DOLLYWOOD & Splash Country
Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Herschend Family Entertainment
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(8/6/22) Dollywood to open Big Bear Mountain Coaster in Spring 2023 (MORE...)
(8/3/22) Dollywood Posting More Big Bear Teasers
(7/23/22) 2023 Teaser Says To Keep Eyes Peeled For "Big Bear" (MORE...)
(7/20/22) Dollywood DreamMore Resort Nominated For Best Family Resort Award (MORE...)
(7/3/22) 2023 Coaster Construction Update (MORE...)
Dixie Stampede (2016) Review
FireChaser Express - Grand Opening & Review
Dolly’s Splash Country Waterpark - Official Screamscape Review
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort - Official Screamscape Review
General Park News - (7/20/22) Congrats to the Dollywood crew because Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa has once again been nominated in USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice Awards for the Best Family Resort. Voting has started (see link here) and will continue through to August 15th.
(6/4/22) A Screamscape reader reported back after a visit to Dollywood something of note. While taking a look at the park’s DropLine freefall tower ride, they noticed that the park has now added a seat belt that runs from between the riders legs up to the restraint bar across the rider’s laps to each of the seats.
Dollywood is up against 19 other resorts located throughout the nation, thought I think the only other resort nominated with a connection to a theme park would be the Kingsmill Resort located behind Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia.
(6/25/22) For the ultimate Dolly Parton fan, a new experience is being offered at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort called Suite 1986. This is actually Dolly Parton’s former tour bus that has now been turned into “the ultimate hotel suite”. Previously it served as Dolly’s “home away from home” as she traveled the country performing for 15 years from 2008 to March 2022. “This unique sanctuary is where Parton wrote dozens of songs and worked on a number of hit projects that continue to cement her status as an international superstar.”
The price to stay here isn’t cheap though, with the two-night minimum experience starting at $10,000 but it comes with a chance to enjoy special culinary creations, dedicated concierge service for the length of your stay and a number of exclusive keepsake items you can take home from the experience. All profits generated from the Suite 1986 experience will be donated to The Dollywood Foundation.
You can see pictures and read all the details about Suite 1986 here.
(5/7/22) Sending out a quick congratulations to Dollywood following the naming of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa as the #1 Amusement Park Hotel in the country by USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice awards. This actually marks the third time that the DreamMore was ranked #1 since the awards began in 2018.
Having stayed at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa myself several times, I can only agree, as it is definitely my favorite place to stay when we head up to Tennessee to visit the area. The competition will get a little tougher in the future however, as Dollywood is slated to open their new HeartSong Lodge & Resort nearby, so it should be interesting to see how the sister resorts stack-up against each other going forward.
(4/9/22) Dollywood has announced the return of their Rock the Smokies concert event, returning to the park for the first time since 2019. Rock the Smokies 2022 will take place at Dollywood in the Celebrity Theater on August 27 with performances by TobyMac and Newsboys along with other performances in the park by Aaron Cole, Katy Nichole, RENEE and Ben Fuller. You can check out the event and find out about the concert pre-sale for tickets here.
(3/29/22) Dollywood has confirmed that they have closed their DropLine tower ride following the accident on the Orlando Freefall tower on Thursday evening. According to the statement from Dollywood, “we have temporarily closed DropLine, our drop tower ride that was developed by the same manufacturer.”
(2/10/22) Dollywood is sending out an interesting new guest survey that seems to focus on the concept of how long you are willing to wait in the park for thing, as well as the price you would be willing to pay for a pass to let you skip those lines. Yes… Dollywood appears to be investigating how willing their guests would be to use something similar to Disney Genie+ and FastLane systems. While Dollywood has long offered the purchase of the TimeSaver pass systems (free with a stay at the DreamMore Resort by the way…) to allow guests to make virtual reservations for rides and shows, the new concept being explored based on the current Disney offering is the ability to offer guests the ability to purchase a single pass to skip the line for a single attraction as well as a possible revised system to replace the current TimeSavers system.
The survey asks flat out how much you would be willing to pay for a front-of-line pass, and at what price point it would be so costly you would never consider it. They also also questions about new time saver systems called the Quick Pass and Rocket Pass, each would offer different “tiers” for more money that would increase your benefits. The higher the tier, the shorter your wait times will be and the more frequently you can use the pass.
