Our Culture

Dollywood is more than just a world class theme park. It’s the complete getaway for families looking to disconnect from the world’s distractions and reconnect with each other while nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood’s properties provide ample opportunity to overwrite life’s daily stresses with new family memories.

The Dollywood Difference

Ask anyone who has visited Dollywood before, and they’ll tell you this place is different. It’s not a difference that you can touch or see. It’s a difference you can feel.

When you’re at Dollywood, time slows down a bit and your troubles don’t seem so troublesome. You could name a million things that make Dollywood so special, but we think it boils down to the simple things like the feeling you get when you’re with the ones you care about most, or the warm, inviting smiles of the Dollywood Hosts who treat you more like family than a guest.

Our Mission


Our Values


  • With distinctive, themed, entertaining experiences for every member of the family.
  • With genuinely friendly, caring people who take pride in what they do.


  • By working as a team and empowering each other.
  • By being accountable to our guests, each other and the communities we serve.
  • By Leading with Love; being Patient, Kind, Humble, Respectful, Trusting, Unselfish, Forgiving, Truthful and Dedicated.


  • By treating guests like a member of our family.
  • By providing shared experiences that bring families closer together.


  • By adapting to our guests' changing expectations.
  • By managing safety, security, risks and resources.
  • By investing in people and products to produce growth and provide a reasonable return on our investment.

All in a Manner Consistent with Christian Values and Ethics

Our Businesses

Dollywood Theme Park


Winner of the 2010 Applause Award, Dollywood consistently is recognized as one of the world’s best theme parks. Spanning 165 acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Dollywood offers more than 50 rides and attractions..., including Lightning Rod, the Thunderhead wood coaster, the steel thriller Mystery Mine, the forward and backward launch FireChaser Express, and Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. In 2023, Dollywood opens Big Bear Mountain, the longest roller coaster in the park’s history. Dollywood’s entertainment is recognized worldwide, having received more awards than any other theme park for its live entertainment, which showcases country, bluegrass, Southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Appalachian music. Dollywood recently was ranked the #1 theme park in the U.S. and the #8 theme park in the world based on traveler reviews by Tripadvisor users. Daily demonstrations by more than a dozen master craftsmen offer a glimpse into the authentic artistry of the area’s rich heritage. In addition to mouth-watering, Southern-style food offered throughout the park, Dollywood hosts several of the South’s largest festivals with special performing groups and concerts.

Learn More

Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park


Adjacent to Dollywood theme park, Dollywood’s Splash Country Water Park is situated on 35 acres in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Named America’s Must-See Waterpark, Dollywood’s Splash Country features a variety of water slides and attractions—from mild to wild. The park’s newest attraction is TailSpin Racer, a six-lane, mat-racer style slide. In 2013, RiverRush, Tennessee's first water coaster, marked the park's biggest expansion since opening in 2001. The popular attraction also claimed Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket for Best New Waterpark Ride for 2013. Dollywood's Splash Country features other attractions, such as The Cascades™, an 8,000-sq.-ft. lagoon-style leisure pool; Fire Tower Falls™, the state’s tallest twin speed slides; Bear Mountain Fire Tower™, a multi-level interactive water adventure; Mountain Waves, a 25,000-sq.-ft. wave pool; Slick Rock Racer, a multi-mat slide; the Downbound Float Trip, a relaxing lazy river; as well as interactive children’s play areas.

Learn More

Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort


Located just adjacent to Dollywood, discover Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort which featured a stunning 4,000 sq. ft. four-story atrium lobby where a warm stone fireplace and lantern-inspired windows create an inviting atmosphere to spend time together. 302 spacious rooms and suites, many with balconies, feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting families to gather for meaningful connections and escape everyday stresses. Discover new delicious dining options, created by resort chefs, in the full-service restaurant, lounge, private dining room, and Songbird Market Grab & Go eatery. In addition, Honeysuckle & Pine Storied Goods Mercantile is your shopping outpost for unique gifts and treasured keepsakes.

