Archive for the ‘Business News’ Category

Crave Golf Club Ranked Top Mini Golf Course in America

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee – Crave Golf Club, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, has officially been named the No. 1 mini putt in the USA by TheTravel.com.

The one-of-a-kind candy-themed attraction offers 18,500 square feet of family fun for groups of all ages. Crave boasts 38 unique holes throughout indoor, outdoor, and rooftop courses with scenic views of the Smokies. The courses are themed with lollipops, mountains of ice cream, life-sized gummy bears, and a train that blows cotton candy scented smoke.

The attraction, which opened in late 2017, was inspired by the owners love for mini golf, candy, and creating lasting family memories. Crave is not only a mini golf destination, but it also has a candy store, a mini-bowling alley, and two 30-minute escape rooms. The zombie and submarine themed escape rooms are Crave’s newest addition. Behind mini golf, these have become the most popular attraction at Crave. All of these activities combined make Crave one of the best
things to do on a sunny or rainy day.

“We are incredibly proud to be ranked the No. 1 mini golf in America,” said Vice President of Marketing Josh Mayberry. “Crave strives to provide a world-class experience where children and adults alike can enjoy unique mini golf along with mini-bowling and escape rooms at an affordable price.”

To design the best mini golf in America, Crave Golf Club partnered with U! Creative, innovators in the theme park design world. U! is committed to exceeding guest expectations in all aspects of their projects. The guest reviews at Crave Golf Club have been outstanding from young kids, teens, and adults. The team is excited to share a unique experience with everyone visiting the Smokies!

The complex can accommodate groups up to 300 and is open daily rain or shine. In November, the park will be transformed into a Christmas Winterfest with over 85 trees, 20,000 ornaments, and 30,000 lights. Guests can purchase tickets at Crave Golf Club on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge or online. For more information about Crave Golf Club, please visit https://cravegolf.com/.

About Crave Golf Club
Crave Golf Club, recently Ranked #1 Mini Putt in America by TheTravel.com and one of the 13 Best Mini Golf Courses ine the USA by TravelChannel.com, is a first-class indoor attraction offering affordable fun for families and groups. Showcased by our highly rated candy-themed courses and our two escape rooms, the attraction provides the area’s top-rated mini golf destination. Crave Golf Club is a must-see on your next family vacation to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg. For more information, visit https://cravegolf.com/ or call 865-366-3403.

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Media Contact:
Josh Mayberry
Jmayberry@topconcetps.us
(865) 280-1550

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge Unveils New Origami Exhibit with STEM Focus

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee – (Sept. 16, 2019) WonderWorks, located in Pigeon Forge, is adding more fun and educational opportunities. The new feature will have an origami exhibit that has an education focus on math (STEM). The STEM exhibit will introduce guests to the relationship between math and the art of origami. The new exhibit will be available to the public beginning Aug. 25, 2019, and will be included with the regular admission price.

“The origami exhibit just adds another element to help us achieve our core objectives as a company,” says Ed Shaffer, general manager for WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. “We always strive to make sure our guests have fun and make memories to cherish, but we also hope they learn a little something along the way.”

The origami exhibit is education-focused, providing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning opportunities. Origami, which originated in Japan, is the art of folding paper in a sequence to get a particular shape. What many people don’t realize is that origami has a strong connection with math and can help children better understand math concepts. Origami designs contain complex geometric patterns, angles, and shapes. Origami is believed to help improve students’ skills, by strengthening their understanding of geometry, fractions, and improving problem-solving skills.

The origami exhibit will be a new addition to the Gallery of Wonders, which also offers a series of optical illusion artwork pieces that will adorn the attractions  second floor. The artwork pieces contain hidden objects, riddles, and will challenge people. Optical illusions trick the eye and give people a chance to explore different perspectives.

“Educational value is a big part of our attraction. With a constant stream of school groups and field trips of all kinds, we are always looking for ways to engage the students and assist our teachers in making the most out of their visit with us,” added Shaffer.

