Dollywood Announces Massive New $37 Million Expansion
There are big changes coming to Dollywood! Dolly Parton‘s theme park in Tennessee has announced the largest expansion in its 32-year history.
The park has announced a massive new area called Wildwood Grove, featuring 11 new experiences for guests that include six new rides.
The expansion will cost $37 million, with new attractions including the Dragonflier, a suspended roller coaster that “lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove,” according to a press release. There is also the Black Bear Trail, where guests ride through the natural habitat on the back of a “bear,” and the Sycamore Swing, a “leaf boat” that swings back and forth like a leaf falling from an enormous sycamore tree.
The Treetop Tower takes riders 40 feet in the air, seated inside a giant acorn, while the Mad Mockingbird flies around a tree at high speed while riders sit on its back and control the ride with a sail. There’s also Frogs & Fireflies, where guests ride on the backs of giant frogs as they leap around the lily pad, trying to catch fireflies.
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Wildwood Grove also features Hidden Hollow, a 4,000-square-foot indoor play space with climbing structures, slides and multiple games. In addition, there’s Wildwood Creek, which boasts numerous pop jets, splashing pools and more, including some special musical instruments.
Flit and Flutter are butterflies who watch over the Wildwood Tree, and Benjamin Bear loves to explore the grove with guests. Wildwood Grove also features Till & Harvest, where the menu boasts Southwest fresh favorites, including burritos, salads and more, with a Southern twist.
Parton says the new expansion was inspired by the days of her own youth, when she would wander the hills near her family’s home in the Smoky Mountains and let her imagination run wild.
“I’d pretend that the frogs and butterflies were my friends. I’d imagine about what it’d be like to fly with a dragonfly or to follow a bear family through the woods,” she says in a press release. “Now all these things are coming true for our guests to experience in Wildwood Grove; it may be my new favorite part of Dollywood!”
“This area is going to give families a place to explore, play and imagine together, but more importantly, it’s a place where they can spend more time together,” she adds. “I believe everyone has a song in their heart that needs to be set free. Wildwood Grove will be a place where families can learn together about what their heart song truly is.”
Wildwood Grove is slated to open in 2019.
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