I am pleased to tell you that Dollywood is just about ready to open for the 2019 season! We have more than 75% of our off-season projects checked off the list—and that’s great news because we open in two weeks! March 16 is the official first day of the season, but Season Passholders will be able to get in for a preview on March 15.
I needed to stretch my legs, so I took a quick trip around the park the other day. It’s so exciting to see it all coming together! Festival of Nations décor is already out. I love the flags that hang along Showstreet. It’s so festive.
I quickly popped into the Sweet Shoppe because I’ve heard we’re going to have a newly-themed area on the Taffy Kitchen side of the building. Look for Southern Pantry (a specialty foods and tasting kitchen!) this season. The Sweet Shoppe and Candy Kitchen will remain the same.
Jumping over to Country Fair, this project holds great interest in my house: Lucky Ducky received a re-fresh over the past few weeks. I caught some workers as they were about to put the ducks back on the “pond,” so to speak. My boys adore the Fun Yard area of Country Fair, so as a mom, it’s nice to know ALL attractions receive love on a routine basis.
Walk up the hill to The Village and I noticed work on the train tracks. This is also of strong importance in my house (haha). Engineers say they use the off-season as an opportunity to work on the track every year. This off-season, they focused on the crossing in The Village and I saw another area near Thunderhead.
I learned that our crews clean out the ponds by draining and then hand-scooping until the dirt and muck is gone. Check out how nice it looks by the water clock near Back Porch Theater!
And just feet from there, crews were still working on the Grist Mill pond as I walked by. I want you to notice the work they’re doing as well as the new wood on the water wheel. There’s even more work happening on the mill inside the building.
Speaking of new wood, the fencing along the creek that runs through Craftsman’s Valley is new in several areas. You may not notice after it’s painted!
During a December storm, our Wings of America Theater suffered some damage. Come opening, it will be as good as new!
Continuing the loop around into Timber Canyon, I paused to watch as crews were working on the entry portal into Wildwood Grove. Guests will be able to experience our new land beginning in May! The entrance will be across from Mystery Mine. Though this won’t be ready for you to enjoy come March 16, it’s still worth the update.
And, finally, I noticed a lot more of that new lumber (if you recall from my last off-season progress post, we replace about five miles of wood annually!) on Thunderhead. It’s a wood coaster, so it makes sense that it takes a lot of maintenance to keep it the world-class ride that it is.
Of course, there’s so much more than what’s included in this post. What I’m sharing is the obvious work that’s happening now. I’ll go ahead and say it—2019 is season is going to be our best season yet! We can’t wait for you to join us throughout the year.