Dolly Parton’s influences are found throughout her award-winning 150-acre Dollywood family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Her creativity as well as her fond childhood remembrances of what it would be like to be a star inspire many of Dollywood’s attractions and add to the uniqueness that is found only at Dollywood in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Dollywood Festival of Nations™ presented by Humana—Dolly’s career has taken her from the hills of East Tennessee to the world’s most prestigious stages. A firm believer that music unites us all—regardless of the language in which it is delivered—Dolly was inspired to add the international Festival of Nations, a multi-faceted celebration of music, dance, food and art from around the world.
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass—Dollywood’s fifth festival joined the lineup in 2006. Bluegrass music has long been a part of Dolly’s career. She won a Grammy Award in 1999 for her album The Grass is Blue. She received a Grammy nomination for 2002’s Little Sparrow. As for barbeque, Dolly is truly a fan. In her 2006 cookbook, Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s, she wrote of her favorite foods discovered during her 40 years on the road, of which Dolly cited barbeque as a much-anticipated meal when she travels.
Dollywood’s KidsFest—Since she was unable to have children of her own, Dolly has always felt that all children were intended to be hers. That’s why she created KidsFest, a summertime festival featuring special entertainment and activities just for kids and their families.
Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—There’s something special about fall in the Smoky Mountains. Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration is Dolly’s way of sharing the soul-stirring gospel music that she loves so much. It’s the same music Dolly grew up singing in church in the hills of East Tennessee. The popular fall event also showcases some of the country’s most talented artisans with craft displays and demonstrations that help celebrate the time-honored harvest traditions.
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—Growing up as one of 12 children, Dolly has plenty of heartwarming family traditions and memories—from holiday music to tasty foods. She’s taken them all and added a dazzling display of four million lights and created a special place for families to celebrate the holiday season at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. The event is a four-time winner (2008-2011) winner of Amusement Today magazine’s Golden Ticket for Best Christmas Event.
Temple’s Warehouse & Dry Goods—The Temples ran a longtime retail establishment in Dolly’s hometown of Sevierville. Mr. Temple, a county commissioner, even married couples on the spot in the store. Dolly’s father Lee was a regular customer there, purchasing feed for his livestock. This park shop opened in 2003 to honor the Temples.
Aunt Granny’s Restaurant–-This is Dollywood’s most popular restaurant, serving the finest Southern specialties. The name is a nod to Dolly, whose many nieces and nephews affectionately refer to her as “Aunt Granny.”
Apple Jack’s–-Another popular Dollywood eatery, this restaurant is named after the title character in one of Dolly’s No. 1 hit songs.
The Dollywood Emporium–-Completely remodeled in 2001, the Dollywood Emporium features Dollywood’s largest collection of merchandise including apparel, housewares, food, jewelry and toys.
Cas Walker’s General Store–-Cas Walker was the Knoxville, Tenn., entrepreneur who gave Dolly her first break in television. This mercantile in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction area was named as a tribute to him.
Daredevil Falls–-A major themed-ride experience, Daredevil Falls is named for a childhood experience Dolly shared with her brothers and sisters growing up in the Smoky Mountains. The siblings used to swim in a secret swimming hole that was fed by a crystal-clear waterfall, and sometimes her brothers would try to “ride over the falls.”
Dolly’s Home On Wheels—Dolly’s added her 1994 Prevost tour bus to the Adventures in Imagination area of Dollywood in 2008. Featuring an interior designed and decorated by Dolly’s good friends Ann and Don Warden, the bus logged more than 600,000 miles before it was retired.
Dolly’s Demolition Derby–-This fun ride offers kids of all ages a bumpin’ good time as they match wits and maneuver their bumper cars through a dynamic derby of fun.
Dolly’s Closet–-Dolly’s style in your size! That’s the motto at this exquisite shop located in the Adventures in Imagination area. Dolly’s Closet offers a beautiful collection of women’s clothing in Dolly’s style, ranging from casual to dressy. With a seamstress on staff, each item can be personalized with a variety of notions including shiny sequins and sparkling beads.
Dolly Parton Roses–-A beautiful orange-red hybrid tea rose is named in honor of Dolly, and its fragrant blossoms are among hundreds of thousands of flowers found throughout Dollywood in the spring and summer.
DP’s Celebrity Theatre–-Dolly recorded her 1994 album Heartsongs in this state-of-the-art theatre named DP’s for Dolly Parton. In 2001, a one-year production show Paradise Road: The Life & Songs of Dolly Parton was staged here. In 2002, DP’s became home to Backstage Pass, a show honoring country music’s history and legends. During the park’s 2006 Smoky Mountain Christmas festival, DP’s Celebrity Theatre welcomed Dollywood’s Babes in Toyland, an award-winning holiday musical based in Toyland. The theatre welcomed Sha-Kon-A-Hey!—Land of Blue Smoke, the grandest musical production in the park’s history, on May 9, 2009, featuring eight songs written by Dolly.
