Archive for the ‘Business News’ Category

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.

-Dollywood2019-

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.

-Dollywood2019-

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

#

 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).

-piratesvoyagepigeonforge2019-

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

-Dollywood2019-

Pirates Voyage Taking Shape in Pigeon Forge as Construction Progresses

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 22, 2019) — Dolly Parton is making good on staking her claim in Pigeon Forge with the construction of the Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, her newest attraction in the Smokies, and the treasure – buried and otherwise – already has begun to arrive and take shape at the venue.

Construction on the Pirates Voyage building, located on the Parkway adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge, began the first week in January.  The first–and biggest–task was to “build” the lagoon, the centerpiece of the set that will house the two pirate ships where the action of the entire show takes place. The digging of that foundation required removing more than 281 loads of dirt via dump truck for more than a month (4,500 cubic yards or 7,500 tons of dirt). This part of the project was completed on Feb. 22. The 15-foot lagoon soon will hold 300,000 gallons of water.  The installation and finishing of 600 cubic yards of concrete and 50,000 pounds of steel in the 30,000 square foot arena began the week of Feb. 25.

An extensive nationwide talent search began as soon as this entertainment project was announced last fall, and the cast of 20 has already begun show rehearsals and intense training for the acrobatic and diving skills required of pirates and mermaids alike in this show.

One of the most anticipated phases of construction will happen in late March when the exterior starts to take shape and the large Pirates Voyage sign is placed outside the building.

“Among our ‘pirates crew’ here for our new Dinner & Show, we like to say that we are going ‘overboard’ with the details as we prepare everything – from the show elements to the new four-course menu to the exterior,” said Corporate Director of Marketing Steve Cruz. “This is going to be a show that guests to our Smoky Mountain area are not going to want to miss. People have been asking for details, so we thought now would be a good time to share some of those.”

Set to be completed 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).

-piratesvoyagepigeonforge2019-

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

My People Fund Provides $200,000 to Sevier County Volunteer Fire Departments

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 19, 2019)- The Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund continues to provide for the local community with Dolly Parton most recently presenting $200,000 to the fire chiefs of the eight volunteer fire departments located in Sevier County.

The money, which Parton donated on Saturday, will be used to support the volunteer fire departments in multiple ways. Each department receives $20,000 of the money for needed resources and equipment. The final $40,000 will go toward the construction of a new classroom at the countywide training center.

After the pivotal role the departments played in fighting the 2016 wildfires, Parton said the donation only made sense at this time.

“It’s only fitting that the last of the My People Fund will go to those who were the first to respond to the fires,” Parton said on Saturday.

Tim Baker, Chief of Waldens Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Sevier County Fire Chiefs Association President, said the money comes at a crucial time for both his department and the training center. The new classroom at the training center will be used by all county fire departments and local law enforcement.

“We are so thankful for this donation to all of the fire departments and for our training center,” Baker said. “The Waldens Creek VFD will use part of the money to purchase gear and part of the money to replace the roof on the station.

“We needed about $40,000 to meet our goal for the classroom and now we have it,” he continued. “This is fantastic.”

The Dollywood Foundation established the My People Fund just 48 hours after the 2016 wildfires. The Fund provided $1000 each month for five months to Sevier County families whose primary residences were destroyed in the fires. During the sixth month, a $5000 check was provided to each family.

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Festival of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 15, 2019)-Dollywood’s thrilling 2019 season begins with one of the park’s greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which runs now-April 14, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Foods and special cooking demonstrations, including opportunities to see world-renowned Chef Pepin whip up his favorite dishes.

Guests can experience the spirit of the Smokies at Dollywood while also taking a trip around the globe thanks to authentic glimpses into a number of fascinating cultures. It’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate spring break!

Guests can start their globetrotting adventure by enjoying the great new headline shows visiting this season. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. Considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba, the group has been together for more than 25 years and has entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience, Drumstruck leaves families laughing and creating memories to remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they will find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the performance. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.

Guests also can let their taste buds travel the world thanks to the new Passport to Food. This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries, including grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth.

Chef Pepin, a well-known celebrity chef from Cuba, hosts several cooking demonstrations during the opening weekend of the festival, while additional chefs share their secrets each subsequent weekend during Festival of Nations. Cooking demonstrations currently are scheduled to take place each Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. in Dollywood’s Market Square area.

