Posts Tagged ‘Pigeon Forge’

Park Hosts National Bat Week Program for Junior Rangers

Release Date: October 18, 2019

Contact: Florie Takaki, Florie_Takaki@nps.gov, 828-497-1905

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Junior Ranger in honor of National Bat Week on Saturday, October 19, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the Oconaluftee Administration Building. Junior Ranger programs are designed for youth between the ages of 5 and 12, but all are welcome! This program is free and open to the public.

The park is home to 13 species of bats including the recently discovered gray bat, the federally endangered Indiana bat, and the federally threatened northern long-eared bat which was added to the list in February 2017 due to declines caused by White Nose Syndrome. Bats play a significant role in maintaining ecological balance as the primary predators of night-flying insects. Biologists estimate that an individual bat can eat between 3,000 to 6,000 insects each night including moths, beetles, and mosquitoes.

Youth between 8 and 12 years of age may sign up ahead of the program and participate in an additional activity, from 10:30 a.m. until noon, were they will have the opportunity to build their own bat box to take home. Supplies will be provided. The program is limited to 20 participants and spaces will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Directions for building a box at home will be provided.

National Bat Week runs from October 24 and October 31. For more information about bats please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/dff10-wns.htm.

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The Magic of the Holidays Comes Alive at “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry”

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Oct. 18, 2019) – Music and the magic of Christmas combine at the Smoky Mountain Opry this holiday season for a show that will provide hours of entertainment and create memories sure to last a lifetime. Debuting on November 1, Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry combines every special element of the holiday season that makes it the most wonderful time of the year.

Visitors to Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry experience holiday music from talented singers, dazzling dancing, seemingly magical special effects on lavish sets, comedy, and so much more through the talents of an incredible cast and band. The child in everyone will be caught up in wonder when life-size toys and sugarplum fairies come to life, and angels and aerialists soar high in the sky. Santa Claus brings his elves and enchanted reindeer together to create a world for the young and young at heart.  Laughter and fun result from the holiday antics of Slim Chance, and the Christmas comedy includes reindeer games and juggling that “lights up” the stage and everyone’s heart. This multi-million dollar production features singers and dancers sharing music from traditional Christmas hymns to holiday favorites set in a winter wonderland complete with falling snow throughout the theater! A celebration of the true meaning of the season – the birth of Christ – is told through inspiring music and a live nativity.

“The holidays are everyone’s favorite time of the year,” said Michael Headla, Smoky Mountain Opry General Manager, “and we combine the traditions and special experiences that are only found at Christmastime with the excitement of high-energy singing and dancing, lighting and special visual effects, lavish costumes and a talented cast of musicians. We can’t wait for our visitors to the Opry to experience this special show and create memories they will cherish as favorite memories for years to come.”

With the variety of yuletide stories and songs, it is no surprise why Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry will create an experience that will keep the holidays alive in every heart all year long. Show times and reservations are available by calling 865-428-7469 or visiting www.smokymtnopry.com.

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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

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

Inaugural Holiday Show Premieres Nov. 1 at Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (Oct. 16, 2019) – After a highly successful opening season, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. prepares to sail into the holidays with a new Christmas show that offers a spectacular swashbuckling spin on “A Christmas Carol” with Captain Scrooge and his cavalier crew.

The premiere of this holiday show promises to be a Christmas adventure unlike anything else experienced in the Smokies this yuletide season. Opening on Friday, Nov. 1 and continuing through January 4, 2020, Pirates Voyage combines a classic Christmas tale with a bountiful feast that will join together a pirate’s “Yo Ho” with the season’s “Ho Ho Ho.”

“We invite swashbucklers of all ages to start a new Christmas tradition for the holidays like no one else can offer,” said Jeff Thomas, General Manager of Pirates Voyage. “Where else can families come together and create memories that will last long after the holidays are gone—with pirates, acrobatics, a special delicious meal, a classic holiday story with its own special pirate twist and angels helping bring about the true meaning of Christmas in our Nativity. As we like to say, it’s a Holly Jolly Roger Christmas event!”

During Christmas at Pirates Voyage, high tide meets the yuletide in this new show that offers a variety of holiday fun and entertainment that will make for lasting holiday memories for everyone who attends. The Mystical Christmas Spirit takes the captain through time and space to find the true meaning of Christmas, including a “dream” where giant toys come to life and perform amazing acrobatics high above the indoor lagoon. Other adventures during this holiday experience at Pirates Voyage include a live Nativity, an angel with a special message and a comical Christmas castaway and her sea lion companion. Holiday guests also will be thrilled by an epic battle between the crimson and emerald pirates as they compete for the coveted Christmas treasure on land, on deck, in water and high above two pirate ships.