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. It offers over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters, space discovery, an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone, a far out art gallery, and a light and sound zone. WonderWorks is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, visit WonderWorksOnline.com/pigeon-forge.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, a science-focused indoor amusement park, combines education and entertainment. With over 100 hands-on exhibits – there is something unique and challenging for all ages. Feel the power of 71mph hurricane–force winds in the Hurricane Shack. Make huge, life–sized bubbles in the Bubble Lab. Get the NASA treatment in our Astronaut Training Gyro and experience zero gravity. Nail it by lying on the death–defying Bed of Nails. Conquer your fear of heights on our indoor Glow-In-The-Dark Ropes Course. WonderWorks is also home to Wonders of Magic, starring Terry Evanswood, the award-winning and longest running performer in Pigeon Forge. WonderWorks hosts birthday parties and special events seasonally. Open daily from 9 a.m. until midnight. https://www.wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge.

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Cher Murphy

Cher Murphy PR

T: 571-263-2128

 

The Comedy Barn Theater Celebrates 25 Seasons of Laughs in 2019

Special Anniversary Show on July 30 Highlights Family Fun, Years of Creating Memories

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Wednesday, July 31, 2019) – Twenty-five years of laughs, family fun and clean comedy are being celebrated at The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge this year, and a special show on Tuesday night, July 30 commemorated this special entertainment milestone.

Here are the basics if you’ve never experienced what has been awarded the title of Pigeon Forge’s Funniest Show year after year.  This hilarious show combines the talents and fun antics of magicians, comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists, and even members of the audience in a variety of fun routines that offer surprises and laughs galore. Lovable animals take the stage for more family fun, while live country and gospel music as well as Smoky Mountain clogging also take center stage with memorable performances that everyone in attendance will enjoy.

Four original cast members have been entertaining young and old at The Comedy Barn Theater since the first show in 1994, and they each have favorite memories and parts of the act that they find special and offer some of the many reasons why people come to this show – and even more why they keep coming back year after year. Ron Jeffery came to the area 35 years ago to play bass for Hee Haw legend Archie Campbell’s show, then joined the original Comedy Barn cast. Eric Lambert was one of the original comedians, Buddy Cline has been the band’s drummer since that first night, and Charlie King has provided the band with its guitar melodies for all 25 years.  Kathy Kearney, now Executive Assistant to the General Manager at the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, also came on board – first selling tickets for the show and then joining the cast in the magician and animal acts.

Jeffery says he knows what makes the Comedy Barn so special.  “The whole place is a family, and everyone has been here so long, everyone gets along. People come in here to see (comedian) Danny (Devaney), to see me and Eric. It’s just such a unique situation that keeps people coming back.” Kearney noted that it’s two very simple ingredients that set this show apart: “Good clean comedy and laughter are what has made it such a favorite throughout the years.”

Cline added that while the show has played for two and a half decades, each night is a different experience. “The audience makes the show so special, because it’s different every night. The people you have up on stage, like Eric, you never know what he is going to do. Even though we have been doing it for 25 years, some person could come on stage (in the audience participation segments) and do it totally different and do something we have never seen before.”

While this show celebrates its 25th anniversary of entertaining Smoky Mountain visitors, the troupe at The Comedy Barn knows that each show is an opportunity to provide special memories for those in attendance. Jeffery says he remembers one couple who came 15 times in one year. “You get to know the guests by name, you get to know their kids, and 25 years later, you get to know their grandkids. It is just amazing how generations of families come to Comedy Barn.” King echoed those comments. “It is awesome to be a part of something this life-changing as far as lots of customers coming back year after year after year after year. We see the same folks come back from Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California just to name a few places. What we have here is very special; it is like no other.”

The cast enjoys their jobs, and it shows on stage – to the audience and to their fellow entertainers. “My favorite thing that I get to do is improvisation (with the audience),” Lambert said, “that freedom to say something that will make everyone laugh from ages three to 90 is what makes this a wonderful, challenging and rewarding job.” King says he just loves doing what he does – playing the guitar – and loves to hear Kendall Manning sing. “And of course, I love Danny and Eric. Those two are absolutely unbelievable – just fantastic comedians.” Cline loves the interaction with fellow original Ron Jeffery on the Hank Snow classic “I’ve Been Everywhere.” “Even though we’ve done the number so much, it’s still fun to play every show (after 25 years).”

