Dollywood Theme Park

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

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Nominated by USA Today

Published November 7, 2019 / Last Updated November 7, 2019

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Nominated by USA Today 10Best Award

Public voting for award runs through Monday, December 2

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, one of the world’s premier theme park events, has been nominated as part of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for Best Theme Park Holiday Event. The contest, which now is live, runs through Monday, Dec. 2.

Smoky Mountain Christmas already has won the 2019 Golden Ticket Award from Amusement Today for Best Theme Park Christmas Event in the world, an award the festival has earned for 12 consecutive years. In fact, Dollywood is the only park in the world to ever win the award.

During Smoky Mountain Christmas, the park boasts an impressive count of more than five million brilliant lights, heartwarming Christmas entertainment, delicious holiday meals and the fun of Dollywood at Christmas. Glacier Ridge presented by Goo Goo Cluster® opened last season, providing guests a completely new way to experience the Smokies at Christmas. Thanks to the opening of Wildwood Grove earlier this year, there is, even more, to explore in this dazzling area.

Fans of Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas can vote now through Monday, Dec. 2 by visiting USA Today 10Best. Voters are encouraged to vote each day from each of their devices. Competition is fierce, so Dollywood fans should vote early and often to show their support! Dollywood recently won the USA Today 10Best award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event thanks to the overwhelming votes of park supporters.

From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas fosters family memory making for guests. For those who wander through the spectacular scenery, it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. Guests can experience the fun enchantment of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends straight from the children’s holiday classic or sit down together for a fabulous Christmas feast at many of Dollywood’s award-winning dining locations. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions also operate in this merry environment, with rides racing along just above the millions of twinkling lights.

For more information about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, please visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Nominated by USA Today

Dolly Parton And The Other Heartstrings Stars Walk Red Carpet At Dollywood

Published October 31, 2019 / Last Updated October 31, 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

Julianne Hough and Kimberly Williams-Paisley among the stars on the red carpet with Dolly Parton at Heartstrings premiere

Netflix will release Season 1 of “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” on Nov. 22, 2019

Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun

Dollywood hosted a special red carpet event for Dolly Parton and the stars of her new Netflix series, “Heartstrings.” Each of the eight episodes is based on one of Dolly’s iconic songs. The series is also stacked with many familiar names and some fresh faces. Dolly is credited in every episode with either an on-camera role or as a narrator.

In Episode 4, fans will see Julianne Hough star as Jolene alongside Dolly who plays Babe (Jolene’s surrogate mother). Joining them will be Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride), Dallas Roberts (3:10 to Yuma) and Wynn Everett (Charlie Wilson’s War).

Julianne Hough and Kimberly Williams-Paisley were among the smiling faces who walked the red carpet at the Dollywood premiere event. Park guests lined the path to snap a photo of their favorites, including Dolly herself, of course!

Heartstrings Red Carpet Event

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings - Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun
Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings - Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun
Julianne Hough (Jolene)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Jolene)
Ben Lawson (If I Had Wings)
Sarah Shahi (Cracker Jack)
Shane McGhie (Down From Dover)
Jessica Collins (Cracker Jack)
Aidan Langford (Two Doors Down)
Holly Taylor (Down From Dover)
Tyler Crumley (These Old Bones)
Vanessa Rubio (JJ Sneed)
Willa Fitzgerald (JJ Sneed)
Mary Lane Haskell (Down From Dover)
Andy Mientus (Two Doors Down)
Jaclyn Betham (Two Doors Down)
Kyle Bornheimer (These Old Bones)
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings - Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun
Lucas Townsend and Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings - Photo Credit: Curtis Hilbun
Sam Haskell, Mary Lane Haskell and Guest
Julianne Hough and Guest
Shane McGhie and Guest
Sarah Shahi and Guest
Heartstrings

“Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” Episode Guide

Episode 1 These Old Bones
Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time) and Katheleen Turner (Romancing the Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married) headline the episode with Kyle Bornheimer also signed on for the episode.

Episode 2 – If I Had Wings
Gerald McRaney (The A-Team, House of Cards), Delta Burke (Designing Women), Ben Lawson (Designated Survivor, No Strings Attached) and Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincinnati) feature in this episode.

Episode 3 – JJ Sneed
Willa Fitzgerald (Scream: The TV Series), Colin O’Donoghue (The Rite) are both scheduled to headline this episode.

Episode 4 – Jolene
This episode features a star-studded lineup with Julianne Hough being the main draw but also featuring Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Father of the Bride), Dallas Roberts (3:10 to Yuma) and Wynn Everett (Charlie Wilson’s War).