Dollywood’s 2019 Festival of Nations lineup also includes the following shows and acts:

Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away.  Location: The Valley Theater (Performing March 20-April 14)

Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo

De Temps Antan- Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. This talented trio combines contemporary music, uncontrolled laughter, deep-routed couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts for memorable songs that speak to the familiar rhythms of yesteryear. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24)

Les Grands Hurleurs- Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Paying respect to their traditional roots while creating original music, this trio flirts with classical, Manouche, electronica and folk music for shows that bring audiences alive. Prepare to experience a musical journey with groovy, energetic and swing styles. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)

GoGaucho Duo- GoGaucho Duo is an exciting, fast-paced show which blends the traditional folk dancing of Argentina with the thrill of modern showmanship. This duo wows audiences with unique and entertaining dances, music and the mesmerizing skills of champion boleadoras dancers. Location: The Valley Theater (Performing March 16-18)

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations begins what is to become the park’s biggest season ever. The largest expansion in the park’s history, Wildwood Grove, opens this spring to provide families with thrilling new experiences and attractions for guests to explore together. Summer kicks off with Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 24- June 2), while the park’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features later hours and the first chance to experience the wonder of Wildwood Grove at night. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2019 season concludes with the 11-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 9-Jan. 4, 2020.

If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and a vast amount of entertainment and festivals (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2019.

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

-Dollywood2019-

Dollywood Begins Season-long Celebration of Biggest Year in Park History

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (March 15, 2019)—Dollywood’s 34th season—and undoubtedly the park’s biggest ever—opened today with a special preview day for season passholders and a surprise visit from Dolly Parton. In a year that also includes the opening of the largest addition in Dollywood history later this season—the $37 million Wildwood Grove—the award-winning park’s range of unique festival offerings, spectacular shows and memorable experiences make this the best year yet to experience the spirit of the Smokies.

Veteran Dollywood guests know each season offers a completely new atmosphere for families to enjoy. With Wildwood Grove’s thrilling new attractions, award-winning entertainment and fabulous festivals, 2019 is the perfect year to take advantage of a Dollywood season pass or multi-day ticket.

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations (now-April 14) allows guests to travel the world without leaving the Smokies. Cultures from around the globe come together in this festive event which offers the excitement of traditional music, dance, food and art from a wide array of countries. A number of internationally-recognized performing groups come to Dollywood for the first time in 2019. Headliners Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Drum Struck bring unique, high-energy shows to Dollywood’s stages, while a number of returning favorites allow guests to reconnect with old friends. Festival of Nations is a fun, educational and uplifting experience for families to enjoy. The Passport to Food features authentic international cuisine, while daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide an exceptional escape to another world.

Bluegrass fans know Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass presented by BUSH’S® (May 24-June 2) provides them with 10 days of toe tappin’ music served up alongside some of the tastiest pulled pork, barbequed chicken and traditional sides anywhere! This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a heaping helping of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of talented performers. Grammy and International Bluegrass Music Association winner Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, IBMA winners Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Dailey & Vincent are just a few of the headliners who make this annual tradition music to the ears! With the tantalizing treats from Dollywood’s award-winning chefs and the sweet sounds of bluegrass, Dollywood guests have the perfect recipe to kick off the summer!

Dollywood’s Summer Celebration (June 22-Aug. 4) is just that—a time to celebrate making memories with family at a place everyone enjoys! This summertime event gives families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class roller coasters, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! With the opening of Wildwood Grove, families can bask in a colorful kaleidoscope of summer fun as the area glows to life when the sun sets. Each evening ends with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza that lights up the night sky. High-energy music and shows like Dreamland Drive-In make dancing in the aisles acceptable and bring out the kid in everyone. Dollywood’s Summer Celebration is a great reminder that some of the best family memories are made after the sun goes down.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) provides fabulous fall family fun with the new Smoky Mountain tradition, Great Pumpkin LumiNights. 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. Several hundred performances by award-winning Southern gospel artists make the Harvest Festival’s Southern Gospel Jubilee the genre’s largest event in America. Grammy nominees The Isaacs and Ernie Haase and Signature Sound already are set to perform. 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!

Named the Best Christmas Event at any theme park worldwide for more than a decade, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 9- Jan. 4, 2020) provides the perfect holiday atmosphere to put families in to the Christmas spirit. Wander through the park’s more than five million holiday lights, enjoy the festive holiday performances and warm Christmas atmosphere, or taste the holiday-themed food, and it is easy to understand why it has become a family tradition for so many. From the cheer and joy of Dollywood’s Parade of Many Colors to traditional holiday shows like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas helps families create memories to share for a lifetime. Glacier Ridge returns to transport guests to the arctic with the Northern Lights, the Arctic Passage and a 50-ft. tall animated tree. Most of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in this merry environment. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas.

For more information about multi-day ticket options or 2019 Dollywood season passes, visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-Dollywood.

