Posted by Leif Palmer in Attractions
The snow might still be falling, but it's not too early to begin planning an unforgettable vacation to Dollywood, the premier amusement and family fun destination of the South. Whether you've visited many times or this will be your first trip, it's sure to be a delight, because the folks at Dollywood are cooking up something extra-special to help celebrate their 30th year.
With country superstar Dolly Parton at the helm, it's easy to see why music is such an integral part of the Dollywood experience. It's obvious from your first steps onto Showstreet, where theaters line the street and feature everything from classic rock and roll favorites to gospel tunes. Everywhere you turn, you'll hear something that makes you want to sing along.
This year kicks off with the popular Festival of Nations, featuring performances of music and dance from around the globe. The Celtic act "Rhythm of the Dance" is a crowd favorite with its energetic numbers and catchy instrumental numbers. You'll also have a chance to see Trinidad and Zambia, along with a host of others. True to the spirit of Dollywood, the Festival of Nations is a musical extravaganza you won't want to miss.
You'll also find a variety of shows to please everyone in the family. "Heartsong" is a touching film that shares Dolly's story of the mountains she calls home. It's a personal glimpse into her life that's not to be missed. The Valley Theater plays host to Dollywood's favorite restaurateur, Miss Lillian. When she's not busy serving up the best fried chicken in the Smokies, she's sharing stories with the little ones - and more than a few grownups as well. Stop by and give a listen.
For those who prefer a little more excitement in their day, there's no shortage of fun among the award-winning rides at Dollywood. Soar above the crowds on the wings of an eagle when you board the Wild Eagle, America's first winged roller coaster. Or take the family on a thrilling ride aboard the Firechaser Express. This one-of-a-kind coaster features a fictional storyline that pits you and your crew against Crazy Charlie, whose notorious antics threaten to set fire to the mountain. Will you get there in time? It's a heart-pounding race that you won't want to miss.
After a ride like that, you're due for a break, and a good old-fashioned country fair is just the thing. The whole family can enjoy a nostalgic look back at a simpler time with a ride on the Ferris Wheel, a spin on a Carousel horse, or a tasty dinner at the Blue Ribbon Pavilion. From toddlers to grandparents, there's something for all at this fair.
Ready to break free from those winter blues? Make plans to bring the kids to Dollywood starting this spring, when the Festival of Nations kicks off an exciting new season. With a fully revamped park entrance, parking area and new trams to make visiting even easier, Dollywood is ready to welcome back returning fans and make room for lots of new friends, too. Come see what is new this year at Dollywood. But remember, you may need more than just one day to experience everything they have to offer.
About Leif Palmer
Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.