Dollywood is open for 2021, welcoming guests throughout the weekend. After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, the Pigeon Forge family destination has a bright outlook for 2021, its 36th season. The award-winning park is ready to welcome guests of all ages to an exciting year filled with festivals, entertainment and delicious cuisine.
After receiving stellar guest reviews throughout 2020 about the overall park experience, Dollywood has a bright outlook for 2021. The Dollywood Company earned several impressive awards and designations last year, including Dollywood theme park being recognized by Tripadvisor as the #8 best park in the world. In addition, Dollywood’s Splash Country was named a top-five water park by USA Today readers, while Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa was named a “Top 15 Best Resort Hotel in the South,” as well as one of the “Top 25 Resorts in the US that are Perfect for Families” by Travel + Leisure.
“Our people are doing a great job to care for our guests, and I’m just glad that everyone is seeing what the good folks at Dollywood have been doing to make it one of the best family destinations in the entire country,” said Dolly. "What we have is special. It’s a place where folks can come to enjoy those precious moments they will cherish forever. This season looks bright, and I just know families are going to love making a lot of great memories this year."
Dolly continued, “I wish I could be there for the opening, but the doctors said I need to wait until after I’ve had the second dose of the vaccine. Let’s all be patient. All of this stuff is going to be over soon, and I know it won’t be long until we can be together.”
A number of projects, including park infrastructure enhancements and ride retracking efforts, took place during the off-season, and all are designed to add to the guest experience. New restaurant seating areas have been added to the park, while projects at roller coasters Lightning Rod, Blazing Fury, Thunderhead and Mystery Mine took place with guest satisfaction in mind. It all adds up to a season Dollywood guests won’t want to miss.
“There is no doubt; this is the year to have a season pass,” explained Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company. “We have so many exciting things planned for our festivals this year—like concerts, new shows and entertainment, a number of new culinary items and more—that our guests are going to want to come back time and time again to experience the fun of Dollywood and the beauty of the always-changing Smoky Mountains.
“Our goal every single day is to provide the best possible experience for our guests. It is a lot of hard work, but the reward for all of us is to see the smiles, hear the laughter and read the great notes and emails about how they love the moments they have here at Dollywood. They tell us it is that time that helps them come closer together as a family and that those are the memories they will keep forever. That is the reason we all do what we do.”
As always, Dollywood’s teams work hard to incorporate the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains into the park atmosphere, especially during the multiple festivals that take place each year. A different festival accentuates the outdoors each season of 2021, bringing the Smokies into the park for a truly unparalleled experience.
A fresh festival highlights the spectacle of spring with Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (April 23-June 7). Guests will be delighted by more than half-a-million brightly blooming flowers that make up numerous displays and lavish landscaping throughout Dollywood. Fun and discovery are around every corner, thanks to larger-than-life sculptures including a butterfly umbrella, various animal scenes and even a depiction of Dolly’s mother quilting the Coat of Many Colors. Returning in 2021, the dazzling Umbrella Sky greets guests with a stunning visual upon arrival as hundreds of colorful umbrellas are suspended above Showstreet.
In addition to the beautiful flowers, a wide selection of culinary creations abounds to delight guests’ taste buds with a menu full of items inspired by spring in the Smokies. Among the new offerings in Dollywood's 2021 season is the Flower & Food Festival Dining Pass, which allows guests to partake in multiple entrees at a number of culinary locations during the springtime event.
Entertainment—a vital component of the Dollywood experience—plays a lead role this season thanks to a number of new shows, as well as a concert series which debuts during the Flower & Food Festival. The Melodies of Spring concert series features contemporary Christian artists, Southern gospel groups and other fresh and inspiring acts all appearing inside DP’s Celebrity Theater. Among the artists currently scheduled are Matthew West, Big Daddy Weave, I AM THEY, Rebecca St. James, Sidewalk Prophets, the Rhett Walker Band, Triumphant Quartet and many more.
Several shows featuring Dollywood’s own performers debuted during today’s park opening, including Harmonies of the Heart—featuring Dolly’s family—and A Brighter Day, an inspiring show that delights guests with uplifting favorites at the Back Porch Theater. In The Village, Dollywood’s talented The Tones offer a fresh acapella take on today’s current hits. Performances of all three will continue until the fall.
Guests visiting during the park’s warmer months can enjoy Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 25-July 31), which is—just as the name implies—a celebration of family fun and laughter at a place everyone loves. With later nighttime hours, families can ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters all day and well into the night. New during Summer Celebration is a groundbreaking, multi-sensory experience that paints the night sky above Dollywood with stunning animations and superior storytelling to create a symphony of light that represents a true evolution in traditional theme park entertainment.
Taking place every night during Summer Celebration, this sensational show features hundreds of drones flying high above the Smoky Mountain destination to create stunning 3D animations that tell a dynamic, Dollywood-exclusive story. As seen at some of the biggest events around the world, the drones—which are accented by a musically-choreographed fireworks show—create a visual and audial event of epic proportions.
