Celebrate the Heart of Country, Americana, and Roots Music!

Drop Us A Line, Y'all

Y'all interested in advertising, partnering up, contributing stories, joining our team, or just got a question? Well, don't be shy, drop us a line!

Follow Us

Here Are Some Interesting Things To Know About The Renowned Park Dollywood

Things To Know About Dollywood

As far as theme parks go, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood is pretty close to perfect. 

While it’s an homage to the big-hearted country singer – highlighting her story and legacy – the theme park is for the whole family to enjoy. Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this sprawling 160-acre establishment has been delighting visitors for over three decades. It welcomes visitors of all ages through a wide variety of rides and other types of entertainment. 

RELATED: “Christmas at Dollywood:” Dolly Parton’s Christmas Movie is Officially a Thing

It’s no surprise it became one of the most popular attractions. Still, there might be a few things you may not know about it! Keep on reading below as we spill some of the most fascinating facts about Dollywood.

It Had Many Names Before Dollywood

When one day Dolly Parton decided to build a theme park, she didn’t do it from scratch. In fact, three other parks had already existed and had been around for decades in this location before it became Dollywood

The very first park was the Rebel Railroad, which was a small tourist attraction built by brothers from North Carolina in 1961. Its main attractions are the steam train, saloon, blacksmith shop, and similar others that are based around Smoky Mountains’ history.

It was rebranded nearly a decade later by the same man who owned the Cleveland Browns football organization and changed the name to Goldrush Junction, wherein log flume ride, kids’ rides, and more attractions inspired by the Wild West theme were added. In 1977, it became Silver Dollar City, where the park had significant growth. The new owners added several brand-new rides, shows, and shops that showcased the craftsmanship of the Smoky Mountain region.

Parton came into the story in the 1980s as she became part-owner of Silver Dollar City. In 1986, it was then that she reopened the park as Dollywood.

It’s The Home To The Fastest Wooden Roller Coaster In The World

In 2016, Dollywood announced what is said to be the world’s fastest wood coaster, called the Lightning Rod. Based on the theme of a tricked-out 1950s-era hot rod, the ride comes with 3,800 feet of track that could reach a speed of 73 mph.

In over three minutes of ride time, twenty-four riders will get to experience a 165-foot drop, a half-loop, wicked twists and turns, and more.

But The Queen Of Country Music Refuse To Ride The Rides

Ironically, Parton is not riding the rides at her own theme park. It turns out the country legend is terrified of roller coasters. And her reason for fearing them is a little more unique. She admitted to having motion sickness and jokingly said she has too much to lose — like her hair! 

It Is Also The Home To One Of The Largest Eagle Sanctuaries In The Country

Dollywood is not only a great place for thrill-seekers and music enthusiasts but also the best one for animal lovers. The park holds the country’s biggest sanctuary for non-releasable bald eagles, which spans up to 30,000-square-foot. You can walk along the edges of the aviary and enjoy the sight of its occupants. There’s also a show by the live birds and their handlers.

It Hosts Various Festivals

The renowned park hosts multiple festivals throughout the year. 

It begins with the Festival of Nations at the start of the year, where performers and artists from different countries come together to give the guests the opportunity to explore other cultures. What’s even more interesting is that every year is unique, making you want to visit again and again.

Meanwhile, Dollywood hosts a fireworks show each summer. Other festivals include Flower & Food Festival, Harvest Festival, and Smoky Mountain Christmas, among others.

It Is More Popular Than Disneyland

According to Tripadvisor’s Choice Best of the Best Awards in 2020, Dollywood is more popular than the so-called “Happiest Place on Earth.” Tripadvisor users love the park’s proximity, its accommodating employees, exciting rides, and world-class entertainment. 

It beat three Disney properties in the Top 25 United States Amusement Parks poll, where it ranked No. 6. Meanwhile, it also ranked No. 8 worldwide, making it the first American park on the list that is not part of the Disney or Universal families.

The rankings were based on Tripadvisor’s reviews, ratings, and saves from travelers all over the world.

It’s The Best Place To Learn About Dolly Parton’s Life

While not every part of Dollywood directly relates to the country legend, there are several attractions celebrating her. This includes Chasing Rainbows, which features Parton’s prestigious awards and her intricate costumes throughout her career. 

For a much more intimate look at Parton’s life, you can drop by her tour bus or the replica of her childhood home – which was built by her brother, with an interior that was created by her mother. It is filled with plenty of authentic items from the old home Parton grew up in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Indeed, whether she’s entertaining fans through her songs or on an adrenaline-pumping amusement park ride, it’s clear Dolly Parton knows how to deliver a great time. So, if you have never been to Dollywood, make sure to add this to your travel list.

Latest Stories

Watch George Jones as He Pays Tribute To Conway Twitty With "Hello Darlin'"

George Jones Honors Conway Twitty with Powerful Rendition of ‘Hello Darlin’

Days after the world lost the legendary Conway Twitty, another country legend paid tribute to the late singer with an emotional rendition of his iconic “Hello Darlin’,” and it’s none ...

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Merle Haggard’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” Says Alcohol Can’t Heal Wounds

Still not feeling numb after five drinks? If you’re trying to move on from a heartbreak, we hate to break it to you, but Merle Haggard’s lyrics in “Tonight the ...

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

5 Ashley Cooke Facts You Need to Know

On the road to becoming a country breakout star, Ashley Cooke is an up-and-coming artist who is known for her smash hit “Your Place” in 2023. She brings down-to-earth vibes ...

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Huercasa Country Festival 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Huercasa Country Festival 2024Festival Duration: July 5-7, 2024Venue: Las Delicias Municipal Soccer Field in Riaza, Segovia, SpainPerformers Include: Kaitlin Butts,  Myron Elkins, A Thousand Horses, The Wonder Women ...

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Under The Big Sky 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title:Under The Big Sky 2024Festival Duration:July 12-14, 2024Venue:Big Mountain Ranch in Whitefish, MontanaPerformers Include:Billy Strings, Miranda Lambert, Turnpike Troubadours, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here It’s that time ...

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Jam USA 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Jam USA 2024Festival Duration: July 18-20, 2024Venue:Eau Claire Event District in Eau Claire, WisconsinPerformers Include:HARDY, Brothers Osborne, Thomas Rhett, and moreTicket Information:Ticket Information: Get Your Tickets Here ...

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Thunder Saskatchewan 2024Festival Duration:July 11-14, 2024Venue:Craven World Campground in Craven, Saskatchewan, CanadaPerformers Include:Luke Combs, Nickelback, Dallas Smith, and moreTicket Information:Get Your Tickets Here Country Thunder Saskatchewan is ...

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Windy City Smokeout 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Windy City Smokeout 2024Festival Duration: July 11-14, 2024Venue: United Centre Parking Lot in Chicago, IllinoisPerformers Include: Thomas Rhett, Parker McCollum, Cody Johnson, Carrie Underwood, and moreTicket Information: Get ...

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

Over 100,000 Fans Join George Strait As He Sang “Amarillo by Morning”

George Strait bested both his indoor and outdoor record – and the fifty-year record of the largest attendance in the US – at his annual series of one-off performances during ...

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Country Concert 2024: What You Need To Know

Festival Title: Country Concert 2024Festival Duration: July 11-13, 2024Venue: Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Laramie, OhioPerformers Include:Cody Johnson, Lainey Wilson, HARDY, and moreTicket Information: Get Your Tickets Here The Midwest’s ...