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Dollywood!

Donald Razorduck

Contributing Member
Jan 24, 2015
555
Dollywood 2018 :
Dolly Parton unveils new Dollywood venue, entertainment for 2018

"PIGEON FORGE — Dolly Parton came to Dollywood on Friday and revealed a host of new entertainment experiences and a new venue coming to the theme park in 2018.

An investment that's "$1 million greater than any season-long entertainment schedule in the park’s history" will fund these new additions to the park, according to a Dollywood press release.

The venue, the Plaza at Wilderness Pass, will occupy the spot where the park's River Battle Ride was and sit in between roller coasters Mystery Mine and FireChaser Express.





The venue will house different events that correlate with the park's many festivals, according to Dollywood Public Relations Manager Wes Ramey.

"So what will happen is throughout the year we'll be able to take the programming for each of the festivals and theme that area so that guests have an immersive experience they can sit down, take a break and just enjoy the atmosphere for whatever festival we're in," said Ramey.

In addition to the venue, several musicians and entertainers will make the trip to Pigeon Forge in 2018 to perform at the park. A new three-week-long festival, the Spring Mix music series, will take place from April 11-29 and feature a week of classic country music, a week of inspirational music and a week of classic rock and folk music.

The event will have performances from Pam Tillis, Connie Smith, Shenandoah, Amy Grant, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Larnelle Harris, David Phelps, Chonda Pierce, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Drifters, Debby, Firefall, Al Stewart and others. Individual concert dates and show times will be announced later, according to the press release.

Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies event on Aug. 25 will feature Christian music artists TobyMac and Crowder serving as headliners.

"Well it's good 'cause a lot of them are the oldies from my time and a lot of them I know personally ... but I think that it's good," said Parton. "It gives people a variety, too. We have, of course, our country week, our inspirational groups that come in and Amy Grant and a lot of people ... the young Christian singers, and I think that's wonderful, so we've got a variety, and we've had our bluegrass and gospel music through the years every fall, so I love the whole idea. The more music the better for me."

Other new additions include adding another week to the park's Barbecue and Bluegrass event in the summer (May 25-June 10), an expansion of the park's Great Pumpkin LumiNights in the fall and new summer entertainment from DRUMline Live!, which was inspired by the 2002 movie "Drumline," and "America's Got Talent's" iLuminate, who combine dance moves and glow-in-the-dark costumes.

Parton did her part in brainstorming the new entertainment options. She and others on the Dollywood team meet throughout the year and talk about what they plan for the park.

"I am involved in all of it, but we have people that are smarter than us like I've always said ... 'Nobody can do everything.' But they listen to me openly, and I listen to them. We always go out to find the best people. You know smart people always find people that are smarter than them to do the real work," she said."

Meh,

Score one for SDC in keeping their Splash Battle.

SDC has been releasing some photos of their Osborne Light additions along with the other additions

MidwestInfoGuide: Christmas in Midtown Testing (SDC)
 
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UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,492
This will at least get use season-round. Splash Battle barely got use even on hot days unless you wanted to be soaked.
 

Donald Razorduck

Contributing Member
Jan 24, 2015
555
This will at least get use season-round. Splash Battle barely got use even on hot days unless you wanted to be soaked.
Some rides are just seasonal, not everything has to be year round in a well rounded park, but whatever. When it's warm, the one at SDC sees plenty of action.
 

cwgator

Contributing Member
May 8, 2010
660
Gainesville, FL
There is a huge clearing up the mountain from where this is located. Rumor has it they will expand up from here and needed to clear some of the space in order to properly grade the area for ADA purposes to do so. Of course with all rumors, take with a grain of salt. You can see this clearing however from the train after it passes Thunderhead.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,590
Pittsburgh area
It's a gorgeous park with unique rides and attractions...and a wonderful waterpark. Can't wait to see what's coming down the line for the park.
Mark UK Trigg is visiting Dollywood & Pigeon Creek for part of his 2018 USA vacation. Any Dollywood recommendations?
 

