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This page is about a theme park in the USA. For the Bangladeshi film industry also known as Dallywood, see Cinema of Bangladesh.

Dollywood is a theme park owned by country music singer Dolly Parton and the Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennesseemarker. Dollywood has 3,000 people on its payroll, making it the largest employer in Pigeon Forge, Tennesseemarker.

In addition to standard amusement park thrill ride, Dollywood features traditional crafts and music of the Smoky Mountains area. Dollywood also owns the adjacent Dollywood's Splash Country, and the chain of Dixie Stampede dinner theaters. The park hosts a number of concerts and musical events each year, including appearances by Parton and her family, as well as other national and local musical acts.

Dollywood hosts nearly 2.5 million guests annually, many of them also visiting the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Parkmarker. The theme park's operating season runs from early spring until around Christmas.

Dollywood is also the site of the Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Southern Gospel Music Association, an independent non-profit corporation.


The park first opened in 1961 as a small tourist attraction named "Rebel Railroad", featuring a steam train, general store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. In 1966, Rebel Railroad was renamed "Goldrush Junction" and in 1970, the Cleveland Browns football team purchased the attraction. In 1976, Jack and Pete Herschend bought Goldrush Junction and renamed it "Goldrush" for the 1976 season. But in 1977, they renamed it "Silver Dollar City Tennessee" as a sister park to their original Silver Dollar Citymarker near Branson, Missourimarker. In 1986, Dolly Parton became a co-owner, and the park was renamed "Dollywood".

Areas of the park

Dollywood is organized into ten themed areas. The Showstreet, Rivertown Junction, Craftsmen's Valley, Village, Country Fair, Timber Canyon, and Jukebox Junction areas reflect the historical eras and culture of east Tennessee, while the Dreamland Forest and Adventures in Imagination areas explore Dolly Parton's life and imagination. Many attractions at Dollywood preserve the history and culture of the Southern Appalachianmarker region.
Dollywood features a full-size steam train, one of the park's signature attractions.

  • Showstreet - Attractions include The Showstreet Palace Theatre, Friendship Gardens, The Celebrity Theatre, and The Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame.
  • Rivertown Junction - Attractions include The Tennessee Mountain Home, The Back Porch Theatre, and the Smoky Mountain River Rampage whitewater rafting ride.
  • Craftsmen's Valley - Attractions include The Dollywood Grist Mill, The Valley Theatre, Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, Wings of America Theatre, Robert F. Thomas Chapel, Calico Falls Schoolhouse, the Tennessee Tornado coastermarker, Blazing Fury coaster, Daredevil Falls flume ride, and craft exhibits.
  • The Village - Attractions include The Dollywood Express steam train, Heartsong, a Carousel, and the Magic Laughmaker.
  • The Country Fair - Rides include The Dizzy Disk, the Amazing Flying Elephants, Lemon Twist, Shooting Star, Sky Rider, Veggietales Sideshow Spin Kid's Rollercoaster, Waltzing Swinger, Piggy Parade, Busy Bees, Lucky Ducky, Dolly's Demolition Derby, The Scrambler, and the Wonder Wheel.
  • Timber Canyon - Attractions include the Mystery Mine coaster, Timber Tower, the Thunderhead coastermarker, and Lumberjack Lifts.
  • Jukebox Junction - Attractions include the Rockin' Roadway car ride and The Pines Theatre.
  • Dreamland Forest - Attractions include the Dreamland Forest interactive play area and the Mountain Slidewinder water-toboggan ride.
  • Adventures in Imagination - Attractions include "White Lightning" simulator ride and the "Chasing Rainbows" Dolly Parton museum.
  • Wilderness Pass - Attractions include the River Battle water ride, the SkyZip upcharge attraction, and the upcoming Adventure Mountain rope course.


Throughout the operating season Dollywood hosts four different festivals:

  • Festival of Nations March 26 - April 27, 2010: This four week international festival features international entertainment, crafts, aritsry food and dance from around the world.
  • Kidsfest - A summer festival featuring popular shows, activites and more.
  • National Gospel and Harvest Celebration - During the month of October, Dollywood hosts a salute to an old time harvest celebration featuring master-craftsmen and autumn cuisine, along with the Southern Gospel Artists.
  • Smoky Mountain Christmas - In November and December, Dollywood celebrates a traditional Christmas holiday with special shows, foods, and other attractions. In addition, the park is decorated with nearly 4 million Christmas lights for the festival. This festival was twice named the world's best Christmas event (2008 & 2009) .


