Dollywood officially opens Wildwood Grove expansion

by Brittani Tuttle

Dollywood has officially opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in the park’s history! Dolly Parton herself made an appearance at the opening to welcome guests to enjoy the land’s 11 new experiences.

wildwood grove

Coming in at $37 million, Wildwood Grove is Dollywood’s largest capital investment ever, and is the first new area to be added to the park since Wilderness Pass in 2008.

Dolly Parton performs at opening of Wildwood Grove in Dollywood

“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away – something I still do now – dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” said Parton. “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. 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.”

treetop tower
Treetop Tower

Once inside Wildwood Grove, guests will see the Wildwood Tree shimmering in the light, ride inside giant acorns at Treetop Tower and climb aboard a “leaf boat” on the Great Tree Swing.

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Black Bear Trail

Even the bears in Wildwood Grove are friendly, and guests can meander with them through Black Bear Trail. If younger guests need a break, Hidden Hollow contains a 4,000-square-foot climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides, and games.

mad mockingbird
The Mad Mockingbird

Nearby, families can take a ride on Tennessee’s state symbol, the mockingbird, on an experience they control themselves called The Mad Mockingbird. Other guests will dip and fly through geysers on the area’s signature attraction, Dragonflier.

At the heart of the area is The Wildwood Tree, where guests can watch butterflies in its leafy canopy and kids can splash in the creek that flows at its base.

Wildwood Grove also has new merchandise and dining offerings for guests to enjoy. Till & Harvest, which is expected to open around Memorial Day, blends Smoky Mountain flavors with Mexican cuisine. The menu features a lineup of build-your-own-style entrees like burritos, bowls, salads, and nachos with wood-fired meats, vegetables and sauces. Till & Harvest also offers an open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood Grove as they eat.

Mountain Grove Merchants is the place for guests to find a gift or souvenir to commemorate their adventure in Wildwood Grove.

wildwood grove

“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood,” continued Parton. “I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”

To learn more about this brand-new expansion, or to plan your next trip to Dollywood, visit Dollywood.com.


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