Posts Tagged ‘family vacations’

Chuck Wagons Head to Pigeon Forge for Cowboy Cookoff

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Visitors to Pigeon Forge can sample a taste of the Old West, prepared by authentic chuck wagon cooks, on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff and Lunch are part of Saddle Up, a five-day celebration of the American West, Feb. 17-21.

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Chuck wagons were a vital part of America’s history, feeding cowboys as they drove cattle and horses west. Wagons just like those will be in Pigeon Forge. The cook teams will be anxious to show off their skills, as they compete for cash and prizes. After the food has been judged, each wagon will serve lunch for $12.50 per plate.

A record nine teams and wagons will travel from five states. Visitors can purchase lunch from wagons carrying names like Circle L Chuckwagon, Circle S Bar, Double X Ranch, Greenhorn Cattle Company, Grumpy’s Grub, JL Cattle Company, R/D Chuckwagon, Ramblin’ Rose, and Skillet & Spurs.

Each chuck wagon team will prepare chicken-fried steaks, potatoes, beans, bread, cornbread and a dessert. They are judged on individual food categories and the authenticity of wagons and camp set-ups. Winners will be announced Saturday afternoon, prior to a 6 p.m. Saddle Up concert at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup.  Remaining tickets will be sold onsite the day of the cookoff. Past years have seen more than 600 meals served.

The cookoff is at Clabough’s Campground on Wears Valley Road and is preceded by the Buckeroo Roundup, with a number of family-friendly activities that lead up to the cowboy-style lunch. Admission to the Buckeroo Roundup is free.

Ticket information and a complete schedule of all Saddle Up activities are available at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup or by calling 1-800-251-9100.

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Award-winning Chuck Wagon Cook Returns to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Award-winning chuck wagon cook and entertainer Kent Rollins will be in Pigeon Forge during Saddle Up. He and his Red River Ranch chuck wagon and team will be at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, where they will cook for three intimate evening dinner shows.

In addition to running a successful catering business and feeding cowboys on working ranches, Rollins has been featured on Food Network shows, including Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Chopped Grill Masters and Chopped Redemption, NBC’s Food Fighters, and has appeared on Fox News and the Hallmark Channel. In 2015, he published a best-selling cookbook, A Taste of Cowboy.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

‘Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show’ To Make a Splash with Diving Hillbillies

Hatfield and McCoy constructionPIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) – “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is taking the plunge and undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. After several years of success with “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show,” theater co-owners David Fee and Jim Hedrick are announcing their plans to add a high diving water element to the show as well as new cast members and trained animals.

“The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” will enhance audience favorites from its current feudin’ show and will feature new high divin’ hillbillies, waddling ducks, diving dogs of all shapes and sizes, and even diving pigs who will tromp and wade and paddle throughout the water area with many unusual special effects.

“While the Hatfield and McCoy feud may be the longest running rivalry in history, both famous feudin’ families are putting up their guns temporarily to make a splash in Pigeon Forge,” said theater co-owner, David Fee, president and chief executive officer of The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group.  “Our new show additions will include a transformation of the current stage into an Olympic-sized 22-foot-deep diving well.

“After countless times of seeing water shows such as ‘O’ by Cirque du Soleil and Le Reve in Las Vegas, I wanted to bring our version of water technology to Pigeon Forge,” Fee said.  “The current performance stage will be transformed from a dry stage to a huge diving well that seemingly appears and disappears within seconds. It is going to be super cool! The stage floor will go up and down and will be capable of stopping at various levels.”

“’The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show’ was an innovative concept for my business partner, Jim Hedrick and I,” Fee said.  “The show has been successful beyond our wildest dreams. We change up the show each year for repeat visitors, and we have music and clean comedy that appeals to all generations.

“Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group strives to bring new types of entertainment to East Tennessee. Pigeon Forge has never seen anything like this before,” Fee said. “We are proud to be the first to take feudin’ to a higher level.  And yes, we still will serve our famous ‘All You Can Eat’ dinner.”

The theater stage and performance areas closed Jan. 31, 2016, and are undergoing several weeks of renovations. However the box office remains open. “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” will reopen after renovations with the current show. The owners expect that the new elements of the show will then be rehearsed and gradually added for a grand opening event sometime late spring.

“’The Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show’ was created to be funny,” Fee said.  “We are adding more comedy and fun to the show. You will need to come and see Granny’s way of doing a cannonball into the pool.

