Dollywood Expansion 2019 – Wildwood Grove
We have exciting news regarding Dollywood’s plans for 2019! Over the years, we have brought you breaking details on some of the biggest and most exciting additions in Pigeon Forge including the world record-breaking Lightning Rod, Firechaser Express, Margaritaville, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Hard Rock Cafe, Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud, and so much more. This, however, is perhaps our largest reveal yet as it features a 5 acre expansion to Dollywood! As we have done in past breaking stories, this will be a “live” post that we will continually update as we get new & confirmed information from various sources. We post the date along with the details we receive on that date so that we can piece together clues as to what will be included in this new expansion. We hope you love finding clues and piecing together everything just as much as we do! So let’s get started!
Wildwood Grove Officially Revealed at Dollywood!
On August 3rd, 2018 Dolly Parton officially revealed the 2019 expansion, Wildwood Grove, to the public! Below is a complete list of details from this exciting announcement.
The Beauty and Wonder of Wildwood Grove
First, we need to talk about the magical beauty and wonder of Wildwood Grove. Cross through an ancient fallen log to discover a land of pure imagination. The centerpiece is a 55′ tall colorful “Wildwood Tree” covered in colorful butterflies. Dollywood’s blog describes it by saying, ” It glistens with the majesty of the forest and glows brightly every night, creating an ever-changing experience day or night.” During the Nighttime Spectacular, butterflies awaken to transform the tree into a kaleidoscope of color. You can get a glimpse of what the tree looks like in the video below.
Dollywood describes Wildwood Grove as a “Fantastical adventure” with 11 themed experiences. Nearly every attraction and experience can be enjoyed by the entire family. “You can imagine yourself riding on the back of a Smoky Mountain black bear, swinging on a giant leaf, or flying suspended from a dragonfly. Most important, Wildwood Grove is a place the entire family can play together. There are indoor and outdoor spaces to play and experience; new friends to meet; and a great new restaurant to refresh and recharge.”
“Wildwood Grove beckons the explorer in all of us. Let curiosity be your guide as you journey ever deeper, past sparkling creeks, through a charming village, and under the mighty limbs of the great Wildwood Tree. This is where adventure takes root and dreams take flight.”
Much has been said about how much land Dollywood has cleared for this new expansion, but they are investing nearly $1 million in landscaping, including 400 trees and 1,000 shrubs.
Also at night, lanterns and lights will glow like fireflies, giving a completely unique “theme” to the area. It will truly be a magical place for the family and something we are incredibly excited to see added to Dollywood!
Wildwood Grove is Dollywood’s largest capital investment ever at $37 million and the first new area added since Wilderness Pass in 2008.
New Rides Coming to Dollywood in 2019!
There are numerous rides and a covered play area coming to Wildwood Grove. Below, we have a list of the rides that have been mentioned along with a brief description of each and some artist renderings.
Treetop Tower – This family tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated in giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor. (Zamperia Samba Tower)
Black Bear Trail – Children can ride on the back of a black bear! Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears for a spirited trek through their natural habitat. Families will enjoy meandering through the woods of this unique Smoky Mountain experience. (Metallbau Emmeln Pony Trek)
Mad Mocking Bird – Tennessee’s state bird – the mockingbird – gives visitors a lift as it flies in a high speed circle around a tall tree. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground. (Larson Flying Scooter)
Wildwood Creek – This welcome “oasis” features pop jets, splashing pools, and more wet play activities. Dry play area at Wildwood Creek featuring “music instruments” for guests to enjoy.
Sycamore Swing (swinging boat ride) – Guests aboard this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree. (Zamperia Galleon)
Hidden Hollow – Indoor play area, net towers, suspended bridges, crawls, slides, and special toddler area, 4,000 sq ft indoor, climate-controlled climb structure for exploration.
Frogs and Fireflies – Adventerous guests can hop aboard one of these friendly frogs as they chase each other in a spirited race around the lily pad. (Zamperia Jump Around)
The Dragon Flier – Suspended family coaster. We have a video further down in this article of a family suspended coaster that is most likely going to be very similar to this one. This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove. (Vekoma 453m suspended coaster)
Below are artist renderings of some of the rides that will be in Wildwood Grove in 2019.
New Place to Eat
There will be a new restaurant featuring southern-inspired, southwest-fresh items. We’ll add more details and menu as Dollywood reveals them.
New Season Pass Payment Plan
Dollywood is offering an exclusive deal when pre-purchasing a 2019 Season Pass. The deal is to lock in the current 2018 rate along with an exclusive 9 month payment plan! That’s payments as low as $14 per month for a Dollywood Regular Season Pass in addition to three Bring-A-Friend Free tickets (one for Smoky Mountain Christmas 2018 and two for the 2019 season).