They are also asking questions about wait times for restaurants in the park as well, which has been a bad problem for Dollywood (and most other parks) during the pandemic. Questions are asked about what you would do when faced with a long wait after arriving at the restaurant of your choice: Do you wait anyway, venture out to find a location with a shorter wait time, go back and find fun stuff to do in the park and hold off on eating until later, or do you just suck it up and go do everything you want to do in the park and then LEAVE to find someplace to eat outside the park.
(1/30/22) As previously mentioned, Dollywood has now removed the old mine tunnel that serves as the pathway from the Craftsman’s Valley to The Village areas of the park. A good image of what it looks like now with not only the tunnel gone, but also the entire fake structure that covered the now bare hillside has been posted by the local news. Meanwhile look to Google Maps to see a great picture of what the tunnel entrance area formerly looked like taken back in 2013.
(1/24/22) A new Blog update from Dollywood details some projects the park has been working on over the winter off-season. This includes a revision to the park’s parking toll plaza that will allow for more booths to be added in order to speed up the entrance process into the lot. They say that the path you take into the lot will be changing because of this to allow for the improved experience.
Inside the park refurbishments are taking place within the Dollywood Emporium store, Christmas decor removal, landscaping, the widening of certain park pathways and more. One item of note is that the park confirmed that the “old cave” pathway between The Village and Craftsman’s Valley was being removed. “While some may find it nostalgic, we can get better use of this area with a redesign.”
(1/7/22) Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is now hosting a “Winter Music Series” of small concert events on select dates in January and February. Guests will be able to enjoy country music artists perform in an intimate setting, and each package includes a Meet & Greet with the featured artist and admission for two to each evening of music.
The list of artists includes Wade Hayes, The Black Opry Review, Hannah Dasher, Frank Ray, Seals & Crofts 2, The Young Fables and T. Graham Brown.
(12/24/21) A reader sent us some information about a new survey Dollywood is asking guests about which improvements would make them more likely to visit Dolly’s Splash Country. This isn’t a survey about new attractions, but seems aimed at other amenities and improvements that could be added to the park to make it more efficient or to prevent over-crowding or long-lines. The ideas suggested were:
Switching the waterpark over to an entirely cash-free system, where guests can only use credit cards, or convert cash to a pre-paid card at a kiosk.
Limiting overall capacity of the waterpark to ensure appropriate social distancing.
Use a virtual queue system at virtually all attractions to prevent crowding in long queues.
An advanced reservation system to control attraction capacity levels.
An online food/beverage purchase system that allows guests to pick-up the order when ready at a scheduled location.
(9/11/21) Congratulations to Dollywood for taking home four of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards. Dollywood won awards for Best Kids’ Area, Best Guest Experience, Most Beautiful Park and Best Christmas Event of 2020.
2022 - Park Improvements, Dining Enhancements and More - (3/12/22) Dollywood is now open for the 2022 season and had a lot to talk about regarding some changes and upgrades at the park this season. The first thing you’ll notice is a dramatic change to the parking lot, with a relocated and bigger parking toll plaza now in place. They’ve also changed how traffic flows through the lot, which has described as essentially putting the cars where the trams use to travel and allowing the trams to travel the lanes formerly used by cars. The tram plazas have all been rebuilt, resulting in three larger stops instead of the previous 5 smaller stops. The overall changes should make traffic flow through the lot more efficiently by removing previous traffic intersections, adding more toll booths, and the larger tram stops able to move guests more efficiently and quickly to the front of the park and back.
To allow for wider pathways for guest foot traffic in the park, two buildings have been removed: the former Eagle Shop (for Phase 2 of the Craftsman’s Valley widening project that began last year) and the former Christmas Cottage from Rivertown Junction. As we’ve have previously covered, the tunnel between Craftsman’s Valley to The Village area has also been removed providing a wider more open pathway between the two, and added a fun spot for viewing of the Dollywood Express as it passes by, while perhaps snacking on some Cinnamon Bread from the nearby Grist Mill.
As for what’s in store this season, the park has started a five week schedule of acoustic performances by young artists at the Pines Theater, now through April 15th featuring The Young Fables, Teea Goans, Monroeville and more.
This will be followed by Dollywood’s Flower & Food Festival (April 22 through June 5) where colorful displays of floral gardens and topiaries are put on display throughout the park, and the park’s culinary staff creates an amazing menu of special limited time food and beverage offerings that isn’t to be missed. Dollywood has always been known for their fantastic food offerings in just the normal parts of the season, so things are definitely taken to the next level during the Flower & Food Festival.