As part of the half-a-million-dollar production, a hyped DJ and energetic dancers bring the fun to the streets in Wildwood Grove and make guests part of the action during a 30-minute party that ensures every member in the family is on their feet. As the dancing nears its finale, the party takes to the sky when the drones launch into the air for an unforgettable end to the evening.
Later in the season, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 24-Oct. 30)—named by readers of USA Today as the best theme park harvest event in the world—provides bushels of fun thanks to everyone’s favorite Smoky Mountain tradition, Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Dollywood stays open late each evening, giving families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park. During the day, guests can expect a packed concert schedule, with hundreds of performances across several genres occurring during the festival.
The season ends with the event that has set the standard for theme park holiday events, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 6- Jan. 2, 2022). It’s the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit with more than five million holiday lights, festive and warm holiday performances, a traditional Christmas atmosphere, and the comforting tastes of classic holiday-themed food. It is easy to see why it has become a family favorite for so many.
With so much excitement planned for 2021, Dollywood season passes are must-haves to enjoy a year of fun and festivities the whole family can enjoy. Pair it with a trip to Dollywood’s Splash Country and stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort for your family’s most memorable 2021 vacation.
Summer is winding down soon. Take advantage of these last few weeks and make some wonderful memories in Branson, MO or Pigeon Forge, TN. Book tickets today and bring your family to Dolly Parton's Stampede (Branson and Pigeon Forge), Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show (Pigeon Forge), Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud (Pigeon Forge) and The Comedy Barn (Pigeon Forge).
It's time to Stampede! Bring your family to Dolly Parton's Stampede. It's filled with friendly competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show invites you to join the most famous pirate, Blackbeard, and his quartermaster, Calico Jack, as they lead the Crimson and Sapphire crews in a battle on land, on deck, in water and high above full-sized pirate ships in an indoor hideaway lagoon! Be amazed by beautiful mermaids, tropical birds, and much more all while you enjoy a fabulous four-course feast.
Gather your family and become part of the longest-running feud in history and help the Hatfields and McCoys try to settle their differences mountain-style. Whether you’re city-folk or country cuzins, you’ll love the singin’ and dancin’, mighty feats of strength, jaw-dropping stunts and side-splitting comedy at Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud. The chaos doesn’t stop with fightin’ cousins! You’ll watch divin’ Hillbillies and divin’ dogs, – in our swimmin’ hole!
It's the most successful and most attended clean comedy theater in the world! Filled with “clean comedy” for every member of the family, this wholesome show literally is non-stop with a variety of comedic talent and musical entertainment for an evening of family fun and unending laughter. Our comedy variety show is sure to entertain with fun barnyard animals, magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists, comedians, live country and gospel music. It’s a night of a thousand laughs – guaranteed! The Comedy Barn is suited for the entire family and an evening of entertainment sure to get the giggles going.
Bring the family together today and share a special experience that you will always remember.
Family memories are among our most treasured possessions – from vacations spent exploring old favorites to new experiences that end up becoming lasting traditions. At Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Branson, MO, we strive to create the perfect experience for family fun and making the perfect memory!
Everyone who visits the Stampede seems to have their own explanation when asked: “what’s the best part of the show?” Dinner is bound to be the answer for many; with a four-course feast that is both plentiful and delicious, this meal is truly one of the show’s biggest stars. The 32 magnificent horses and the talented cast of riders often take #1 on the audience favorite list. From the dazzle of the Roman Ride of Fire to the elegance of “square dancing” on horseback, the equine stars and equestrians bring a wow factor not found in any other show anywhere. There’s also singing and dancing, longhorns and buffaloes, those majestic live animals that once roamed the Great American West. There’s comedy that will make you laugh out loud, some good old-fashioned competition and a patriotic salute including music by everyone’s favorite star, Dolly Parton, that’s a must-see event for families visiting Branson.
Guests should plan to arrive an hour before the main arena spectacular, stroll the beautiful horse walk and meet the 4-legged stars of the show. Then enjoy even more surprises in the Carriage Room. This music and comedy pre-show will have you clapping your hands and tapping your toes to the most fun blend of country and bluegrass music around.
Altogether, Dolly Parton’s Stampede gives your family an experience full of tradition, laughter, amazement and fun that they will cherish a lifetime.
The Best of Pigeon Forge 2019 awards, now in its 5th year, counted thousands of votes cast by the general public. Dolly Parton’s Stampede claimed the top prize in four categories – Best Overall Attraction, Best Indoor Attraction, Best Dinner Theater and Best Show!
Your visit to Stampede begins with a stroll along our open-air stables! There, you’ll meet the stars of the show up close, and study the flawless lines of the Quarter Horse and Palomino breeds along the Horse Walk.