This award-winning comedy variety adventure shows no signs of slowing down as it heads into its next 25 years. “I knew that (we) would be here 25 years later,” Lambert said. “The reason is that we always intended for this to be something that took a stand; we built the Comedy Barn on the principles of clean family comedy and audience interactions; those things are eternal.” His co-star Charlie King summed it up similarly. “The night of the first show just seemed like everything worked. Everybody was just happy performing with each other, and we still are. Throughout the years, it’s been easy for us to accept new cast members as they become part of the family. The people that I work with have been so amazing – we are like family.” Jeffery added, “After one week, I had a feeling this was something pretty special.” Kearney summed up why she is still part of The Comedy Barn family after 25 years: “It’s home.”

Millions of new laughs can be heard just ahead as the Comedy Barns heads into its next decades of good clean fun. “It’s our job to make our guests laugh,” Lambert said, “and in 25 years, we have learned very well how to make families laugh.”

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About Great Choice Investments:  Great Choice Investments, LLC, doing business as Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Smoky Mountain Opry, The Comedy Barn Theater, and Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café, operates dinner show venues, theaters, and restaurants for family fun and adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Our dinner shows feature special effects, musical productions, live animals and a four-course family feast.

 

Media Contacts:

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

Tennille McElroy: (865) 429-7183, ext. 320, (865) 809-0292 or tennille@gcipf.com

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin Luminights Nominated for USA Today 10Best Award

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Monday, July 29, 2019) — Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights, one of the region’s premier harvest-time events, has been nominated as part of USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards for Best Theme Park Halloween Event. The contest, which now is live, runs through Monday, Aug. 26 at noon ET. Winners will be unveiled on Friday, Sept. 6.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with Great Pumpkin LumiNights serving as everyone’s favorite new Smoky Mountain tradition. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. every evening allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park.

Fans of Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights can vote now through Monday, Aug. 26 at noon ET. Voters are encouraged to vote each day from each of their devices. Competition is fierce, so Dollywood fans should vote early and often to show their support!

Great Pumpkin LumiNights grows again in 2019, stretching into the newly-opened Wildwood Grove. In addition to the pumpkin displays, the Wildwood Tree tells a Smoky Mountain harvest story multiple times each evening. The Plaza at Wilderness Pass also serves as a main centerpiece for the event with an area for character interaction, additional displays and a 40 ft. tall pumpkin tree.

Families will bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through displays throughout Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together. With so many carved pumpkins needed to create Great Pumpkin LumiNights, Dollywood has “pumpkin artists” who will host demonstrations to help guests learn how to produce the perfect pumpkin masterpiece.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival also includes several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists, making the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s largest event in America. Dollywood guests also can enjoy the spectacular artistry of visiting crafters from across the country, or sample the special harvest-themed food items from Dollywood’s award-winning foods team. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity for families to enjoy the experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Visit Dollywood.com for more information 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 Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-Dollywood or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 orpowens@dollywood.com

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

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

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

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9602, (865) 323-7584 or jwebb@dollywood.com

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

 

Alcatraz East Crime Museum To Display Alcatraz Island-Themed Prison Artwork

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (July 30, 2019) –Each year, tourists visiting San Francisco make the journey across the water to the must-see Alcatraz Island. Since it’s closing in 1963, the former federal penitentiary continues to intrigue people of all ages, and likewise, there is a huge fascination with the artwork of prison artists. This summer, the two subjects are being brought together at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. The new temporary exhibit, called “Alcatraz Art Escape,” will feature artwork inspired by Alcatraz Island and created by incarcerated artists. The exhibit opens to the public on Aug. 23, 2019 and will run through the spring of 2020.

“Our visitors are always interested in learning more about Alcatraz, so this will be a unique way to combine that with giving them a glimpse of the beautiful artwork created by prisoners from around the country,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “We’re excited to share the work of these artists who have discovered amazing talents they didn’t know they had and are doing what they can to give back to the community. Both crime history enthusiasts and art lovers will want to be sure to see this exhibit.”