Kraken&Manta

Contributing Member
Mar 4, 2010
595
Mark UK Trigg is visiting Dollywood & Pigeon Creek for part of his 2018 USA vacation. Any Dollywood recommendations?
The DreamMore is really nice and has great deals at different times of the year. I think they had something along the lines of two day passes and unlimited fast passes when I was there.
Depending on the time of year you go, Wild Eagle may have issues with wasps surrounding the top of the lift hill.
Get Cinnamon Bread at the Grist Mill. Honestly everything I've ever eaten at Dollywood has been great, so bring an empty stomach! :lol:
Ride Lightning Rod many times, especially at night! My favorite coaster by far and away
 

AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
19,375
Arizona
Plans have been leaked for a brand new expansion of Dollywood in 2019, that would consist of 8 brand new attractions, as a nearly over a 5 acre expansion, consisting but not limited to an all new family coaster, an indoor family play area, a new restaurant, new bathrooms, and more.
 
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Donald Razorduck

Contributing Member
Jan 24, 2015
555
Plans have been leaked for a brand new expansion of Dollywood in 2019, that would consist of 8 brand new attractions, as a nearly over a 5 acre expansion, consisting but not limited to an all new family coaster, an indoor family play area, a new restaurant, new bathrooms, and more.
The coaster looks like a Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster, it matches a model of there's to a tee. That raises some questions. HFE has almost always purchased in pairs from manufacturers. HFE went with Mack for it's new coaster at SDC. This coaster for DW is a Vekoma. Also, the new drop tower at DW is a Funtime, maker's of Star Flyers like the one at I360. Could SDC's next addition be a new area highlighted by another rather cheap Vekoma? There's a new dueling family boomerang that could address capacity concerns that Vekoma is installing for the fist time that could nicely fill the space left by SDC's old waterboggan and it's tower that still stands. Or does Dollywood get a second,larger Vekoma later own and SDC gets another Mack either a big time Hyper or a family coaster along with a bunch of smaller additions like this that would include a Star Flyer. A Star Flyer in SDC would be awesome with the views it could provide.

I new 100,00 sq ft. waterpark resort along with a manmade outdoor whitewater stream for a half a billion just got some tax break approvals in Branson. HFE is going to have to address WhiteWaters issues soon. It's no where close to the quality of DW's Waterpark for some stupid reason.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,492
Just looked up examples of a Vekoma Suspended Family Coaster. Doesn't seem like it's something the park needs at all unless it's highly themed (which it won't be). But if it's less restrictive than some of their other rides, sure.
 

bob albert

BANNED
Sep 18, 2015
1,706
I thought I read the coaster might be highly themed. Given that the expansion plans don't take up the entirety of the clearing I wouldn't doubt the park getting a Mack in 2020.
 

TheDecemberists

Veteran Member
Aug 5, 2009
3,334
Chattanooga, TN
So I finally got around to riding Lightning Rod yesterday. I can’t wrap my head around Steel Vengance being a minute longer than this. I was out of breath when we hit the brakes! Most intense coaster I’ve ever been on. I loved every second of it, and hope you guys get an RMC in Florida soon. They’re lovely.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
15,280
Pittsburgh, PA
So I finally got around to riding Lightning Rod yesterday. I can’t wrap my head around Steel Vengance being a minute longer than this. I was out of breath when we hit the brakes! Most intense coaster I’ve ever been on. I loved every second of it, and hope you guys get an RMC in Florida soon. They’re lovely.
I’m one train away from my ride on LR. It’s had so many issues so far today. It’s nuts.
 

TheDecemberists

Veteran Member
Aug 5, 2009
3,334
Chattanooga, TN
I’m one train away from my ride on LR. It’s had so many issues so far today. It’s nuts.
The same thing happened to me yesterday! Except it wasn’t a technical issue. Someone lost control of their arm on the coaster and banged it against th train and they had to clean up the blood. :jawdrop:
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
15,280
Pittsburgh, PA
The same thing happened to me yesterday! Except it wasn’t a technical issue. Someone lost control of their arm on the coaster and banged it against th train and they had to clean up the blood. :jawdrop:
Hilariously enough I’ve been waiting in load for 30 minutes due to a blood/maintenance issue.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,492
Wildwood Grove
PRESS RELEASE:

One of the nation’s premier family vacation destinations is growing even larger, thanks to an impressive expansion announced today at Dollywood by Dolly Parton and park officials. Wildwood Grove, the largest capital investment in Dollywood’s 32-year history, is slated to open in 2019 and provides an adventurous journey for guests to explore, imagine and play together as a family.

