August 5, 2018
Dolly Parton Prepares For $37 Million Dollywood Expansion

Families who enjoy visiting Dolly Parton's Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, theme park known as Dollywood will be happy to know that the park is now officially expanding, adding an entire new section to the property. With a $37 million expansion happening in 2019, Dolly Parton was excited to announce the major upgrade to her extremely successful theme park, which draws more than 2.5 million annual visitors.

Planned to open next year, the major expansion will be to create a section of Dollywood called Wildwood Grove, according to Fox News.

Wildwood Grove will include a suspended roller coaster, dubbed The Dragonflier, alongside new venues for live shows, and restaurants

Representatives of the park stated the company had previously committed to spend $300 million over a decade in expanding the park. The undertaking was set to be completed by 2023. The upcoming Wildwood Grove expansion will be the completion of that commitment. As Wildwood Grove is expected to open in 2019, this now puts Dollywood four years ahead of schedule for their original goal.

Eager to get Wildwood Grove off the ground, country legend Dolly Parton was quoted as stating that Dollywood patrons would agree, Wildwood Grove provides the perfect place for families to "explore, play and imagine together — but more importantly — it's a place where they can spend more time together."

Flickr | Ron Miguel
An old time mill-house at Dollywood.

Currently Dollywood is home to eight roller coasters and more than 40 rides and attractions altogether.

Previously known by a number of other names, including Rebel Railroad and Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton bought the theme park property in the '80s, officially opening it under the name of Dollywood in 1986.

Aside from being home to a number of rides and games, since its opening, Dollywood has also hosted a number of live music shows, including Dolly Parton herself. The Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame is also located at Dollywood.

Dolly Parton is 72-years-old and has recorded a number of successful country albums over the years. She is known for being extremely business minded.

Parton is also a noted philanthropist and humanitarian, most recently demonstrated as she hosted her own telethon to raise more than $9 million for those affected by the 2016 Great Smokey Mountains wildfires. Dolly Parton started a program for children called Imagination Library, which is committed to sending preschool-age children one book per month at no charge to parents. Founded in 1986, the Imagination Library program provides literature to children in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.