The adventure actually begins in the Pirates Village, where younger swashbucklers as well as parents and grandparents can “Join the Christmas Crew” and be transformed into mermaids and pirates before the main show begins. The four-course holiday feast straight from Captain Blackbeard’s yuletide galley makes Pirates Voyage the most unique place to eat in the Smokies. The meal begins with Voyager creamy vegetable soup and a homemade buccaneer biscuit. The feast fit for a pirate continues with cracklin’ pan-fried chicken, sugar cured ham, matey’s mac ‘n’ cheese, and Jolly Roger sweet potato souffle. Walk the plank peach turnover and unlimited Coca-Cola® products, tea or coffee complete the meal. Vegetarian and gluten-free meals are available by request.

Show times and reservations are available by calling (865) 505-2469 or by visiting www.piratesvoyage.com.

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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

WonderWorks Debuts Wonder of Magic Halloween Spooktacular Show

CONTACT:     Cher Murphy

cher@chermurphypr.com

(571) 263-2128

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee – (October 1, 2019) – WonderWorks is known for entertaining the whole family all year long, but they are setting out to give people a spooky treat this fall. Their ongoing family friendly magic show will be transformed for the season, becoming the “Wonders of Magic Halloween Spooktacular.” The show will run from September 30, 2019 through November 2, 2019, with tickets being $18.99, plus tax, for all ages. The show is unique to the Pigeon Forge area, making it a special experience for all.

 “We are really excited that Terry and the cast will be presenting a Halloween themed show for the first time. The show will be a little spooky but, as always, completely family friendly and tons of fun,” explains Ed Shaffer, general manager for WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. “With the addition of the Halloween show to our lineup, fans of the Wonders of Magic will now have a chance to see three different shows throughout the year!”

 The Wonders of Magic Show features Terry Evanswood, who has been awarded for putting on the Best Magic Shows in Pigeon Forge, and is the longest running headline performer in town. His shows are consistently sold out, and leave audiences in awe at the amazing magic that he is able to perform. The Halloween Spooktacular will offer guests a spooky good time, as it includes special costumes and props that have not been used in other shows. There will also be an array of spooky elements, including fog, haunting sounds, flashing lights, and plenty of eye-bending fun.

 Being the only show of its kind in the area, the show times are expected to sell out quickly. Those looking for a family friendly way to get into the Halloween spirit will want to get their seats reserved early. Crowds can expect to be dazzled, amazed, and left in wonder at how Terry is able to pull off the spooky magic. This show is family friendly, with all ages welcome.

 “This is going to be the event you don’t want to miss this year,” added Shaffer. “You will laugh, you will get a little spooked, and you will leave having created a great family memory.”

 The Wonders of Magic Halloween Spooktacular show times will be 5:30 pm on September 30, 2019, 5:30 pm on Monday’s and Wednesday’s through October 2019, 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm on Friday’s and Saturday’s in October 2019, and select other dates. To see the full schedule and reserve show tickets, visit the site: https://www.wonderworksonline.com/pigeon-forge/the-experience/the-wonders-of-magic/.

 WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. They offer 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, log onto their site: https://www.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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Park Volunteer Receives Regional Recognition

Release Date: September 25, 2019

Contact: Jamie Sanders, Jamie_Sanders@nps.gov, 865-436-1203

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is pleased to announce that dedicated Park Volunteer, Jim Goddard, has won the National Park Service Southeast Regional Hartzog Award for Enduring Service. Mr. Goddard will be presented the Award in appreciation of his significant skills, talent, and time which he has shared with the park for well over two decades.

“We are so very pleased to announce Mr. Goddard as this year’s recipient of the prestigious regional Hartzog Award for Enduring Service,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash.  “Jim has provided a tremendous service to the visitors of the Smokies.  He has been instrumental in ensuring that visitors are able to safely navigate the park trail system and in the preservation of the park’s cultural history. His legacy will live on for generations to come and it is an honor to recognize him for his contributions.”

Jim has served continuously as a Volunteer-In-Park for more than 23 years.  His creation of iconic wooden signage allows hikers of all skill levels to safely explore the 850 miles of backcountry trails in the Smokies. He has created signs, performed trail maintenance, and helped restore and preserve fragile cultural resources. Jim’s craftsmanship has been applied to one-of-a-kind replicas of church benches, school desks, and tub mills. He creates custom shelving, educational tools, mile-marker posts, wayside exhibit carts, and display cases which can be enjoyed at park visitor centers and overlooks. Jim also personalizes wooden arrowheads to present to National Park Service employees as they transfer to other parks or leave the service for retirement.