“The diving well finds its roots in the Tug River, where the Hatfield and McCoy feud began in the mountainous Tug River Valley,” he said.  “The Tug River separated West Virginia from Kentucky and separated most of the Hatfield and McCoy clans. Approximately every 100 years, there is a flood in this area, expect to see one every day at ‘The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show’.  There will be lots of theatrical surprises that will be mindboggling.”

The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” is a hilarious hit production inspired by real-life events that will put an ‘All You Can Eat’ four-course mountain feast in people’s bellies and a smile on their faces as they watch a lively talent competition between Pa Hatfield and Ma McCoy and their clans, where the battlefield is the stage. This two-hour live show offers loads of laughs, including a rowdy battle at a barn dance, extraordinary country, bluegrass, and gospel vocal and instrumental musical performances, and award-winning hillbilly musicians, cloggers, and fun barnyard animals. The feud is kicked-off most every day at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., with occasional 2 p.m. matinees. Guests of all ages in the audience are encouraged to support their own side of Hatfield or McCoy “kinfolks.”

This feudin’ show comes with a Granny’s ‘All You Can Eat’ mountain feast, served by a hillbilly waiter or waitress. Granny’s menu includes Feudin’ Fried Chicken, Open Pit Pulled-to-Pieces Pork Barbecue, Southern Style Creamy Soup, Smashed Mashed Taters, Buttery Corn on the Cob, Ma’s Hot Homemade Bread, Daisy’s Blue Ribbon Coleslaw and Granny’s Famous Specialty Desserts. A vegetarian option is also available upon request.

For more information about the show, visit www.HatfieldMcCoyDinnerFeud.com or call (865) 908-7469 (SHOW). The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Theater is located at 119 Music Road between traffic lights 0 and 1 on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge between WonderWorks and the Titanic Museum Attraction.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the southeast, also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountains including “The Comedy Barn”, “The Smoky Mountain Opry” and “Magic Beyond Belief” starring Darren Romeo. The company also owns Happy Days Diner and SeePigeonForge.com, a vacation package website company.

The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group is currently running a combo deal for a show ticket to “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” for $54.95 plus tax, and for only $19.95 plus tax add on to purchase a ticket to “The Smoky Mountain Opry,” “The Comedy Barn”, or “Magic Beyond Belief starring Darren Romeo.” With the purchase of a combo deal adult show ticket, children 11 and under are free for the second show. The child’s rate for “The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show” is $19.95 plus tax.  Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more.  For more information about the show, visit www.HatfieldMcCoyDinnerFeud.com or call (865) 908-7469 (SHOW).

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Contact:

Deborah Fee Newsom

Director of Public Relations and Merchandising

Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group

(865) 414-6887 (cell) and (865) 774-8877

Deborah@FeeHedrick.com

Dollywood’s Lightning Rod ‘On Track’ for March Debut

Lightning Rod carPIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Construction progress on the most anticipated new theme park attraction of 2016 is moving ahead at “lightning” pace. Dollywood officials showcased Lightning Rod, the park’s new record-breaking coaster, during a construction tour for regional media on Feb. 3.

Upon arrival at the ride site, onlookers can’t help but notice the coaster’s massive lift hill, which now sits high above Dollywood – more than 20 stories to be exact. Media also were able to see the imposing 165-foot first drop, which propels riders to 73 mph. The ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills also were on display for media during the tour. Thanks to the undulating topography, which the coaster races along during its 3,800-foot. journey through the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park. This serves to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step aboard the thrilling ride.

Lightning Rod already has earned quite a following from roller coaster enthusiasts, thanks to its unique attributes. Lightning Rod not only is the world’s fastest wood coaster, but also it is the world’s first launching wood coaster.

Media also were able to glimpse Lightning Rod’s hot rod-themed ride vehicles, which closely resemble tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s. With the ride’s blisteringly quick top speed, Dollywood guests soon will feel the same adrenaline-packed rush hot rod mechanics have after stepping behind the wheel of one of their newest creations for the first time.

The ride, which is located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.

Dollywood’s development team has tapped Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) as the ride manufacturer. RMC is no stranger to out-of-the-box coaster projects, having designed a number of first-of-their-kind attractions around the world. Lightning Rod employs several unique features ,including the lift hill launch, twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn, and a non-inverting half loop.