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration will happen from June 18 to Aug. 7 when the park is open for extended nighttime operations, allowing riders the opportunity to ride their favorite coasters in the dark. Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights will be back in 2022, featuring a fleet of several hundred drones that take to the night sky to put on a colorful display along with fireworks in the background. The park will also bring back a popular show from the past, the Gazillion Bubble Show: Aurora, as well as add some new entertainment items like a bubble foam party in Wilderness Pass, a new interactive art installation in Wildwood Grove that will let guests spin on life-size tops, and the all new “Kite-Sky” display.
Later in the year you’ll see Rock the Smokies will return on Aug. 27 with several musical performances, Dollywood’s Harvest Festival (Sept. 23 - Oct 29) that also features the return of the Great Pumpkin LumiNights displays. Then the year ends with the return of Dollywood’s award winning Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 5 - Jan. 1, 2023).
(6/20/21) For the 2022 season Dollywood seems focused on upgrading some of the park’s Restaurant offerings. Park president Eugene Naughton confirmed that the park would spend $15 million on upgrades to park restaurants. This will include the closing of the Hickory House in August to begin some extensive renovations, along with two other unnamed restaurants that will be upgraded over the off-season. This plan will continue into the 2023 season with the addition of a brand new restaurant somewhere in the park.
2023 - New Roller Coaster - (8/6/22) Dollywood has confirmed their latest roller coaster project this week and have named it Big Bear Mountain. Opening in Spring 2023 this is a new multi-launch coaster from Vekoma that will be the longest coaster at the park at 3,990 feet. Dollywood says the project will cost an estimated $25 million, taking guests on an expedition through the Smokies in search of the elusive “Big Bear”. The new ride will take over a 6-acre section of land in the Wildwood Grove section of the park featuring a layout that will mostly be a low-to-the-ground run over the undulating topography. Big Bear Mountain will hit a top speed of 48mph, feature three launch sections, several air-time hills, lots of high speed carousel turns, tunnels and will be the first ride at Dollywood to feature on-board audio and train cars themed as four-wheel drive SUVs. The minimum height to ride Big Bear Mountain will be 39 inches, making it a perfect ride for virtually the whole family.
(8/3/22) Dollywood is now teasing with more Big Bear images on Facebook, including a shadowy photo of a bear, a giant bear track, and more.
(7/23/22) Dollywood has posted a new teaser in the park (and online) regarding their upcoming roller coaster project in Wildwood Grove. A large “HAVE YOU SEEN?” poster is show featuring the large head of a massive bear. “If seen, contact Ned Oakley at The Outpost at Wildwood Grove or call 865-868-0168.” And Yes, this phone number actually works, give it a call and you can listen to a recording from Ned Oakley talking about being in search of “Big Bear” in the region.
We can only assume that the theme and name of the new roller coaster will be something along the lines of “Big Bear”. It is also worth noting that footers for the new ride are now being made along the hillside.
(7/3/22) While I haven’t heard too much about construction at Dollywood for the park’s 2023 coaster project we have seen pictures online showing off a little land-clearing and some green construction walls adorned with bear foot prints and claw marks. I’m guessing it wont be too long under construction begins full force, along with the arrival of track pieces, so keep your eyes peeled.
(11/11/21) ParkFans has done some work, and came up with some better resolution images of the coaster layout that correct some mistakes I had in mine that were difficult to interpret. The thought is that this is a multi-launch coaster, possibly with three launches… the two obvious straight tracks in the middle of the layout and possible a small launch out of the station into a turn before hitting the second and much larger launch track.
You can follow the link above to read their full report, but you’ll need to sign up there to see the images. Fortunately, they were kind enough to share their images with me to post on Screamscape as well. They’ve also come up with an early animated rendering on NoLimits of how the layout may go, though I don’t think it takes into account the hilly terrain during the first half of the ride just yet, but it does have all the right twists and turns.
Lots of contenders out there for a good multi-launch coaster experience, as they could easily buy something from Gerstlauer again, or maybe look into options from Intamin or Mack Rides as well. If this is something from Mack, I’m actually hoping that perhaps this could be one of their new spinning coaster, as Dollywood’s sister park, Silver Dollar City, used to create Time Traveler. Unlike Time Traveler however, the goal here appears to still make this a family ride experience, so no inversions or vertical dives.
