DOLLYWOOD & Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Herschend Family Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(4/10/15) Dollywood - New Shot Rod Rumors For 2016 (MORE...)
(4/8/15) Cas Walker Building Now Removed For Shot Rod (MORE...)
(4/2/15) Dollywood To Open Shot Rod Coaster in 2016 (MORE...)
(3/23/15) Dollywood Kicks Off 30th Anniversary With New Surprises and DreamMore Resort Taking Reservations
FireChaser Express Grand Opening & Review - Click Here
General Park News - (1/29/15)
Exciting news from a reader who passed by Dollywood this week. They report that the tram stops in the parking lot have been gutted or removed, including the main stop at the park outside the Emporium. The fence barriers and gates have been removed as well here. Meanwhile all new landscaping is being set up in the upper parking lot, which is nearly finished looking, along with what looks to be a new ticket building and turnstiles being built to the left of the old group entrance.
What got them really curious however was the fact that the hillside area across the employee entrance road from the Rockin' Roayway attraction is all torn up with new construction hardware working full tilt on some kind of project. Lots of survey markings all over as well, along with a report of flags spotted going up the hill to the HR building. I've posted a few pictures they sent along showing off this new work area.
(12/24/14) I have no love for frivolous theme park lawsuits… and unfortunately it looks like Dollywood is now the latest victim of one. According to TMZ a Tennessee couple is attempting to sue Dollywood for nearly half a million after claiming that the woman slipped out of the park’s Waltzing Swinger ride (wave swinger), falling 10 feet where she struck her head and now suffers from brain damage. The couple blames the park for running the ride in wet weather, making it more slick.
What makes no sense however is that like all wave swinger style rides, the Waltzing Swinger ride at Dollywood holds guests into their seats during the ride with a steel bar across the chair, held in place by connecting the crotch strap attached to the front of the seat, which prevents any rider from being able to ever slip out of their seat, no matter how wet or dry the conditions are. In fact, the only way one would ever slip out of the seat would be if they were to reach out in mid-ride, unclip the crotch strap, and try to slip out of their seat on purpose in order to try and file file a frivolous lawsuit.
So unless there is evidence that the crotch strap somehow broke, I can’t see this lawsuit going very far, as there is a long and sad history of people across the nation who risk true personal injury by trying to fall out of rides, down stairs or whatever else is handy, in order to file a lawsuit in the hopes of a quick out of court settlement.
2015 - Dollywood’s 30th Anniversary - (3/23/15) On Friday March 20th, Dollywood was open for a special Passholder preview day at the park, which also served as a media kickoff day for the park’s big 30th Anniversary season long celebration. Screamscape was invited to attend the kickoff event in the park that day, which started off with a big preview show hosted by Dolly Parton herself. I managed to capture some great video clips of Dolly in action (including singing for the finale) along with brining out many of the great acts performing at the park this year for the Festival of Nations event, so be sure to watch that video below.
According to Dolly, for the 30th Anniversary they want to show off 30 new and special things at the park throughout the season, some of which were just announced on Friday so lets get into what awesomeness you can expect to find at Dollywood in 2015.
For starters, the big news was that for the first time in a decade, the Showcase of Stars concert series will return to Dollywood that promises to feature some of the greatest acts of all time (and some new ones) performing on stage in Dolly Parton’s Celebrity Theater between August and September. While the list of performers isn’t ready to announce, Dolly did confirm that she herself would kick off the concert series on August 8th and 9th, performing two shows each day, and that the schedule would be bookended with a performance by Kenny Rogers to close it out.
Taking place right now through April 20th, Dollywood is putting on the Festival of Nations event, featuring traditional music, dance and food from nations all around the world, with a huge lineup of special shows. This includes the Rhythm of the Dance show from Ireland featuring Celtic music, Timber! a unique show featuring feats of strength, agility, French-Canadian music and lots of axes. There is also the Los Pampas Gauchos show from Argentina, the Mariachi Divas from Mexico, Invaders Steel Orchestra, Alash Ensemble, Zebra Stelzentheater’s German stilt dancers and many other roaming acts and musicians throughout the park.