For more information about Dollywood’s Lightning Rod or 2016 Dollywood Season Passes, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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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 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 nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today 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 a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort 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 dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

 

 

What’s New in Pigeon Forge for 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – Baseballs, a violin and a speeding roller coaster top the list of what’s new in Pigeon Forge for 2016. The little city with only 6,000 residents is ready to show some Great Smoky Mountain hospitality to millions of guests.

Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge – Listen for the crack of the bat and the snap of horsehide hitting leather when the $22.5 million Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge opens on March 9.

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

This six-stadium youth baseball complex will be a tournament destination for elite teams nine months of the year. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Former Major League Baseball players Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken are behind the company that will draw thousands of young players to a site that offers spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Lightning Rod at Dollywood – The Dollywood theme park will add another superlative attraction this spring. It’s Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and the world’s first launching wooden roller coaster. The thrilling $22 million ride is the largest attraction investment in the park’s history.

Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster

Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster

Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph to a point 20 stories high. Lightning Rod races down a 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-foot-long track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wooden coaster in the world.

Lighting Rod joins other Dollywood thrill rides such as Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster; FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster; and Thunderhead, a wooden coaster consistently ranked one of the world’s top five wooden coasters. At the adjacent Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, RiverRush stands as Tennessee’s first and only water coaster.

Wallace Hartley Violin – When the RMS Titanic sank into the frigid North Atlantic, a legend was born about the ship’s bandleader, Wallace Hartley. His cherished violin was found strapped to his body after the sinking and was returned to his fiancée, only to be lost to the world for almost a century. It sold at auction in 2013 for $1.7 million.

Pigeon Forge visitors can see the Hartley violin in a special exhibition at the Titanic Museum Attraction from June 5-Aug. 14. Every day, there will be special early-morning admission for a limited number of Titanic enthusiasts to view the violin and shoot heirloom photos.

RetroRunning All Around Town – There’s a special running event April 29-31 exclusively for people age 40 and older. The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge will host RetroRunning, a one-of-a-kind race because it’s the odd length of 5 miles, 916 yards. As race organizers note, everyone who runs will set a personal best for that distance.

The weekend will include programs from Jeff Galloway, the nation’s leading running coach and columnist for Runner’s World, and Rudy Maxa, travel journalist and the voice of National Geographic Traveler’s “Walks of a Lifetime” podcast.

New Hotels – Pigeon Forge’s amazing inventory of more than 14,000 lodging units will grow in 2016 with the opening of a 137-room Courtyard by Marriott property, a 112-room Hilton Garden Inn and the 178-room Black Fox Lodge.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

Tadkinson@bohanideas.com

 

 

 

Dixie Stampede Thunders into 2016 Season with ‘High-Spirited Adventure’

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – After a 2015 season which saw Dixie Stampede’s show reimagined with a $2.5 million renovation, “The Most Fun Place to Eat in the Smokies” returns Jan. 15 for its 29th season featuring a high-spirited adventure sure to bring a smile to every face.

 

Last season’s renovations saw a state-of-the-art, LED wall backdrop added to Dixie Stampede’s 35,000-square-foot arena. Renovations also included new audio and lighting technology and several other fascinating new show enhancements that left guests marveling at the end result. At the end of the season, one thing was certain—the changes received a resounding positive response from visitors.

 

“Our team worked hard to create an entirely new atmosphere for the show and they certainly succeeded,” said Dixie Stampede President Jim Rule. “Our guests were delighted to see their favorite Pigeon Forge show as never before. We are thankful for everyone who came to experience our new adventure in 2015.”

 

Shortly after entering the arena, guests understand Dixie Stampede’s high-spirited adventure is unlike anything they’ve encountered before. Accentuated by newly added video mapping, the floor of the arena is filled with images of stampeding horses so lifelike, the thundering hooves rattle the guests’ tables. From there, Dixie Stampede’s talented cast of performers lead the show’s impressive stable of 32 magnificent horses through a spirited display of equestrian skill.

 

Throughout the show, the striking LED wall, consisting of 12.5 million LED lights, creates an experience so immersive, guests feel as if they have been instantly transported deep in to the natural beauty of the foothills surrounding the Great Smoky Mountains. Clouds roll across the mountains, the sun sets over the horizon in the distance and the night sky fills with a brilliant patchwork of stunning stars. Dixie Stampede’s high-spirited adventure provides an experience unlike anything offered in the region.

