Dollywood Turns 30 with Big Plans

If you’re visiting White Oak Lodge and Resort between now and the end of the year, be sure to wish Pigeon Forge’s famous amusement complex a big “happy birthday”. Dollywood starts the celebration of 30 years of family friendly amusements on March 21.

The 30th Anniversary Year promises new projects, exciting events and facility improvements. Here are just some of the things guests can look forward to.

Festival of Nations kicks off Dollywood’s 30th anniversary season (March 21- April 20) with many returning guest-favorite acts from the festival’s colorful history. Rhythm of the Dance, a Celtic music and dance spectacular, celebrates Ireland with a high-energy show. Performers also include Trinidadian steel drum bands The Mariachi Divas and Zambian Vocal Group, as well as Timber!, a colorful, energetic show displaying epic feats of agility and strength.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass (May 23- June 7) marks the beginning of summer and combines the best in bluegrass with the tastiest barbeque in the south! Aspiring chefs will enjoy cooking demonstrations by championship-winning barbeque experts from across the country.

Great American Summer at Dollywood (June 13-Aug. 2) gives families longer park operating hours this year and provides the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the park’s world-class rides, shows and attractions. The park’s nightly fireworks extravaganza has been ramped up with new music and interactive elements to celebrate Dollywood’s 30thanniversary.

Rock the Smokies (Sept. 5, Labor Day Weekend) features inspiring contemporary Christian music on stages throughout the park for an incredible time of praise and worship.

Fall may be the most beautiful time to visit the Smokies with colorful swatches of orange, red, yellow and gold painted across the mountains, and the festivities continue.

The National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration (Oct. 2– Oct. 31), resounds with the notes of beautiful Southern gospel music with multiple free concerts and special performances by guest artists from Dollywood’s past 30 years.

A seven-time winner for Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Nov. 7 – Jan. 2, 2016) features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol, with Dolly Parton’s hologram as the Ghost of Christmas Past. Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas with award-winning shows, elaborate decorations, twinkling lights, and Christmas-themed menus. And afterward your cozy White Oak Lodge & Resort cabin awaits!

In addition to the entertainment, guests will find larger and more easily navigable parking facilities, along with new trams to more efficiently transport them to the front gate.

And hey, should you fall in love with Gatlinburg so hard you decide you just have to get a job and move here, Dollywood is doing some extra hiring this year!

Have you been to Dollywood? Tell us about your favorite ride or attraction.

Victoria Hoffman

A native of New Jersey, Victoria isn't entirely sure how she ended up in Kansas City, but has enjoyed writing, editing, creating, communicating and marketing for high-profile accounts throughout the city ever since. In her spare time, Victoria is an actor (and active) with local community and city theatre.

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