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has teamed up with the California-based P.A.T.H. (Prison Arts Touching Hearts) to make these artworks available to the public. The organization focuses on providing a platform and voice for incarcerated artists. Their efforts help to support prison art rehabilitation programs and provide opportunities for artists to sell their work to support community causes. The exhibit will also include some never displayed Alcatraz artifacts from the museum’s collection. These objects include handcuffs from Alcatraz, a guard’s ID and prisoner roster pamphlet with handwritten notes, Al Capone’s rosary, and rare artwork made by an inmate while incarcerated at Alcatraz.

There will be a media day on Aug. 22. Members of the media are invited to visit the museum and experience the new exhibit before it opens to the public the following day. Artwork from this exhibit was first displayed in the Band Practice Room at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, run today by the National Park Service, in 2017. Each piece focuses on a theme surrounding Alcatraz Island’s history and its past as federal penitentiary.

“I’m thrilled to be able to bring the artwork of these incarcerated artists to Tennessee and share their work with a different audience far from California,” says Leslie Lakes, director of P.A.T.H. “Alcatraz was such an inspiration to these artists, so it seemed very appropriate to bring this exhibit to Alcatraz East Crime Museum.”

Alcatraz Island, often referred to as “The Rock,” was known as U.S. Penitentiary Alcatraz from 1934-1963. During the time it was a federal prison, Alcatraz housed notorious criminals such as Al Capone, James “Whitey” Bulger, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” The former prison opened to the public in 1973 and in 1986 was designated a National Historic Landmark. Each year, over one million visitors tour the prison.

Other new displays this summer include one of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award trophies awarded to the survivors of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Alexis Alvarado was among 140 survivors who appeared onstage to receive the honor at the 2018 ESPY Awards for their bravery in speaking out against Nassar’s years of sexual abuse. The ESPY will only be on view through Labor Day.

There are additional new artifacts that have recently been added to the museum including:

  • A collection of pieces from sketch artist Michael W. Streed, known as SketchCop. Throughout his career, Streed has used his skills to both catch criminals as well as identify remains.
  • Items have been added to the museum’s section on mass shootings, including those at the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival, Columbine High School, and Aurora Theater. New items include a backpack and school planner of a survivor of Columbine, as well as items preserved from the memorials for Las Vegas victims.

The museum is always adding to its collection and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About P.A.T.H.

P.A.T.H. (Prison Arts Touching Hearts) is designed to provide a platform for a much needed voice and validation to incarcerated artists – those in the shadows and largely hidden to the public eye, while providing them with a vehicle to give back to the community in a meaningful and powerful way – through their art! P.A.T.H. is a MarinLink fiscally sponsored 501 (c) 3 Non-Profit Project. For more information visit: http://www.prisonartstouchinghearts.org/.

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Cher Murphy

T: 571-263-2128

DOLLYWOOD OFFICIALLY OPENS LARGEST EXPANSION IN PARK HISTORY

Guests experience $37 million Wildwood Grove for the first time

 

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 10, 2019)— Dollywood again solidified its place among the nation’s premier family destinations as Dolly Parton today officially opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in park history. Parton opened the fascinating new land to visitors ready to enjoy its 11 thrilling new experiences. During an early morning media event, Parton shared the inspiration and dreams that led to the creation of Wildwood Grove, calling the area the new standard for Dollywood.

At $37 million, Wildwood Grove is Dollywood theme park’s largest capital investment ever and is the first new area added to Dollywood since Wilderness Pass in 2008. The biggest adventure in Dollywood’s history provides guests of all sizes unique experiences to enjoy together as a family.

“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away—something I still do now—dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” Parton said. “All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove. We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.

“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross explained the significance of the newest addition to the storied theme park.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting days in the history of our company,” Ross explained. “It is rare in our industry that a park adds a completely new land in its entirety, and as we continue to grow and set attendance records, we needed to add more area to give guests more room to spread out and explore. Additionally, we were able to take many of Dolly’s childhood dreams and create experiences that are uniquely Smoky Mountain-themed and really help tell the story of this beautiful area.

“I know our guests will be thrilled with the great diversity of attractions they will be able to enjoy when they visit Wildwood Grove. We’re extremely proud of the fact that there are experiences here that every member of the family will love and enjoy.”

