DOLLYWOOD & Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Herschend Family Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/7/15) NEW - Dollywood Shows Off The Amazing LIGHTNING ROD Coaster for 2016 (MORE...)
(7/30/15) Dollywood Sets 2016 Attraction Announcement Date (MORE...)
(7/28/15) Dollywood Opens DreamMore Resort To First Guests (MORE...)
(7/22/15) Shot Rod or Lightning Rod? Plus Construction Pictures (MORE...)
FireChaser Express Grand Opening & Review - Click Here
General Park News - (6/2/15) Thanks to a reader who sent in
the following new picture from Dollywood... but not of the new coaster project. Work is taking place on the former Timber Tower ride platform which was turned into a fun picnic table area in the past few years. Now the outer walls have been removed and they are turning it into a new stage area apparently.
(5/2/15) Dolly Parton announced a new month-long celebration program for Dollywood called "30 Days of Thanks", which will recognize the park's loyal guests.
"During every park operating day in May, Dollywood will thank guests for their support with daily giveaways and prizes, including 2016 Dollywood season passes. Guests may register for the prizes at in-park kiosks located throughout Dollywood. Each day, 30 lucky contest entrants will win a 2016 Dollywood season pass. Additionally, each vehicle will receive a free car magnet upon entry to the park. The magnets include a link for guests to visit for free computer downloads."
"The contest ends with an extraordinary grand prize with the ultimate Dollywood vacation package. Every person who enters at an in-park kiosk during the month of May is entered for the grand prize, A Dollywood Summer Vacation. This incredible prize includes four tickets to Dolly Parton’s Pure and Simple concert on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7 p.m. and a meet and greet with Parton prior to the concert. The grand prize also includes a two-night stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort (check-in date on Aug. 7 or 8), four tickets to both Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark, and four Dollywood 30th anniversary t-shirts."
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 - 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.”
(9/25/14) 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 - Lightning Rod - (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.
(5/19/15) Screamscape sources tell us that our rumor about RMC’s involvement with the new Dollywood coaster is looking pretty good right now. Still no word on if it really may be a launched wooden coaster or not, but with Summer starting very soon and early construction already well under way on the site, things are going to start shaping up pretty quickly.
Meanwhile one of our readers stopped by Dollywood this week and sent back the latest images showing off the ground work taking place between the park and hillside where the new coaster is expected to run.
(5/4/15) According to the latest four photos sent in to Screamscape from Dollywood, you can see lots of clearing and early grading going on along the hillside across from the park's car ride, which is the rumored site for the new 2016 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.
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.
(4/8/15) 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.
(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!