
 
 
 

More renovations are taking place in Timber Canyon. Lumberjack Pizza will remain a staple dining option with some noticeable modifications to make for faster ordering and more choices. The pathway to Timber Canyon has been widened and scenic features have been added to make the trek more enjoyable. Brian Dudash, Dollywood Vice-President of Maintenance & Construction commented on the wide scope of projects going on simultaneously. He said,

“One minute you are talking about blowing glass equipment and the next thing is a freestyle machine in a restaurant then we’re talking about the foundation on our new ride. It’s a variety of stuff and it’s challenging but that’s what makes it fun too!”

The winter renovations and maintenance tasks are taking place now while work is also beginning on the new attractions coming to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country this summer. Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser will be added in Timber Canyon at Dollywood. TailSpin Racer will be unveiled at Splash Country later this season.

Visit Dollywood.com for more on opening dates, tickets and upcoming festivals.

Team DollyWinter Projects Total Upwards of $11.5 Million At Dollywood

Video: The Stars Were Out At Dollywood’s Red Carpet Event

Published November 23, 2016 / Last Updated November 23, 2016
Team Dolly

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
Team Dolly

Dollywood hosted the star-studded Hollywood premiere of “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.”

All photos courtesy of DollyParton.com.

Dolly Parton reunited with her fellow cast members on the red carpet at Dollywood to celebrate the premiere of Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.

The all-star cast including Dolly Parton, Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder, Alyvia Alyn Lind, and many more made their way down the red carpet along Dollywood’s Showstreet. Dolly greeted her fans and members of the media alongside Alyvia Alyn Lind who plays Little Dolly. When asked what the “Little Dolly” inside her would have to say about all the excitement of the night Dolly said,

“I still feel like that little girl, that’s why I wanted Little Dolly, little Alyvia Lind, to be with me because it’s really kind of like going back in time…I feel like Mama and Daddy is kind of right here with us, and it’s very touching, and it’s very emotional.”

 
 
 
 
 

Jennifer Nettles shined as she talked about her role as Avie Lee. As Ricky Schroeder made his way down the red carpet, he shared his excitement to see the new film along with his fellow co-stars. Cameron Jones, a young New Zealand-born actor, was cast as Dolly’s Uncle Bill Owens. Cameron joked to reporters about living up to his real-life counterpart’s stellar good looks which have been something of a family treasure among the Partons.

Kelli Berglund, Mary Lane Haskell, Hannah Nordberg, Forrest Deal, Blane Crockarell along with many more stars from the film were on hand to pose for photos and talk to reporters from around the country. Several of Dolly’s family were also in attendance including her Uncle Bill, many of her brothers and sisters, several nieces and nephews, and other members of her extended family.

The event also drew a few Hollywood A-list stars including Rebecca Romijn and her husband, Jerry O’Connell. Rebecca is a huge Dolly Parton fan, so much so that she named her daughter after Dolly. Little Dolly Rebecca and her sister Charlie Tamara were there sharing their excitement to be at Dollywood for the premiere of the film.

Ricky Schroder, Dolly Parton, Sam Haskell, Jennifer Nettles & Alyvia Alyn Lind
Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
Alyvia Alyn Lind
Dolly Parton & Alyvia Alyn Lind
Ricky Schroder
Jennifer Nettles
Jennifer Nettles
Cameron Jones
Cameron Jones
Kelli Berglund
Kelli Berglund
Hannah Nordberg
Mary Lane Haskell
Blane Crockarell
Blane Crockarell
Colby and Carter Zier with Parents Cheree and Justin Zier
Forrest Deal
Parker Sack
Dylan Michael Rowen
Pamela K. Long
Uncle Bill Owens
Trae Crowder (center)
Steve Summers
Rebecca Romijn with her husband Jerry O’Connell and daugthers 
Rachel Parton, Eric George & Freda Parton
Natalie Alyn Lind
Jaime and Jeff Conyers
Jada Roberts and family
Cassle Styles-Lee with Landon Lee and Hayden Lee
Huston and Randy Parton
Heidi Parton and Brian Norris
Emily Alyn Lind & Natalie Alyn Lind
Emily Alyn Lind & Natalie Alyn Lind
Debi Jo Hess
Ricky Schroder, Dolly Parton, Sam Haskell, Jennifer Nettles & Alyvia Alyn Lind

The park was open for general admission attendees as well who were delighted to catch a glimpse of some of their favorite stars from the film. Many of them had stood behind the red velvet ropes for well over four hours in anticipation of Dolly’s arrival along with the other stars of the new film.

The Coca-Cola Refresh Team brought the Coca-Cola Polar Bear to make photos for guests in attendance. Coca-Cola also offered special holiday beverage samplings.

Once the red carpet activities commenced, everyone gathered inside Dollywood’s Showstreet Palace theater to watch “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love.”

Following the film viewing, the cast and special VIPs enjoyed hor d’oeuvres, desserts and beverages around Dolly’s Chasing Rainbows Museum. Everyone was treated to Dollywood’s all new Parade of Many Colors at the end of the night.

Last December, just in time for Christmas, Dolly delighted viewers and critics alike with her deeply heartwarming tale drawn straight from her inspiring real life and music. In the all-new holiday sequel, the Partons, a family of humble means living in the mountains of Tennessee, face a devastating event that challenges their will. But when they experience a bewildering Christmas miracle, the Partons are drawn closer together than ever – with deepened faith and love for one another.

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” airs on November 30 on NBC at 9/8c.

Team DollyVideo: The Stars Were Out At Dollywood’s Red Carpet Event