DOLLYWOOD & Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Herschend Family Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(6/7/13) The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) has awarded Dollywood’s Wild Eagle as the Best New Attraction of 2012. (MORE...)
(5/14/13) Dolly Parton was on hand at Dollywood’s Splash Country for the grand opening of the new RiverRush coaster slide. (MORE...)
(5/3/13) We’ve got a new picture showing off the removal progress of Adventure Mountain this week, sent in by a reader. (MORE...)
(4/17/13) Time to play Good News / Bad News. First the good news... Screamscape sources have confirmed to me that Dollywood’s next attraction is indeed a “coaster”. (MORE...)
General Park News - (6/7/13) The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) has awarded Dollywood’s Wild Eagle as the Best New Attraction of 2012. They’ll add this award on the shelf next to Wild Eagle’s Golden Ticket award received last summer as the Best New Theme Park Ride for 2012.
(3/29/13) Dollywood sent out a video showing off all the fun had during the opening weekend of the 2013 Dollywood season, featuring Dolly herself. Check it out below!
(1/23/13) Dollywood’s Splash Country will add the new Q-Band waterpark virtual queue system from Lo-Q to the park in 2013. The new deal with Lo-Q will see Q-Band and the existing Q-Bot system in Dollywood run in both parks through the 2015 season.
(11/21/12) A great trip report from Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas was posted this week to MidWestInfoGuide. Meanwhile Dolly has posted a video telling us all what we can expect to see at the park in 2013.
(11/19/12) Dollywood’s Pete Owens chats with the guys from the CoasterCrew about what’s in store for Dollywood in 2013. Check it out below!
(7/27/12) Dollywood is asking the local board to rezone a 165 acre piece of property they own near McCarter Hollow Road and Eagle Way from residential use to general commercial use. I’m not sure where Eagle Way is (can’t find it on a map), but McCarter Hollow is the road that runs between Dollywood and Splash Country. The park claims they have no plans for the property yet, they just want to have it rezoned to be consistent with the rest of their property. Still… 165 acres is a lot of land.
(7/25/12) Attendance has been huge at Dollywood this season it seems. According to the local news attendance is up over 15% at Dollywood so far this season. Sounds like the addition of Wild Eagle really paid off. The last time attendance at the park has been this healthy was just before the depression hit when Mystery Mine opened in 2007.
While we’re talking Dollywood… keep in mind that Dollywood Nights will run from July 30th through to August 12th when the park will extend their hours from 10am to 10pm allowing for some rare night riding on the coasters. (And one of the best things you can do is try Thunderhead in pitch black darkness.)
2013 - RiverRush @ Dollywood’s Splash Country - (5/14/13) Dolly Parton was on hand at Dollywood’s Splash Country for the grand opening of the new RiverRush coaster slide. The park will also introduce Time Saver, a new line reservation system for the waterpark where guests are given a waterproof watch style device to alert them when it is time to ride. The cost is $20 and can be used on The Butterfly, Fire Tower Falls, Mountain Scream, Mountain Twist, Raging River Rapids, RiverRush, Slick Rock Racer and SwiftWater Run.
(5/7/13) Dollywood’s Splash Country will open this weekend with the all new RiverRush attraction ready for the public on Saturday. The local news got a sneak peek at park lifeguards testing out the new attraction earlier today which looks like a blast.
(2/8/13) Dollywood released an all new animation showing off the fun you’ll have on RiverRush when it opens on May 11th. Check it out below!
(2/7/13) Dollywood’s Splash Country took some of the local media on a tour of the RiverRush construction site this week which you can see video footage of here. The new slide is expected to be ready to open on Mother’s Day Weekend in May 2013.
(6/18/12) Dollywood’s Splash Country announced that in 2013 the waterpark would add RiverRush, Tennessee’s first water coaster. Just as I was hoping RiverRush will be very similar to Holiday World’s Wildebeest, a HydroMagmetic WaterCoaster attraction. RiverRush riders will board a 4 passenger in-line water toboggan and head up a 237 foot conveyor belt to the top before plunging down a 25 ft drop at 45º. RiverRush will navigate through the trees, plunge down and power back up three more giant drops, spin through hairpin turns and through dark tunnels over a 1 acre area near Big Bear Plunge before coming to a stop. The overall length of RiverRush will be 1,175 ft.