Video of the Wildwood Grove Announcement at Dollywood Featuring Dolly Parton
See the official Dollywood page featuring Wildwood Grove details:
Feb 27, 2018
Dollywood representatives met with the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission to review a 5 acre site plan for the Dollywood expansion. The location of the expansion is described as being located near the Thunderhead roller coaster and the parking area. We have drawn an area on the aerial map below to highlight our best guess as to where the expansion will be located. Again, this is our guesstimate of the location…not an official map from Dollywood. Keep in mind that the red outline is larger than 5 acres…so the expansion should be located somewhere within this area.
At 5 acres, this expansion appears to be larger than Country Fair or the 50’s area, which means it will be the parks biggest addition since they expanded up to create the Wild Eagle and Firechaser Express.
Community Development Director David Taylor was quoted in the local newspaper, The Mountain Press, saying “There’s going to be about eight different attractions, a restaurant, separate building for restrooms, there’s going to be water features, shade structures; just a lot of different things in this area.”
Officials are hoping the expansion is ready to open in 2019, but details on exactly when in 2019 is dependent on all sorts of things with an expansion of this size. While we’re hopeful that it opens at the beginning of the 2019 season, we’re holding off on pinpointing timeframes until construction & approvals get underway throughout the year.
We’re excited to see what this new expansion will bring and possibly what it will be themed as! The 2018 season hasn’t even started yet and we’re already looking forward to 2019!
March 6, 2018: Blueprints revealed, location confirmed, and it’s geared for kids!
Local news station WBIR featured the Dollywood expansion in a recent broadcast. It shows the construction as well as the blueprints presented to the Pigeon Forge Planning Commission! The blueprints reveal an enclosed family coaster, a pendulum style ride, an indoor play area, and more which all but confirms that this new expansion is going to be geared more towards the younger crowd! This is great news as families have long been wishing there were more things to do between Thunderhead and Wild Eagle.
Below is the WBIR news feature of the Dollywood Expansion.
Below are the blueprints shown in the video, which provide an idea of the layout as well as a couple of the proposed rides!
This blueprint reveals a variety of rides…but our question is if these are the “actual” rides proposed or if they are somewhat “placeholders” until all of the construction proposals are approved for storm drainage, sediment & erosion control, etc. Either way, this looks to be a fun new addition!
Woohoo! Location and size confirmed! It appears that the “entrance” to the new addition will be located where the Mystery Mine track crosses over the walking path. Also, this pretty much confirms that they are not adding another entrance into the park like some had suspected.
The blueprint below is throwing us off due to the tube structure…and are those “large fans” or are they supports for the structure? Any guesses???
The blueprint below shows what appears to be a classic pendulum ride such as the classic pirate ship ride.
Using the blueprints above, we combined it with a satellite image to show the approximate location & size of the new expansion. This could, of course, my altered and modified as they obtain permits & approvals. Pretty exciting to get a feel for what this new area will be like!
March 10, 2018: Is THIS the new coaster????
Rumors are swirling throughout forums of coaster enthusiasts that the blueprints above reveal that the new coaster is a Vekoma 453m Suspended Family Coaster. The RCDB website (which is a massive database of roller coasters around the world) has already added this info to their website. RCDB goes on to state that the coaster will not be an “enclosed” coaster as described by WBIR in their initial report, but instead the blueprints are showing a “reach envelope” of the suspended coaster.
Here is the breakdown of why coaster enthusiasts believe that the new Dollywood roller coaster for 2019 will be a Suspended Family Coaster built by Vekoma.
First, here is the overhead blueprint from above…we zoomed in and rotated it so you can see what happens next.
Now, here is a blueprint of a coaster called Orkanen located at Fårup Sommerland. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s because it’s in Denmark.
Finally, we take the Orkanen blueprint, rotate it, and lay it on the Dollywood blueprint, and voila! You can see an exact match in the layout. So unless Dollywood is using this as a “placeholder” (which we are seriously doubting), then you are looking at Dollywood’s brand new roller coaster for 2019!
Want to take a ride on the coaster? Check out a front seat view on Orkanen to see! This looks like a fantastic family coaster and a great addition to Dollywood!
July 13, 2018: Official Dollywood Clues are on the Way!
Things have been very quiet out of Dollywood the past couple of months…even the amount of construction hasn’t revealed much. When we have something more exciting than dirt to share, we will post pics. 🙂
But for now, check out Dollywood’s tweet on July 13th! This is great news as we gear up for an official unveiling in early August!
— Dollywood (@Dollywood) July 13, 2018
Something BIG? Hmmm…ok, our imaginations are swirling around that clue. Stay tuned!
July 24, 2018: Name of Expansion revealed! “Wildwood Grove”
Members of the media & press are receiving invitations to the official announcement on August 3rd along with the name and logo for “Wildwood Grove”! Dolly Parton will be at Dollywood to reveal details at 11am. We will add all of the photos, videos, and details to this post as soon as they are announced. Stay tuned…we’re getting close!
So, what do you think so far??? We’re excited and can’t wait for the next update!!!
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We’d love to hear what you think about the Dollywood 2019 expansion, Wildwood Grove! Use the comment form below to share your thoughts. Also, be sure to check out our guide on Dollywood discounts as well as our complete guide to Dollywood featuring the schedule, new shows, and more things to do in town.