Fried Green Tomatoes–-This Parton family recipe for this tasty dish is quite popular. Fried Green Tomatoes created quite a stir when they were first introduced at Dollywood’s annual fall festival. The dish has since become a regular item offered during Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration.
Friendship Fountain–-When Dolly introduced the Showstreet area in 1992, she wanted a tranquil spot dedicated to her show business friends who had performed or appeared with her at Dollywood throughout the years. Friendship Gardens featured more than 35,000 flowers in Dolly’s floral tribute to more than 150 celebrities. Today, those commemorative plaques, which exceed 200 in number, are displayed around the brick base of the Friendship Fountain which Dolly rededicated in 2010.
Granny Ogle’s Ham ‘n’ Beans–-Another favorite Dollywood eatery, this one is named for the mother of Dolly’s best friend, Judy Ogle.
Heartsong–This special entertainment presentation tells the musical story of Dolly’s life in a spectacular “naturound” multi-sensory theatre. Through word and song, Dolly narrates this Smoky Mountain adventure which was filmed on location around Dollywood and at Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home.
Old Flames Candle Shop–-This craft shop, featuring intricately detailed candles, is named after one of Dolly’s hit records—Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You.
Owens Farm—Located near the entrance to the park’s Craftsman’s Valley, Owens Farm is a fun-filled farm-themed area that is home to the Barnstormer family thrill ride. The Owens name is a tribute to Dolly’s mother, Avie Lee Owens Parton, and the barnyard theme is reminiscent of Dolly’s rural childhood in the Smoky Mountains.
Pine’s Theatre–-The Pine’s Theatre in Sevierville, Tenn., was the site of Dolly Parton’s first public performance before an audience in the mid-1950s. With the addition of Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, it was only fitting that the new theatre in this 1950s-themed area be named the Pines Theatre. The theatre is home to Dreamland Drive-In, the award-winning ‘50s and ‘60s show that premiered in 2006.
Red’s Diner–-Dolly had her first hamburger in the 1950s at a Sevierville eatery named Red’s. Now, the best burgers and fries in the county are still found at Red’s, only the restaurant is now located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction area. Showstreet–-This entire area was inspired by Dolly visions of the glamour and glitz of show business. Showstreet includes the full-service Backstage Restaurant and the beautiful Showstreet Palace theatre.
Sweet Shoppe–-Dolly loves candy. As a child, she loved candy so much that Dolly would beg her oldest sister, Willadeene, to make homemade candy for her. In 2006, the Dollywood Sweet Shoppe opened on Showstreet, featuring a Victorian ice cream shop; a candy shop; and a taffy kitchen.
Tennessee Mountain Home–-This Dollywood attraction is an exact replica of Dolly’s childhood home. Her brother Bobby built the two-room reproduction onsite in the Rivertown Junction area at Dollywood.
Dolly’s Family Reunion Show—This show features country, bluegrass and Southern gospel music and several of Dolly’s relatives who share heartwarming stories about Dolly and her career. Dolly’s Uncle Bill and her cousin Dwight perform in this show at the Back Porch Theatre.
Dolly Dollars—When shopping at Dollywood, don’t forget to request your change in Dolly Dollars. It’s Dollywood’s own unique currency and is accepted at all restaurants and merchandise shops.
The Dollywood Foundation—Founded in 1988, this not-for-profit foundation supports a variety of innovative projects to promote education. Over the years, the Dollywood Foundation’s efforts have expanded beyond Dolly’s native Sevier County, Tenn., reaching across the United States and into Canada and the U.K. with the Imagination Library. One of the foundation’s most recognized projects, the Imagination Library provides participating preschool children a free book every month from birth until they enter kindergarten. Currently, the program is active in 1,600 communities in 48 states, eight Canadian provinces and 17 counties in the U.K. The Dollywood Foundation mailed eight million books in 2011, 38 million since the program’s inception.
Dolly continues her involvement at Dollywood by providing creative input for various projects. Dolly often uses the park for special projects including the many television appearances she makes. In celebration of the park’s 25th anniversary in 2010, Dolly taped a music-filled television special for the Hallmark Channel. Dolly Celebrates 25 Years of Dollywood was taped in May and starred Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus and Kenny Rogers. Dollywood and Dolly have been featured on the Travel Channel, E’s True Hollywood Story, Larry King Live, A&E’s Biography, Access Hollywood, The John Walsh Show, The Today Show, The Food Network and countless others. In 2005, Southern Living editors named Dollywood one of their favorite places in the South.
Each year, Dolly serves as grand marshal of her very own parade sponsored by the City of Pigeon Forge the Friday evening before Mother’s Day. The parade and Dolly’s Homecoming each have been recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society’s April list of Top 20 events in the Southeast.