(11/7/21) Plans for what Dollywood has in store for the 2023 season have leaked, which looks like the addition of a large new coaster to the backside of Wildwood Grove. According to the site plan posted on social media, the expansion will take up about half of the unused site originally cleared out for Wildwood Grove, as well as see the coaster climb the hillside that overlooks the land just below the train tracks and return back down over the first half of the ride. The second half will be a twisted layout all around the station and queue that either appears to have an inversion, or possibly a non-inverted loop element. The later of which would actually fit right in with the previous statement that this would be a large coaster for the whole family.
I’ve overlaid the layout over an aerial photo of Dollywood taken before Wildwood Grove was added, but marked off where it looks like the track will go, where the queue is (green), and then the unused portion of land still left over for future expansion of Wildwood Grove for the long rumored dark ride. It’s not a perfect overlay, but close enough to give you a general idea of the intent.
(6/20/21) According to comments from Dollywood’s new preside, Eugene Naughton, the park is working on a “multigenerational rollercoaster” project for the 2023 season along with a brand new restaurant. If you are curious about just what this means… you are not alone. In many ways, this sounds like it could be a more disguised way of saying that they are planning on adding a new ‘family coaster’, in terms that the coaster should provide just enough thrills for everyone to enjoy, without being too crazy or over the top that the older parents or the very young might be too intimidated to ride.
In my experience, perhaps the best example of just such a ride that is popular with every member of the family would be something akin to Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain. Dollywood has been without a ‘mine train’ style roller coaster experience ever since the park removed the short lived Thunder Express coaster (1989 - 1998), which was replaced by the Tennessee Tornado (which reused the former’s station building).
Dollywood has a good space for this new project already in place i believe, as it could fit right into the backside of the Wildwood Grove land which was already designed for the family dynamic and has an assortment of themed attractions. Adding a highly themed mine train to run off into the woods from here could be a great addition, but lets hope they plus this experience with some modern tricks and unexpected additions, such as a trip into a dark cave where perhaps a surprise drop-track could be waiting in wait.
So what else could it be? I’ve got a few other ideas that might fit the bill. A Mack Inverted Powered Coaster would also fit the bill. Much like the Arthur coaster at Europa Park that was the prototype for the concept, the powered inverted coaster is really more of a dark ride system that can move slowly and even rotate the seats as riders move through themed scenes, and then kick into a high speed more thrilling coaster ride experience as needed, moving both through indoor and outdoor areas. Thus far Mack has installed three of these unique rides, with Dragon Gliders (themed to Dreamworks How To Train Your Dragon) added to Motiongate Dubai in 2017 and the third one will open in the coming weeks as the Jurassic Flyers as part of the Jurassic World land at the new Universal Studios Beijing. In each case, these are highly themed ride experiences good for the entire family, and once again, it would fit well into the cute animal theming of Wildwood Grove.
Of course, I’d love to see Dollywood add a Hyper/Mega coaster to the park as well in the future, this could also possibly something that could fit the bill here if they opted for a Junior Hypercoaster style experience that really just focused on fun airtime hills rather than record breaking thrills. Of course they could also opt for something similar in nature to Disney’s Slinky Dog Dash coaster that combines launches with low to the ground airtime hills and fun turns through a themed landscape. Instead of Toys, they could theme a ride like this to go with a country mine-train concept. Another wild idea may be to add a themed bobsled train coaster from Mack, that could ride up and down the hillside as a replacement for the removed Slidewinders attraction, which would add a much needed new thrill ride to the other side of the park. Either way, I’m just spitballing random ideas, though I did mention quite a few Mack ride concepts here as previous rumors from 2020 seems to indicate that Dollywood’s next planned coaster would be from Mack. Those rumors however also indicated a more Hyper style coaster experience, so perhaps this is for a different project.
The “multigenerational” comment is just the latest hint about their 2023 plans, as earlier this month they also mentioned that their 2023 project would be a “record breaking” new attraction in some fashion. Beyond that the rest of the presentation was focused on the park’s future resort expansion plans, and confirmation that Dollywood was looking into ways to improve how guests are transported between the park and parking lot.