(6/14/12) Dollywood has been dropping some clues on twitter and Facebook that have both a water and superhero theme to them. This matches up with a similar themed invitation we received to a special announcement taking place this Saturday at Dolly’s Splash Country. According to the graphic Dolly will be on hand to announce the largest expansion in Splash Contry’s history and “a first for the state of Tennessee”.
Just a guess on my part only, but I’d love to see Dolly’s Splash Country announce something similar to the LIM powered Mammoth water-coaster slide that just opened at Holiday World last month. We’ll know what it is soon enough.
2013 - New Entertainment and More - (10/19/12) Dollywood has announced some new entertainment options coming to the park for 2013. During the 2013 Festival of Nations (3/23 - 4/22) the park will bring in Cirque Shanghai as the top act along with a Bollywood style music/dance act called Mystic India. These are just two performance groups of a group of over a dozen from all over the world who will perform in the park during Festival of Nations. The park will also offer Passport to Food, with the addition of over 50 international food items to be offered.
From 5/10 through 10/26 the park will put on The Great American Country Show in the Dolly Parton Celebrity Theater. The park will also feature a Gazillion Bubbles show and for the kiddies, The Little Engine Playhouse. From 5/25 through 6/9 the park will hold the Barbeque & Bluegrass celebration with many special music acts booked.
From 6/22 through 8/4 Dollywood well also celebrate the summer by extending the park’s hours from 10am to 10pm daily, allowing for rare nighttime rides on fantastic thrill machines like Wild Eagle, Thunderhead and Mystery Mine. If that wasn’t enough, the park will also put on Dolly’sNights of Many Colors, a nightly closing fireworks show sure to please. And don’t forget the addition of the awesome looking River Rush hydromagnetic powered waterslide over at Dolly’s Splash Country opening in 2013 as well.
Finally on 11/9/13 through 1/4/2014, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Chrsitmas will begin with an all new show, Dollywood’s Christmas Carol, a Dollywood inspired version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale.
Check out the video below for all the highlights and even more information.
2014 - New Attraction - Semi-Confirmed - (5/3/13) We’ve got a new picture showing off the removal progress of Adventure Mountain this week, sent in by a reader. As you can see, everything except th
e main tower structures has now been completely removed.
(4/17/13) Time to play Good News / Bad News. First the good news... Screamscape sources have confirmed to me that Dollywood’s next attraction is indeed a “coaster”. As for the bad news... it’s not going to be a Mack Rides Blue Fire style coaster... and unfortunately, I’m still a bit in the dark about just what kind of coaster they are getting, so stay tuned!
(4/12/13) According to another park guest, the thin metal pieces spotted are assumed to be the removed pieces of Adventure Mountain and not part of a new roller coaster. This guest spotted the former ropes course attraction pieces being stored along the terrain behind Adventure Mountain and Thunder Head.
That said… I did get a VERY interesting report from a trusted source that representatives from Dollywood were spotted touring Europa Park this past week. For those not in the know, Europa Park is one of Europe’s most successful theme parks and also owned by the same family that owns Mack Rides. So why would Dollywood peeps be touring Europa Park? I’m going to bet it has a little something to do with the Blue Fire Megacoaster, Mack’s impressive launched coaster system that first opened in 2009. The only US installation of Mack’s creation is Manta which opened at SeaWorld San Diego last year, but is a much different style coaster from the original Blue Fire.
For a good look at what you can expect from a ride on a Blue Fire style coaster, check out the video below. As you can see, this fits right in with that rumored storyline around some kind of Smoky Mountain explosive moonshine.
(4/10/13) I’m not entirely sure how accurate this report is, but according to a reader who visited Dollywood, they claimed to have seen what looked like thin yellow ride support beams laid out on the land above the former Adventure Mountain area, as seen while riding the Dollywood Express railroad. If anyone is visiting soon, please take a look and see if you can snap some pictures of whatever is up there. If I’m not mistaken, I believe this may have also been the general area where Dollywood stashed the track and supports for Wild Eagle in the summer of 2011.
Meanwhile pictures taken last week show the progress of the removal of Adventure Mountain. Looks like much of the attraction’s middle portion has been removed, leaving just the the end-run towers for the three different courses.
