Last May 10, 2019, the most awaited grand opening of Wildwood Grove in Dollywood took place. Dollywood started off as a little civil war-themed attraction, but now it has grown to be more than 100 acres of fun and entertainment. Dolly Parton would eventually own the park and partner with Herschend Enterprises.
They had high hopes for the park. They did not only see it as a place for everyone to have fun and bond with but an avenue to help people in the community. Because of this noble act, they are continually blessed and are now on their 34th year. Dollywood has experienced incredible growth and visitation from their guests. They had to compensate the high arrival with higher guest standards. Hence, about six years ago, Craig Ross, Dollywood’s President, and our lovable Dolly Parton had an incredible desire to give way to an expansion to the park. This expansion would be unlike any other as Dolly and Craig announced that Dollywood would invest more over in the next ten years than the previous twenty-five years.
Four years ago, Dollywood started the construction of Wildwood Grove. They have now finished Phase 1 of the project, and there is still a lot more to come and fast. They have spent around 37 million dollars for the expansion and boy they did not disappoint. As of today, there is an additional six acres of land to the park resulting in a twenty percent increase in the area of the park. Dolly stated that around the holiday season, around 25,000 people visit Dollywood. As a result, there are a lot of bottleneck areas, and it can get pretty crowded. So now, they are proud to showcase the big area of Wildwood Grove where children can run around and enjoy the massive amount of space for everyone’s convenience.
Craig said they searched around the globe for attractions and experiences for families that they can add to the park. This is because Dollywood believes in bringing families closer together and creating memories worth repeating. They wanted to make sure that everyone would have fun no matter the age. They wanted attractions for toddlers to grandparents alike.
The entrance to Wildwood Grove is a cave-like structure, and you’ll be leaving it through a tree stump. There are a lot of new rides and attractions you can try Wildwood Grove. They have a new roller coaster called The Dragonflier. Upon opening, it had around a thirty minute wait time. According to reviews, it had good speed, good turns, and helixes. They say it is definitely more than just a kid’s ride. Another ride called the Black Bear Trail is a kiddie ride. But, a lot of adults find it quite entertaining. The reason even adults ride this Black Bear trail is because they get to ride a bear that gallops around a set trail.
Another children’s attraction is the Frogs & Fireflies and Hidden Hollow Indoor Climb. It’s a ginormous playground structure having multiple slides and other games that will surely keep your kids entertained for hours. If your kids get bored easily, you can check out Wildwood Creek. Wildwood Creek which involves music and splashing water. Your little ones can enjoy playing around with the chimes and drums. Wildwood Grove also offers some face painting you can try along with your children too! Other rides include the Giant Tree Swing which is a pirate ship attraction, The Mad Mockingbird and the Treetop Tower which is a spinning tower ride.
If you want to take home some souvenirs or simply need to get an item you forgot to bring such as an umbrella or an extra pair of shorts or a shirt, you can check out their shop filled with WildWood merchandise.
However, one of the main attractions in Wildwood Grove that you won’t want to miss is the Wildwood Grove tree. It is very pretty in the morning, with hundreds of butterflies adorning it. But, if you try and visit at night, it is simply majestic. All the butterflies, lights, and music will take your breath away.
Dolly has a special place in her heart for butterflies even since she was a kid. Her mom had a hard time keeping her from chasing the butterflies. There have been a lot of times wherein she found herself lost in the woods just because she was running after them. An instance even led her to get so lost that she fell asleep crying in the woods. It was a good thing that she heard their milking cow, grabbed the neck strap, and the cow took her home.
A few songs here and there with of course a special presentation from Dolly Parton herself kicked off the grand opening of Wildwood Grove in Dollywood. Dolly sang Love is Like a Butterfly. The song she sang spoke of Dolly’s childhood and daydreams like bears and butterflies and frogs. She also incorporated all the rides in the song, which truly entertained the guests.
A lot of people came to see Wildwood Grove’s grand opening like distinguished people, people from the media, and avid park goers. Dolly and Craig even had a Q & A portion for the media and everyone had a splendid time. Dolly Parton and a few children concluded the short program when they released real-life butterflies into the air during the grand opening of Dollywood’s new Wildwood.
All the new attractions and rides are only the beginning. The park is set to continue with Phase 2 of the park’s expansion. There are more restaurants to come, such as the Till Harvest Smoky Mountain Mexican restaurant. While waiting, you can enjoy and try all the areas of the park, ample seating, shade structures from the sun and rain and many more.
They say that it’s always good to continually want to improve and Dollywood saw this opportunity. People have always patronized Dollywood, and some families have even made it accustom to visit Dollywood on a yearly basis. It is no surprise that after they receive all that love, they wanted to give back to all the people who have trusted them and patronized them through the years. They remain to be, and will always continue to be a family-oriented theme park. And, they desire it to be a place where everyone can enjoy and bond over simple joys in life.
They offer not only great entertainment but an avenue for all of us to enjoy nature in its purest form. The natural beauty around you will help you relax and appreciate all the good things you have in life, most especially the relationships you have with your loved ones. If you want to visit Dollywood and you’re looking for a place to stay near the park, you are welcome to check out our Gatlinburg cabins. Send us a message, and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can.