In addition to Jim’s hands-on contributions, he offers services to the park community and to visitors in helping to plan, coordinate, and facilitate popular special events. Due to his stewardship, Jim was selected to serve as one of the official Ambassadors for the 75th Anniversary of GRSM. He assumed that role again in 2016 as part of the National Park Service Centennial celebrations.

This year, the park is pleased to also recognize three additional Volunteers-In-Park for their outstanding service contributions. They are Campground Hosts Clyde and Deborah Whitaker and Herbarium Assistant Janie Bitner.

Each year, Volunteers-In-Park perform a variety of activities at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. These include: providing valuable visitor information, removing litter, eradicating invasive plant species, assisting with cultural demonstrations, participating in special events, providing practical support for visitors along roads and trails, assisting with data collection, maintaining backcountry campsites, helping biologists monitor wildlife populations and serving in the role of campground hosts. The park has well over 2,800 Volunteers who provide many hours of service to the national park every year. To learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park Volunteer-In-Park Program visit http://www.nps.gov/grsm/getinvolved/volunteer.htm.

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Dollywood’s Harvest Festival, Great Pumpkin Luminights Return for Fantastic Fall Family Fun

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Tuesday, September 24, 2019) — Family-friendly fall fun is back at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana, thanks to the return of Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Now in its third season, Great Pumpkin LumiNights expands again this year by growing the glow to Wildwood Grove.

An overwhelming guest-favorite since it was introduced in 2017, Great Pumpkin LumiNights recently was named the country’s Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. This year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights includes an expanded footprint into Wildwood Grove, new harvest-themed experiences, food and merchandise; as well as activities that are enjoyable for even the youngest guests.

Dollywood’s Harvest Festival runs Sept. 27- Nov. 2 (closed Tuesday, Oct. 22 & Tuesday, Oct. 29) with park operating hours each day from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., providing guests more time to enjoy harvest time in the Smokies. Popular pumpkin displays from past events return—like the pumpkin spider, pumpkin dance party and Dolly-inspired displays— while Wildwood Grove joins the fun for the first time with a harvest experience at The Wildwood Tree.

The Plaza at Wilderness Pass again serves as a centerpiece for the event with an area for character interaction, additional displays—and the focal point—a 40 ft. tall pumpkin tree featuring larger-than-life carved pumpkins. Families bask in the glow of thousands of intricately-carved pumpkins as they wander through displays in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon, Wilderness Pass, Wildwood Grove and upper Craftsman’s Valley areas. Beyond the impressive displays, guests can find a number of exciting activities to create thrilling memories together.

“I’m so glad to hear families are just lovin’ Great Pumpkin LumiNights,” Dolly Parton said. “When I was a kid, we’d love to get pumpkins, scoop out all those guts from the inside and carve these beautiful masterpieces—at least us kids thought they were masterpieces! But, it makes me just feel good to know families are able to spend time together exploring during what really is the most beautiful time of year in the Smokies.”

While Great Pumpkin LumiNights lights up Dollywood each evening, the biggest names in Southern gospel music lift their voices each day as part of the Southern Gospel Jubilee. Guests can experience more than 600 individual Southern gospel performances on stages throughout the park during the run of the festival. It’s the largest Southern gospel event in America, fitting for the music icon who got her start singing in churches around the Smokies.

“God truly does turn the Smokies into His own personal coloring book during the fall,” Parton added. “And nothing fits so well with those colorful fall mountains than the uplifting Southern gospel songs that fill the air with powerful praise for Him. I’m proud we’re able to have some of the best Southern gospel singers here during the Harvest Festival.”

Headlining acts include The Martins (Sept. 27-28), The McKameys (Oct. 4-5), Ernie Haase and Signature Sound (Oct. 12-13), The Isaacs (Oct. 18-19), Karen Peck and New River (Oct. 20-21), Gold City (Oct. 27-28) and many more. A complete schedule of artists, show times and stage locations is available at Dollywood.com.

Dollywood celebrates Smoky Mountain crafts all year with the park’s well-known master craftsmen. During the Harvest Festival, however, more than two dozen visiting artisans from across the country provide in-depth demonstrations including woodworking, chainsaw carvings, fiddle-making and more. Guests can find inspirational jewelry, historic handmade games, pottery, hand-painted Christmas ornaments, and even Windsor chairs available for purchase.

Autumn in the Smokies also provides a bountiful harvest of crops that allows Dollywood’s culinary team an opportunity to showcase their skills with a menu full of fall favorites. Guests can find traditional items like cabbage rolls, pierogies, sausage sandwiches, skillet potatoes, apple cider and fried apple pies. A number of new tasty treats also are on the menu, including chicken Applewood pasta, Reuben wontons, candy corn cider and chocolate chip cookie pizza.