The extraordinary new land features 11 thrilling experiences for guests, comprised of six unique ride attractions—including a suspended family roller coaster called the Dragonflier— the 55 ft. tall Wildwood Tree, live entertainment, various indoor and outdoor play areas for families to enjoy, a new restaurant and more. The total cost for the project is $37 million, meeting The Dollywood Company’s 2013 commitment of $300 million in investments over a 10 year period four years ahead of schedule.

“I’ve told you before about how I’d let my imagination roam free when I’d be out exploring in the hills around our home in the Smoky Mountains,” Parton said. “I’d pretend that the frogs and butterflies were my friends. I’d imagine about what it’d be like to fly with a dragonfly or to follow a bear family through the woods. Now all these things are coming true for our guests to experience in Wildwood Grove; it may be my new favorite part of Dollywood!

“This area is going to give families a place to explore, play and imagine together—but more importantly—it’s a place where they can spend more time together,” she explained. “I believe everyone has a song in their heart that needs to be set free. Wildwood Grove will be a place where families can learn together about what their heart song truly is.”

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross echoed Parton’s sentiments about how Wildwood Grove provides a range of experiences for every member of the family.

“I think our guests are going to be excited about the diverse combination of attractions they will find in Wildwood Grove,” Ross said. “It continues our commitment to provide guests a variety of unique experiences and attractions that every visitor to the park can enjoy. We’ve also incorporated many of their requests for certain amenities that help make their visit more enjoyable. In Wildwood Grove, you’ll find more charging stations, a climate-controlled indoor space for play, larger respite locations, additional play areas which are more inclusive for everyone, and more entertainment opportunities for every member of the family.

“We have continued to expand and develop Dollywood over the last several years but Wildwood Grove is the first expansion of the park’s footprint since we added Wilderness Pass in 2008,” Ross continued. “It is rare in our industry that a park adds a new land in its entirety. Attendance has continued to increase—we’ve set attendance records each of the last six years and we’re having a strong season this year—so this new area helps satisfy consumer needs as guests have more room to spread out, imagine and explore another chapter in the epic Dollywood story.”

The adventure begins as soon as guests enter Wildwood Grove through the massive hollow trunk of a fallen tree. Once inside this delightful place, a remarkable world is unveiled to families through their own imaginations. The Wildwood Tree—a tree unlike any other—serves as the centerpiece of the area. It grows from a cluster of natural rock and boulders, and offers a natural platform for performances throughout the day and night. The green, leafy canopy is adorned with thousands of butterflies that dance playfully in the breeze. 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 Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime show that features the butterflies glowing in a kaleidoscope of spectacular color.

Six new ride attractions await guests eager to explore this captivating land. Those attractions include:


  • The 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.
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. Families will enjoy meandering through the woods of this unique Smoky Mountain experience.
  • Sycamore Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Frogs and Fireflies—These friendly frogs hop up and down as they chase each other around the lily pad trying to catch the flickering fireflies fluttering from the tall reeds and grasses. Adventurous guests can hop aboard for this riveting race.



Play options abound inside Wildwood Grove. Hidden Hollow, a 4,000 sq. ft. indoor play space, provides a climate-controlled area for families looking to recharge before their next big adventure. With climbing structures, slides and multiple games, play time here is full of exploration. Another refreshing stop for play is at Wildwood Creek where numerous pop jets, splashing pools and more await. There, guests also can discover their musical side thanks to the various “instruments” available to play.

Several new friends await guests to the area. In the tradition of the Wildwood butterflies before them, Flit and Flutter—Wildwood Grove’s butterfly ambassadors of beauty and grace—dutifully watch over the Wildwood Tree. While each has their own distinct personality, both Flit and Flutter enjoy interacting with visitors to Wildwood Grove. Guests also can meet Benjamin Bear, a playful friend who loves to explore the grove with new visitors.

Wildwood Grove’s featured dining establishment, named Till & Harvest, offers another great option from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Visitors can order from a selection of Southwest fresh favorites, including burritos, salads and more, all with a Southern twist. In addition to traditional entrees and a topping bar with assorted salsas, guests can add items like pulled pork and fresh coleslaw to their selections. A walk-up window provides sweet treats like churros and ice cream.

As with most areas of Dollywood, Wildwood Grove takes advantage of the natural beauty of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Nearly $1 million has been planned for landscaping the area, with more than 400 trees and 1,000 shrubs helping transform this space into a lush and relaxing spot hidden within the foothills of the Smokies.