Dollywood, the resident theme park of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, is celebrating its 32 years of operation with the theme “Year of the Family,” hoping to continue to provide all of the family fun and memories that the award-winning park is known for. [Read more…]
Dollywood has announced plans to add three new attractions and two new special events, including the Drop Line free-fall tower ride, to its Smoky Mountain resort in 2017. [Read more…]
Dolly Parton has unveiled plans for a new $2.5 million Parade of Many Colors spectacular, which will be added to Dollywood’s family-friendly Smoky Mountain Christmas holiday festival.
Named The Parade of Many Colors, the new $2.5 million addition will complement Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas offerings, which include four million festive lights, the remastered Christmas in the Smokies show, the all-new It’s a Wonderful Life show, and the traditional holiday atmosphere.
Like her new NBC holiday movie, Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love, Parton’s new parade celebrates the holidays. Vibrant floats, interactive characters and a few other surprises help spread cheer throughout Dollywood this holiday season.
“The joy I feel during the Christmas season makes my heart sing because of the love and sweet Christmas memories I have of family and friends from when I was a child,” Parton said with a smile. “Christmas is the time of year when traditions, faith and family come together to create experiences we all remember forever. That is why my new movie and this parade are so important for me. I truly believe The Parade of Many Colors will inspire some of those same lifelong memories for the families who see it.”
The Parade of Many Colors represents another significant investment made by The Dollywood Company as part of the $300 million investment strategy announced in 2013. The company also recently announced the addition of TailSpin Racer to Dollywood’s Splash Country for 2017.
Dollywood has added two days to its calendar, December 6 and 13, to provide guests more time to experience the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event. The Christmas in the Smokies production has been remastered for 2016 and returns to its traditional home at D.P.’s Celebrity Theater, with a cast of singers and dancers performing hometown holiday favorites while accompanied by a band of live musicians.
Dollywood’s entertainment team brings a Christmas classic to life with the debut of It’s a Wonderful Life. Based on the timeless holiday story of love and generosity, small town businessman George Bailey discovers the true value of life, family and friends with a little help from his guardian angel, Clarence.
For more information about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas or The Parade of Many Colors, visit dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. And watch this video for a preview of Lightning Rod, Dollywood’s latest roller coaster:
Lightning rods are usually things to avoid. But if you like fast moving roller coasters, you’ll want to get up close and personal with the one coming to Dollywood next year.
Dollywood has announced Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and the world’s first launching one. Set to roll to the starting line in March 2016, 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 first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-foot track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world.
“Lightning Rod reminds me so much of those colorful cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in downtown Sevierville back when I was in high school. I remember all those souped up cars; but what I remember most were those good lookin’ boys behind the wheel with those flat top and ducktail haircuts,” Dolly Parton said with a laugh. “I’m truly excited about this ride because it will let our guests experience something just as fast as those hot rods I remember,” she continued. “Even better, it’s the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, so I think we’re going to see a lot of people coming from all over to peel out on the Lightning Rod.”
Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, Lightning Rod rockets riders around its massive wooden structure on an adrenaline-charged lap through the trees in the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. During the ride, guests will experience nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.
Dollywood’s development team has tapped Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) as the ride manufacturer. RMC is no stranger to out-of-the-box coaster projects, having designed a number of innovative attractions around the world. Lightning Rod employs several unique features including the lift hill launch, twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn, and a non-inverting half loop.
Lightning Rod puts riders in the driver’s seat of Johnny Rev’s newest hot rod. After months of tinkering, Johnny invites Dollywood guests to step behind the wheel for the first test drive of his flashy new creation. Like any proper hot rod, massive header pipes and an imposing injector scoop peer out from the train’s flamed bodywork.
Lightning Rod is the newest member of The Dollywood Company’s collection of attractions. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. The company introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, at Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013. FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster, was added at Dollywood in 2014. Dollywood mainstays Thunderhead, consistently among the world’s top five wood coasters, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury and Tennessee Tornado round out the park’s list of roller coasters.
For more information about Dollywood’s attractions, visit Dollywood.com.