 

The show’s equine stars challenge each other in barrel races and other thrilling competitions, all in the name of Dixie Stampede’s friendly rivalry between the North and South. Audience members even may find themselves called in to help their side to victory.

 

Dinner, the other star of the show, includes Dixie Stampede’s signature four-course feast consisting of Dixie Stampede’s original creamy vegetable soup, homemade buttery biscuit, a whole rotisserie chicken, hickory-smoked barbequed pork loin, corn on the cob, herb-basted potato, Dixie Stampede’s own specialty dessert and unlimited beverages. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.

 

Guests are invited to start their fun-filled evening in the Dixie Belle Saloon with the side-splitting comedy and hard-driving bluegrass and country music of Mountain Ruckus, Dixie Stampede’s house band. The band performs one hour prior to show time. Show times and reservations are available by calling 1-800-356-1676 or visiting www.dixiestampede.com.

 

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction operates in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and Branson, Missouri. Pirates Voyage, another Dolly Parton Company, operates in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A new venue opens in Pigeon Forge this spring.

 

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 Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or peteo@wciinc.com

Wes Ramey: (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Woody Peek: (865) 453-9473, (865) 607-5103 or woodyp@dixiestampede.com

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and ‘Hike 100′

In celebration of the National Park Service Centennial, Superintendent Cassius Cash has committed to hike 100 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park during 2016 and is challenging the public to do the same. The 100-mile goal is part of the “Smokies Centennial Challenge-Hike 100” program. This program aims to inspire all potential hikers—young and old, new and skilled—to experience and gain a new appreciation and stewardship for their national park.
All levels of hikers are invited to join the 100-Mile Challenge.

All levels of hikers are invited to join the Hike 100 Challenge.

“I invite people of all ages and backgrounds, including millennials, to join me on this journey as we discover and explore the Smokies,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “The Hike 100 challenge allows me to have a personal role in ensuring that the next generation of park users, supporters, and advocates carries on the legacy of the National Park Service for the next 100 years. The lifeline of any legacy is to ensure that our voices are not only heard by the next generation, but also shared in a manner that inspires them to pick up the torch from the previous generation and carry it forward.”

 

To complete the Hike 100 challenge, participants must hike any 100 miles of maintained trail within the park boundaries between January 1 and December 6, 2016. These miles can include everything from the front country nature trails to the extensive backcountry network of trails. Participants can choose to hike the same trail repeatedly or choose to hike many different trails to accumulate a total of 100 miles. Participants who reach the 100-mile goal will earn a commemorative “Smokies Centennial Challenge – Hike 100” pin and be invited to a park celebration hosted by Superintendent Cash.
As part of the Hike 100 program, the park is hosting hikes for several regional youth organizations throughout the year. These opportunities will provide a chance for groups, who otherwise face barriers to travel due lack of transportation or funding restraints, a chance to explore the Smokies. These groups will have the added benefit of hiking alongside Superintendent Cash, as well as experienced hikers from the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and Carolina Mountain Club.
The Superintendent is also providing a unique opportunity for the general public to hike alongside him on his way to reaching the 100-mile goal through a series of four hikes open to the public. Two front country hikes in August and December will be completely open to the public, while two backcountry hikes in June and October will be limited to 20 people each. Information about the dates, trails, and how to sign up for one of these public hikes is provided on the park website on the Hike 100 page.
In addition to information about the public hikes, the Hike 100 page on the park website provides opportunities for the Superintendent and hikers to share their experiences and reflections about their journeys towards their 100 miles, and a hiking log that participants can use to track their miles. Please visit the website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/gsmnp-hike-100.htm.
The Smokies Centennial Challenge-Hike 100 program is made possible by an Active Trails grant issued by the National Park Foundation and though the continued support of Great Smoky Mountains Association and Friends of the Smokies.
For more information about the Smokies Centennial Challenge-Hike 100 program, please visit the park website or contact us by email at gsmnp_hike_100@nps.gov.
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Contact: Dana Soehn
(865) 436-1207

 

Pigeon Forge Celebrates the American West at 16th Annual Saddle Up

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – Music, storytelling, poetry, dancing and chuck wagon cooking are just a few of the activities that will take place at the 16th Annual Saddle Up in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The event is Feb. 17-21, 2016, and will be headquartered at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge.