After stepping into Wildwood Grove, imagination takes flight, delivering explorers on a journey of discovery in this breathtaking area. Remarkable sights await visitors throughout the land. In the distance, the breathtaking Wildwood Tree catches the eye as lively butterflies shimmer in the daylight. Families laugh and play, taking rides inside giant acorns at Treetop Tower and aboard a thrilling “leaf boat” on the Great Tree Swing.

Even the bears are friendly in Wildwood Grove, as they let guests meander with them through their own natural habitat at the Black Bear Trail. If smaller guests need a quick break, Hidden Hollow contains a 4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides and games where kids and their parents can enjoy play time full of exploration.

Nearby, families scream with delight as they take a ride with Tennessee’s state symbol—the mockingbird—in an experience they control themselves at The Mad Mockingbird. Others dip and dart through geysers while suspended from dragonflies on the area’s signature ride attraction, Dragonflier.

At the heart of it all is the Wildwood Tree. This focal point is a beacon for all, drawing families to watch the butterflies play in its leafy canopy, while encouraging others to splash and play in the winding creek that flows at its base. As the daylight fades, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life.

Wildwood Grove also features new merchandise and dining options for park guests. Till & Harvest, which is expected to open around Memorial Day, provides the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain flavors and fresh Mexican cuisine. The menu features a variety of build-your-own style entrees such as burritos, bowls, salads and nachos all filled with wood-fired meats, fresh vegetables and flavorful sauces. Along with the Smoky Mountain Mexican flavors, Till & Harvest also provides a spacious open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood Grove while they enjoy their meal.

Mountain Grove Merchants is the one-stop-shop for guests looking for the perfect gift or souvenir to celebrate their adventure in Wildwood Grove.

Nearly $1 million was invested in Wildwood Grove’s landscaping, with more than 400 trees and 2,300 shrubs creating a beautiful, yet decidedly natural atmosphere to enjoy. As the landscaping continues to mature, the visual appeal of the area will only increase.

Each day of exploration in Wildwood Grove is an experience families don’t want to miss. These merry memory making moments are certain to become a treasured part of every family’s visit.

WILDWOOD GROVE FACTS

  • The Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening during a unique nighttime experience which begins June 15. Each season of the year features a spectacular new experience for guests. The Wildwood Tree features nearly 650 lighted butterflies (orange, blue, yellow, pink and multi-colored) and almost 9000 leaves.
  • Dragonflier— This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove. (Vekoma 453m suspended coaster) (1486 ft. in length)
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. (Metallbau Emmeln Pony Trek)
  • Great Tree Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree. (Zamperla Galleon)
  • Treetop Tower— This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor. (Zamperla Samba Tower)
  • The Mad Mockingbird— Tennessee’s state bird—the mockingbird—gives visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground. (Larson Flying Scooter)
  • Frogs & Fireflies— Adventurous guests can hop aboard one of these friendly frogs as they chase each other in a spirited race around the lily pad. (Zamperla Jump Around)
  • Hidden Hollow- This 4,000 sq. ft., climate-controlled area allows families to explore and play in an indoor environment.
  • Wildwood Creek features pop jets, splashing pools and more wet play activities, while the dry play area at Wildwood Creek features “music instruments” for guests to enjoy.
  • Three new costume characters call Wildwood Grove home. Flit and Flutter serve as Wildwood Grove’s ambassadors and Benjamin Bear loves to make new friends. Characters will have scheduled opportunities to meet guests each day.

 

For more information about Wildwood Grove or Dollywood’s 2019 season, 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 Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-Dollywood or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

 

Dollywood Officially Opens Largest Expansion in Park History

Guests experience $37 million Wildwood Grove for the first time

 PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Friday, May 10, 2019)— Dollywood again solidified its place among the nation’s premier family destinations as Dolly Parton today officially opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in park history. Parton opened the fascinating new land to visitors ready to enjoy its 11 thrilling new experiences. During an early morning media event, Parton shared the inspiration and dreams that led to the creation of Wildwood Grove, calling the area the new standard for Dollywood.