Learn More

Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa


Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa is situated on 20 acres next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. From the resort’s lavish property, guests can enjoy spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains along with premium facilities, including an indoor and outdoor pool complex and landscaped gardens. Guests of the resort also can take advantage of special park privileges including free transportation to both parks, front-of-the-line access at Dollywood and much more. A full-service farmhouse-style restaurant and a full-service salon and spa add to the unique ambiance of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa. Themed after the iconic Southern gathering spot, the front porch, guests are invited to slow down and experience the rich traditions of togetherness with family.

Learn More

Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction


Billed as “the Smokies’ most fun place to eat,” Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction features a four-course feast and a fantastic show for all ages. The one-of-a-kind experience begins when guests step inside the 35,000-square-foot main arena to witness expert riders guide 32 magnificent horses through barrel races, flame-engulfed hoops and trick riding. A striking 12.5 million LED video wall backdrop creates an experience so immersive, guests feel as if they have been transported deep in the Smoky Mountains. “Christmas at Stampede” is offered in November and December.

Learn More

Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show


The swashbuckling adventure that is Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show is an immersive adventure experience with sword fights, cannons, mermaids, live animals and, of course, pirates – all while guests enjoy a fabulous four-course feast. A crew of characters combines heroics and high-flying acrobatic fun that has guests cheering and experiencing thrills around every corner in an epic battle on land, on deck and in the water of the show’s 15-foot-deep indoor lagoon.

Learn More

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud


The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud combines a long-running crazy family feud and a mountain of delicious food for a journey that starts with an all-you-can-eat feast. This entertaining dinner show located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee features side-splitting comedy, musical acts with sensational singing, dancing and mountain clogging, and some “explosive” stunts that give the show a true bang! From start to finish, the feud is action-packed with “battles” of musical talents and crazy diving stunts in the 24-foot deep swimming pool that is part of the show set. A holiday version of the dinner show is offered during November and December.

Learn More

The Comedy Barn Theater


The Comedy Barn Theater offers families an evening of fun and laughter combining the talents and antics of magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists and animal acts. The show also incorporates live country and gospel music and clogging for a variety show that everyone will enjoy. This award-winning family comedy variety show has been Pigeon Forge's Funniest Show for more than 25 years.

Learn More

Frizzle Chicken Café


Many restaurants claim that fun is on the menu, but the Frizzle Chicken Café in Pigeon Forge takes that to an all-new level for families to enjoy. The unique experience combining dozens of singing animatronic chickens and delicious breakfast and lunch options make it a “must do” on the list of things that can’t be missed on a trip to the Smokies. Located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge next to The Comedy Barn Theater, the menu offers a great variety of tasty breakfast and lunch items and is open daily from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. for breakfast and lunch.

Learn More

Dollywood History

Since 1986, visitors from around the world have become well acquainted with the Dollywood name and experience. However, the entertainment park actually traces its roots back to 1961 when Rebel Railroad first opened on the site that, over time, has expanded and grown into Dollywood.

The Robbins Brothers from North Carolina operated a small-scale attraction that featured a coal-fired steam train named Klondike Katie, a general store, a blacksmith shop and a saloon for visitors to enjoy. The Robbins Brothers had indeed created a winning formula. Visitors were intrigued by the Smoky Mountain way of life, and vacationers were eager to catch a glimpse of what Rebel Railroad had to offer. Little did the Robbins Brothers know that they were laying the groundwork for what would later become Tennessee's most-visited attraction.


In 1970, Rebel Railroad underwent a change in ownership and name when it was purchased by Art Modell, then owner of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Under new ownership, Rebel Railroad was renamed Goldrush Junction and was touted as "Tennessee's Million Dollar Fun Attraction." Though the name had changed, the experience was unaltered; actually Goldrush Junction began to expand. Visitors still enjoyed the five-mile train ride into the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, complete with mock Indian attacks and train robberies.

