Dollywood’s Splash Country kicks off 17th season with a five-story tall racing slide complex and other park upgrades!

As the days grow longer and the sun a little warmer, lifeguards at Dollywood’s Splash Country become more eager to open the gates for another season of Smoky Mountain water park fun.

In 2017, the park will celebrate its 17th season by debuting its new family racing slide, TailSpin Racer! Also, new this year visitors will notice attraction upgrades, new parking options and a new calming area. In addition, Dollywood’s Splash Country also has newly-recognized Platinum Award-winning lifeguards.

TailSpin Racer is a five-story slide complex that offers six people the opportunity to race each other in a thrilling rush. From its unique spiraling, high-speed AquaTubes to its splashdown finish, it’s an all-out competition to see who can get to the end first. TailSpin Racer matches riders in a head-to-head race with the fun of a traditional mat racer-style slide and the tight turns and daring drops of an enclosed slide. Guests will immediately spot the new attraction near the front of the water park, which only adds to the excitement. Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown said,

“TailSpin Racer is our first new attraction since we opened our water coaster, RiverRush. This is something our guests have been asking for and we are thrilled that we’re delivering a family slide that gives six people the chance to race at the same time.”

Award-Winning Lifeguards

Dollywood’s Splash Country also is thrilled to welcome back its team of lifeguards which recently earned the prestigious Platinum International Safety Award from Ellis & Associates. These water park guards are the only team in the state of Tennessee to receive this recognition. Dollywood’s Splash Country is independently audited by a third party several times each season. E&A, a firm specializing in international aquatic safety and risk management, presented the award. In 2016, E&A had 355 clients who qualified for an award; only 10% earned the Platinum Award. Both Dollywood's Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort lifeguards were honored with Platinum for their vigilance in guarding the water. Brown commented,

“Of all the things we’re proud of at our water park, our lifeguards deserve the highest praise. Our guests trust us to keep their families safe as they splash and play with us; our guards take their roles seriously. We expect them to be alert and aware of everything happening in their zones. They do that, and more. We have the best lifeguards in the business.”

More Upgrades

Additionally, Dollywood’s Splash Country guests can look forward to several upgrades throughout the park. Refreshing upgrades sure to enhance guest’s comfort include the new option of Preferred Parking, misters on walkways to cool feet, and new equipment to help streamline food purchases. And, based on the response to Dollywood’s calming room, Dollywood’s Splash Country will offer a new calming area for guests who experience sensory overload. The area provides an opportunity for individuals to take a break in a private area of the park.

Dollywood’s Splash Country opened Saturday, May 13 with daily operation beginning on Saturday, May 20. Daily operation continues through Sunday, Aug. 13. The park opens Aug. 15 and 17 and on weekends through Labor Day weekend until Sept. 4.

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Two new rides and two new, special events are coming to Dollywood in 2017 in what Dolly is calling "the year of the family!"

Coming off a record year which featured the best new attraction of 2016, Lightning Rod, as well as the successful first anniversary of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, The Dollywood Company continues to provide more unique experiences at each of its family-friendly properties.

New Rides

Dollywood Announces New Rides Coming In 2017Two new family rides debut this summer at Dollywood providing thrilling new adventures for guests. The first is Drop Line, a 200-foot tall free-fall experience that towers over Timber Canyon and provides an incredible view of the park before its exhilarating finish. The drop tower ride lifts Dollywood guests nearly 20 stories above the Canyon’s pool, before plummeting them back to the ground in a thrilling rush. Also new is Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster which throws exciting twists and turns at Dollywood’s younger loggers, helping prepare them for the day they can join their parents aboard the award-winning Thunderhead wooden coaster. Dolly said,

“As everybody already knows, family is very important to me. These days, there doesn’t seem to be enough time for families to be together, whether you’re a just a couple like me and Carl or you have 12 kids like my family did growing up. That’s why we continue to add all these new rides and shows for families to experience together."

Dolly continued,

“We have something for everyone, but even more important, we have something for you AND your family. We’re adding so much this year; I’m calling 2017 ‘the year of the family!’”

