Dollywood opens Saturday—Friday for Season Passholders! —so, this will be the last off-season-work update. As I walked around the park to snap some pictures for you to see the progress, I was reminded how synonymous Dollywood’s opening is with spring. I mean, we kind of kickstart the calendar: Dollywood opens March 13, and then it’s time to spring forward March 14, with the first day of spring on March 20. From the blue skies, smell of mulch and the feeling of the warm sun on my skin, let me share with you the spring signs that also mean Dollywood is about to drop the rope on a new season.
Spring is a season characterized by the budding of trees and flowers. Well, then, there’s plenty of evidence of spring at Dollywood!
And, there’s additional prep for the flowers to come (a la Flower & Food Festival). You may notice infrastructure for Umbrella Sky and spots where Mosiaculture features will live, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks before this festival begins (April 23)!
Fresh and New
As winter melts away, it reveals what’s fresh and new. Likewise, as the calendar turns to the new Dollywood season, guests will find updates throughout the park that affirm the company’s commitment to always surprise and delight its visitors. From replacing wooden fencing and boards on buildings to new paint, there’s a lot of upkeep to appreciate.
Not only do existing structures receive refreshing, there’s also new birth like this seating area next to Hickory House.
Don’t forget all the new shows our Entertainment Team has put together this off-season. I heard The Tones rehearsing, and I couldn’t resist popping in for a minute to enjoy their beautifully-blended harmony.
New life shouldn’t outshine regeneration. Spring also is about new opportunities for existing attractions—like the beloved Robert F. Thomas Chapel. Isn’t it lovely?
Our Blacksmith & Foundry isn’t new, but it’s getting a new start in a different location. The shop will be open when the park opens, but new experiences like Make Your Own Knife are expected to be available in about a month.
And check out the new retail shop for all the blacksmith goods!
Coaster enthusiasts are stoked about all the track work our maintenance crews have undertaken this year. I stopped to check it all out. Blazing Fury is a fan favorite. We prioritize work on this dark ride every year so we can keep it for many years to come.
When I stopped by Thunderhead to see if I could spot the new wood, the team was running test cycles with water dummies.
Mystery Mine is on track (yes, that was a joke) to open a week or two after the park opens. We have been working with the ride manufacturer to enhance the guest experience. Our crews are extending the track after the first outside drop and reprofiling some of the turns and transitions to provide a smoother ride.
And finally, we’re hoping lightning does strike twice! Unsatisfied with ride down time, we went back to the drawing board with Lightning Rod’s manufacturer, and our hybrid coaster is nearly new. The experience (speed and tricks) is the same, but the consistency should be improved this season.
Come see us this spring!