At $37 million, Wildwood Grove is Dollywood theme park’s largest capital investment ever and is the first new area added to Dollywood since Wilderness Pass in 2008. The biggest adventure in Dollywood’s history provides guests of all sizes unique experiences to enjoy together as a family.

“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away—something I still do now—dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” Parton said. “All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove. We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.

“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”

The Dollywood Company President Craig Ross explained the significance of the newest addition to the storied theme park.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting days in the history of our company,” Ross explained. “It is rare in our industry that a park adds a completely new land in its entirety, and as we continue to grow and set attendance records, we needed to add more area to give guests more room to spread out and explore. Additionally, we were able to take many of Dolly’s childhood dreams and create experiences that are uniquely Smoky Mountain-themed and really help tell the story of this beautiful area.

“I know our guests will be thrilled with the great diversity of attractions they will be able to enjoy when they visit Wildwood Grove. We’re extremely proud of the fact that there are experiences here that every member of the family will love and enjoy.”

After stepping into Wildwood Grove, imagination takes flight, delivering explorers on a journey of discovery in this breathtaking area. Remarkable sights await visitors throughout the land. In the distance, the breathtaking Wildwood Tree catches the eye as lively butterflies shimmer in the daylight. Families laugh and play, taking rides inside giant acorns at Treetop Tower and aboard a thrilling “leaf boat” on the Great Tree Swing.

Even the bears are friendly in Wildwood Grove, as they let guests meander with them through their own natural habitat at the Black Bear Trail. If smaller guests need a quick break, Hidden Hollow contains a 4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides and games where kids and their parents can enjoy play time full of exploration.

Nearby, families scream with delight as they take a ride with Tennessee’s state symbol—the mockingbird—in an experience they control themselves at The Mad Mockingbird. Others dip and dart through geysers while suspended from dragonflies on the area’s signature ride attraction, Dragonflier.

At the heart of it all is The Wildwood Tree. This focal point is a beacon for all, drawing families to watch the butterflies play in its leafy canopy, while encouraging others to splash and play in the winding creek that flows at its base. As the daylight fades, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life.

Wildwood Grove also features new merchandise and dining options for park guests. Till & Harvest, which is expected to open around Memorial Day, provides the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain flavors and fresh Mexican cuisine. The menu features a variety of build-your-own style entrees such as burritos, bowls, salads and nachos all filled with wood-fired meats, fresh vegetables and flavorful sauces. Along with the Smoky Mountain Mexican flavors, Till & Harvest also provides a spacious open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood Grove while they enjoy their meal.

Mountain Grove Merchants is the one-stop-shop for guests looking for the perfect gift or souvenir to celebrate their adventure in Wildwood Grove.

Nearly $1 million has been invested in Wildwood Grove’s landscaping, with more than 400 trees and 2,300 shrubs creating a beautiful, yet decidedly natural atmosphere to enjoy. As the landscaping continues to mature, the visual appeal of the area will only increase.

Each day of exploration in Wildwood Grove is an experience families don’t want to miss. These merry memory making moments are certain to become a treasured part of every family’s visit.

WILDWOOD GROVE FACTS

  • The Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening during a unique nighttime experience which begins June 15. Each season of the year features a spectacular new experience for guests. The Wildwood Tree features nearly 650 lighted butterflies (orange, blue, yellow, pink and multi-colored) and almost 9000 leaves.
  • Dragonflier— This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove. (Vekoma 453m suspended coaster) (1486 ft. in length)
  • Black Bear Trail— Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. (Metallbau Emmeln Pony Trek)
  • Great Tree Swing— Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree. (Zamperla Galleon)
  • Treetop Tower— This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor. (Zamperla Samba Tower)
  • The Mad Mockingbird— Tennessee’s state bird—the mockingbird—gives visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground. (Larson Flying Scooter)
  • Frogs & Fireflies— Adventurous guests can hop aboard one of these friendly frogs as they chase each other in a spirited race around the lily pad. (Zamperla Jump Around)
  • Hidden Hollow- This 4,000 sq. ft., climate-controlled area allows families to explore and play in an indoor environment.
  • Wildwood Creek features pop jets, splashing pools and more wet play activities, while the dry play area at Wildwood Creek features “music instruments” for guests to enjoy.
  • Three new costume characters call Wildwood Grove home. Flit and Flutter serve as Wildwood Grove’s ambassadors and Benjamin Bear loves to make new friends. Characters will have scheduled opportunities to meet guests each day.