Episode 5 – Cracker Jack
Sarah Shahi (Bullet to the Head) will play the role of Lucy Jane bu Rochelle Aytes (Trick ‘r Treat) playing Scarlett.

Episode 6 – Sugar Hill
The cast of Episode 6 is perhaps the most unknown and includes Timothy Busfield from The West Wing as Logan Cantrell.

Episode 7 – Down From Dover
Robert Taylor (Longmire) will play the role of Reverend Covern. Bellamy Young (Scandal), Holly Taylor (The Americans), Camryn Manheim (The Practice) and Shane Paul McGhie (After) also feature.

Episode 8 – Two Doors Down
Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Ray McKinnon (Rectify), Catherine Dyer (The Blind Side) and Katie Stevens (Faking It) feature.

Team DollyDolly Parton And The Other Heartstrings Stars Walk Red Carpet At Dollywood

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin Luminights Return For Fantastic Fall Family Fun

Published September 24, 2019 / Last Updated September 24, 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

Great Pumpkin LumiNights returns to Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana and brings the glow to Wildwood Grove

Family-friendly fall fun is back at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana, thanks to the return of Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Now in its third season, Great Pumpkin LumiNights expands again this year by growing the glow to Wildwood Grove.

An overwhelming guest-favorite since it was introduced in 2017, Great Pumpkin LumiNights recently was named the country’s Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. This year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights includes an expanded footprint into Wildwood Grove, new harvest-themed experiences, food and merchandise; as well as activities that are enjoyable for even the youngest guests.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival runs Sept. 27- Nov. 2 (closed Tuesday, Oct. 22 & Tuesday, Oct. 29) with park operating hours each day from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., providing guests more time to enjoy harvest time in the Smokies. Popular pumpkin displays from past events return—like the pumpkin spider, pumpkin dance party and Dolly-inspired displays— while Wildwood Grove joins the fun for the first time with a harvest experience at The Wildwood Tree.

Great Pumpkin LumiNights

The Plaza at Wilderness Pass again serves as a centerpiece for the event with an area for character interaction, additional displays—and the focal point—a 40 ft. tall pumpkin tree featuring larger-than-life carved pumpkins. Families bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together.

“I’m so glad to hear families are just lovin’ Great Pumpkin LumiNights,” Dolly Parton said. “When I was a kid, we’d love to get pumpkins, scoop out all those guts from the inside and carve these beautiful masterpieces—at least us kids thought they were masterpieces! But, it makes me just feel good to know families are able to spend time together exploring during what really is the most beautiful time of year in the Smokies.”

Southern Gospel Jubilee

While Great Pumpkin LumiNights lights up Dollywood each evening, the biggest names in Southern gospel music lift their voices each day as part of the Southern Gospel Jubilee. Guests can experience more than 600 individual Southern gospel performances on stages throughout the park during the run of the festival. It’s the largest Southern gospel event in America, fitting for the music icon who got her start singing in churches around the Smokies.

“God truly does turn the Smokies into His own personal coloring book during the fall,” Parton added. “And nothing fits so well with those colorful fall mountains than the uplifting Southern gospel songs that fill the air with powerful praise for Him. I’m proud we’re able to have some of the best Southern gospel singers here during the Harvest Festival.”

Headlining acts include The Martins (Sept. 27-28), The McKameys (Oct. 4-5), Ernie Haase and Signature Sound (Oct. 12-13), The Isaacs (Oct. 18-19), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 20-21), Gold City (Oct. 27-28) and many more. A complete schedule of artists, show times and stage locations is available at Dollywood.com.

Guest Artisans

Dollywood celebrates Smoky Mountain crafts all year with the park’s well-known master craftsmen. During the Harvest Festival, however, more than two dozen visiting artisans from across the country provide in-depth demonstrations including woodworking, chainsaw carvings, fiddle-making and more. Guests can find inspirational jewelry, historic handmade games, pottery, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, and even Windsor chairs available for purchase.

Harvest Food

Autumn in the Smokies also provides a bountiful harvest of crops that allows Dollywood’s culinary team an opportunity to showcase their skills with a menu full of fall favorites. Guests can find traditional items like cabbage rolls, pierogies, sausage sandwiches, skillet potatoes, apple cider and fried apple pies. A number of new tasty treats also are on the menu, including chicken Applewood pasta, Reuben wontons, candy corn cider and chocolate chip cookie pizza.

For more information about Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring Southern Gospel Jubilee and Great Pumpkin LumiNights, please visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, or download the Dollywood App.

