Dollywood Announces “Lightning Rod” for 2016 Season


Dollywood this morning announced a major addition to their already awesome coaster line up for the 2016 season.  “Lightning Rod” will be the first ever launched wooden coaster as well as the fastest coming in at 73MPH.  The launch will pull the train up the 20 story lift hill at 45mph.   It will have 3,800ft of track with 12 airtime moments, including the first ever quadruple down on any coaster.  Look for more information to come on this coaster in the near future.  Start planning your trip now to the Smoky Mountains to ride this amazing coaster.

Pictures via Dollywood

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Reporting for Jason Slone


Dolly Parton Reveals Dream Box, “Never-Before-Seen” Renderings For Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort!!!!

Bparcs 193May 5, 2014–Pigeon Forge, TN.
New 306-room property features a variety of room types and spectacular views with areas and activities devoted to family togetherness.

In a special ceremony to bless the site of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton unveiled her first four personal items earmarked for the property’s new Dream Box display.

Parton’s Dream Box, which will be showcased in the resort for families to view, features the first personal mementos, each representing people and moments in the entertainment legend’s life that inspired her to make her own dreams come true.

“Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort opens in the summer of 2015, just as my Dollywood theme park celebrates its 30th anniversary,” Parton said. “My new resort is a dream 30 years in the making, and the items I picked for my Dream Box are closely tied to special people who encouraged me and certain events in my life where that encouragement paid off. My dream is that families who stay with us will be reminded that encouraging and loving each other is a powerful way to connect with one another.”

The items selected by Parton are:

· a copy of her 2012 Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You which expands on the popular 2009 commencement speech that Parton delivered at the University of Tennessee;

· a piece of wood from Parton’s Tennessee Mountain Home’s front porch, a favorite gathering spot for her family and where she sang as a child growing up in the Smoky Mountains;

· a song written by Parton for the future to be released in 2045 that shares her hopes and dreams for the future;

· a sealed mystery box made of chestnut, the contents of which are known only to Parton and are to remain unopened until 2045. The box honors Parton’s uncle Bill Owens who, early on, recognized his niece’s talents and helped her career take flight. Owens’ work with the American Chestnut Foundation helped develop a blight-resistant American chestnut tree, restoring it to the woodlands of the Eastern U.S.

Parton also welcomed Dollywood Chaplain Joey Buck who presided over a blessing of the resort followed by the beloved man of the Cherokee nation Elder Jerry Wolfe who conducted a traditional Native American smudging in keeping with the resort’s close ties to the land in the Smoky Mountains.

For the first time since announcing the resort on Aug. 21, 2013, Parton revealed new conceptual renderings which offer glimpses of the property’s interior and exterior spaces, including:

·A king-sized guest room which features bunk beds;

·An exterior view of a stunning two-story architectural window which creates a focal point for the property’s rear elevation;

· The resort’s three-story lobby which looks out onto the sprawling property where families can explore and relax. The three-story lobby window frames a magnificent view of Mt. LeConte in the distance;

· An exterior view of the resort’s various front porch areas, filled with rocking or “dream” chairs where families are invited to spend time together relaxing and sharing stories;

The 230,000-square-foot Dollywood’s DreamMore resort offers 306 guest rooms. In keeping with the Southern charm and hospitality that has welcomed millions to her award-winning Dollywood theme park since 1986, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort features a variety of different room types to accommodate families of all shapes and sizes including:

·King rooms with bunks;
·Extended suites;
·Double queen rooms;
·King rooms with sleeper sofas;
·Reunion suites which link adjoining rooms to create extended, connected family space.

The various room types and features allow families to maximize their time together. Families will discover special areas throughout the property’s spacious grounds such as an outdoor “story spot,” a casual area to sit and enjoy a story during the day or lawn areas to gaze at the star-filled sky at night.

