DOLLYWOOD & Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Herschend Family Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(11/18/15) Lightning Rod Interview and New POV Video (MORE...)
(11/5/15) Rudolph Returns plus Lightning Rod Time-Lapse Video
(10/19/15) Lightning Rod Construction Photos (MORE...)
(10/15/15) Dollywood Having A Slight Wasp Problem (MORE...)
FireChaser Express Grand Opening & Review - Click Here
General Park News - (11/5/15) Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will return to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas event, taking place Nov. 7 to Jan. 3. " Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer leads Santa’s sleigh back to Pigeon Forge for Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 7 – Jan. 3). Rudolph and his special friends enjoyed visiting Dollywood guests so much last year that they’ve decided to pack up all of the fun from the North Pole and bring it to Dollywood for this year’s festival!"
“I’m so proud of the work everyone puts in to making Christmas such a special time for families at my Dollywood,” said Dolly Parton. “They start putting up Christmas lights in July! It’s so beautiful and truly is the most special time of year to visit. Our entertainment team does an amazing job with all of the great shows they perform at Christmas. Why I hear they’re even going to bring back the hologram version of me one more time so you can see ‘the other Dolly’ remind ol’ Scrooge what Christmas is all about!”
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the beloved Christmas television special, comes to life at Dollywood this season. Guests can meet Rudolph and his friends, including Clarice, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Yukon Cornelius in Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Junction, a magical area where festive fun awaits. After meeting Rudolph and his friends, families can head to Clarice’s kitchen to decorate custom Christmas cookies or even take part in a few reindeer games!
With a number of family-favorite shows throughout Dollywood, entertainment certainly takes center stage during Smoky Mountain Christmas. The groundbreaking Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol returns to for its final season in 2015. The show uses holographic technology to bring Dolly Parton to the stage as the Ghost of Christmas Past. The lifelike appearance of Parton and the other holograms featured in the show leave amazed audiences mesmerized. This heartwarming tale about the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge features a 16-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks and period costuming.
(10/15/15) According to a reader, those visiting Dollywood for the big coasters may want to make a bee-line for Thunderhead and Wild Eagle first thing in the morning... before the Wasps come out. The park is having an issue with their local Wasp popular once again this year, as the critters have taken to swarming all around the top of the two coaster lift hills in the warm afternoons, which has actually been forcing the park to close them down when it gets too bad. I'm told that even mister units installed at the top of the lifts are doing little to persuade the wasps to fly elsewhere, and the problem will likely remain this fall as long as the warm weather continues.
No word on if the wasps have become an issue for the construction crews on Lightning Rod, where I'm told that the track was seen being installed on the launch hill. The station also looks to be moving along very quickly, allowing you to see the basic shape of the building.
(9/28/15) An interesting report from Dollywood showing off the construction site for Lightning Rod was posted by the local news. They say that while the coaster's foundations are 25% complete at this point, and only 15% of the structure is up, but the focus of the article is on another interesting aspect. The construction site has been designated as a Litter Free Construction Zone.
The idea is interesting, as someone who has visited a fair share of construction sites before, random litter and debris thrown around the site was always more the norm, where random objects would be blown about by the wind and weather until someone would collect them all and put in a trash bin. With Lightning Rod they have places bins all around the site for workers to put their trash into, and it's working out rather well apparently. With the site of the coaster up on the hillside where winds could blow debris all over the hillside in about any direction, it's great to see they are keeping Dollywood clean and beautiful, inside and out.
(9/5/15) 30th Anniversary special events still to come this season include:
Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by by Humana will then take placefrom Oct. 2 to Oct. 31, bringing in several gospel music acts performing free concerts throughout the park.
The season will close with the annual highlight… voted seven times as America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana from Nov. 7 to Jan. 2nd, 2016. The annual Christmas event is huge, featuring over four million christmas lights covering the park’s buildings, turning the entire experience into a colorful winter wonderland. This year’s event will feature the return of Dolly Parton in hologram form as the Ghost of Christmas past in Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, the return of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and a whole slate of holiday shows, music and special menu items, a simply perfect getaway for your family Christmas getaway!
