Dollywood Sets Open Date for its 39th Season

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photo from The Dollywood Company

After a massive 2023 season, Dollywood Parks & Resorts is set to provide guests with even more reasons to visit its award-winning parks and resorts when it opens for its 2024 season on Saturday, March 9. The Smoky Mountain theme park’s 39th season will offer a record 280 operating days, 23 more than last season; new live shows during its I Will Always Love You Music Festival, which runs from March 9 through April 14; and the brand-new Dolly Parton Experience, which will open in May.

After earning rave reviews from guests in 2023, Dollywood will open this season with another tribute to the classic ballad “I Will Always Love You,” written by Parton in 1973 and released on her “Jolene” album in 1974. The I Will Always Love You Music Festival will feature three new shows celebrating Parton’s iconic music and career. Guests can experience “From the Heart – The Life and Music of Dolly Parton,” which tells her remarkable life story and was created by Broadway director John Dietrich; a new show called “Trio,” in which the group Three Times A Lady honors the iconic 1987 album that featured Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt; and an interactive “Sing-a-long with Dolly” show that invites guest to belt out the lyrics to some of Parton’s biggest hits.

And the tributes to Parton only begin there. In May, The Dollywood Company will debut the multi-faceted “Dolly Parton Experience” as part of the company’s half-billion dollar, 10-year expansion plan. The new interactive experience, which features curated exhibits and live entertainment, has been designed to make guests feel as if they are alongside Parton as she journeyed from humble beginnings in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, to elaborate stages around the world.

The exhibits span Parton’s iconic career, examine the inspiration for and results of her biggest dreams, focus on the importance of her family, and even offer a glimpse of her signature style through the years. The Dolly Parton Experience is three times the size of the former Chasing Rainbows Museum, which closed after the park’s 2019 season. Guests have been waiting for nearly five years for this enhanced museum experience, which will be housed in three buildings and Parton’s former tour bus.

And the tributes to Parton only begin there. In May, The Dollywood Company will debut the multi-faceted “Dolly Parton Experience” as part of the company’s half-billion dollar, 10-year expansion plan. The new interactive experience, which features curated exhibits and live entertainment, has been designed to make guests feel as if they are alongside Parton as she journeyed from humble beginnings in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, to elaborate stages around the world.

The exhibits span Parton’s iconic career, examine the inspiration for and results of her biggest dreams, focus on the importance of her family, and even offer a glimpse of her signature style through the years. The Dolly Parton Experience is three times the size of the former Chasing Rainbows Museum, which closed after the park’s 2019 season. Guests have been waiting for nearly five years for this enhanced museum experience, which will be housed in three buildings and Parton’s former tour bus.

Elsewhere in the park, roller coaster fans will delight in the second year of Dollywood’s newest ride, Big Bear Mountain, and the transformation of Lightning Rod, which will feature a new, high-speed chain lift that gives guests a more consistent and efficient ride experience. Reopening in mid-March, Lightning Rod is projected to allow 1 million more rides per year.

The excitement doesn’t stop at the theme park, as the company’s resort properties also gear up for a big 2024. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, the original, award-wining resort property in Dollywood’s portfolio, is undergoing renovations that include a number of fresh touches and enhancements that were designed to ensure it maintains its position as one of the top theme park resorts in the United States. Additionally, Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, which opened last fall, will experience its first full operating season in 2024.

The Dollywood Company’s strategy to add more attractions and resorts – resulting in a total of five hotel properties and an outdoor resort – allows the company to grow its infrastructure and offerings in a way that ensures “Destination Dollywood” will regularly be considered among the top places to visit in the U.S. For more information about Dollywood’s 2024 season, please visit Dollywood.com.