For more information about Dollywood’s Harvest Festival featuring Southern Gospel Jubilee and Great Pumpkin LumiNights, please visit dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD, or download the Dollywood App.

 

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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

Park Dedicates Dean Stone Bridge

Release Date: September 23, 2019

Contact: Jamie Sanders, Jamie_Sanders@nps.gov, 865-436-1203

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials unveiled a bronzed marker along the Foothills Parkway at the newly dedicated Dean Stone Bridge between Walland and Wears Valley.

“Dean Stone was one of the park’s most dedicated advocates and we are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to his tireless efforts in creating support for the completion of the Foothills Parkway,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash.

Authorized by Congress on February 22, 1944, the Foothills Parkway is one of seven congressionally mandated parkways. The newest section, completed in 2018, includes a 1.65-mile section connected by nine bridges. Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman John Duncan introduced legislation to name the longest of these bridges after Dean Stone in honor of his dedication, advocacy, and persistence in securing support for the completion of the Foothills Parkway. The legislation was passed as part of the Dingell Act (P.L. 116 9) in 2019.

 Stone, longtime editor for The Daily Times in Maryville, TN, was a staunch supporter of the park and served for over 30 years as a Board Member and Chairman of the Governor-appointed Tennessee Park Commission before passing away in 2016.

The completion of the roadway was made possible due to a decades-long partnership among the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), the Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (EFLHD) of the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Park Service (NPS) at a total cost of $178 million. Funding for the final paving was provided through a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VIII grant secured by the Tennessee Department of Transportation along with $15 million from the State of Tennessee and $7 million through the NPS Federal Lands Transportation Program.

The Foothills Parkway now consists of two finished sections at either end of the 72-mile corridor. The western section now extends 33 continuous miles from Chilhowee to Wears Valley, offering a new recreational experience for motorists and cyclists. The eastern section, completed in 1968, extends 6 miles from Cosby to Interstate 40 presenting breathtaking views of Mt. Cammerer.

For more information about exploring scenic drives in the park, please visit the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/autotouring.htm.

 

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Dollywood Earns Three Golden Ticket Awards

Most-honored park wins for best kids area, best guest experience, and best Christmas event

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Monday, September 9, 2019)—Dollywood certainly has earned a number of major accolades in recent years, and the Smoky Mountain theme park won three more on Saturday night during Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards ceremony held at Silverwood theme park in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dollywood earned finalist placement in seven total categories and won more awards than any other park.

Two categories Dollywood has dominated for a number of years—Best Shows and Friendliest Park—have been retired and replaced with new categories. Best Guest Experience combines the previous Friendliest Park award with the Cleanest Park award into one prestigious new category. On Saturday night, Dollywood became the inaugural winner for Best Guest Experience of any theme park in the world. The park’s expansive new Wildwood Grove also won Best Kids’ Area for the first time, while the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival earned its 12th consecutive win for Best Christmas Event. Dollywood is the only park in the world to ever win the Christmas award.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here since we opened Dollywood in 1986,” Dolly Parton said. “First, we’ve been able to provide so many jobs to the great people who live here in the Smokies. Second, I wanted the world to know how beautiful this area truly is. I’ve been able to travel the world and see so many great things, but in the end, the Smokies are where my heart sings. I wanted to give folks the world over a reason to come here and see it for themselves.

“We don’t do what we do to win awards,” she continued. “They are nice, but we do it because we want to provide families an escape to a beautiful place where they can forget about all the things going on in their daily lives and truly enjoy each other.”

According to Craig Ross, President of The Dollywood Company, the addition of Wildwood Grove and Dollywood’s strong heritage of family fun certainly led to the park’s impressive showing. Wildwood Grove’s immersive theme and design, mix of unique outdoor and indoor attractions, as well as the one-of-a-kind Wildwood Tree experience have all combined to create this extraordinary new area.

“Dolly wanted Wildwood Grove to truly reflect the experiences she had as a little girl growing up here in the Great Smoky Mountains,” Ross stated. “As we started to develop the area and she began telling stories—some we had heard and some we hadn’t—we knew kids were going to love exploring the wilderness of Wildwood Grove she had dreamed up. The attractions included in this tremendous land were selected because they reminded her of those same dreams and memories she had from her childhood. The Golden Ticket for Best Kids’ Area reinforces what guests have been telling us since it opened; Wildwood Grove is a place where families can laugh, play and make memories together.”

Pete Owens, Vice-President of Marketing and Public Relations, shared why Dollywood has long been known as one of the most enjoyable theme park experiences in the world.

