Dollywood Just Opened a Massive New Expansion Inspired by Dolly Parton’s Childhood
Dollywood might just be one of the greatest gifts Dolly Parton has given us — and it's getting bigger and better.
According to Fox News, the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee theme park dedicated to country singer Dolly Parton opened a $37 million, 6-acre expansion on May 10, increasing the already-impressive park size by 20 percent.
The highly-anticipated expansion, Wildwood Grove, has 11 new family-friendly experiences, including six rides, and a magical-looking Wildwood tree covered in brightly colored butterflies in the middle of the new park section.
Some of the new rides include The Mad Mocking Bird (a flying ride that rotates around a giant tree), the Sycamore Swing (a swinging ride with seats that look like leaves wafting in the breeze), and The Dragon Flier (a family-friendly, 40 mph roller coaster). It also includes a water park section called Wildwood Creek, costumed characters, and plenty of places to eat a delicious meal.
According to Fox News, the new expansion is inspired by Parton’s childhood memories of growing up in the Smoky Mountains.
“All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove,” Parton told Southern Living. “We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.”
Not only will families have a bigger and better place to take their children for a fun summer vacation, it’s also an amazing place for people of all ages to enjoy the magic of the Smoky Mountains.
The key feature of the new park section, the giant Wildwood tree, is also a bit of a light show once the sun goes down. According to Fox News, the 650 butterflies and 9,000 colored leaves will be lit up every night starting on June 22.
One-day tickets range from $61 to $74, but there are also multi-day tickets available. Season passes range from $129 to $204.
More information on getting to Dollywood and seeing the new Wildwood Grove can be found on the Dollywood website.