Summer 2015 - Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort - Now Open - (7/28/15) Dollywood's DreamMore Resort welcomed their first guests on Monday and we were sent the following update from Dollywood.
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 27, 2015) – The Dollywood Company’s most anticipated project to date, Dollywood’s DreamMore ResortTM, opens its doors Monday, July 27, creating a new chapter in the famed company’s 30-year history.
Fittingly, Dolly Parton’s dream of adding a resort to the fun and excitement of her Smoky Mountain theme park offerings comes true during Dollywood’s 30th anniversary season.
“Seeing DreamMore Resort open really is a dream come true for me,” Parton said. “It brings me back to when my whole family would get together on the front porch catching up and swapping stories. I want families to spend the day experiencing the fun of our parks, then come to this beautiful resort to spend time together making even more family memories!”
“Everyone at The Dollywood Company has greatly anticipated our opening day since this project was announced in August 2013,” said Kevin Osborn, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort’s general manager. “Countless people have put so much heart and effort in to this beautiful resort; to see it standing and ready to welcome visitors fills us all with an amazing feeling of accomplishment. We’re ready to help our guests make family memories they’ll share for a lifetime.”
Thanks to unique Dollywood park privileges—including free transportation to both Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, front-of-the-line access at Dollywood with a free TimeSaver pass for each guest, early Saturday entrance for guests at Dollywood, and much more—Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is the ideal location for guests seeking a fun-filled Smoky Mountains vacation destination.
The spectacular guest arrival experience includes an impressive fountain inspired by Parton’s Dream More book and a stately porte-cochère that offers a hint of the beauty visitors find inside. Families then are greeted by the resort doorman who is ready to entertain and delight the property’s newest guests. Upon entering the magnificent lobby, guests are welcomed with an unparalleled view of the Great Smoky Mountains through the resort’s extraordinary three-story-tall picture windows. The ceilings are painted a warm blue that perfectly suits the atmosphere guests of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort enjoy throughout their stay.
The resort closely mirrors the experience found at Dollywood, the three-time winner of Amusement Today’s World’s Friendliest Theme Park. Live entertainment offerings throughout the year allow visitors to enjoy quality programming during their stay, while Song & Hearth, the resort’s farmhouse-inspired restaurant, provides delectable home-style dishes served up with a side of Southern hospitality for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Guests are encouraged to spend time laughing and creating memories in this welcoming family environment. Through unique amenities like storytelling spots, kid’s play areas, an event lawn and porches lined with rocking chairs, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort becomes the perfect setting for truly connecting with loved ones. Premium facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, landscaped gardens, and spa offer fun for every member of the family. Beautiful meeting space for groups, special events and family reunions adds another unique facet to this amazing facility.
Additionally, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort’s close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country, allows guests the opportunity to explore the park’s beauty via its plentiful hiking and biking trails, auto tours, wildlife viewing areas and educational programs.
For reservations at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort or to find more information about all of the family-friendly resort amenities, visit www.dollywoodsdreammore.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
(5/2/15) Thinks are looking up at the DreamMore Resort as they get closer to opening Dollywood's fantastic new resort. The starting date to accept reservations to stay there has been bumped up from mid-August to as early as July 27th now.
(3/23/15) Dollywood has announced that they are now accepting reservations to stay at the brand new Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. While the opening of the resort has yet to be announced, the starting date for reservations is August 18th. Guests staying at the resort will have the following special privilages: Front of Line access at select Dollywood rides, shows and attractions (a $25 value per person), early entry to the park on Saturdays, complimentary shuttles to both Dollywood and Dolly’s Splash Country, a special Resot Guest only entry into both parks, free package delivery to the Resort for things purchased in the parks. The Resort will also feature a “Best-Price Guarantee” for both your room rate and park tickets, free WiFI access, exclusive resort entertainment, dining experiences, and complimentary resort parking.
(2/16/15) The local news went for an on-site construction tour of Dollywood's DreamMore Resort, looking at both the outside and our first looks at the inside of the resort. Check it out below.
(2/13/15) Over the weekend while in Pigeon Forge I drove past the new Dollywood DreamMore Resort to grab a quick picture. As you can see, the outside appears to be mostly finished, so they are hard at work finishing up the interior.
