Dollywood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Dollywood
Dollywood logo.svg
LocationPigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States
Coordinates35°48′21″N 83°31′44″W / 35.805702°N 83.528838°W / 35.805702; -83.528838[1]Coordinates: 35°48′21″N 83°31′44″W / 35.805702°N 83.528838°W / 35.805702; -83.528838[1]
OwnerDolly Parton with Herschend Family Entertainment
Opened1961 (as Rebel Railroad)
1986 (as Dollywood)
Operating seasonMarch - December
Rides
Total27
Roller coasters6
Water rides4
Websitewww.dollywood.com
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Dollywood
Dollywood logo.svg
LocationPigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States
Coordinates35°48′21″N 83°31′44″W / 35.805702°N 83.528838°W / 35.805702; -83.528838[1]Coordinates: 35°48′21″N 83°31′44″W / 35.805702°N 83.528838°W / 35.805702; -83.528838[1]
OwnerDolly Parton with Herschend Family Entertainment
Opened1961 (as Rebel Railroad)
1986 (as Dollywood)
Operating seasonMarch - December
Rides
Total27
Roller coasters6
Water rides4
Websitewww.dollywood.com

Dollywood is a theme park owned by entertainer Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. It is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dollywood has 3,000 people on its payroll, making it the largest employer in that community.[2]

In addition to standard amusement park thrill rides, 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 2.5 million guests in a typical season, as of 2009, up from 1.3 million visitors in 1986, when the park opened on the site of Silver Dollar City theme park. As of 2010, the park was the biggest "ticketed" tourist attraction in Tennessee each year for more than a decade. Parton attributes much of the success of the park to its location close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since (as of 2010) 88 percent of tourists in Tennessee drive rather than fly, the economic impact of a large tourist attraction like Dollywood helps the economy in that region of the state, according to Susan Whitaker, the state tourism development commissioner.[3] 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.

Parton said in 2010 that she would like to open more Dollywood parks in the future. "We definitely want to expand with new things every year, eventually with a resort," she said. "We may eventually have Dollywoods in other parts of the country, where we can kind of be true to whatever's going on in that part of the world."[3]

Contents

History

The park first opened in 1961 as a small tourist attraction by the Robins Brothers from Blowing Rock, NC, named "Rebel Railroad", featuring a steam train, general store, blacksmith shop, and saloon. The park was modeled after their first successful theme park Tweetsie in Blowing Rock. In 1970, Rebel Railroad was renamed "Goldrush Junction" when it was bought by Art Modell, who also owned the Cleveland Browns football team.[4][5] 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 City in Branson, Missouri.

In 1986, Dolly Parton became a co-owner, and the park was renamed "Dollywood". In 2010, Parton said she became involved with the operation because, "I always thought that if I made it big or got successful at what I had started out to do, that I wanted to come back to my part of the country and do something great, something that would bring a lot of jobs into this area."[3]

From 1986 to 2010, the park doubled in size to 150 acres (0.61 km2). In 2009, the park had a six percent decline in attendance, which a park spokesman attributed to bad weather, although many other theme parks in the United States suffered attendance drops that year, as often happens to relatively high-priced tourist attractions in recessions. As of 2010, prices for admission to the park were $56 for adults and $45 for children.[3]

On November 16, 2010, Dollywood earned the industry's most prestigious award, the Liseberg Applause Award, which was accepted by Dolly Parton during a ceremony at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2010 in Orlando.[6]

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 focus on the history and culture of the Southern Appalachian region.

Dollywood features a full-size steam train, one of the park's signature attractions.

Festivals

Enjoy five of the south's largest festivals between March and December at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Each festival offers family entertainment and guarantees special events all season long.

Dollywood's Festival of Nations offers five weeks of cultural events by performers from around the world. Join your kids for a fun-filled day at Kidsfest, the South's largest children's festival. Come hungry to the Barbeque & Bluegrass, featuring the biggest names in bluegrass music while you savor the country’s tastiest barbeque. Southern gospel music takes center stage while master craftsmen demonstrate their skills at the National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Bring the entire family and spend the holidays with us. Moments become memories at Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas.

Throughout the operating season Dollywood hosts six different festivals:

March 24 – April 30, 2012: Dollywood's Festival of Nations presents the most captivating entertainment from around the world during this month long celebration of music, dance, food and art.

May 26 - June 10, 2012: Come hungry to the Barbeque & Bluegrass, Dollywood’s free concert series featuring the biggest names in bluegrass music while you savor the country’s tastiest barbeque. Together, Barbeque & Bluegrass makes the beginning of summer in the Great Smoky Mountains a finger-lickin’, toe-tappin’ good time!

June 22 - July 29, 2012: Join your kids for a fun-filled day at KidsFest, the South's largest children's festival.

July 30 - August 12, 2012: Two weeks of extended park hours! Bring the whole family and ride into the night. The teens will love riding the coasters in the dark while the kids enjoy Country Fair! The park is open from 10am - 10pm with a special $25 ticket after 5pm.

October 3 - November 3, 2012: Fall at Dollywood will lift you up with the biggest Southern gospel festival in the Smokies—four weeks featuring FREE concerts! (All concerts included with Dollywood admission.) Watch visiting crafters at work throughout the park as the country’s most talented artisans showcase their artistry with up-close demonstrations. Handmade treasures for the home, unique collectibles and stunning artwork create an impressive craft exhibit you won’t find anywhere else. Special dishes, all prepared with a taste of fall, showcase some of the harvest season’s most celebrated recipes, including a booth devoted to Dollywood’s signature fried green tomatoes.

November 10 - December 30, 2012: See the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Create a family tradition at Dollywood’s sensational shows, including the triumphant return of perennial favorite Christmas in the Smokies. Let the heartwarming sounds of the season set the stage for a Christmas the entire family will enjoy. Don’t miss Santa’s Workshop, where larger-than-life-sized toys and an 18-foot-tall Christmas tree fill guests of all ages with wide-eyed wonder as they discover a giant wagon, sailboat, dollhouse and more amid the hustle and bustle as Santa and his helpers ready for their big night! Santa’s also the star of the Parade of Lights, along with a cast of brightly lit floats and colorful characters. This festival has been named the world's best Christmas event four times, (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)[citation needed].

Timeline

See also

References

  1. ^ Google Inc. Google Maps – Dollywood (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=35.805702,-83.528838&num=1&t=m&z=15&layer=t. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Blackhurst, Rob (10 July 2009). "Is Dollywood one big kitsch joke?". Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5d08011c-6ce0-11de-af56-00144feabdc0.html. Retrieved 12 July 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e King, Caitlin R., "Dolly Parton Celebrates as Dollywood Turns 25", Associated Press report as published on the ABC News website, April 14, 2010, retrieved April 18, 2010
  4. ^ Company Info Dollywood.com (accessed July 16, 2010)
  5. ^ [1] PigeonForge.com (accessed July 16, 2010)
  6. ^ Dolly Parton theme park wins top industry award // Reuters, November 16, 2010
  7. ^ New Ride at Dollywood for 2011, August 2, 2010

External links