“I want folks who stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore resort to experience the same heartfelt hospitality that they’ve come to know at my Dollywood theme park,” Parton said. “While we’re treating you like family, we’re going to create lots of simple ways for families to spend time together and really enjoy one another. All of this, plus being surrounded by views of the Smoky Mountains, folks are going to know that they are truly somewhere special when they stay with us.”

Located just a stone’s throw from Dollywood, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort will be situated on 100 acres. Guests will enjoy views of the Great Smoky Mountains which have inspired Parton throughout her career and were immortalized in the song In My Tennessee Mountain Home which she wrote.

The resort celebrates the iconic Southern gathering spot, beckoning to a time when families and friends sipped iced tea, enjoyed homemade ice cream and socialized. Centered on the rich traditions of storytelling, family and togetherness, the resort will feature many special touches including family sanctuaries like fire pits, swings and hammocks plus story spots scattered throughout the grounds.

Showcasing design features and décor elements that celebrate the area’s natural beauty, Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort includes an indoor and outdoor resort pool complex, a spa, and a full-service farmhouse-style restaurant. With an emphasis on encouraging family bonding time, the resort also features a family activities center where guests can secure reservations for a variety of adventures centered around wholesome fun, including hikes in neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is the second capital investment in a 10-year plan that includes more $300 million in future developments for Parton’s Dollywood properties, located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

For more information about Dollywood’s DreamMore resort and to be among the first to obtain updates and reservation information, please visit and become a member of the Founders Club.


By Deborah Fitts

Dollywood Opens FireChaser Express, Gerstlauer Family Coaster

FireChaserExpressApril 25, 2014–Pigeon Forge, Tn.
Dollywood opens FireChaser Express, Gerstlauer family coaster
During the past 29 years, Dollywood has steadily evolved into a dining and entertainment destination with sumptuous food options and award-winning live shows. But it’s also rapidly becoming a true thrill ride park. Home to world-class attractions such as the top-rated Thunderhead wooden roller coaster (2004), Mystery Mine (2007) steel coaster/dark ride and the Wild Eagle wing coaster (2012), Dollywood offers an evolving arsenal of high-profile rides.

But park officials wisely recognized that there was still a niche to be filled. They knew they needed a ride that could provide excitement for both families with children as well as more seasoned visitors looking for thrills. That may seem like a difficult thing to do, but Dollywood managed to pull it off with the finesse one has come to expect from the Smoky Mountain themer and its parent company Herschend Family Entertainment. 1391459125000-firechaser-pic-story

To accomplish the task of creating an exciting ride with across-the-board appeal, including a relatively modest rider height requirement of just 39 inches, Dollywood once again turned to Gerstlauer. The result is FireChaser Express, a dual-launched family roller coaster like no other.
Having successfully collaborated on Mystery Mine, the Herschend creative team knew the German ride manufacturer could help them accomplish their goal. Dollywood’s Pete Owens explains why Gerstlauer was selected to provide the ride system for what would become Fire-Chaser Express. “This is the second project we have done with Gerstlauer in the last seven years.

They understand that we are doing more than just creating a ride — we want to tell a story and create an experience for families to enjoy,” Owens told AT. “We have been very pleased with Mystery Mine, the first Gerstlauer Eurofighter built in the U.S.rsz_firechaserexpress

It fit the story we were trying to tell and created the experience we wanted. The same is true for FireChaser Express. It is perfect for what we wanted to accomplish. It is a family ride that is exciting; helps tell our story of volunteer firemen but has some surprises!”

By Deborah Fitts

Dollywood’s ‘FireChaser Express’ Blasts Off!!!