New attractions including a wood shop and a saw mill were added in a nod to the area's rich history as a logging community. Further additions included an outdoor theater, log cabins, a campground, and several children's rides. Goldrush Junction visitors could pan for gold, stop by "The Lady Gay" saloon which featured live entertainment, and ride the Log Flume which had been relocated to Goldrush Junction from the New York World's Fair. In 1973, the Robert F. Thomas Church was constructed. Named for a well known doctor in the Sevier County area, the Robert F. Thomas Church represented the strength and devotion of this Appalachian community to its Christian values. Later on, the Robert F. Thomas Church would have a strong link to a very well known Sevier County native.

Visitors continued to flock to this attraction located just outside the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains. For a single season in 1976, Goldrush Junction was known simply as Goldrush. In 1977, the park would undergo yet another name change as well as a change in ownership. Jack and Pete Herschend of the Branson-based Herschend Enterprises purchased Goldrush, and it would now be known as Silver Dollar City, Tennessee.

The Herschend Family wasn't new to the attractions industry. Jack and Pete were born to Danish immigrant Hugo Herschend and his Chicago-born wife Mary. Together, the family had often traveled to Marvel Cave-Missouri's deepest-which had been opened to tourists in 1894 by the Lynch Family. In 1950, the Herschend Family entered into an agreement to lease Marvel Cave from the Lynch Family. They quickly cemented their commitment to expand the area with an early 1950s purchase of 640 acres around the cave. Hugo and Mary continued with plans to transform Marvel Cave into a major tourist attraction. Although Hugo passed away in 1955, Mary, Jack and Pete moved forward and began work on a cave train project. In 1958, their hard work was rewarded with the inaugural run of the world's only underground passenger cable train at the time.

On May 1, 1960, what had previously been known as Marvel Cave now marked its opening day as Silver Dollar City in Branson. The themed park featured five frontier-style buildings-a blacksmith shop, general store, ice cream parlor, doll shop, the Stage Coach Inn-as well as two reconstructed log buildings, the Wilderness Church and the McHaffie Homestead. Local entertainers played hillbilly music while the "Hatfields and McCoys" revived their legendary feud on Main Street. Employees costumed in 1880s attire became the "citizens" of Silver Dollar City. As for the theme park's name, it traces its origin to the 1960s when folks paid for everything in cash. The Herschends were encouraged to use silver dollars as change for transactions in the park. Thus, when vacationers spent the coins elsewhere and were asked where they had gotten the coins, they would reply "Silver Dollar City." The Herschends took the advice, appropriately coining the phrase "Silver Dollar City."

With Silver Dollar City, Branson up and running, the Herschend Corporation expanded into other themed entertainment ventures including White Water water parks; the Showboat Branson Belle, an exquisite paddle boat featuring dinner and entertainment; and the Grand Village shopping complex in Branson.

The Herschend Family was the proud owner of a winning concept. They captured the very heart and soul of the late-1800s Appalachian mountain people and their communities while also preserving the history and traditions of the area. With the success of Silver Dollar City, Branson well in hand, the Herschend Brothers looked eastward to their next endeavor.

Upon acquiring Goldrush in 1977, the Herschend Brothers contributed more than a million dollars in improvements on the way to opening Silver Dollar City, Tennessee in Pigeon Forge. Intent upon showcasing the craftsmanship of the Smoky Mountain region, guests entered near the park's train trestle, passed under the train tracks and entered Craftsman's Valley. The area was filled with talented artisans including blacksmiths, wood carvers, leather smiths and lye soap makers who showcased their crafts while demonstrating their trades. The park experienced significant growth over the next decade of operation including the addition of rides, shops, more craftsmen, shows and attractions like the Silver Dollar Grist Mill which was completed in 1983 and became the first working grist mill built in Tennessee in more than 100 years. The Herschend Brothers never compromised their commitment to the preservation of the Great Smoky Mountains' heritage and traditions.

In 1980, the park broadened its appeal as it expanded beyond Craftsman's Valley and the train depot with the addition of several rides. Silver Dollar City enjoyed steady growth in attendance and new additions to the park were made throughout the early 1980s. However, the Herschend Brothers soon welcomed another much-loved and recognizable East Tennessee tradition to the mix. Singer, songwriter and actress Dolly Parton, a Sevier County, Tennessee native and entertainment superstar, joined the Herschends in the theme park business in 1986. Not only would Dolly share her entertainment expertise and her love of the Great Smoky Mountains, she would also share her name as what had been Silver Dollar City opened in 1986 as Dollywood.