Team DollyDollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin Luminights Return For Fantastic Fall Family Fun

Dollywood Earns Three 2019 Golden Ticket Awards

Published September 9, 2019 / Last Updated September 10, 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

Most-Honored Park Wins For Best Kids’ Area, Best Guest Experience And Best Christmas Event

Dollywood certainly has earned a number of major accolades in recent years, and the Smoky Mountain theme park won three more on Saturday night during Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards ceremony held at Silverwood theme park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dollywood earned finalist placement in seven total categories and won more awards than any other park. Dolly Parton said,

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here since we opened Dollywood in 1986. First, we’ve been able to provide so many jobs to the great people who live here in the Smokies. Second, I wanted the world to know how beautiful this area truly is. I’ve been able to travel the world and see so many great things, but in the end, the Smokies are where my heart sings. I wanted to give folks the world over a reason to come here and see it for themselves.”

Dolly continued,

“We don’t do what we do to win awards. They are nice, but we do it because we want to provide families an escape to a beautiful place where they can forget about all the things going on in their daily lives and truly enjoy each other.”

Dollywood’s three Golden Ticket Awards include:

  • Best Guest Experience, inaugural winner of this prestigious new category;
  • Best Kids’ Area, for Wildwood Grove, Dollywood’s first win in this category;
  • Best Christmas Event, the only park to ever earn this award, Dollywood celebrates its 12th consecutive win.

Dollywood also had Top Ten (finalist) positions in four additional categories:

  • Best Food, second place;
  • Best Park, second place;
  • Most Beautiful Park, third place;
  • Best Park, fifth place;
  • Best Wooden Coaster for Lightning Rod, seventh place.

The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought-after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. The awards have become the subject of much discussion by park aficionados the world over and garnered mentions in such notable media outlets as USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, and by the late radio newsman Paul Harvey. The awards also were the topic of a one-hour Travel Channel documentary.

“The Golden Ticket for Best Kids’ Area reinforces what guests have been telling us since it opened; Wildwood Grove is a place where families can laugh, play and make memories together,” said Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company. “Dolly wanted Wildwood Grove to truly reflect the experiences she had as a little girl growing up here in the Great Smoky Mountains. As we started to develop the area and she began telling stories—some we had heard and some we hadn’t—we knew kids were going to love exploring the wilderness of Wildwood Grove she had dreamed up.”

Two categories Dollywood has dominated for a number of years—Best Shows and Friendliest Park—have been retired and replaced with new categories. Best Guest Experience combines the previous Friendliest Park award with the Cleanest Park award into one prestigious new category. Pete Owens, Dollywood’s Vice-President of Marketing and Public Relations said,

“Winning the Golden Ticket for Best Guest Experience further solidifies what we’ve known for so long. The Dollywood experience provides guests a genuinely friendly, clean and warm environment to create memories they will be able to share forever. From our welcoming hosts and picturesque natural surroundings to our unique attractions, entertainment and food, Dollywood offers an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.”

About Golden Ticket Awards

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the industry’s leading trade publication, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world in balanced geographical regions. Voters are asked to rate the “best” in a number of categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, kids’ area, food and more.

“It has been fascinating to observe the results over the past two decades,” said Amusement Today’s Tim Baldwin, Golden Ticket Awards Communications Coordinator. “I have watched Dollywood ascend from a great regional theme park to a world-famous destination. That continual climb has been the result of offering an outstanding product at all levels — food, shows, innovative rides and a fantastic atmosphere. Dollywood is just the complete package! It has been inspiring to watch the park trying to continue to better itself — and it is succeeding in a huge way. The fact that they are recognized in numerous categories is testimony to that.”

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival

Dollywood's Great Pumpkin LumiNights won USA TODAY's 10Best Reader's Choice 2019 Travel Award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event

There are still a number of great opportunities for guests to enjoy what has arguably become the biggest season in Dollywood’s history. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana features the return of an even larger Great Pumpkin LumiNights*, which includes new experiences in Wildwood Grove! Additionally, more than 600 Southern gospel concerts take place throughout the festival.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, now the 12-time winner for Best Christmas Event, features the second year of Glacier Ridge, as well as the first year of Christmas in Wildwood Grove. Now boasting five million spectacular lights, Smoky Mountain Christmas puts guests in the holiday spirit with stunning lights displays, tantalizing food options, traditional shows and fun experiences like the Parade of Many Colors and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends.

For more information about Dollywood, visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or download the Dollywood App.

*Dollywood was also crowned winner of another notable award by USA TODAY this past Friday. Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights won the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event!

Team DollyDollywood Earns Three 2019 Golden Ticket Awards