(10/23/14) Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort hit a major construction milestone on Wednesday as they topped off the resort by adding the upper spire to the top of the resort hotel. The resort is still on track to open in Summer 2015.
(10/10/14) An interesting announcement came out earlier about Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. “Just as Dolly has fostered a love for stories and reading among the younger generations of the United States and many other countries, the International Storytelling Center showcases the power of storytelling through entertainment, history, culture, knowledge and, most importantly, dreaming. Dollywood's DreamMore Resort is proud to announce a partnership with ISC to help bring the beauty of storytelling to our front porch, fire pits and more.”
According to Amy Owenby, VP of Hospitality for The Dollywodo Company, “Dollywood fans have come to love our parks for the stories we tell. We are now thrilled to partner with the International Storytelling Center as we work in the coming year toward integrating storytelling in a meaningful way into our new resort.”
(9/1/14) Dollywood’s shows off a new aspect to the DreamMore Resort this week online, The Farmhouse! The Farmhouse is the name of the resorts new full service restaurant and you can see a picture of what it will look like inside on Twitter.
(7/31/14) Dollywood has posted a great new aerial image showing off the new Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort under construction this week. Also fun news, you can now stroll the streets of Dollywood on Google Map’s Street View.
(7/2/14) A reader visiting Dollywood drove past the construction site for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and took a couple of quick pictures. Nice to see that things are progressing quite nicely and I can’t wait to see how this amazing new resort turns out next Summer.
(5/14/14) New pieces of concept art have been posted showing off even more of Dollywood’s new DreamMore Resort, now under construction for a Summer 2015 opening, have been added to the resort’s preview website. The new art pieces depict the Lobby and a new Exterior View of the resort, and if you scroll down more you can find an aerial view of the construction site that I think may have been taken fairly recently as well.
(5/7/14) Dolly was on hand at the new DreamMore Resort construction site the other day, as a special ceremony was held to “bless the site” (by Dollywood Chaplain Joey Buck and Cherokee nation Elder Jerry Wolfe) as well as allow Dolly to unveil her first four personal items that will go into the Dream Box display.
Parton’s Dream Box, which will be showcased in the resort for families to view, will feature a collection of personal mementos, each representing people and moments in the entertainment legend’s life that inspired her to make her own dreams come true.
The items selected as a copy of her 2012 Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You (an expansion of her popular 2009 commencement speach to the University of Tennessee), a piece of wood from Parton’s Tennessee Mountain Home’s front porch, a new song writen by Parton that will not be released until 2045 and a sealed mystery box made of Chestnut that will remain unopened until 2045.
“I want folks who stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore resort to experience the same heartfelt hospitality that they’ve come to know at my Dollywood theme park,” Parton said. “While we’re treating you like family, we’re going to create lots of simple ways for families to spend time together and really enjoy one another. All of this, plus being surrounded by views of the Smoky Mountains, folks are going to know that they are truly somewhere special when they stay with us.”
(4/22/14) Dollywood’s new DreamMore Resort is now going vertical as you can see in two new pictures sent in by a reader visiting Pigeon Forge this week.
(2/28/14) New construction images showing off Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort site have been posted here. Looks like we could see the start of serious vertical construction very soon.
(8/22/13) In 2015 a long awaited project will open next to Dollywood’s Splash Country called Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. Yes, Dollywood is building their very own resort hotel at last. The project will offer 300 rooms in a wide variety of options, a full service restaurant, Spa, Indoor Pool, Outdoor Pool, Family Activity Center, Fire Pits, Hammocks, Swings, Storytelling Spots, special Exclusive Park Privileges and transportation to the park.
According to Dolly, “This is the realization of a dream I’ve had for more than 30 years. My DreamMore Resort conjures up thoughts of a simpler place and time when Mama and Daddy and all us kids spent hours on end just swapping stories and catching up. I want to offer families more than a place to stay; I want to invite them on the porch and in my front door where they can slow down, kick back and enjoy all that this beautiful area has to offer.”
With an emphasis on encouraging family bonding time, the resort also features a family activities center where guests can secure reservations for a variety of adventures centered around wholesome fun, including hikes in neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
You can find the concept artwork, a promotional video, extra details and sign up for the Founders Club by clicking here. It is a beautiful resort… exactly what you would expect from Dollywood. Look for Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort to open in Summer 2015.