Since 1986, Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Enterprises have remained partners in Dollywood, Tennessee's most-visited tourist attraction. Dollywood also ranks in the Top 50 most attended theme parks worldwide. The park has more than doubled in size now encompassing 150 acres. An entirely new area, Rivertown Junction, was added for Dollywood's first season. Included in this area were Aunt Granny's-still Dollywood's most-visited restaurant-Dolly's Tennessee Mountain Home; the 450-seat Back Porch Theatre and the Smoky Mountain Rampage.

Dollywood also experienced tremendous increases in attendance, drawing 1.3 million visitors in 1986, an increase of approximately 75 percent as compared to Silver Dollar City's last season in 1985. Dollywood consistently entertains more than two million visitors annually (a 54 percent increase over its inaugural 1986 season and a 160 percent increase over its 1985 attendance.)

In the years since the Dollywood name has graced the theme park's main entrance, more than $110 million in expansions and additions are now visible as a result of Dollywood's ongoing commitment to offering guests something new each season. And, several old favorites continue to welcome guests including Klondike Katie, a 110-ton coal-fired steam train built in 1943 that still roams the tracks through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. And, the Robert F. Thomas Chapel remains but its significance to the park grew stronger after Dolly joined the family. It was Dr. Robert F. Thomas, the local Sevier County doctor, who one day delivered the fourth of twelve children to Lee and Avie Lee Parton-Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Visitors from across the country and around the world flock to the Pigeon Forge entertainment park to experience the heart and soul of the Great Smoky Mountains. Dollywood prides itself on "Creating Memories Worth Repeating®." By offering a blend of thrilling rides, spectacular shows and master craftsmen in the Great Smoky Mountain and presented by employees with a genuine interest in the guest's experience-all sprinkled with Dolly's own special brand of charm and appeal-Dollywood more than delivers.

Park Expansions


Dollywood’s 36th season included major park infrastructure enhancements, new restaurant seating areas and ride re-tracking efforts designed to add to the guest experience. The Flower & Food Festival was held for the first time during what will become its traditional time of season and was named the inaugural winner of the IAPPA Brass Ring Award for Best New Food and Beverage Festival or Special Event. The park’s Summer Celebration included a groundbreaking multi-sensory drone light show that created a symphony of light in the sky above the park. Representing a true evolution in traditional theme park entertainment, Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights used nearly 400 drones to animate the spectacular Dollywood-exclusive story. The drone performance was integrated into a musically-choreographed fireworks show, creating a visual and audial event of epic proportions. In June, Dolly announced the new HeartSong Lodge & Resort, scheduled for completion in 2023, along with a new $500 million, 10-year investment strategy.


Dollywood opened its 35th anniversary season in June due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the late opening, the park opened a “budding” new event, the Flower & Food Festival, which featured hundreds of thousands of vibrant plants blooming in brilliant splashes of color. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights showcased a fresh new look with reinvigorated decorations through the park, with families delighted by thousands of imaginatively-carved pumpkin displays and family activities each evening. Due to the park’s regularly scheduled slate of early-season performances canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the park hosted its largest lineup of music ever during the Harvest Festival - more than 800 concerts featuring Southern gospel, bluegrass, Americana and folk performers on stages throughout the park. Dollywood was named the #8 theme park in the world by Tripadvisor.


Dollywood opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in the park’s history, with 11 new family experiences including a new suspended roller coaster, Dragonflier, as well as Mad Mockingbird and Black Bear Trail. A new restaurant, Till & Harvest, provided visitors with another scrumptious option from Dollywood’s award-winning food team, while the Wildwood Tree serves as the centerpiece for this sprawling new land. The season opened with Festival of Nations, headlined by Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drum Struck, and the late spring Barbeque & Bluegrass Festival hosted the greatest names in the bluegrass genre, including Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and Rhonda Vincent & The Rage.


