Monday, June 24, 2024

The Dolly Parton Experience Is Open At Dollywood

Last week, Dolly and Dollywood officials unveiled The Dolly Parton Experience, the park’s eagerly anticipated new attraction, to great fanfare during a special event for invited media and VIPs. Thousands of Dollywood guests eager to explore the new addition also enjoyed the multi-faceted experience, which spans multiple buildings within the award-winning Smoky Mountain theme park.

“Our old museum really needed a facelift, but instead of a nip-and-tuck we just decided to start all over! There are a lot of interactive elements and technology all through the area, but luckily for all of you, there are no holograms of me in there anywhere. I think the last thing this world needs is a bunch of ‘Dolly-grams’ running around everywhere,” Dolly said with a laugh.

The Dolly Parton Experience Is Open At Dollywood
Photo Courtesy of Dollywood Facebook

“Seriously though, I’m so proud of the work our people have put into this new experience to make sure it is something our guests will enjoy for many years. It’s been almost three years in the making, and it’s three times larger than anything like this we’ve ever created before, so it really is something! For me, the most special part is the area called ‘Precious Memories,’ because it’s about my family and everything they have done to support me through the years.” 

The Dolly Parton Experience offers numerous interactive elements designed to make guests feel as if they are accompanying Dolly on her journey from Locust Ridge to global stages. The entire Adventures in Imagination area has been completely transformed to create this immersive experience. Guests can explore exhibits that span her unparalleled career, showcasing the inspiration behind her biggest dreams and their outcomes, detailing the importance of her family, and highlighting many of Dolly’s signature styles over the years.

“I think we can all agree there is no one else in the world like Dolly Parton,” said Dollywood Parks & Resorts President Eugene Naughton. “She is able to shine a light of positivity and inspiration that has influenced millions of people around the world. Our team has created a remarkable experience that shares Dolly’s inspiring story in an authentic, larger-than-life way. I think The Dolly Parton Experience is going to truly move our guests when they see it. We hope they take some of Dolly’s light and share it with the world just like she does every single day.”

The Dolly Parton Experience Is Open At Dollywood
Photo Courtesy of Dollywood Facebook

In Songteller, guests trace Dolly’s journey from Sevier County to the bus she took to Nashville the day after her high school graduation. Several exhibits display Dolly’s favorite mementos from her music, movies, and TV shows, while one room is dedicated solely to her record-selling albums. The centerpiece of the experience is a massive room featuring a 360-degree, projection-mapped story showcasing Dolly’s rise to becoming one of the world’s most beloved figures. Songteller also honors Dolly’s philanthropic efforts, including a live counter tracking the number of books given to children through her Imagination Library program, nearing 240,000,000 books as of opening day. Songteller is housed in the former Chasing Rainbows Museum.

At Behind the Seams, guests learn how this Smoky Mountain girl’s iconic look comes to life, with several memorable wardrobes on display. To preserve these priceless pieces, Dollywood used the same techniques employed by the Smithsonian.

The Dolly Parton Experience Is Open At Dollywood

The Precious Memories exhibit, located in the front of Dreamsong Theater, honors Dolly’s friends and family, detailing how their support allowed her to reach unimaginable heights. A new show, “Heidi Parton’s Kin & Friends,” debuted today in the Dreamsong Theater. The show features Dolly’s niece, Heidi Parton, and a cast singing songs and telling stories that only family would know, as it was written by Heidi and her aunt Dolly. Dolly made a surprise appearance before the first show and watched the entire performance from the audience.

Guests can also get a glimpse of Dolly’s time on the road by touring one of her former motor coaches, which is part of The Dolly Parton Experience. Dolly’s Home-on-Wheels, a 1994 Prevost, has been a fixture at the park for several years, with hundreds of thousands of guests stepping inside each season. The coach is located adjacent to Behind the Seams.

Finally, guests can visit Dolly’s Fan Shop for unique items to commemorate their trip to The Dolly Parton Experience. This special location offers several exclusive items, including apparel, accessories, and iconic keepsakes every Dolly Parton fan will cherish.

For more information on Dollywood, please visit dollywood.com 

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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