Market Overview

Dollywood Announces Largest Park Expansion in History with New Land Named Wildwood Grove


One of the nation's premier family vacation destinations is growing even
larger, thanks to an impressive expansion announced today at Dollywood
by Dolly Parton and park officials. Wildwood Grove, the largest capital
investment in Dollywood's 32-year history, is slated to open in 2019 and
provides an adventurous journey for guests to explore, imagine and play
together as a family.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Guests to Dollywood's Wildwood Grove enter in to a captivating land of fun and exploration. The Wild ...

Guests to Dollywood's Wildwood Grove enter in to a captivating land of fun and exploration. The Wildwood Tree highlights the experience for visitors thanks to a spectacular kaleidoscope of color. (Graphic: Business Wire)

The extraordinary new land features 11 thrilling experiences for guests,
comprised of six unique ride attractions—including a suspended family
roller coaster called the Dragonflier— the 55 ft. tall Wildwood Tree,
live entertainment, various indoor and outdoor play areas for families
to enjoy, a new restaurant and more. The total cost for the project is
$37 million, meeting The Dollywood Company's 2013 commitment of $300
million in investments over a 10 year period four years ahead of

"I've told you before about how I'd let my imagination roam free when
I'd be out exploring in the hills around our home in the Smoky
Mountains," Parton said. "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. 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 explained. "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."

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross echoed Parton's sentiments
about how Wildwood Grove provides a range of experiences for every
member of the family.

"I think our guests are going to be excited about the diverse
combination of attractions they will find in Wildwood Grove," Ross said.
"It continues our commitment to provide guests a variety of unique
experiences and attractions that every visitor to the park can enjoy.
We've also incorporated many of their requests for certain amenities
that help make their visit more enjoyable. In Wildwood Grove, you'll
find more charging stations, a climate-controlled indoor space for play,
larger respite locations, additional play areas which are more inclusive
for everyone, and more entertainment opportunities for every member of
the family.

"We have continued to expand and develop Dollywood over the last several
years but Wildwood Grove is the first expansion of the park's footprint
since we added Wilderness Pass in 2008," Ross continued. "It is rare in
our industry that a park adds a new land in its entirety. Attendance has
continued to increase—we've set attendance records each of the last six
years and we're having a strong season this year—so this new area helps
satisfy consumer needs as guests have more room to spread out, imagine
and explore another chapter in the epic Dollywood story."

The adventure begins as soon as guests enter Wildwood Grove through the
massive hollow trunk of a fallen tree. Once inside this delightful
place, a remarkable world is unveiled to families through their own
imaginations. The Wildwood Tree—a tree unlike any other—serves as the
centerpiece of the area. It grows from a cluster of natural rock and
boulders, and offers a natural platform for performances throughout the
day and night. The green, leafy canopy is adorned with thousands of
butterflies that dance playfully in the breeze. As the sun sinks in the
sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like
cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the
Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime show that
features the butterflies glowing in a kaleidoscope of spectacular color.

Six new ride attractions await guests eager to explore this captivating
land. Those attractions include:

  • The 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.
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a
    spirited trek through their natural habitat. Families will enjoy
    meandering through the woods of this unique Smoky Mountain experience.
  • Sycamore Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling "leaf boat" swing back
    and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Frogs and Fireflies—These friendly frogs hop up and down as they chase
    each other around the lily pad trying to catch the flickering
    fireflies fluttering from the tall reeds and grasses. Adventurous
    guests can hop aboard for this riveting race.

Play options abound inside Wildwood Grove. Hidden Hollow, a 4,000 sq.
ft. indoor play space, provides a climate-controlled area for families
looking to recharge before their next big adventure. With climbing
structures, slides and multiple games, play time here is full of
exploration. Another refreshing stop for play is at Wildwood Creek where
numerous pop jets, splashing pools and more await. There, guests also
can discover their musical side thanks to the various "instruments"
available to play.

Several new friends await guests to the area. In the tradition of the
Wildwood butterflies before them, Flit and Flutter—Wildwood Grove's
butterfly ambassadors of beauty and grace—dutifully watch over the
Wildwood Tree. While each has their own distinct personality, both Flit
and Flutter enjoy interacting with visitors to Wildwood Grove. Guests
also can meet Benjamin Bear, a playful friend who loves to explore the
grove with new visitors.

Wildwood Grove's featured dining establishment, named Till & Harvest,
offers another great option from Dollywood's award-winning foods team.
Visitors can order from a selection of Southwest fresh favorites,
including burritos, salads and more, all with a Southern twist. In
addition to traditional entrees and a topping bar with assorted salsas,
guests can add items like pulled pork and fresh coleslaw to their
selections. A walk-up window provides sweet treats like churros and ice

As with most areas of Dollywood, Wildwood Grove takes advantage of the
natural beauty of the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Nearly $1 million has
been planned for landscaping the area, with more than 400 trees and
1,000 shrubs helping transform this space into a lush and relaxing spot
hidden within the foothills of the Smokies.

While Wildwood Grove opens in 2019, Dollywood guests still have great
festivals to enjoy during 2018's Season of Showstoppers. Dollywood's
Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 28-Nov. 3) features the
return of Great Pumpkin LumiNights—which doubles in size in 2018—as well
as the largest Southern gospel celebration in the world. The season ends
with the 10-time winner for Best Christmas Event, Dollywood's Smoky
Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 10- Jan. 5). This year,
Wilderness Pass transforms into Glacier Ridge, a winter wonderland
complete with a 50 ft. tall video motion Christmas tree.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit,
call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or download the Dollywood App.

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 30 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, which celebrated record attendance in 2017. Dollywood was
named a top three US theme park by USA Today in 2014 and 2017,
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 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 Operating days
and hours vary.

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media
Room at

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