Naughton also mentioned an interesting comment, that if the park hits the growth numbers they are projecting, Dollywood’s parking lot will not be big enough for the park’s needs by 2027, so they will need to find a way to add more parking spacing. If you’ve visited Dollywood, you’ll know right away what he is talking about, as Dollywood has perhaps one of the most ‘unique’ parking lots I’ve ever seen at a major theme park that results with most guests parked quite a good distance from the park entrance, requiring the use of an army of parking lot tram units. No timeline was given for the parking lot improvements, but I’m guessing they may get some of them under way in time for the opening of this 2023 coaster project.
(2/29/20) Time to look into the Magic 8 ball regarding the future of Dollywood. While I reported the rumor about a dark ride in the works for the park, I can’t ignore all you roller coaster loving people out there, and neither will Dollywood. If the rumors are true, Dollywood is working on plans for their next big coaster, and from the sound of things it will be a crowd pleaser. This is something that many have been dreaming about for some time now, and it looks like Dollywood is looking into adding a Hypercoaster style coaster to the park, their way… which can only mean they’ll go the extra mile like they did with Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle, and make this sucker fly through the hills and trees, leaving as much of the natural smoky mountain landscape as possible intact.
While everyone will assume they would go to B&M for this, there is the issue that Dollywood sits within the area exclusive range of Carowinds and Six Flags over Georgia, and neither Intimidator or Goliath are 20 years old yet. Of course I’d love to see something unique, like the first Hyper-Inverted, or perhaps they could work a loop-hole and make it a floorless coaster with a Hyper style layout, and maybe add an inversion or two. The other rumor, once we’ve actually heard whispers start mentioning, is that Herschend could tap Mack Rides once again after opening Time Machine at Silver Dollar City, but ask them to create something more like DC Rivals.
Again… just rumors about possible developments at this point, but I wouldn’t expect to see anything until 2022 or 2023 at this point, so stay tuned!
(Feb 2019) An early rumor claims that Dollywood may be looking to build their next major coaster as a Phase 2 expansion to the 2019 project. Manufacturers are being looked at, but rumor has it they may be leaning towards B&M simply for a reliability standpoint. What kind of coaster may be up in the air as well, though after just opening Fire Chaser Express and Lightning Rod, they definitely are not looking to have another launched coaster at this point. While a B&M Hyper may be considered a likely choice, I believe Dollywood is too close to Carowinds and Six Flags over Georgia for that to happen with the typical B&M contracts that prevent similar coasters from being built too close together too soon. A B&M Inverted may be a possibly however, even though Carowinds has one as well, simply because Afterburn was built in 1999, and by 2020 enough time should have passed to allow for it. Plus I think it would be kind of cute to open the rumored family inverted coaster in 2019… and then follow it up with a monster sized version that could run wild through the mountainside and trees, much like Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
That’s just a dream on my part however, Dollywood could very well opt to go with an entirely different manufacturer to get a Hyper or anything else they want. Stay tuned while we listed for more rumors on the wind.
Future Developments - New Attractions Survey and Rumored Dark Ride - (2/28/20) We’ve been sent a couple of interesting tidbits that seem to point towards a possible new dark ride coming to Wildwood Grove in 2021 or 2022. First of all some new whispers on the Screamscape Spy Network report that the park may have been in talks with Sally Corp to bring this new dark ride project to life, though this doesn’t mean Sally is the only one involved. For example a team of companies, including Sally, all worked together to bring the Justice League dark ride to life for Six Flags, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this project also a mix of sorts.
(4/10/19) Screamscape sources tell us that Dollywood is looking into more than just ideas for a new coaster… the park is also conducting guest surveys asking about a variety of dark ride themes and concepts (see images) they are considering for the park, as well as a Flying Theater attraction and even a “interactive walk-through immersive experience”... for the later one they show images from Universal’s Poseidon’s Fury.
Also tied into this rumor is a new guest survey Dollywood is sending out, asking guests about a new family ride experience in development where 6-riders would compete against each other to collect ‘items’ during the ride. I think they may be pitching a few different name variants on this one, but so far I’ve heard “Undergrove Quest” and “Cryrstal Cavern”.
The plot is you are enlisted to help a “rock-hound” character in search of the long-lost “Hidden Crystal Cavern” that is full of rare gems. Guests will use an on-board device to collect these gems and see who can get the most by the end, but beware… you never know what hidden dangers you might encounter along the way!
Quite a few other dark ride concepts were pitched in the various new attraction surveys we posted about below, but this one seems to be a mix of some of the various elements of those rides, but given it’s own unique story instead.
