Dollywood Officially Opens Largest Expansion in Park History

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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dollywood again solidified its place among the nation’s premier family
destinations as Dolly Parton today officially opened Wildwood Grove, the
largest expansion in park history. Parton opened the fascinating new
land to visitors ready to enjoy its 11 thrilling new experiences. During
an early morning media event, Parton shared the inspiration and dreams
that led to the creation of Wildwood Grove, calling the area “the new
standard for Dollywood.”

At $37 million, Wildwood Grove is Dollywood theme park’s largest capital
investment ever and is the first new area added to Dollywood since
Wilderness Pass in 2008. The biggest adventure in Dollywood’s history
provides guests of all sizes unique experiences to enjoy together as a
family.

“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 to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a
ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” Parton said. “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.

“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. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and
exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like
home for me.”

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross explained the significance of
the newest addition to the storied theme park.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting days in the history of
our company,” Ross explained. “It is rare in our industry that a park
adds a completely new land in its entirety, and as we continue to grow
and set attendance records, we needed to add more area to give guests
more room to spread out and explore. Additionally, we were able to take
many of Dolly’s childhood dreams and create experiences that are
uniquely Smoky Mountain-themed and really help tell the story of this
beautiful area.

“I know our guests will be thrilled with the great diversity of
attractions they will be able to enjoy when they visit Wildwood Grove.
We’re extremely proud of the fact that there are experiences here that
every member of the family will love and enjoy.”

After stepping into Wildwood Grove, imagination takes flight, delivering
explorers on a journey of discovery in this breathtaking area.
Remarkable sights await visitors throughout the land. In the distance,
the breathtaking Wildwood Tree catches the eye as lively butterflies
shimmer in the daylight. Families laugh and play, taking rides inside
giant acorns at Treetop Tower and aboard a thrilling “leaf boat” on the
Great Tree Swing.

Even the bears are friendly in Wildwood Grove, as they let guests
meander with them through their own natural habitat at the Black Bear
Trail. If smaller guests need a quick break, Hidden Hollow contains a
4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides
and games where kids and their parents can enjoy play time full of
exploration.

Nearby, families scream with delight as they take a ride with
Tennessee’s state symbol—the mockingbird—in an experience they control
themselves at The Mad Mockingbird. Others dip and dart through geysers
while suspended from dragonflies on the area’s signature ride
attraction, Dragonflier.

At the heart of it all is The Wildwood Tree. This focal point is a
beacon for all, drawing families to watch the butterflies play in its
leafy canopy, while encouraging others to splash and play in the winding
creek that flows at its base. As the daylight fades, families can bask
in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life.

Wildwood Grove also features new merchandise and dining options for park
guests. Till & Harvest, which is expected to open around Memorial Day,
provides the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain flavors and fresh Mexican
cuisine. The menu features a variety of build-your-own style entrees
such as burritos, bowls, salads and nachos all filled with wood-fired
meats, fresh vegetables and flavorful sauces. Along with the Smoky
Mountain Mexican flavors, Till & Harvest also provides a spacious
open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood
Grove while they enjoy their meal.

Mountain Grove Merchants is the one-stop-shop for guests looking for the
perfect gift or souvenir to celebrate their adventure in Wildwood Grove.

Nearly $1 million has been invested in Wildwood Grove’s landscaping,
with more than 400 trees and 2,300 shrubs creating a beautiful, yet
decidedly natural atmosphere to enjoy. As the landscaping continues to
mature, the visual appeal of the area will only increase.

Each day of exploration in Wildwood Grove is an experience families
don’t want to miss. These merry memory making moments are certain to
become a treasured part of every family’s visit.

WILDWOOD GROVE FACTS

  • The Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening during a unique nighttime
    experience which begins June 15. Each season of the year features a
    spectacular new experience for guests. The Wildwood Tree features
    nearly 650 lighted butterflies (orange, blue, yellow, pink and
    multi-colored) and almost 9000 leaves.
  • Dragonflier— This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar
    with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and
    lush landscape of Wildwood Grove. (Vekoma 453m suspended coaster)
    (1486 ft. in length)
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a
    spirited trek through their natural habitat. (Metallbau Emmeln Pony
    Trek)
  • Great Tree Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back
    and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree.
    (Zamperla Galleon)
  • Treetop Tower— This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of
    Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated
    inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before
    gently drifting back to the grove floor. (Zamperla Samba Tower)
  • The Mad Mockingbird— Tennessee’s state bird—the mockingbird—gives
    visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree.
    Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds
    rush above the ground. (Larson Flying Scooter)
  • Frogs & Fireflies— Adventurous guests can hop aboard one of these
    friendly frogs as they chase each other in a spirited race around the
    lily pad. (Zamperla Jump Around)
  • Hidden Hollow— This 4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area allows
    families to explore and play in an indoor environment.
  • Wildwood Creek features pop jets, splashing pools and more wet play
    activities, while the dry play area at Wildwood Creek features “music
    instruments” for guests to enjoy.
  • Three new costume characters call Wildwood Grove home. Flit and
    Flutter serve as Wildwood Grove’s ambassadors and Benjamin Bear loves
    to make new friends. Characters will have scheduled opportunities to
    meet guests each day.

For more information about Wildwood Grove or Dollywood’s 2019 season,
please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized
leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the
150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country;
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain
Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is
the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest
accolade; winner of more than 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of
26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme
park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains
National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA
Today
on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year
(mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions,
shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s
Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor
as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s
Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks &
Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore
Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from
TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and
family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and
Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers
luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more
information, call 1-800-Dollywood or visit dollywood.com. Operating days
and hours vary.

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media
Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room

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