Urgent Dollywood Update: 3 Must Do’s for the First Visit of the Season

Dollywood opens this season on Saturday, March 22. Let’s prepare before the family gathers by making a “what’s new” shortlist for you to visit at the theme park.

First, for the adults, hurry and enjoy the multiculturalism that is the always popular Festival of Nations. This year brings several new shows with a wide selection of music: Swiss yodeling and alphorn playing, South American harp music, Colombian, Celtic, Gaelic, and Russian music among others.

Most impressive and visually mesmerizing is the “Mother Africa” performance that has toured internationally before arriving at Dollywood. The show features music, dancing and acrobatics in traditional styles from across the entire African continent. Not just your average modern dance drumbeating, this is a true cultural experience that shouldn’t be missed.

My vote for most unusual musical performance is an Italian grand piano act with ballerina on top that will be driving its music throughout the park during the day. There’s so much more to the festival, like a miniature world showcase of art, music, dance and food (of course), from over 30 countries. My only regret is that it is short-lived: Festival of Nations ends April 21, so hurry to enjoy it all before it’s gone until next year.

Next, really fun for all, from grandfather to great-grandchild, is the new family roller coaster, the FireChaser Express. At top speed of 35 miles-per-hour, this firefighter-themed coaster is still mild enough for all to enjoy, but has a few twists (pun intended) to make even coaster fiends smile. The ride shoots forward and eventually pitstops in a fireworks shed, before “exploding” backwards for a shorter, but different backwards trajectory to end the ride in the original boarding station. If you have never ridden a coaster backwards, this is your chance to initiate your family to that unique thrill sensation. The only thing my young son didn’t like were the “hot flames” in the fireworks shed. Me? Let’s just say going both directions makes for some interesting windswept hairdos! No inverted loops or heartwrenchers here: ┬ájust good, smooth family fun.

Spoiler alert: want to preview the ride before actually hitting the rails? View it animated online here:

For the smallest ones, there is a great new micro playground below the FireChaser, that brings back oversized Lego’s and a water play area that were features lost from the park with changes at the Owens Farm treehouse play area a few years back. It’s a delightful place to cool off in the heat. It is also very well-staffed to monitor for safety, which most playground-visiting parents can fully appreciate!

Please come and enjoy these new features for all at Dollywood, and stay with us at Volunteer Cabin Rentals while you are here. Our family would love to help yours enjoy the area as much as we do. We promise that once is not enough–join our group of repeat visiting friends soon! Book your visit today.

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