  • 1986: Silver Dollar City Tennessee reopens as Dollywood on May 3rd. The Rivertown Junction area, new for 1986, features the Smoky Mountain River Rampage, a whitewater rafting ride; The Back Porch Theatre; Aunt Granny's Dixie Fixins' Restaurant; and the Tennessee Mountain Home, a replica of the cabin where Dolly grew up. Also new is "Rags to Riches: The Dolly Parton Story"; a museum featuring articles and mementos from Dolly's life and career. "The Butter Churn" (a Trabant ride) is removed at the end of the season.

  • 1987: The Daydream Ridge area opens, featuring the Mountain Slidewinder water toboggan ride; Mountain Dan's Burger House; Sweet Dreams Candy Shop; The Rainbow Factory blown glass shop; and the Critter Creek Playground.

  • 1988: The 1,739 seat Celebrity Theatre is constructed adjacent to the entrance of the park. The theatre features the "Showcase of Stars" celebrity concert series. Five new children’s rides are added to the Fun Country area, including a Zamperla Balloon Race. The Dollywood Foundation is established to provide books and schools supplies for the children of Sevier County.

  • 1989: Thunder Express, a steel mine train coaster, is built adjacent to Blazing Fury. The ride had been relocated to the park from Six Flags Over Mid-Americamarker. 1989 is the final season for the National Mountain Music Festival, which had been carried over from the Silver Dollar City years.

  • 1990: A 1903 Antique Dentzel Carousel, originally built for Rocky Springs Park in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is relocated to the park. Situated near the train depot, it takes over the space previously occupied by the Silver Dollar Saloon. The 600-seat Gaslight Theatre opens near the Carousel. The Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival premiers in November, extending the park's operating season into December.

  • 1991: Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, an outdoor aviary is added. Also new is the Wings of America Theatre, featuring the Birds of Prey show, and the 300-seat Valley Theatre.

  • 1992: The Showstreet area is added, featuring the Showstreet Palace theatre; The Butterfly Emporium; The Backstage Restaurant; The Spotlight Bakery; the Friendship Gardens; and WDLY-FM; a working radio station. To accommodate the expansion, the park's main entrance is moved from Rivertown Junction to Showstreet. The Barnwood Theatre is converted into Imagination Station; an interactive children's play area. 1992 is the first season Dollywood's annual attendance tops 2 million.

  • 1993: The Fun Country area is renovated into The Country Fair, featuring three new rides: The Wonder Wheel; a tall Ferris wheel, Twist and Shout; a "Scrambler" ride, and the Tennessee Twister; a tilt-a-whirl. The Balloon Race ride is relocated to the Daydream Ridge area to make room for the new attractions. Also new at the park this season is the "Sunset Musicfest", a summer music festival.

  • 1994: The Gaslight Theatre becomes the Heartsong Theatre, featuring "Heartsong", a multi-media musical presentation that tells the story of Dolly Parton's life.

  • 1995: The Jukebox Junction 1950s themed area is added, featuring Rockin' Roadway; a miniature car ride, The Pines Theatre, Red's Diner, and Cas Walker's Music Store. The Sunset Musicfest does not return for the 1995 season.

  • 1996: The Dollywood Boulevard area is added, featuring "Thunder Road", a turbo-simulator ride based upon the 1957 movie of the same name. The area also featured the Silver Screen Café; a 1950s cinema themed restaurant, and the Centerstage gift shop.

  • 1997: "U Pick Nick", a children's show featuring themes from the Nickelodeon television network, plays in the Celebrity Theatre during the summer. The Flooded Mine dark-ride is closed and demolished in October. The Silver Screen Cafe is refurbished to DJ Platters in the Dollywood Boulevard area.