1506719_10152269550112324_1801402265_nMarch 25, 2014–Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Deep in the heart of The Great Smoky Mountains there is place already home to a number of innovative family attractions, “Dollywood” theme park, on Friday, added to its stellar roster with the debut of FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster that travels both forward and backward.1393744_10152270029887324_1473957428_n
“FireChaser Express celebrates our heroes—firefighters—and it reminds the rest of us that we can all be heroes if we’ll just step up and help others, whether it’s in a small way or a big way.”
Boasting a 39-inch minimum height requirement, FireChaser Express invites families to enjoy the exciting journey as a group. Perched 12 stories above the park’s Wilderness Pass area, FireChaser Express launches twice, blasting riders forward and backward on a winding 2,427-foot track. The coaster is projected from the loading station traveling from zero to 16 mph in just 1.1 second. Near the end of the ride, a backward launch from zero to 20 mph in two seconds sends FireChaser Express hurtling back to the station in the opposite direction.
“My new FireChaser Express has folks goin’ in all different directions, and that’s going to be a lot of fun but it teaches an important lesson, too,” Dolly Parton said. “FireChaser Express celebrates our heroes—firefighters—and it reminds the rest of us that we can all be heroes if we’ll just step up and help others, whether it’s in a small way or a big way.” 1962584_10152269688527324_714345150_n
After the initial launch, a 79-foot lift propels FireChaser Express through a “trick track” section where the passenger trains twist from side to side. Riders also encounter two helices and six zero-gravity moments on a journey that lasts two minutes and 19 seconds. FireChaser Express features three 14-passenger trains with an hourly capacity of 750 riders.
Volunteer recruits are invited to climb aboard FireChaser Express as it launches from Station 7 in Dollywood’s Wilderness Pass on a thrilling adventure to save the Smokies from potential fire hazards. Along the way, guests flash across mountainous terrain, through giant fire towers, and dodge fallen telephone poles and crashed rockets. During the excursion, guests discover Crazy Charlie Cherriebaum’s Gas & Fireworks Emporium, a haphazard roadside stand that proves fireworks, gasoline and lightning do not mix. After a surprise explosion, FireChaser Express is launched backward, through another section of track, ultimately delivering recruits to Station 7 in reverse!
FireChaser Express celebrates the volunteer-based fire departments of the 1940s which protected the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During this time, firefighting trains were a common sight throughout the park. FireChaser Express’ passenger trains are themed to celebrate all firefighters who bravely battle perilous blazes to ensure the safety of others.

Dollywood opens its 29th season with a spectacular lineup of entertainment as part of Festival of Nations, now through April 21. Mother Africa and La Danza de Colombia highlight the festival, which includes impressive displays of cultural activities and authentic cuisine from around the globe.
FireChaser Express is the latest addition to The Dollywood Company’s list of unique new rides. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. In 2013, Dollywood’s Splash Country followed with the addition of RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster.

Make memories that will last a lifetime, with your family here at “Dollywood”

By Deborah Fitts

Dollywood Unveils New Family Roller Coaster ”FireChaser Express”

1524802_10152269691232324_1973765011_n1239593_10152269689422324_1022602528_nMarch 21, 2014–Pigeon Forge, Tn.

Dollywood’s season opening is right around the corner and Thursday some people got a sneak preview of the newest roller coaster to debut at the theme park.

It is called the FireChaser Express, and it promises a good time.

“It has a neat little surprise in there. It’s got fireworks and everything. I guess I shouldn’t give it away!” said Clint Novak.

For nearly two and a half minutes, you wind around, climb and drop, and then what makes this ride unique: reverse.1966742_10152270027892324_1044258168_n

“It is a little more scary than it appears to be. I thought oh there’s not drops you know, but once you’re on it and the little lap bar is down it’s pretty wild,” said Miranda Motley.

Dollywood says this roller coaster is made for the whole family, and many of the riders agree.

“Everybody from grandma down to the kids can all go on it together,” said Novak.

“Perfect for the little ones. Enough thrill for the older adults that don’t really like the bigger rides,” said Amy Cosella from Chicago.

“It’s exciting! Yeah it’s really exciting. I really feel special,” said Motley.

Best Park and Roller Coaster Seeker ( was at the official opening Friday as a invited media outlet. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for 100 ‘s of photos and videos. Be sure to like the page .Facebook page.

The regular Dollywood season opening is Saturday. Opening day for season pass holders is Friday.