2016 - Lightning Rod - (11/18/15) Our friends at In The Loop hit up IAAPA and interviewed Dollywood's Pete Owens about the park's new Lightning Rod coaster and below that video you will find a new official POV video of the entire Lightning Rod coaster experience, from start to finish.
(11/5/15) A great time-lapse video shows off the progress made on the new Lightning Rod coaster going up at Dollywood from September through to October.
A reader sent in some great new pictures of the Lightning Rod construction site this week.
(9/10/15) A reader stopped by Dollywood on Labor Day and sent in three new Lightning Rod construction shots. You can see the wooden structure up on the hill is getting quite tall already.
(8/7/15) Dollywood, along with Dolly Parton, pulled back the curtain to reveal all the juicy details about their new roller coaster project for 2016 called LIGHTNING ROD! As our rumors had suggested for the summer, this will indeed be the world's first LAUNCHED wooden coaster from Rocky Mountain Construction as well as become the world's FASTEST wooden coaster.
The launch itself will shoot the train of riders uphill, up to the top of a 20-story tall hill, at 45mph. The top of the lift hill is actually a double-crest, so you get a little air-time at the top, rise up and then drop down the big drop 165 feet at 73º and hit 73mph, making this the fastest wooden coaster in the world. Throughout the 3/4 mile track lenght, you'll hit 12 major air-time moments along the course as the train rockets over the terrain style course on Rocky Mountain's smooth-slick track through the woods. There are a ton of over-banked turns, and near inversions... but no actual inversions... and as Pete Owens put it best... "because it doesn't need too." It's going to be so fast, so smooth, so twisted and out of control feeling and as you approach the last third of the ride you'll hit an amazing Quadruple-Down series of hills as you make your way down the mountainside for the finale.
Look for Lightning Rod to open in March with the rest of the park, in the Jukebox Junction section of the park. Check out the animation below, as well as a video below that showing off the big announcement in the park with Dolly Parton herself.
(7/30/15) Dollywood will announce their record-breaking plans for the new 2016 attraction on the morning of Friday, August 7th.
(7/22/15) Dollywood has filed for a new trademark last week to use the name "Lightning Rod" now... which makes it sound like they may have reconsidered their previous request to use the name "Shot Rod" for their 2016 coaster.
In other news, a reader sent in some great new pictures of the construction site (see thumbnails below) as well this week, so take a look and enjoy!
(7/10/15) A reader sent in two new pictures (see thumbnails) from Dollywood this week, looking into the construction area for the park's 2016 coaster project.
(6/19/15) A reader has submitted new photos (see below) from Dollywood this week showing off a new themed construction fence put up near the rumored Shot Rod coaster site that says, ‘Dollywood 2016 Lightning Fast”. Meanwhile, over the fence, a few building foundation can be seen where the gas station building used to be, along with work on the road beyond and hillside taking place.
(4/10/15) The big assumption right now is that Dollywood's "Shot Rod" 2016 project will likely be a launched coaster of some kind, but the latest rumors I'm hearing are telling a much bigger story.
For example... what if I said the latest Shot Rod rumors claim it may actually be a new wooden coaster? Then... what if I said, it may be a new Rocky Mountain Construction coaster?
Cool, right? I'm down with that too, and I'm sure most of you reading this will be just as excited about that concept if it is true. But...
.... and this is a big "BUT"...
What would you say if Shot Rod was actually the first LAUNCHED RMC Wooden coaster?
Yep... that thought is a little mind blowing... unique... and you might say it would be a blow the doors off, rock your world, cool coaster concept.
If only it were true... but for now it is only a rumor... but one that would sure bring a smile to many faces and get people to make the journey to Dollywood from across the country. If it were true...
For now... lets just tuck that rumor into a safe quiet spot in the back of your mind while we wait to see how this story develops.
For example, take a look at this report about the various hints we've been covering about this project and they've got a new one... survey markers have now been spotted along the hillside across the road from the car ride, so it looks like the new coaster may be jumping outside the normal park boundaries.