Dolly dubbed 2018 a “Season of Showstoppers” as Dollywood invested $1 million for additions to its season-long entertainment schedule, the largest in park history. The year started with Dollywood’s Festival of Nations and then continued in April with the Spring Mix music series featuring artists from multiple genres. Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass added an extra week of concerts, while Dollywood’s Summer Celebration featured iLuminate, finalists on America’s Got Talent in 2011, DRUMLine Live! and PaintJam, with Ricardo Barazza created stunning works of art on a spinning 360-degree canvas. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana provided more fall family fun with the expansion of Great Pumpkin LumiNights, and the addition of Glacier Ridge to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas brought the total light count for the festival to more than five million. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa was named the Top Amusement Park Resort Hotel in USA Today’s 10Best poll.


Dollywood declared 2017 the “Year of the Family” with the summertime addition of Drop Line, a 200-foot tall free-fall experience in Timber Canyon, and Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster which allows Dollywood’s younger guests the opportunity to experience the exciting twists and turns of a larger roller coaster. For the first time during the fall Harvest Festival, Dollywood offered extended operating hours each evening and added Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which immersed families in fabulous fall pumpkin illumination.


Dollywood announced the addition of Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster. Set to roll to the starting line in March 2016, Lightning Rod adds another groundbreaking roller coaster to the park’s already impressive portfolio of world-class attractions. The thrilling $22 million ride also marks the single largest attraction investment in The Dollywood Company’s history. Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.


Dollywood’s 30th anniversary celebration provided six spectacular festivals and a number of surprises to delight visitors in 2015. From amazing stage shows and award-winning roller coasters to a nightly summer fireworks display and the seven-time winner for Best Christmas Event, guests enjoyed seasons of fun at Dollywood! Guests enjoyed six new shows during Dollywood’s Great American Summer, including Lite the Night and Live From the Back Porch. Dollywood also added two new entertainment events in fall, Dollywood’s Showcase of Stars, welcomed some of the biggest names in entertainment to Dollywood, along with Rock the Smokies, a day-long celebration or praise and worship with contemporary Christian performers like Third Day and For King & Country.


Dollywood debuted FireChaser Express , the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster that travels both forward and backward. With a 39-inch minimum height requirement, FireChaser Express invites families to enjoy the exciting journey as a group. Perched 12 stories above the park’s Wilderness Pass area, FireChaser Express launches twice, blasting riders forward and backward on a winding 2,427-foot track. The coaster is projected from the loading station traveling from zero to 16 mph in just 1.1 second. Near the end of the ride, a backward launch from zero to 20 mph in two seconds sends FireChaser Express hurtling back to the station in the opposite direction.


Dollywood’s love for family time, and summer time came to life with music and light as Dollywood’s Great American Summer debuted in 2013. Special extended park hours from 10 a.m.—10 p.m. helped families spend more time together no matter their schedules. Each day was filled with new shows, including Cirque Shanghai during Festival of Nations and Great American Country, plus nightly fireworks set to original music written and recorded by Dolly. Dolly also made history in Dollywood’s 2013 Smoky Mountain Christmas festival when she appeared in Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol as a hologram. She stars in the ground breaking show as the Ghost of Christmas Past, with flair only Dolly can bring using hologram technology and challenging the other Dollywood actors to interact with her hologram each day.


Dollywood adds the $20 million Wild Eagle, the first wing coaster in the U.S. Reaching a top speed of 61 mph, Wild Eagle looms 21 stories above Dollywood in the park’s Timber Canyon area. The steel coaster’s 3,127-foot track’s highest drop features four inversions and a 135-foot first drop. Spirit of the Dance headlines Dollywood’s Festival of Nations while KidsFest features Chris Perondi's Stunt Dog Experience.


Barnstormer High-flying hijinks came to Dollywood in 2011 with the arrival of the Barnstormer. The park’s newest ride, located in Craftsman’s Valley, carries passenger 81 feet in the air on two giant pendulum arms at a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour and 230 degrees of rotation. Dollywood’s popular Barbeque & Bluegrass festival made a triumphant return in late summer. Later in the season, Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice!, a new ice skating show, premiered to headline Smoky Mountain Christmas.