Saddle Up is a mixture of stage concerts, dinner shows, a competitive chuck wagon cookoff, a cowboy dance and other activities. Also on the calendar are a number of workshops and seminars. Most of the music programs are ticketed, while several other activities are offered free of charge.

R.W. Hampton

R.W. Hampton

Dave Stamey, R.W. Hampton, Western Flyers, T. Scot Wilburn & the Shut Up -N- Playboys, Sourdough Slim and Brigid Reedy will provide the music for the 2016 event, while Andy Nelson, Kent Rollins, Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chris Isaacs and Jay Snider will share cowboy poetry, stories and humor.

The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff is Saturday, Feb. 20, at Clabough’s Campground. Chuck wagon cooks prepare lunch for guests and evaluation by a panel of judges. Tickets for the noon lunch are $12.50. Beginning at 9 a.m., visitors can hear Saddle Up entertainers and participate in cowboy-themed activities free of charge.

The weekend concludes with a chuck wagon breakfast and Cowboy Church on Sunday, Feb. 21, at the LeConte Event Center.

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Ticket prices and a detailed schedule are at MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup. Tickets are available online and also will be sold at the event.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

 

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater

PIGEON FORGE. Tenn. (Dec. 29, 2015) Why not start the new year off seeing an award-winning variety show, watching the ball drop from NYC Times Square, dancing to a live band and sipping champagne at the Smoky Mountain Opry Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.?
The 2015/2016 New Year’s Eve party at The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater will start with the show “Christmas at The Smoky Mountain Opry”™ at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. The holiday show features singers, dancers, ice skaters, aerialists, magicians and comedians. It has many special effects, including laser lights and pyrotechnics, and a live show band. There is also an appearance by a majestic rare white lion.
“Bring the whole family to our third annual family-friendly New Year’s Eve Show, and party in our nice warm theater,” said David Fee, president and chief executive office of Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group. “Our award winning variety show was mentioned in the December 2014 edition of Southern Living magazine as a ‘Don’t Miss Variety Show’ in Pigeon Forge, and we don’t want you to miss it! We will have a midnight countdown with champagne, soft drinks, hats, horns, confetti and streamers. Our New Year’s Eve show is popular and filling up fast.”
The theater will feature big screens inside the theater broadcasting the live feed ball drop in NYC Times Square. Also the party will include the area’s biggest midnight balloon drop and an after party in the theater.  After the ball drop, there will be a chance for guests to meet and greet the cast of the “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry” show and dance with the live show band on the Opry stage.
“We will provide an evening filled with song, dance and laughter,” Fee said. “We want this to be a place where families start New Year’s Eve traditions and memories. We will let the whole family come up on stage after the ball drop and dance to party music with our live band and singers.”
The New  Year’s Eve Ticket Price is $54.95 plus tax per person. Kids are $19.95 plus tax. The theater is located at traffic light 0 at 2046 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. For more information call the theater’s box office (865) 428-7469 or 1-800-768-1170 or visit http://www.SmokyMtnOpry.com.
The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group, one of the largest show production companies in the Southeast, is now in its 20th anniversary season. The company also owns and produces other major shows in the Smoky Mountain area including  “The Comedy Barn®”, The “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner and Show,”™  “The Blackwoods Morning Variety Show” featuring the Blackwoods and  “Magic Beyond Belief”™ starring Darren Romeo (which will reopen in March). Fee/Hedrick is currently running a special combination show deal that offers customers the opportunity to pay only $15 for “Christmas at The Smoky Mountain Opry” when they buy the world-famous “Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Show.”  The company also owns Happy Days restaurant, Chef’s Catering and a website, seepigeonforge.com, that helps guests plan their entire Smoky Mountain experience online.
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CONTACT:
Deborah Fee Newsom
(865) 414-6887 or (865) 774-8877

Dollywood Named One of TripAdvisor’s Top Theme Parks Worldwide

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (December 2015) — The popular travel review site TripAdvisor recently named Dollywood as one of the best theme parks in the world, continuing the Pigeon Forge park’s string of impressive accolades and awards.

Based on reviews and ratings for all theme parks worldwide, TripAdvisor compiled the list of the Top 25 theme parks around the globe. Dollywood placed 19th on the list, which included parks like Universal’s Islands of Adventure (#1), Magic Kingdom (#3), Universal Studios Florida (#6), Germany’s Europa-Park (#7), Disneyland (#8), Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens (#12), Epcot (#16), Six Flags Magic Mountain (#22), Silver Dollar City (#24) and Walt Disney Studios Park in France (#25).