When the Festival of Nations departs, it will be replaced by Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass festival from May 23 to June 7th. This will feature not only some of the biggest names in Bluegrass music performing at the park, but whole kitchens full of the tasties barbeque in the South, with tons of pulled pork, BBQ chicken and ribs by the slab to be devoured by hungry park guests!
Dollywood’s Great American Summer will follow from June 13 to August 2. For the summer guests this means extended park hours (10am to 10pm) allowing guests the chance to experience Dollywood’s biggest thrill rides after dark as well as a nightly Fireworks show called Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors which has been retooled for the 30th Anniversary and a dance party in Wilderness Pass.
Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies will take place on Sept. 5th featuring Christian music concerts from Third Day and For King & Country.
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!
Also, for all your Dolly Parton fans, she has now launched Dollyparton.com, a new website that will be your home for anything and everything to do with Dolly Parton. For those wanting a peek inside Dollywood, check out the official Screamscape Instragram feed which was loaded up with all kinds of great new Dollywood photos on Friday.
(12/29/14) The local news reports that as part of Dollywood’s 30th Anniversary season in 2015, the park has announced a $5.5 million plan to enhance the experience for arriving guests, how they park and get to the park entrance, making the experience faster than ever before. The park will also host a long series of Special Events planned to enhance your visit throughout the year. The list includes:
Festival of Nations (March 21 – April 20) / Featuring a large number of live performance acts and shows throughout the park.
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 23 – June 7) / Music and Great Food, what more could you ask for?
Great American Summer (June 13 – August 2) / Extended park hours and nightly Fireworks
Rock the Smokies (September 5-7) / Christian Music Concerts over Labor Day Weekend
Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration (October 2 – October 31) / Gospel Concerts
Smoky Mountain Christmas (November 7 – January 2, 2016) / More Christmas lights than you can shake a stick at, huge special live holiday shows throughout the park and the return of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Summer 2015 - Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort - Under Construction - (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.
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.”
(9/25/14) Dollywood has shared a new Time Lapse video showing off the construction progress to date for their new DreamMore Resort opening in Summer 2015.
(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 - Shot Rod / New Coaster - (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.
When I visited Dollywood last month for the kick-off of the park's big anniversary celebration, the Cas Walker gas station themed building was still standing, though walled off to allow for some kind of construction. The latest pictures sent in to me this week show a big empty spot where the building used to stand, as it has apparently been removed to make way for the Shot Rod project for 2016 from the look of things.
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.
(4/2/15) I believe we have the name to Dollywood's 2016 hot rod themed attraction. Herschend files for a new trademark to use the name SHOT ROD on March 19th, 2015. The description of the application says "Entertainment services in the nature of an amusement park ride, namely, a roller coaster with a classic car theme".
(2/2/15) Is the new 2016 Dollywood attraction going to be a launched ride of some kind? Possibly one with a hot rod or car theme? A reader sent us a video (see below) they shot shown at the end of the presentation by Dollywood's Pete Owens, which features an animated shot of a car with a Dollywood bumper sticker flooring it off the line and leaving behind a Tennessee license plate with 2016 on it.
One of the rumors for the new 2016 attraction I have already been hearing was that 2015 may be the last year for the park's Rockin' Roadway car ride, so if this is the location for a new high speed ride for 2016, it would make sense to have a car theme once again. Plus remember the reports last week about construction along the employee entrance road? Yeah... that road runs right alongside this area as well.
On a related note, I've also heard from a source that the Cas Walker's gas station themed store that was next to the car ride (to the right) may have already been demolished inside the park as well to make room.
(10/24/14) Big things are in the works for Dollywood in 2016. According to a statement from Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company, the park will make a huge announcement next year about a major 2016 attraction described as “one of the biggest single attraction additions in our 30-year history for 2016.”
(2/7/14) During a video shot at ACE No Coaster Con 2014 in Chicago there was a presentation from Dollywood’s own Pete Owens. If you jump ahead about 21 minutes into the video Pete talks a bit about the future of Dollywood. To be specific he says they are already looking into a major new attraction to come to Dollywood in 2016 that will be in the same price range as Wild Eagle. So we’re talking about something in the $20 million price range… so the future looks very bright for Dollywood indeed!