Adventure Mountain Dollywood mark’s its 25th anniversary season in 2010. The new Adventure Mountain, the country’s largest challenge course, rises above the landscape in the park’s Wilderness Pass area. Designed exclusively for Dollywood, the one-of-a-kind two-acre attraction is unmatched universally in size and scope and features more than 140 interactive outdoor elements. Dollywood Festival of Nations welcomes three new shows—Nova Scotia’s DRUM!, Peru’s Jallmay, and Trinidad’s Invaders. For the first time, KidsFest features an all-new lineup of shows with a new headliner every week of the festival.


Dollywood’s entertainment lineup expanded to welcome Sha-Kon-A-Hey! Land of Blue Smoke, the most elaborate musical production in the park’s 24-year history. Opening May 9, 2009, in DP’s Celebrity Theatre, the show tells the heartfelt story of the last family to leave the area that would become Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2009. No story about the Smoky Mountains would be complete without Dolly, who wrote the eight new songs featured in Sha-Kon-A-Hey! Le Grand Cirque’s Imaginé headlines Dollywood Festival of Nations and features a premier cast of world champion acrobats and performers from 15 countries and acts including pole climbing, contortionists, hoop diving, unicyclists, silk ropes, the diablo, and much more!


Dollywood welcomes the new family water adventure ride River Battle, a $5 million attraction in the park’s new Wilderness Pass area, adjacent to Timber Canyon. River Battle features nine, eight-passenger rafts, each armed with soaker guns. Passengers navigate a 500-foot channel featuring more than 100 targets along the way. River Battle engages riders as well as unsuspecting onlookers on the banks for a uniquely interactive experience.


The season unveils the largest capital investments at both parks. Dollywood’s $17.5 million Mystery Mine steel coaster occupies a one-acre expansion in Timber Canyon. Passengers encounter the ruins of an abandoned mine while traveling a 1,811-foot track which includes a hair-raising 95-degree, 85-foot vertical drop, just the first in a series of amazing maneuvers.


Dollywood’s Timber Canyon area opens. Lumberjack Lifts, Lil’ Loggers’ Landing, Beaver Creek Boat Float and Beaver Creek round out the new ride and attractions offerings in the action-packed adventure area. In addition, the new 150-seat LumberCamp restaurant greeted hungry guests. New entertainment offerings include Dreamland Drive-In, a ‘50s and ‘60s musical review in the Pines Theatre plus the much-anticipated Dollywood’s Babes in Toyland, the centerpiece of the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. In addition, Dollywood launches its fifth festival—BBQ & Bluegrass featuring entertainment by Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, the Del McCoury Band and more.


A 3.5 acre, $5 million renovation in Dollywood's Country Fair area brings 10 new family rides to the park. In addition, the park's fall season introduces the new National Music & Harvest Celebration featuring 38 days of free concerts performed by country, bluegrass, Southern gospel and Americana artists.


The Wildest Ride In The Woods! Dollywood welcomed its first wooden roller coaster-The Thunderhead. Billed as the "wildest ride in the woods," the $7 million Thunderhead anchors the park's newest expansion, the five-acre Thunderhead Gap. Two new shows, Country Crossroads and Randy Parton's Country Heart & Soul joined the entertainment lineup along with a cast of roving characters including the Rainmaker, Trapper & Bear, the Constable & the Robber and the Appalachian String Band.


Dollywood introduced KidsFest, the largest children's festival in the South, which included two new stage shows for children-VeggieTales® and Garfield's® 25th Anniversary Birthday Party-and the Purina® Dog Chow® Incredible Dog Team and ASA Extreme Sports shows. The Buddy Baxter's Bandstand USA rock 'n' roll show premiered in the Pines Theatre on May 24 and Randy Parton starred in the new Randy Parton Country State of Mind country show in the Celebrity Theatre. Dollywood's Festival of Nation's returned with the addition of the Dollywood International Food Faire, 7,000 square feet of foods from around the world.