(4/6/19) Screamscape sources tell us Dollywood was sending out guest surveys again this week to get reactions to a variety of new attraction concepts. One of the most exciting to all your thrill ride nuts out there may be for a new “Indoor Coaster” experience, one that would offer a “2 - 4 minute thrill experience” along with a high level of themeing that would mix slower scenes with animatronics, lighting effects and projection mapping with the high-speed thrill sections in order to tell a story.
They also ask about other new coaster concept as well however, including an out & back traditional Hypercoaster (over 200ft tall, 60mph, full of air-time hills) with an on-board soundtrack, as well as a Spinning Coaster experience, in which the intent is to make something similar to Time Traveler from Silver Dollar City, which came from Mack Rides.
The other concepts are more entertainment related, including a possible Summer Daytime parade concept that would include Macy’s style balloon floats as well as a Christmas Candlelight Nativity show experience.
Late 2023 - Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort - (6/25/22) You gotta love it when the boss drops in to check out how work on the new project is going, right? Especially when the boss is Dolly Parton, who stopped by the construction site of Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort this week. The theme park’s latest resort, featuring 302-rooms, is on track to open in late 2023.
According to Dolly, “In its simplest form, HeartSong is about the Smoky Mountains and why I continue to come back home year after year,” she explained. “It is the place I recharge and stay grounded. The beauty of the mountains—at every hour and in every season—is simply an inspiration. From the time I was a child, I roamed the hills of Locust Ridge and explored God’s coloring book.”
Representatives from The American Chestnut Foundation were also on hand at the resort to present Dolly with an award on behalf of her late uncle, Bill Owens. “My uncle Bill worked for decades with The American Chestnut Foundation to help their effort in creating a new tree that is blight resistant,” Parton said. “As a result of that work, he has been honored in a new documentary about the chestnut tree. To honor him, we have this beautiful hybrid chestnut tree on stage. We have some representatives from the foundation here as well.”
Once the new HeartSong Resort is completed, one of the new hybrid trees will be planted in a prominent place to honor the work of Bill Owens and the American Chestnut Foundation. Chestnut trees will also be featured prominently in the artwork that will adorn the walls of the guest rooms throughout the resort.
(6/3/21) Dollywood made a huge announcement earlier today, confirming their plans to add a second major hotel near the DreamMore Resort to be called Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort. And yes... this is the big announcement that the park was trying to maker in March 2020 before they canceled the announcement on Season Passholder Day due to the arrival of COVID-19.
Tucked away in a mountain cove not far from the DreamMore, a new and “reimagined’ lodge experience. The five story resort will offer 302 new rooms, with themed suites and loft-style rooms and 26,000 sqft of indoor and outdoor meeting space. HeartSong Lodge & Resort offers guests a one-of-a-kind getaway with themed suites, epic indoor and outdoor pools, an outdoor cove with family gathering spaces and more. According to the press release, the goal is to open the new resort in early 2023.
In other news, Dollywood also announced the intention to spend over $500 million on new investments for the property over the next ten years, starting with the HeartSong Lodge & Resort. They also dropped a few hints about future projects, such as a “record breaking” new attraction on the way for 2023. They also confirmed that master planning is also under way for a 3rd, 4th and 5th Resort as well as a new campground resort. (We hear some rumors about this campground resort just a couple of weeks ago, so check it out below).
(11/27/19) Screamscape first reported that Dollywood was preparing plans to add a second resort hotel a little over a year ago (see below) and now we finally have an update on the project. According to the local news the theme park submitted a preliminary site plan to Pigeon Forge showing a 310-room hotel project with a 325-seat restaurant as well as conference space that would be located somewhere between the current DreamMore Resort and Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark.
When approaching the current DreamMore Resort, as you reach the top of the first drive-way segment, you have to make a left turn to get into the DreamMore parking lot, but you may have noticed that the drive-way road continues on straight for another 10-15 feet before ending in the brush. That road will be extended to lead up to a round-about that will split traffic between the meeting space and guest room ends of the new resort property.
(11/12/18) During an interview with the local news Dolly Parton where they discuss a new Netflix series she is working on as well as the new Glacier Ridge addition to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dolly let another interesting detail slip out. While discussing meetings they have each season to go over what guests like, don’t like, and what people would really like to have added to Dollywood, they decided that they need to build another hotel. According to Dolly, "…just like we’re going to build a new resort because our resort stays busy all the time!”
