Dollywood had a harrowing few weeks last year. The tragic wildfires that ravaged Eastern Tennessee threatened the long-running Pigeon Forge theme park. Dollywood wasn't damaged in the fires, but Dolly Parton and the Dollywood Company have made it their mission to support and rebuild the Smokey Mountains community. Now, the popular tourist attraction is adding to its already impressive list of rides and activities for the 2017 season, which opens March 18.
Among the new rides opening this year is the Drop Line, a 200-foot-high free fall from 20 stories above the Timber Canyon pool. It sounds seriously thrilling (and terrifying).
If free-falling isn't your thing, you might try a ride built for the pint-size Dollywood visitor. The Whistle Punk Chaser is a new junior roller coaster, a sort of "starter ride" for the hair-raising (and award-winning) Thunderhead wooden roller coaster.
The park is also home to the Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster.
Dollywood's Splash Country will also be getting a new addition, the TailSpin Racer, a water ride through twisting, turning AquaTubes. It sounds like the perfect thrill ride for a hot Tennessee summer.
The new rides are expected to open on Memorial Day.
The theme park is also revamping two eateries. The Backstage Restaurant will be transformed into the Front Porch Cafe. The cafe will offer a seated dining experience with a mountain theme.
The park also offers various craft activities throughout the grounds. The Rainbow Blown Glass shop will receive updated glass blowing equipment. It's name will be changed to the Mountain Blown Glass shop.
The renovations are part of the Dollywood Company's 2013 pledge to invest $300 million in changes to Dollywood.
In a press release, Dolly Parton deemed 2017 the "year of the family." With new rides, new eats and tons of activities, Dollywood offers plenty of fun for the whole crew. You can find out more about the additions at the theme park's website.