For more information about Wildwood Grove or Dollywood’s 2019 season, 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 Spa; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of more than 35 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 26 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). The park is located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and has been named a top three US theme park by USA Today on multiple occasions. Dollywood is open nine months a year (mid-March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel and TripAdvisor as one of the country’s most beautiful water parks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from mid-May to Labor Day. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, which received the 2017 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-Dollywood or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Dollywood Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

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

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

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

Jennifer Webb: Publicist, (865) 428-9660, (865) 323-7584 or jwebb@dollywood.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Temporary Exhibit Memorializes Nicole Brown Simpson, Highlights Domestic Violence

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (April 29, 2019) – Murdered 25 years ago this June, Nicole Brown Simpson would have celebrated her 60th birthday on May 19, 2019. In her memory, Alcatraz East Crime Museum is turning the focus on domestic violence, offering a temporary exhibit dedicated to who Nicole was as a daughter, sister, and mother, and the devastating impact of domestic violence. The exhibit will open on May 17, 2019 and will run for three months.

“Domestic violence is a major problem that doesn’t get the attention it should,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “We wanted to turn the focus back on Nicole’s story, and how devastating the fear of domestic violence can be, as well as celebrate the special person she was to so many.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) reports that one in every four women and one in every nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence. They also report that on a typical day there are more than 20,000 phone calls around the country that are placed to domestic violence hotlines.

“Passion for Life: Nicole Brown Simpson” will honor Nicole and through her help raise awareness about the warning signs of domestic violence. Some of the artifacts in the exhibit that belonged to Nicole include:

A place setting of her china, reflecting her love of entertaining.

  • Favorite pieces of clothing and Chanel jewelry.
  • A handwritten poem that was read at her funeral by her sister Tanya.
  • Photos from the Brown family, going back to Nicole’s childhood.
  • The exhibit will also feature the original song and music video I Remember Nicole by two-time Emmy Award winner Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges. Working as a video-journalist, Sotile covered the trial of Nicole’s ex-husband O.J. Simpson and never forgot the impact Nicole’s death made on her. Sotile and Godges wanted to find a way for the world to remember Nicole’s story and all women who continue to suffer from domestic abuse.

“It’s hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the world violently lost my sister, who was a beautiful soul,” says Tanya Brown, Nicole’s youngest sister. “I’m touched that there is a chance to honor her memory with this exhibit and I hope that it brings domestic violence as an issue to the forefront, so that we can bring it to an end.”

Those in immediate danger from domestic violence should call 9-1-1. There is also anonymous and confidential help available 24/7 for those who need it. For help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

Many are familiar with the famous O.J. Simpson white Ford Bronco chase scene that played out on television. Yet, we tend to forget what he was running from, that he was wanted in connection with the murders of Nicole and Ronald Goldman. Nicole and Ron were found murdered outside of her home on June 12, 1994. Simpson, who Nicole had divorced in 1992, was found not guilty in the criminal trial. However, Simpson was found liable for both deaths in a civil suit and ordered to pay the families of the victims $33.5 million. The white Bronco from the chase is also on display at the museum.

The museum is always adding to its collection and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About I Remember Nicole

The driving force behind I Remember Nicole are filmmakers/songwriters Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges, with a mission of creating art for activism. Nashville songwriters Pat and Pete Luboff joined Sotile and Godges in co-writing. I Remember Nicole is a 501(c)3 non-profit allowing for tax deductible donations. www.IRememberNicole.com

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 Sources:

NCADV. Statistics. https://ncadv.org/statistics

Editor’s Note: Photography is available upon request.

New Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show Looking Ship Shape in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (April 18, 2019)—Ships fit for holding plenty of pirates’ loot have begun arriving in Pigeon Forge as Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show continues to take shape.