If you haven’t seen it yet, Screamscape has stayed at and reviewed Dollywood’s Dreammore Resort and we loved it! You can see our official review and photos here.
???? - Dollywood Future Resorts Plan - In Development - (1/24/22) While searching through the Trademark database I came across another interesting entry for the Dollywood Resort. While we know that Dollywood’s next resort hotel was announced as “Dollywood’s Heartsong Lodge & Resort” (which has a trademark filing), the company also filed for a second trademark name a few weeks later to use the name, “Dollywood’s Songteller Resort”.
As the company has put plans in place to add several new resorts to the Dollywood complex over the coming years the new “Songteller Resort” name could be for third resort project, or it could simply be a backup name for the Heartsong Lodge & Resort project just in case there is some kind of objection that blocks their original Trademark filing.
(6/19/21) Last week we mentioned that Dollywood briefly mentioned they had plans for several more resorts down the line, and today we’ve learned a bit more. Prior to the announcement a Screamscape source reported in that they had seen a graphic map showing off a future resort plan that would include camping and possible RV park opportunities, but the announcement of Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge was for a more traditional style resort.
Jump ahead to this week and a picture was sent my way of a new Master Plan resort layout for Dollywood that will feature five planned resorts and an area marked as “Outdoor Resort” which I’m assuming may be for RVs. I took a part of the masterplan drawing and overlaid it on top of a Google Map aerial image of the area, with Dollywood’s Splash Country in the lower left and the existing DreamMore resort just above it, half blocked from view behind a gentleman’s arm.
There are a number of interesting items we can make out from the rest of the map, including the location of the announced HeartSong Lodge labeled as “Resort 2”. The gentleman’s finger is pointing at an unknown Resort 3 concept that appears to include a horse-shoe shaped resort building. Resort 4 however is very different and shows a main building surrounded by numerous large buildings placed along a winding circular road. Before you suggest those could be cabins, I’d say no as there are already two other new roads listed on the map labeled as “Cabins” and those buildings are much smaller. With that in mind, the larger structures scattered around Resort 4 may be more the size of Houses or perhaps some kind of luxury style home resorts. Along the right side of the image is REsort 5, which once again looks like a more typical resort building, but a little smaller than the building drawn up for the HeartSong Lodge. Along the top edge of their property is a purple area outlined and simply labeled as Outdoor Resort, which could be for a possible RV or camping park. Speaking of camping however, not far from one of the groups of new Cabins is another street marked off for “Glamping”, with a cluster of about 22-24 of the luxury-oridentel camping structures. A second similar sized Glamping area can also be see between Resort 4 & 5.
Between Resort 4 and 5 is an interesting green space with a yellow star labeled as “ICON HUB EAST”. I’m not quite sure what is intended to go here, but it is worth noting that two pathways depart from here, one represented by a series of yellow dots listed as a Vehicular Tour Trail that runs around the southern side of the resort property, and a similar trail marked by green dots that mostly runs around the northern side of the resort property. I can only assume these will be used as off-road pathways for the local Pink Jeep Tours attraction.
It’s also fun to note that just south of Resort 2 (HeartSong) they also show plans to build a road labeled as “Park Connection” that will run back the Resort 2 parking lot and down the hill and into the Dollywood’s Splash Country parking lot. This is important as currently the DreamMore runs shuttle busses of guests from the hotel to the theme park and back, but has to travel on public roads to do so. Providing this new private access road will allow these same resort trams to travel directly from the resorts into the Splash Country parking lot, which is then connected by an underpass to the main Dollywood parking lot, moving all internal resort traffic off public roads entirely.
(5/16/21) According to a Screamscape source, Dollywood may be working on new plans for their next resort. From the sound of things, this is not the anticipated big-hotel sequel to the popular DreamMore Resort we were expecting them to announce in March 2020 before the pandemic shut down most of the world for a time. Instead our source tells us that the park may be planning a different kind of resort expansion first that will come in the form of an official Dollywood RV Resort. From what I’m told they may be taking some inspiration from Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort campground at Walt Disney World for this one, so expect it to feature some themed smoky mountain themed amenities.
I am curious about the location of this, if it comes to pass, and if Dollywood is building this from scratch or if there was an opportunity to purchase an existing campground nearby and upgrade it with new theming and amenities.