New Events

In addition to the new attractions, families have two engaging new events to experience 2017. Just in time for families enjoying spring break, the park will introduce enra, a Tokyo-based dance company featured on "America’s Got Talent" in 2015. The group wowed audiences with their high-energy multi-media dance, light and video fusion show. Interactive video and lights combine with the talented performers to create a unique, cutting-edge experience for guests.

In October, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival adds the spectacular GREAT! Pumpkin LumiNights event. This nighttime event immerses families in fabulous fall pumpkin illumination. Additionally, a new pumpkin trail comes to life after dark with a number of spectacular pumpkin displays glowing with the fire of fall. The festival also includes the Southern Gospel Jubilee which brings in the greatest Southern gospel talent around. Gene Scherrer, Dollywood Vice-President and General Manager said.

“We are really excited about adding the GREAT! Pumpkin LumiNights to our Harvest event. We’ve created a number of impressive displays that will light up the night and allow us to add some new experiences for families to enjoy the fun of fall in a uniquely Dollywood way.”

The company also recently announced the addition of TailSpin Racer, a multi-lane, mat-racer-style slide to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017. The parks’ 2017 additions are all part of the $300 million investment in Dollywood which Dolly announced in 2013.

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Dolly Parton announces $2.5 million parade set to debut during Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana has long been known as one of the world’s best holiday theme park events. Dolly Parton unveiled plans for an awe-inspiring new parade—dreamed up as only she can—which will add even more excitement to this family-favorite festival.

Like her new NBC holiday movie, "Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love," Dolly’s new parade celebrates the fun, faith, family and harmony of the holidays. Vibrant floats, interactive characters and a few other surprises help spread cheer throughout Dollywood this holiday season. Smiling, Dolly said,

“The joy I feel during the Christmas season makes my heart sing because of the love and sweet Christmas memories I have of family and friends from when I was a child.”

She continued by saying,

“Christmas is the time of year when traditions, faith and family come together to create experiences we all remember forever. That is why my new movie and this parade are so important for me. I truly believe The Parade of Many Colors will inspire some of those same lifelong memories for the families who see it.”

The Parade of Many Colors represents another significant investment made by The Dollywood Company as part of the $300 million investment strategy announced in 2013. The company also recently announced the addition of TailSpin Racer to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017.

Dollywood has added two days to its calendar, December 6 and 13, to provide guests more time to experience the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event. One of Dollywood’s greatest entertainment offerings is remastered in 2016, as "Christmas in the Smokies," returns to its traditional home at D.P.’s Celebrity Theater. Guests can celebrate the joy of the season while a cast of singers and dancers performs hometown holiday favorites while accompanied by a band of live musicians!

Dollywood’s entertainment team brings a Christmas classic to life with the debut of "It’s a Wonderful Life." Based on the timeless holiday story of love and generosity, small town businessman George Bailey discovers the true value of life, family and friends with a little help from his guardian angel, Clarence.

Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas begins November 5, 2016.

Preview image courtesy of Curtis Hilbun.

Dollywood's Splash Country announces new TailSpin Racer set to open in 2017!

With the excitement of what is shaping up to be a record season in 2016, The Dollywood Company announced the addition of TailSpin Racer to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017.

This thrilling new attraction allows up to six guests to race each other on mats through the twists and turns of TailSpin Racer’s unique spiraling tube design. The race begins with riders descending a daring first drop inside intertwined, high-speed AquaTubes. After navigating the wet and wild curves, riders emerge from the translucent tubes on a traditional mat racer-style slide. From there, it’s an all-out race toward the splashdown finish. Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown said,

"TailSpin Racer is an exciting addition to the park that we know our guests are going to love. We always seek to add slides and attractions which will leave our guests with big smiles and memories to share. I think we’ll see a lot of fun as families and friends challenge each other to races down this great new slide."

TailSpin Racer’s slides are longer than a football field in length and stand five stories above the park. The $2 million attraction, which uses ergonomically designed starting blocks, will be located alongside Big River Pavilion near the park entrance.

Thanks to strong visitation to Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2016, officials added five new days, Aug. 15-19, to the park’s operating calendar. The award-winning water park now is open daily through Aug. 21 and on weekends through Labor Day.



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