One recent review on TripAdvisor, titled “One of the Best in the World,” noted, “This world-class attraction gets better every year…Great rides including seven roller coasters and some of the best shows and food in any park in the world can be found among the arsenal of activities.”

Another review, titled “Best Amusement Park In America!,” read, “Dollywood is one of the best theme park experiences in America!…The staff is so friendly and will go out of their way to do anything for you! The shows are just as good as a Broadway production. They have some world-class roller coasters and other rides that you just want to ride over and over again!”

The award-winning park certainly has endeared itself to its many guests, having recently been named #3 Best Theme Park in the country and #6 Best Musical Attraction by USA Today’s 10Best. In 2015, the park also earned Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Christmas Event, Best Shows and Friendliest Park. Dollywood earned the 2010 Applause Award, the theme park industry’s highest honor.

Dollywood is open with daily operation Wednesday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Park hours Dec. 16-18 are 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.; park hours Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 26 – Jan. 3 are 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Anyone looking for a last-minute Christmas gift should consider Dollywood season passes. With the 2016 addition of Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wood coaster, Dollywood is poised for an exciting year of thrilling rides, amazing entertainment and family memory making!

Smoky Mountain Christmas guests can upgrade a paid one-day admission ticket to a regular 2016 season pass for as low as $28 (plus tax when buying four or more). Ticket purchasers receive credit for the value of a regular one-day ticket ($62) toward the purchase of a 2016 season pass. A season pass purchased during Smoky Mountain Christmas provides unlimited admission to this year’s Christmas festival along with Dollywood’s entire 2016 season (A one-day ticket is valid for upgrade on the day of visit only). Also, guests who purchase a Dollywood one-day ticket after 6 p.m. receive free admission to the park’s next operating day.

For more information about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, please visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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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 Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, opening in 2015. 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 nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Public Relations Director, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

Take a Virtual Ride on Dollywood’s Lightning Rod; World’s Fastest Wooden Coaster To Open March 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (November 17, 2015)— Dollywood is giving coaster fans a chance to jump aboard Lightning Rod, its newest record-breaking offering, before the final pieces of track are even in place!

Thanks to Los Angeles-based 3D Live, anyone with a smartphone can stream via YouTube 360 optimized, point-of-view footage of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod and take a virtual ride on the world’s fastest wooden coaster. The pioneering 3D technology is new to the amusement park industry and something 3D Live CEO Nathan Huber says will revolutionize the way guests visit a theme park.

“This year has been crazy for us,” Huber explained. “We’re doing a bunch of great new stuff, and we said ‘let’s jump in to this world (theme parks).’ This is something fun, and we see a huge future of bringing people virtually to theme parks.

“Imagine hospital patients that may never be able to go to a theme park. Now, this is at least the first step in bringing that experience to them. There is something about creating these immersive experiences; you can take something that would be difficult for them to experience and make it accessible. Now they can sit in their living room, put on a VR headset and be inside the park for a minute.”

The opportunity to work with Dollywood and its innovative new coaster was something Huber said was the perfect fit for his company’s groundbreaking technology.

“It is an honor,” Huber said. “I spent so much time in Tennessee (Huber graduated from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee) that it is an honor to be working with Dollywood. We love the opportunity to be able to explore and find ways to deliver information to people. We’re excited to continue pushing boundaries.”

Due to working on the footage for Dollywood, Huber already has been able to make several circuits of Lightning Rod – albeit virtually. When asked about his thoughts on the thrilling new ride, Huber was quick to respond.

“It is scary,” he said with a laugh. “I like scary rides. It looks like it is going to be a ride to freak me out when I get a chance to come to Tennessee to ride it, which is going to be as soon as possible. Watching this ride, I’m just like, ‘Wow!’”

To view the 3D Virtual Reality POV, visit https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JcgfQdYmBtg

Lightning Rod is the newest member of The Dollywood Company’s collection of award-winning attractions. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. The company introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, at Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013. FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster, was added at Dollywood in 2014. Dollywood mainstays Thunderhead, consistently among the world’s top five wood coasters, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury and Tennessee Tornado round out the park’s list of innovative coasters.

For more information about Dollywood’s attractions, please visit www.Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

-dollywood2015-

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 Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. 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 nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

 

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Public Relations Director, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com
Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston, Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.aspx.