After eight weeks of construction by the creative team, everything is looking ship-shape and making its way to East Tennessee aboard 10 semi-trucks. The first truck pulled into “dock” at the entertainment venue on April 2, and parts of the two 28-feet-tall pirate vessels have begun to be assembled as they arrive. The process will continue through most of April. After the enormous ships were designed, they had to be taken apart for shipping, then be reassembled inside the Pirates Voyage facility.

After assembly, each ship will be painted for its role during the dinner show as “home” for the teams of Crimson and Sapphire pirates. The large center platform in the middle of the lagoon is the final large piece of the floating pirate set, where much of the swashbuckling action will take place.

The lagoon from which these two ships will “set sail” also is in the midst of being constructed. The 15-foot-deep lagoon soon has begun to be filled with 300,000 gallons of water. Teams also are setting up the extensive rigging for the multitude of stunts performed throughout the show that will have audience members believing in magical mermaids and amazed by pirate feats. Another 10 trucks are beginning to deliver scenery pieces for the theater’s interior that will play an integral part in the adventurous ambiance of the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show.

“Our pirate set really is taking shape, and we can begin to see these pirate ships become ready for a family adventure with a dinner and show that will become a favorite for visitors to East Tennessee,” said Corporate Director of Marketing Steve Cruz. “After the set is finalized, we’ll welcome our cast of colorful pirates to begin their practices aboard ship in our lagoon. After extensive training in Myrtle Beach, they are excited to begin practicing the show and all the exciting stunts in this arena where guests will begin to see their performances late next month (in May.)”

Set to be complete in May, the construction phase is a $9 million project, in addition to the initial investment in the property for a total of $28 million. Reservations are now being taken for all 2019 shows; ticket information is available at piratesvoyage.com or by calling 865-505-AHOY (2469).

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About World Choice Investments: Founded in 1988, World Choice Investments, LLC, doing business as Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud, Smoky Mountain Opry, The Comedy Barn Theater, and Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Café, operates dinner show venues, theaters, and restaurants for family fun and adventure in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Branson, Missouri; and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Our dinner shows feature special effects, musical productions, live animals and a four-course family feast.

Media Contacts: Ellen Liston: (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or ellenl@wciinvest.com

Leah Hicks: (865) 774-8139, (865) 898-6925 or leahh@wciinvest.com

 

Dolly Parton, Dollywood Sponsor Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Team during Saturday’s Alsco 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 3, 2019)— It’s no secret when Dolly Parton puts her name on something, success follows. NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Tyler Reddick hopes the same holds true during Saturday’s Alsco 300 (TV coverage on FS1) at Bristol Motor Speedway.

For the event, the hood of Reddick’s No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro will be adorned with Parton’s likeness and her record company, Dolly Records, while the rest of the car prominently features the logos from each of Parton’s Pigeon Forge-area attractions. He hopes the addition of the entertainment icon to his car serves as catalyst to put him in Victory Lane for the first time in 2019.

“It’s an honor to represent Dolly Parton and her variety of businesses on our No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said the California native. “Dolly is an icon and has had a lot of success in her career, which is something I admire while trying to build my own success in NASCAR. Hopefully, we can take Dolly and the No. 2 Camaro to Victory Lane this weekend in her home state of Tennessee. I think that would be really special for everyone who is a fan of hers.”

Reddick is the 2018 Xfinity Series champion and enters the event in Thunder Valley with RCR as the current series leader. He is fresh off a second place finish in last weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway.

The car, which appropriately is trimmed in pink, includes the Dollywood theme park logo on the rear quarter panels, with the DollyParton.com website across the rear roof. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library receive placement on the car’s rear fascia, and the logos of Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction, Dollywood’s Splash Country and the soon-to-open Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show each are included on the car’s deck lid. Saturday’s race marks the first time Parton and many of her businesses have been featured as a primary sponsor on a race car.

Dollywood theme park currently is celebrating its biggest season ever with the largest addition in the park’s storied history, Wildwood Grove, opening on Friday, May 10. The area features 11 thrilling new experiences for guests to enjoy together in the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Pigeon Forge Pirates Voyage is slated to open this summer; a sister Pirates Voyage is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

For more information about Dolly Parton, please visit www.dollyparton.com. To learn more about Dollywood’s 2019 season and the addition of Wildwood Grove, please visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.com

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