Here’s video of the full announcement:
By Andy Guinigundo
Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – At the base of the Great Smoky Mountains is the hometown of country superstar Dolly Parton. In 1986, she opened Dollywood. Since that time, the theme park has grown. It has added multi-million dollar attractions and a water park. Today, Dollywood announced a major park investment of $300 million that will be spent over the next 10 years. [Read more…]
This week Photo Finds ventures outside the Sunshine State to see roller coasters and amusement parks up and down the coast. [Read more…]
By Andy Guinigundo
Nashville, Tenn. – Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Company and Gaylord Entertainment have entered into what is referred to as a “memorandum of understanding”. This initial formal agreement discusses the intent of Dollywood and Gaylord to enter into a 50/50 partnership to develop a 105-acre family entertainment zone adjacent to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. What is being called “phase one” of the development will be an as yet unnamed $50 million water and snow park. [Read more…]
By Andy Guinigundo
With a month of 2012 under our belts, I can’t help but be excited for the coming attractions season. There are several high profile, high-dollar attractions opening. Additionally, there are many new coasters being introduced this year including a new-to-North America coaster. Here are some of the attractions I am most anticipating for this year outside of Central Florida: [Read more…]
Column by Andy Guinigundo
To bolster my claim that the wing rider coaster will be the next big thing in coaster construction (check out my previous story Here), Dollywood announced Sunday that it would open the first wing rider roller coaster in the United States. The third announced Bolliger & Mabillard wing rider coaster this summer may be the first to debut in 2012. Thorpe Park’s The Swarm and Six Flags Great America’s X Flight are expected to debut in the spring also. [Read more…]
By Andy Guinigundo
It wasn’t even quite the last week of October at my local Target and Walmart type stores that Halloween decorations were coming down and all things orange and black were being consolidated. This was followed by empty “seasonal items” shelves. Finally on Nov. 1, Christmas decorating and shopping was in full swing.
It should come as no surprise that Christmas in the parks comes early too. The “city sidewalks, busy sidewalk” are indeed all dressed in holiday style. Yes, soon it will be Christmas Day, just not very soon. While I was suffering the Orlando humidity in August, there was a big crane hovering over Cinderella Castle. Castle refurbishment? No, it was there to facilitate hanging thousands of twinkling Christmas lights on the castle.
Over the next few weeks, in addition to my non-holiday Out of the Loop posts, I am planning on showcasing some of the holiday sights from attractions around the country and the world.
Pigeon Forge, Tenn. – Dollywood sits at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee just about 700 miles from Orlando. I believe most folks east of the Mississippi River have made a trip to the area sometime in their life. During the summer months, Dollywood is very much like any theme park, but certainly mixed with a bit of Tennessee and Dolly Parton charm. They have coasters like the looping Tennessee Tornado and the wooden Thunderhead. They have water rides, and kiddie rides. They also have a water park.
During the winter months, they feature Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. The award-winning event features six live shows that are performed multiple times a day. The shows cover holiday themes from religious to secular. More than 20 attractions run including several coasters and The Polar Express 4D movie. Santa is there, of course, participating in breakfasts, working in his Dollywood workshop and participating in parades. To complete the experience, the Dollywood chefs cook up special holiday goodies. These include huge buffets with turkey and dressing and all the trimmings. What’s a Christmas event without the lights? Yes, they have thousands of twinkling lights to set the mood too.
The event started Nov. 7 and will continue until Jan. 2, 2010.
Memorandum: This past week, Cincinnati lost 37-year Cincinnati Enquirer writer Jim Knippenberg. He was known for his general reporting and his gossip column “Psst!” which he wrote for 22 years. He’d write about the Opera, the Zoo or Oktoberfest. What I remember most about him was his theme park writing. There was never a coaster or water slide he wouldn’t try out. He would bring those reports to the reader with enthusiasm and humor. Thanks Mr. Knippenberg.
• Andy Guinigundo is the author of the Out of The Loop column in “Orlando Attractions Magazine”. Out of the Loop keeps you up-to-date with attraction news outside of Central Florida. Andy lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and three daughters. He grew up frequenting theme parks around Ohio and making trips to Orlando with his family. While for most of the year, he’s out of the Orlando loop, he tries to visit Florida at least once a year.