Kanye West Buys Dollywood Theme Park for $130 Million
(As our last paragraph has stated since April 1st, this was fortunately an April fool’s Day joke. We love Dolly, and Dollywood is staying just as we all love it!)
This morning, it was confirmed that Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment have reached an agreement to sell the Dollywood theme park to rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West. The critically acclaimed artist took to Twitter to announce the news, sharing a link to the official press release with the text, “Y’all ready for YEEZYWOOD???”
According to the press release, the popular theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN will transition from Dollywood to Yeezywood in the spring of 2020. West will also assume control of Dollywood’s Splash Country, the waterpark located adjacent to Dollywood, which will be rebranded as Ye’s Splash Pad. While the official announcement did not disclose the financial details of the deal, the Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that West paid $130 million for both the theme park and waterpark via his company DONDA.
In a statement to the press, Dolly Parton explained why she decided to part ways with her beloved Smoky Mountain theme park:
“Building up Dollywood into what it is today has been one of the proudest accomplishments in my life. But like my momma always said, ‘All things have their season.’ I know I look good for my age, but I’m no spring chicken anymore – I’m probably more of an ‘autumn turkey!’ There are so many things I still want to do, and stepping away from Dollywood will give me the time to do them.”
Parton went on to say that West made “a very generous offer” for the park, and she plans on using much of the proceeds from the sale to expand the Imagination Library, her signature literacy charity. Praising West as “a smart businessman and a brilliant musician,” the country superstar said that she is confident that she is leaving the theme park in good hands.
Dollywood first opened its doors in 1986, after Parton joined forces with Herschend Family Entertainment to revamp Silver Dollar City. The new theme park was an immediate success, and it has since grown to become the biggest ticketed attraction in Tennessee and the largest employer in Sevier County.
Big Plans for Yeezywood
As detailed in the official press release, Kanye West has ambitious plans for his new venture in Pigeon Forge. The 21-time Grammy winner told the media, “Yeezywood is going to be the most incredible theme park on the planet. Period. It’s going to be like Willy Wonka and Space Jam had a baby that was injected with raw plutonium. It’s going to be a religious experience. People will literally never sleep again after they leave. We’re going to burn Disney World to the ground.”
According to industry insiders, many of Dollywood’s existing rides will be rebranded to include references to West’s hit songs. The Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that the Wild Eagle will be renamed “Touch the Sky,” Drop Line will be known as “All Falls Down,” Thunderhead will be called “Runaway,” and Mystery Mine will become “Gold Digger.”
Fans of West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, will be excited to learn that the reality TV star will have her own section of the theme park. Notably, Dolly’s Closet, a fashion boutique inspired by Dolly Parton’s unique style, will be transformed into Kim’s Kloset, where theme park guests will have the chance to buy Kardashian-approved clothing and fragrances.
In addition to reimagining the theme park’s current offerings, Kanye West and his team plan to add a number of brand new attractions to Yeezywood. Without providing many details, West promised that the theme park would include sumo wrestling, hang-gliding, a river of chocolate, a full-scale replica of the Taj Mahal, and “actual Transformers that can turn into cars and fight each other.”
While Dollywood is famous for its country, Southern gospel, and bluegrass music, West plans to make Yeezywood a launching pad for up-and-coming hip-hop artists. Sources close to West told the News Sentinel that the theme park’s existing entertainment will be scrapped in favor of new shows that feature rap battles, beatboxing, break dancing, and Trap EDM (electronic dance music).
More details on Yeezywood are expected to be released in the coming weeks. For the latest updates, don’t check back here. This entire story has been an April Fools’ Day joke! You can breathe a big sigh of relief; Dolly Parton has no plans to sell Dollywood to Kanye West (or any other celebrities). The South’s favorite theme park is perfect just the way it is. Plus, no one can compete with Dolly. If this article has gotten you in the mood to visit Dollywood, be sure to click here for Dollywood coupons and discounts!