(3/25/13) According to several reports from Dollywood over the weekend, much of Adventure Mountain is still standing, but there is a curious statement on the construction wall that says, “Coming in 2014 the next BIG adventure… It’ll be a BLAST!”
That last part has me wondering, along with the colorful looking explosion style graphic behind it. The last time I can recall Herschend teasing about a new attraction in a similar manor was when sister park, Silver Dollar City, went on to open Powder Keg, a new explosive themed launched coaster.
Also, back in mid 2008 Screamscape had been sent a detailed rumor about a possible new roller coaster project in development that was expected to go up in this same general area, possibly running up and into the train turn around loop on the hillside above as well. According to the old rumor posted at the time, the theme of the coaster would have involved a storyline about “some kind of backwoods moonshine rocket fuel creation that will power a custom launched coaster creation.” So sort of a cross between SDC’s Powder Keg concept mixed with the rocket fuel theme of SDC’s WildFire coaster. I’ve got to wonder if that project was put on hold when they got the chance to build the first B&M Wing Coaster in America instead, and now they are going back to those old plans. Stay tuned, let’s see what develops.
(12/10/12) Interesting developments are afoot for Dollywood that will affect the park for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Screamscape has confirmed with Pete Owens at the park that two large attractions will not be return for the 2013 season. According to our exclusive letter from Pete…
“On the heels of five Golden Ticket Awards, including Best Shows and Best New Attraction, Dollywood announces an exciting new addition for 2013 and plans for a new major family attraction in 2014. Imagination Cinema will become a 500-seat venue for a new Dolly family show. Plans for 2014 are under way for a one-of-a-kind attraction on the Adventure Mountain site.
“When your business grows, it is important to evaluate and improve the experiences you provide to your guests,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “For 2013, we’re excited about Dolly’s new family show and its new venue. Our guests will start to see construction activity for the new 2014 attraction as soon as the park opens next season Family are going to be thrilled and excited about the new additions. They’ll be like nothing you’ve seen before.”
Imagination Cinema and Adventure Mountain will not reopen for the 2013 season to accommodate preparations for the new 2013 and 2014 additions. ”
So while I’m not surprised at all to see an outdated style sim-theater like the Imagination Cinema closed for good, I do have to admit I am very curious and somewhat confused about the closing of Adventure Mountain. Adventure Mountain, a huge large-scale themed multi-lane ropes course attraction, included for free to all guests by the way, is perhaps one of the most unique theme park attractions I’ve ever seen anywhere. On top of that, it also seemed to be extremely popular with the guests during my visits to the park. With a unique hillside location and custom themeing, I’m very curious how the park will follow up such a unique one-of-a-kind attraction… with a new one-of-a-kind attraction experience.
More on this as I try to dig deeper… but there has been some speculation for years about now this area of the park may evolve over the years, linked to the removal of all the trees from the upper circle of the Dollywood Express, which is located just above the hillside for Adventure Mountain. There have been a number of people waiting to see if Dollywood would expand the park to this upper section of the mountain, adding a second train station up there as well to turn the Dollywood Express more into a form of transportation instead of just a round-trip ride.
The Future - Resort Hotel - In Development - (4/5/10) Dollywood opened up this past week for their 2010 season with a special appearance by Dolly Parton. Dolly herself mentioned once again that in the future, when the economy recovers more, they are indeed planning on building “a couple of world class resorts.”
(5/15/09) While things are always subject to change, we’ve heard that Dollywood may make a decision about building a possible resort hotel before the end of the summer. You can read more about the possible resort project here.
(4/23/08) We’ve got another update about that Dollywood resort hotel survey. It seems they are asking questions about three different resort concepts called Chasing Rainbows, International and Southern Style. Unfortunately you need a valid e-mail address to take the actual survey having the link will get you no-where.
(4/22/08) While I don’t have a link, a reader tell us that Dollywood was taking another guest survey not long ago asking opinions about various lodging features and what people look for in choosing a hotel in the Pigeon Forge area. Sounds like they’re doing some research for that official Dollywood Resort project Dolly mentioned was in development.
(4/14/08) During the opening of River Battle, Dolly mentioned to the local news that she wants an on-site resort hotel to be added in the next two or three years. She said that they are working on it now, but not ready to announce anything yet.