When you are ready to go inside, our costumed greeters will welcome you into our world-famous Saloon for a toe-tapping good time with our Opening Act, Mountain Ruckus! In addition to refreshments and fantastic music, the Saloon also offers children the chance to become part of Dolly Parton’s Stampede with our make-over experiences! Kids of all ages can become a Buckaroo or Prairie Princess!
After guests have enjoyed the excitement of the pre-show in the Saloon, it’s time for the main event. The award-winning show is filled with friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!
The four-course feast includes a mouth-watering tender whole rotisserie chicken, delicious hickory smoked barbecued pork loin, Original Creamy Vegetable Soup, scrumptious homemade biscuit, hot buttered corn on the cob, tasty herb-basted potato, Stampede’s very own Specialty Dessert and unlimited Coca-Cola®, tea or coffee.
In 2019, The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, TN is celebrating 25 years of laughs, family fun and clean comedy. A special show on Tuesday night, July 30, commemorated this extraordinary entertainment milestone.
Year after year, The Comedy Barn receives the title of Pigeon Forge’s Funniest Show. This hilarious show combines the talents and fun antics of magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and even members of the audience in a variety of fun routines that offer surprises and laughs galore. Lovable animals take the stage for more family fun, while live country and gospel music as well as Smoky Mountain clogging also take center stage with memorable performances that everyone in attendance will enjoy.
Four original cast members have been entertaining young and old at The Comedy Barn Theater since the first show in 1994, and they each have favorite memories and parts of the act that they find special and offer some of the many reasons why people come to this show – and even more why they keep coming back year after year. Ron Jeffery came to the area 35 years ago to play bass for Hee Haw legend Archie Campbell’s show, then joined the original Comedy Barn cast. Eric Lambert was one of the original comedians, Buddy Cline has been the band’s drummer since that first night, and Charlie King has provided the band with its guitar melodies for all 25 years. Kathy Kearney, now Executive Assistant to the General Manager at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, also came on board – first selling tickets for the show and then joining the cast in the magician and animal acts.
Jeffery says he knows what makes the Comedy Barn so special. “The whole place is a family, and everyone has been here so long, everyone gets along. People come in here to see (comedian) Danny (Devaney), to see me and Eric. It’s just such a unique situation that keeps people coming back.” Kearney noted that it’s two very simple ingredients that set this show apart: “Good clean comedy and laughter are what has made it such a favorite throughout the years.”
Cline added that while the show has played for two and a half decades, each night is a different experience.
“The audience makes the show so special, because it’s different every night. The people you have up on stage, like Eric, you never know what he is going to do. Even though we have been doing it for 25 years, some person could come on stage (in the audience participation segments) and do it totally different and do something we have never seen before.”
While this show celebrates its 25th anniversary of entertaining Smoky Mountain visitors, the troupe at The Comedy Barn knows that each show is an opportunity to provide special memories for those in attendance. Jeffery says he remembers one couple who came 15 times in one year. “You get to know the guests by name, you get to know their kids, and 25 years later, you get to know their grandkids. It is just amazing how generations of families come to Comedy Barn.” King echoed those comments. "It is awesome to be a part of something this life-changing as far as lots of customers coming back year after year after year after year. We see the same folks come back from Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California just to name a few places. What we have here is very special; it is like no other."
The cast enjoys their jobs, and it shows on stage – to the audience and to their fellow entertainers. The cast enjoys their jobs, and it shows on stage – to the audience and to their fellow entertainers. “My favorite thing that I get to do is improvisation (with the audience),” Lambert said, “that freedom to say something that will make everyone laugh from ages three to 90 is what makes this a wonderful, challenging and rewarding job.” King says he just loves doing what he does – playing the guitar – and loves to hear Kendall Manning sing. “And of course, I love Danny and Eric. Those two are absolutely unbelievable – just fantastic comedians.” Cline loves the interaction with fellow original Ron Jeffery on the Hank Snow classic “I’ve Been Everywhere.” “Even though we’ve done the number so much, it’s still fun to play every show (after 25 years).”
This award-winning comedy-variety adventure shows no signs of slowing down as it heads into its next 25 years. “I knew that (we) would be here 25 years later,” Lambert said. “The reason is that we always intended for this to be something that took a stand; we built the Comedy Barn on the principles of clean family comedy and audience interactions; those things are eternal.” His co-star Charlie King summed it up similarly. “The night of the first show just seemed like everything worked. Everybody was just happy performing with each other, and we still are. Throughout the years, it’s been easy for us to accept new cast members as they become part of the family. The people that I work with have been so amazing – we are like family.” Jeffery added, “After one week, I had a feeling this was something pretty special.” Kearney summed up why she is still part of The Comedy Barn family after 25 years: “It’s home.”
Millions of new laughs can be heard just ahead as the Comedy Barns heads into its next decades of good clean fun. “It’s our job to make our guests laugh,” Lambert said, “and in 25 years, we have learned very well how to make families laugh.”