Adventures in Imagination opens at a cost of $10 million. New attractions include Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure, the world's largest Turbo Ride® Action Simulator Adventure; Clovis' Wilderness Corner retail shop; Chasing Rainbows, a state-of-the-art interactive museum collection that chronicles Dolly rise to fame from her humble East Tennessee beginnings to her multi-faceted career as an award-winning singer, songwriter and actress; and the Doughnut Factory.


Dollywood introduced its popular Festival of Nations, a monthlong celebration of dance, food and culture from around the world featuring more than 300 performers and artisans.


Dreamland Forest opens. This $5 million attraction features 15,000 square feet of interactive games, gadgets, and gizmos for children of all ages including the world's largest interactive tree house; a three-story bee hive, a "wet and wild" area called Bullfrog Creek, Ranger's Cookhouse restaurant, and a nature-themed gift shop.


Dollywood adds the $8 million Tennessee Tornado, the world's first spiral-loop coaster featuring back-to-back 360-degree loops. Dollywood also became headquarters for the Southern Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame and Museum honoring the genre's legends with interactive displays, more than 350 artifacts and a recording studio.


Paradise Road: The Life and Songs of Dolly Parton, a major Broadway-style show chronicling the superstar's amazing career, debuted on April 18. Dollywood's 13th season also marked the addition of Daredevil Falls, a unique waterfall ride featuring a 63 mph free fall.


Additional entertainment offerings marked Dollywood's 12th season with the addition of American Dream, a country music show starring Randy Parton; Country Treasures, a dynamic production show highlighted by performances by Grand Ole Opry legends; Shenani-Guns, a comedy show and U Pick Nick, a Nickelodeon®-themed high-energy kids show. Imagination Station introduced one of the world's largest LEGO® play areas. In the fall, an expanded Harvest Celebration and Southern Gospel Jubilee opened.


Dollywood Boulevard, an $8 million expansion, anchored the park's 11th season. White Lightning, a $5 million state-of-the-art simulator ride, was added and at the time, was the world's largest Turbo-Ride® Action Adventure featuring a contour-flair screen measuring 55 feet high and 70 feet wide. A themed restaurant and merchandise attraction completed the area. Also in 1996, Dollywood introduced the popular Southern Gospel Jubilee during the park's fall Harvest Celebration. The country's largest Southern Gospel event featured gospel greats J. D. Sumner & The Stamps, the Lewis Family, Kirk Talley, and the Kingsmen.


Dollywood unveiled Jukebox Junction, a $6 million, seven-acre 1950s themed area featuring the 1,000-seat Pines Theater, Red's Diner and the Rockin' Roadway, a ride featuring classic replica cars. Entertainment included Let the Good Times Roll, a tribute to rock 'n' roll. A variety of merchandise locations offering classic memorabilia and nostalgic items completed the area.


Heartsong, a film narrated by Dolly, debuted in the Heartsong Theater. Conveying Dolly's fond memories and feelings for the Smoky Mountains, Heartsong's powerful story is driven by Dolly's music. Incorporating 70 mm film and specially created animation, Heartsong provides unique outdoor sensory experiences through theatrical lighting, sound and special effects.


The Country Fair area opened, adding a new feature to Dollywood's skyline with the 60-foot Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel. Other popular modern-day midway rides were added including the Tennessee Twister (also known as the Tilt-a-Whirl) and Twist and Shout (also known as the Scrambler). Nostalgia-themed additions included old-time games and a variety of "blue ribbon" foods.


Dollywood's seventh season welcomed Showstreet, a seven-acre, $6.5 million expansion including the 1,000-seat Showstreet Palace Theatre featuring the new show Fire on the Mountain; WDLY, a fully functional radio station; Friendship Gardens and Starwalk, a gardenscape area featuring more than 35,000 flowers and plants; a full production bakery plus a variety of entertainment, food, attractions and merchandise.


In 1991, Dollywood welcomed the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, a 1.5 million-cubic-foot natural outdoor aviary, home to the largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles. Also added next door was the Wings of America theatre and the Birds of Prey Show. The 400-seat Valley Theatre also opened in Craftsman's Valley providing yet another stage to showcase entertainment.


Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration debuted during November and December of the fifth season. Festive holiday entertainment, attractions and foods all set against a backdrop of more than two million twinkling lights. Also added this year was Imagination Station, an interactive children's play zone in the Country Fair area.


The $8 million Thunder Express roller coaster was added for the fourth season. (Thunder Express was retired in 1998, making room for the Tennessee Tornado which opened in April 1999.)


The new 1,739-seat Celebrity Theatre opened its doors and the first Showcase of Stars concert series debuted featuring performances by the biggest names in country music. (In 1990, the Country Music Association named the Celebrity Theatre Theater of the Year.)


Dollywood introduced another major ride, the Mountain Slidewinder, a water toboggan thrill ride (named the best non-roller coaster ride in the country by Amusement Business magazine). Daydream Ridge, themed around an 1890s logging community and featuring a children's play area, was introduced this year featuring a toy shop, a playground area, the Daydream Diner, the Rainbow Blown Glass Shop and the Sweet Dreams Candy Shop.


In its first year of operation, Dollywood unveiled an entire new area called Rivertown Junction featuring the park's most-visited restaurant Aunt Granny's (named for the nickname by which Dolly's nieces and nephews call her); Dolly's Tennessee Mountain Home; the 450-seat Back Porch theatre (home of the popular Kinsfolks Show); and the Smoky Mountain River Rampage, a thrilling white water rafting adventure ride.


In 2017 experience the wet and wild twists, turns and thrills of Dollywood’s Splash Country’s newest attraction, TailSpin Racer! From its unique spiraling, high-speed AquaTubes to its splashdown finish, it’s an all-out race to see who can get to the end first.


Adding yet another history-making coaster to The Dollywood Company’s roster, Dollywood’s Splash Country introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first water coaster, in May 2013. A hydromagnetic coaster, RiverRush combines all of the powerful climbs, plunging drops, thrilling twists, and tight turns of a traditional land coaster with the waterpark’s calling card—water—for the very latest in waterpark experiences.


In its 10th year of operation, Slick Rock Racer, a $1 million multi-lane mat slide, joins the water park’s lineup of adventure slides.


Relaxation and tranquility combine with adventure for The Cascades™, a new $2.8 million 8,000-sq.-ft. leisure pool. A rock grotto with intertwined slides, a geyser with 20-foot sprays, a 24,000-sq.-ft. tiered deck space and eight new Waterside Retreats make The Cascades a family favorite at the water park.


Relaxation and tranquility combine with adventure for The Cascades™, a new $2.8 million 8,000-sq.-ft. leisure pool. A rock grotto with intertwined slides, a geyser with 20-foot sprays, a 24,000-sq.-ft. tiered deck space and eight new Waterside Retreats make The Cascades a family favorite at the water park.


Fire Tower Falls™ changes the water park’s landscape as the twin speed slides become the park’s tallest and fastest slides ever, rising 70 feet into the air.


A four-alarm soaking awaits guests at the new Bear Mountain Fire Tower™, a $2 million multi-level interactive water attraction.


Guests at Dollywood's Splash Country were taking the plunge-the Big Bear Plunge-on the water park's new $1.4 million extreme white water rafting adventure ride situated in the park's new Big Bear Ridge area.


This $20 million waterpark, opened on May 19. Situated on 25 acres near Dollywood on Middle Creek Road in Pigeon Forge, Dolly's Splash Country features a 25,000-square-foot wave pool, a family raft ride, a lazy river, an interactive children's area, multi-person tube rides, two "extreme" body slides, shaded lounge areas and a restaurant.


This $20 million waterpark, opened on May 19. Situated on 25 acres near Dollywood on Middle Creek Road in Pigeon Forge, Dolly's Splash Country features a 25,000-square-foot wave pool, a family raft ride, a lazy river, an interactive children's area, multi-person tube rides, two "extreme" body slides, shaded lounge areas and a restaurant.

Get The Latest News and Special Offers

Subscribe to our newsletter, special offers and promotional emails.