PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Dollywood today celebrates the opening of its 32nd season with a special preview of the excitement in store for 2017. The year offers special new events, new rides and the family-friendly atmosphere that truly makes the award-winning park home for the “Year of the Family.”
As Dollywood guests know, each season offers a completely new experience for families to enjoy, thanks to festivals and events which always provide exciting new opportunities to create lifelong memories. From world-class stage shows and two new attractions to a nightly summer fireworks display, the new Great Pumpkin LumiNights during the fall and the nine-time winner for Best Christmas Event, Dollywood offers seasons of family fun this year!
Dollywood welcomes the world during Festival of Nations (March 18-April 9), a fascinating multi-cultural celebration! Featuring traditional music, dance, food and art of nations from around the globe, Festival of Nations reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. The headline show for 2017, Mother Africa, returns with a captivating look at the colorful cultures found throughout the continent. This season, Slask Song and Dance Ensemble, one of the most prominent Polish folk ensembles in the world, visits Dollywood for the first time. Major touring stage shows, internationally-known performance groups, various roaming musicians and more make Festival of Nations a fun, educational and exciting experience for families. It is an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.
For families looking for an exhilarating way to spend Spring Break (April 10-22), Tokyo-based dance company enra comes to Dollywood with a high-energy, multi-media dance, light and video fusion show. Their cutting-edge performance routines will leave guests mesmerized as moving motion graphics displayed on a giant screen are incorporated into live dance, ballet, gymnastics, martial arts and more. The group was featured on America’s Got Talent in 2015 and has shared their unique blend of modern technology, music and dance with amazed audiences around the world. Dollywood also offers extended park hours allowing families even more fun during their spring break.
Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 26- June 4) launches the unofficial start of summer and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Dailey and Vincent, Blue Highway, Hot Rize and Steep Canyon Rangers are just a few of the headliners which make this one of the biggest bluegrass events around. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This guest-favorite event is music to the ears—and a treat for the taste buds!
Summer at Dollywood (June 17-Aug. 6) provides families even more of what they already love—time together to make memories. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! For the first time ever, Dollywood’s park hours are extended to midnight on July 1 and 8. Kids will be amazed by the “unbubbleievable” tricks and fun of The Gazillion Bubbles Show, which returns to Dollywood this summer by overwhelming guest requests. To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show is a colorful extravaganza set to uplifting music which celebrates the fun of Dollywood after dark!
Dollywood’s Rock the Smokies features inspiring music on stages throughout the park for an incredible time of praise and worship. Contemporary Christian hit makers highlight this day-long celebration. With a powerful combination of thrilling attractions and dynamic music, Dollywood provides the perfect location for this amazing Labor Day weekend event. Area student ministries should plan to cap off the summer with this energizing event.
One of the most beautiful times of the year is autumn in the Great Smoky Mountains. With a colorful patchwork of orange, red, yellow and gold painted throughout the hills and valleys of East Tennessee, fall provides the perfect backdrop for festive family fun at Dollywood. The park offers extended hours, until 9 p.m. each night, during Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring the Southern Gospel Celebration and Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Humana (Sept. 29-Oct. 28). Great Pumpkin LumiNights immerses families in fabulous pumpkin illumination thanks to spectacular pumpkin displays which glow with the fire of fall. Numerous lighted pumpkin displays throughout the park will delight families looking for a new and unique tradition. During the day, the Southern Gospel Celebration lineup includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music. Families will enjoy the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ringing through the crisp air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 4-Jan. 1, 2018) has been honored for nine consecutive years as the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide. Wander through the park’s more than four million holiday lights, spectacular holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, and it is easy to understand why. From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors, to traditional holiday favorite performances like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Guests can experience the fun enchantment of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends straight from the children’s holiday classic. More than 20 of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment sure to get everyone into the spirit of the season. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.
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 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 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort 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.
Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or [email protected]
Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or [email protected]
Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or [email protected]
Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or [email protected]
For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room