  • 1998: Daredevil Falls, a new shoot the chutes flume ride, opens in area formerly occupied by the Flooded Mine. At the time of its opening, it was billed as "The Highest and Fastest Waterfall ride in America" featuring a 62ft drop. Thunder Express is closed in September and removed from the park. It is sold to the Magic Springs Theme Parkmarker in Arkansas. The antique carousel is removed at the end of the season and replaced by a new Chance Rides carousel.

  • 2000: The Daydream Ridge area is renovated into Dreamland Forest, an interactive children's area.

  • 2001: The Festival of Nations international festival premiers in April. Dolly's Splash Country, a new water park, is opened adjacent to Dollywood's parking lot. Admission is separate from Dollywood.

  • 2002: Dollywood Boulevard is renovated into a new area, Adventures in Imagination. The Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure; a new simulator film, replaces Thunder Road. Chasing Rainbows, a new Dolly museum, opens in the building formerly occupied by DJ Platters.

  • 2003: Kidsfest, a summer children's festival, premiers. Imagination Station is converted into Celebration Hall, a special events facility. 2003 is the final season for the "Showcase of Stars" celebrity concert series.

  • 2004: A new area of the park, "Thunderhead Gap", opens featuring the Thunderheadmarker a wooden roller coaster. The construction of the new area opens up a new valley for the park to expand into. The Country Fair Falls log flume is demolished in November. Most of the other Country Fair rides, including the Swingamajig, The Tennessee Twister, The Convoy, and The Barnstormer, are removed at the end of the season to free up space for newer rides.

  • 2005: The Country Fair area is renovated to include 10 new rides: Dizzy Disk, the Amazing Flying Elephants, Lemon Twist, Shooting Star, Sky Rider, Veggietales Sideshow Spin Kid's roller coaster, Waltzing Swinger, Piggy Parade, Busy Bees, and Lucky Ducky.

  • 2006: The Timber Tower ride, along with Lil' Loggers Landing, Beaver Creek, Beaver Creek Boat Float, and the Lumberjack Lifts, opened in a new area adjacent to Thunderhead.

  • 2007: The Mystery Mine, a Gerstlauermarker Eurofighter coaster with two vertical lifts, a 95 degree, drop, a heartline roll, and a dive loop, was built. The $17 million-dollar ride is heavily themed as an old abandoned mine shaft. In November, the original entrance road to the theme park's parking lot on Dollywood Lane is permanently closed to the public. All cars now enter the parking lot off Veteran's Boulevard via McCarter Hollow Road.

  • 2008: River Battle, an interactive water raft ride, is built in a new section of the park called "Wilderness Pass" that connects the Timber Canyon and Craftsmen's Valley areas. "Thunder Road" returns to the motion theatre, (now called the "Imagination Cinema") replacing Smoky Mountain Wilderness Adventure. Della's Lye Soap shop is moved from Craftsmens Valley to the Wilderness Pass area. In its place is a new a exhibit housing the Wings of America show birds. The Polar Express 4-D Experience is shown in the Imagination Cinema during the park's Smoky Mountain Christmas.

  • 2009: Dollywood features two new shows "Imaginé" and "Sha-Kon-O-Hey! Land of Blue Smoke,". "Imaginé" is presented by Le Grand Cirque and is headlining the park's Festival of Nations. "Sha-Kon-O-Hey! Land of Blue Smoke" is a major production based on the last family living in the Smoky Mountains at the time it becomes a National Park. "Sha-Kon-O-Hey! Land of Blue Smoke" features music written by Dolly Parton. "Thunder Road" is renamed "White Lightning" and then changed to a new attraction- Journey To The Center Of The Earth 4D based on the 2008 remake of the original film. "SkyZip" owned by Skyline Eco-Adventures of Maui, Hawaii expands to Dollywood opening the first multi-line zipline tour inside of a theme park.

  • 2010: The Adventure Mountain attraction, delayed in 2009,is set to open in 2010. This attraction will open in the new Wilderness Pass area of Dollywood. It will feature four distinct adventure courses ranging from easy to expert including 100 different rope features, swinging beams, suspension bridges,flying islands and a tire traverse.Adventure trails will range from a few inches above ground to more than 26 feet in the air. For younger kids, the area will include a scaled-down play area, called Camp Teachittoomee. Adventure Mountain Website

See also

External links


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