This is a blog I’ve been writing in my head for a couple months now: the blog announcing it is finally time to re-open Dollywood after an extended closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country open June 15 and 16 for Season Passholders and for the general public beginning June 17.
All operations will adhere to the Tennessee Pledge and state operational restrictions. It’s important to do our part in protecting our guests and our hosts—and to re-open well.
**Please remember this is temporary. This is part of a phased re-opening. I encourage you to come see the operational updates for yourself before you make a decision about the experience.**
Because social distancing guidelines will limit capacity of the parks on a daily basis, we set up a new reservation system. You can use your Season Pass number or purchase a ticket to reserve your spot at www.Dollywood.com/reservations. You also can do this on the Dollywood mobile app.
A couple notes:
-To give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy Dollywood, there are some limitations on how many days you can reserve.
-If your plans change, please use the confirmation email you receive after you book to cancel your reservation. This will give others the opportunity to visit.
-Let’s celebrate the positives—your visit is guaranteed lots of breathing room! There won’t be long lines or huge crowds. Hurray!
Let me encourage you—don’t let this temporary issue be the reason you don’t come all season.
Requiring masks is the theme park industry standard and it’s what the CDC recommends we do. We’re excited to open our park and we invite you to join us. If you want to wait until masks are no longer required, we understand. Season Passes (Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Super Passes) are now valid through June 15, 2021.
To put your mind at ease, I want to remind you who we are. We’re here to host your family for a fun day at Dollywood. We understand this is new and isn’t always easy. We know wearing masks is harder on some people. We know there is confusion. We’ll figure it out together and give each other grace as we do it.
We will also have relaxation zones throughout the park where you will be able to social distance and remove your mask.
To ensure we’re able to facilitate social distancing as best as we can, our indoor theaters and indoor play areas will be temporarily closed during this phase. There will be entertainment in our outdoor theaters and you’ll still see some of your favorite characters throughout your day.
You’ll notice some dining changes to accommodate the CDC’s guidelines. Our buffets and self-service locations have transitioned into family-style dining.
And you’ll be sure to see all the new signage that will help you keep six feet of distance between you and your fellow parkgoers—especially in line queues. Again, let’s give a shout for elbow room!
One of the symptoms of Covid-19 is a fever. We will screen our guests through temperature checks. Here’s what I can tell you:
These checkpoints will take place in the parking lot before you get on the tram. If you choose to walk rather than board a tram, there will be another screening before you get to the front gate. For Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa guests, you will be screened at the resort before you get on the trolley.
It’s a touchless experience. As a Dollywood host, I now have my temperature checked each morning as I come into work and it takes about two seconds—no exaggeration. That’s a lot better than the forehead thermometer I have at home!
If you register a 100.4 F or greater, we will give you (and everyone who rode in the same vehicle with you) a raincheck and ask you to return another day. If you are concerned about the heat affecting your temperature, let me tell you this—these checks will be taken under a tent with fans. If you’re too warm, then you’ll have the opportunity to sit next to a fan to cool down before being re-screened.
The FAQ on our website answers the most-commonly-asked questions: https://www.dollywood.com/PlaySafe/FAQ.
Our sales and service team is here to help if you have questions beyond what’s in the FAQ. As more of our Dollywood hosts return to work, more will be available to answer your questions. We are fully staffed—up to the social distancing guidelines limit! Even so, this is a lot of new information and a lot of people have questions, so the phone lines have been stacked. When the end of the day comes for the phone line hours (Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.), the men and women will stop taking incoming calls, but will continue to return calls in our queue for a few more hours. Please be patient. We want to talk with you and set you up for the best possible Dollywood experience.
Finally, I’d like to say this again—we are closely monitoring state and CDC guidelines, and we will adjust as we can.
We look forward to hosting you!