“Winning the Golden Ticket for Best Guest Experience further solidifies what we’ve known for so long,” he began. “The Dollywood experience provides guests a genuinely friendly, clean and warm environment to create memories they will be able to share forever. From our welcoming hosts and picturesque natural surroundings to our unique attractions, entertainment and food, Dollywood offers an experience that is hard to find elsewhere.”

Dollywood also had Top Ten (finalist) positions in four additional categories:

·   Best Food, second place;

·   Best Park, second place;

·   Most Beautiful Park, third place;

·   Best Wooden Coaster for Lightning Rod, seventh place.

“It has been fascinating to observe the results over the past two decades. I have watched Dollywood ascend from a great regional theme park to a world-famous destination,” said Amusement Today’s Tim Baldwin, Golden Ticket Awards Communications Coordinator. “That continual climb has been the result of offering an outstanding product at all levels — food, shows, innovative rides and a fantastic atmosphere. Dollywood is just the complete package! It has been inspiring to watch the park trying to continue to better itself — and it is succeeding in a huge way. The fact that they are recognized in numerous categories is testimony to that.”

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the industry’s leading trade publication, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world in balanced geographical regions. Voters are asked to rate the “best” in a number of categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, kids’ area, food and more.

The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. The awards have become the subject of much discussion by park aficionados the world over and garnered mentions in such notable media outlets as USA Today and the Chicago Tribune, and by the late radio newsman Paul Harvey. The awards also were the topic of a one-hour Travel Channel documentary.

There are still a number of great opportunities for guests to enjoy what has arguably become the biggest season in Dollywood’s history. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana features the return of an even larger Great Pumpkin LumiNights, which includes new experiences in Wildwood Grove! Additionally, more than 600 Southern gospel concerts take place throughout the festival.

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana, now the 12-time winner for Best Christmas event, features the second year of Glacier Ridge, as well as the first year of Christmas in Wildwood Grove. Now boasting five million spectacular lights, Smoky Mountain Christmas puts guests in the holiday spirit with stunning lights displays, tantalizing food options, traditional shows and fun experiences like the Parade of Many Colors and Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends.

For more information about Dollywood, visit Dollywood.com, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or download the Dollywood App.

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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

Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights Wins USA Today 10Best Award

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Friday, September 6, 2019) — Dollywood’s Great Pumpkin LumiNights has won the 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event, thanks to the votes of park supporters from around the country.

Entering its third season this year, Great Pumpkin LumiNights—part of Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 27-Nov. 2)—has become a new Smoky Mountain tradition with family-friendly activities that are sure to please kids of every age. Dollywood stays open until 9 p.m. each evening (closed Oct. 22 & 29) allowing families more time to enjoy the glow of thousands of carved pumpkins throughout the park.

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards include nominees chosen by a panel of relevant experts. The public voting happens digitally on the 10Best.com website. After four weeks of voting, the results are revealed. Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights finished second to Dollywood, with Halloween Haunt at Kings Island third. The complete top-10 can be found on the 10Best.com website.

“We knew Great Pumpkin LumiNights was a hit during the first few evenings of the event in 2017,” said Pete Owens, Dollywood Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations. “We received a lot of great feedback from guests about how much they liked it, but also about what we could add and change to make it even better. Last year, we doubled the size of Great Pumpkin LumiNights by putting in a number of new displays, and this year the event grows even larger with the addition of Wildwood Grove, which includes the harvest story experience at the Wildwood Tree.

“Awards like these give us the opportunity to share with the world what our guests already know,” he continued. “The memories made and experiences shared at Dollywood really are unlike anything found elsewhere. We hope new guests will come see why this event has earned the title of best in the country!”

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.

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!

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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 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) 428-9602, (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

Park Hosts Mountain Life Festival

Release Date: September 4, 2019

 Contact: Florie Takaki, 828-497-1905, florie_takaki@nps.gov

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host the annual Mountain Life Festival near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center at the Mountain Farm Museum on Saturday, September 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience traditional fall harvest activities on the farm including hearth cooking, apple butter making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, and food preservation. All activities are free and open to the public.

This event preserves the legacy of Appalachian mountainways and is a tribute to the many families who lived on lands that later become the national park. The spirit of cooperation that existed among families and neighbors is reflected throughout the activities. The Mountain Life Festival coincides with our monthly music jam sessions held on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. every first and third Saturday of the month.

The Mountain Farm Museum is located adjacent to the park’s Oconaluftee Visitor Center on Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, two miles north of Cherokee, North Carolina. The free event is supported by Great Smoky Mountains Association. For more information call the visitor center at 828-497-1904.

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