-Dollywood2019-

Festival of Nations Kicks Off Dollywood’s Biggest Season Ever!

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Monday, March 11, 2019)- Dollywood’s thrilling 2019 season begins with one of the park’s greatest Festival of Nations lineups ever! The event, which runs March 16-April 14, features exhilarating new headline shows, the return of the Passport to Foods and special cooking demonstrations, including opportunities to see world-renowned Chef Pepin whip up his favorite dishes. Season passholders can visit a special preview day event on March 15.

Guests can experience the spirit of the Smokies at Dollywood while also taking a trip around the globe thanks to authentic glimpses into a number of fascinating cultures. It’s a vibrant and exciting way to celebrate spring break!

Guests can start their globetrotting adventure by enjoying the great new headline shows visiting this season. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is a fusion dance and music company that mixes Hispanic and Caribbean cultures into each performance. Considered to include some of the best performers from Cuba, the group has been together for more than 25 years and has entertained on five continents. Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba can be found in DP’s Celebrity Theater.

Billed as the first interactive drum-theater experience, Drumstruck leaves families laughing and creating memories to remember for years to come. As guests enter Showstreet Palace Theater, they will find drums placed in each seat throughout the venue. Members of the audience use these drums to become part of the show, playing along with the performance on stage. This high-energy production weaves South African music and culture with West African rhythms.

Guests also can let their taste buds travel the world thanks to the new Passport to Food. This expanded international menu lets guests enjoy savory and sweet delights from a number of countries, including grilled beef skewers from Trinidad, poutine and fried cheese curds from Canada, and beef bulgogi nachos over wonton chips from South Korea. A number of refreshing drinks also are available and serve as the perfect complement to the delectable dishes available as part of the passport. A wide range of international pastries and desserts tempt those with a sweet tooth.

Chef Pepin, a well-known celebrity chef from Cuba, hosts several cooking demonstrations during the opening weekend of the festival, while additional chefs share their secrets each subsequent weekend during Festival of Nations. Cooking demonstrations currently are scheduled to take place each Saturday and Sunday at noon and 2 p.m. in Dollywood’s Market Square area.

Dollywood’s 2019 Festival of Nations lineup also includes the following shows and acts:

Invaders Steel Orchestra- One of the world’s oldest and most respected steel drum bands, Invaders Steel Orchestra celebrates more than 75 years of creating festive music for audiences around the world. This guest-favorite group returns to Dollywood to bring the tropical sounds of the Caribbean to the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. While the songs they play are familiar, the unique sounds of Invaders Steel Orchestra’s drums will transport guests to a sandy beach far away.  Location: The Valley Theater

Atahualpa – Hailing from Ecuador, Atahualpa combines native Incan instruments with contemporary backups to celebrate the history and culture of the Andes Mountains. Atahualpa’s mix of songs includes contemporary music, South American dance rhythms, and the traditional music of the Andes. Through their sharing of music, culture and heritage, Atahualpa hopes to promote brotherhood, friendship and peace to all the people of the world. Location: Showstreet Gazebo

De Temps Antan- Traveling from Quebec, Canada, De Temps Antan explores and performs the time-honored melodies from Quebec’s musical past. This talented trio combines contemporary music, uncontrolled laughter, deep-routed couplets and sudden, impromptu shifts for memorable songs that speak to the familiar rhythms of yesteryear. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 16- 24).

Les Grands Hurleurs- Les Grands Hurleurs of Quebec, Canada has pushed boundaries and incorporate a variety of musical influences for their own special sound. Paying respect to their traditional roots while creating original music, this trio flirts with classical, Manouche, electronica and folk music for shows that bring audiences alive. Prepare to experience a musical journey with groovy, energetic and swing styles. Location: Back Porch Theater (Performing March 27- April 14)

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations begins what is to become the park’s biggest season ever. The largest expansion in the park’s history, Wildwood Grove, opens this spring to provide families with thrilling new experiences and attractions for guests to explore together. Summer kicks off with Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 24- June 2), while the park’s Summer Celebration (June 22- Aug. 4) features later hours and the first chance to experience the wonder of Wildwood Grove at night. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2) features Southern gospel’s greatest performers alongside the guest-favorite Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Dollywood’s 2019 season concludes with the eleven-time winner for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, Nov. 9-Jan. 4, 2020.

If there has ever been a year to take advantage of the value of a Dollywood season pass, this is it. With the opening of Wildwood Grove and a vast amount of entertainment and festivals (all included with park admission) available throughout the season, guests certainly will want to make several return visits in 2019.

Guests can learn more about Dollywood’s biggest season ever by visiting www.dollywood.com or calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

-Dollywood2019-