I recently had the exciting opportunity to go on a construction site tour of Dollywood's new HeartSong Lodge & Resort and Big Bear Mountain roller coaster. I had heard a lot about these two enormous projects from Dollywood and all the fan chatter. I've seen the drawings and read of the plans, but to see it all with my own eyes was astounding! After grabbing my hard hat and taking it all in as a Dollywood Insider, let me share with you the five things I found most impressive and exciting:
HeartSong Lodge & Resort
- The fireplace in the atrium is beautiful and immense!
Seeing this fireplace was one outstanding moment for me. The fireplace chimney spans four stories and is constructed with enormous pieces of local stone. It's beautiful and bold and adds just the right amount of rustic touch to create a true lodge feel. It also faces a four-story window, shaped as a lantern, looking out into what will be the outdoor pool area. Just beyond that lies the woods and foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
- Every guest room has a beautiful Smoky Mountain mural.
We got to tour a guest room, and I was surprised to learn that every room is decorated with a beautiful mural of the Smoky Mountains with a superb color scheme and relaxing depictions. The attention to detail is impressive. I've been to that waterfall!
- Each level will have its own common area and fireplace.
Dollywood brings families together, and its visionaries truly listen to their guests. They know guests enjoy the common areas to relax and be together, so every level in the lodge will have its own gathering area, each equipped with its own fireplace. I love this! After a fun-filled day in the park, I love to relax and visit with others.
Big Bear Mountain
- Big Bear Mountain spans all of Wildwood Grove!
Big Bear Mountain will be Dollywood's longest roller coaster, and facts aside, it's certainly evident just to the eye. It creates the skyline for Wildwood Grove, and like a ribbon, flows and strings this area of the park together. As soon as one passes Wildwood Grove's main eatery, Till & Harvest, the coaster appears and traverses the whole grove! I can tell--with the length of this ride--it will leave its adventurous passengers well-satisfied.
- Big Bear Mountain will be heavily-themed.
During our tour, Dollywood executives explained how this ride will have three main points to tell the story of Ned Oakley on his adventure to find Big Bear. Two of these storytelling points we know will be a cave and a waterfall. I can't wait to ride this ride and see how the story that themes this ride comes together.
I know everyone is eager to experience these great new additions to Dollywood. Dolly Parton is expected to give an update on the timeline this week with the opening of Dollywood for the 2023 season. In the meantime, check out these two pages on the Dollywood website about these new additions:
HeartSong Lodge & Resort: https://www.dollywood.com/heartsong/
Big Bear Mountain: https://www.dollywood.com/themepark/rides/big-bear-mountain/