By Deborah Fitts

Dollywood Officially Opens for Season Saturday

Dolly-Parton-Dollywood-300x197la-trb-firechaser-express-dollywood-20140213March 19, 2014–Pigeon Forge Tennessee,
Amusement park junkies, your wait is almost over: Dollywood officially opens for business Friday.

Best Park and Roller Coaster Seeker will be bringing live updates Friday before the park opens.

Season pass holders only will be admitted on Friday, March 21, while general admission begin Saturday, March 22.
Dolly Parton herself will be on hand for the opening day festivities.

The biggest draw for many may be the park’s newest roller coaster, “The Firechaser Express”, which will be up and running.

For information on tickets and hours:
Tickets and Passes
Whether you’re visiting with your family throughout the season or as part of a group for a single day, our Dollywood properties offer a variety of ticket options to meet your needs! Follow the links below to buy or learn more about each one.

Check out the add-ons available at each park such as renting strollers or wheelchairs, purchasing parking or our Q2Q Line Management System, all to make your visit complete! And, if you’re looking for a special gift, Dollywood gift certificates are a perfect fit for any occasion.
Park Tickets–

*Ticket Options
•Dollywood One-Day Admission
•Dollywood’s Splash Country One-Day Admission
•Multi-Day, Multi-Park Admission

*Groups of 15 or More
•Family Outings
•Church Groups
•School Outings
•Company Outings
•Tour and Travel

*Season Passes
•Unlimited admission
•Less than the cost of 2 days
•One Park & Two Park Passes
•Special Discounts


*Additional Park Items
•Q2Q Line Saver & More!

*Gift Certificates
•Use toward tickets, passes, food & merchandise
•Available in any dollar amount for either Park

By Deborah Fitts

Welcome to Pigeon Forge & Dollywood’s Festival of Nations

February 25. 2014–Dollywood-Festival-of-Nations[1]Dollywood’s Festival of Nations
3/22/2014 – 4/21/2014
Dollywood Festival of Nations features a world of entertainment that is sure to delight all ages!
This year Festival of Nations is proud to announce their exciting new lineup. See The Paper World Show by Mimirichi, which features hilarious clowns from Ukraine that literally tear up the stage. Returning for another year is, Los Pampas Gauchos, an action-filled, fast-paced family act from Argentina. This show features Argentina’s traditional folk dancing as well as drums, boleadoras, knives, capes, and whips. Spirit of the Dance takes you on a journey to Ireland as performers showcase their Irish foot-stomping skills. Zebra Stelzentheater of Germany is a stilt dancing extravaganza that is sure to make everyone smile. Familiar favorite, Atahualpa features the music of the Andes and the Zambian Vocal Group shares a cappella songs from Africa.

Don’t forget the great food at Dollywood Festival of Nations. You can sample cuisine from all over the world while learning about the different countries.

Dollywood Theme Park
2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Local: 865-428-9488
Toll Free: 1-800-365-5996
Fax: 865-429-7270

If you haven’t made plans for your visit, check into the below for various hotels whom all fabulous!!
You have found the perfect place to plan your Pigeon Forge Vacation! Here you will find the best in value and service for Smoky Mountain lodging in Pigeon Forge, TN featuring Pigeon Forge Hotels, Condos in Pigeon Forge and Old Mill Mountain Homes and Cabins near Dollywood, Dixie Stampede and Gatlinburg, TN. Be sure to check out our convenient locations near the parkway and all the exciting attractions and things to do in Pigeon Forge. If you are looking for the best value in hotel accommodations in the Smokies, check out Comfort Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane and Quality Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane. For Lodging in the tradition of The Old Mill, you can’t beat the moutain homes, cabins and condos of Old Mill Lodging. Also consider luxurious overnight condo rentals at Pigeon Forge Resort Condos. Be sure to save time & money with our Vacation Value Packages and our Special Offers & Incentives and check out our Motion Cam Videos® . We look forward to your arrival and promise to do our best to make your stay enjoyable and memorable!

By Deborah Fitts