It's not a secret that we love Dolly Parton here in Pigeon Forge. She is a true icon and her theme park Dollywood is one of the best Pigeon Forge attractions in the eyes of our visitors. Even if you consider yourself a professional Dollywood-goer, we bet there are still some things you don't know about the park. Here's 4 little known facts about Dollywood that may surprise you.
It Didn't Start Out As Dollywood
Putting a theme park in Pigeon Forge wasn’t quite Dolly’s idea. The park that started it all, Rebel Railroad, was originally opened on the same land in 1961. In 1970, the park was purchased by another agent and re-named Goldrush Junction. The theme park changed hands again in 1976, and this time was dubbed Silver Dollar City. Dolly finally got involved in 1986, and the name was changed to Dollywood.
Traffic Today Isn't Bad
Think Parkway traffic is bad now? It was worse on opening weekend. Creator and founder of PigeonForge.com Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt remembers the entire Pigeon Forge parkway being a parking lot. Traffic was stopped for 6 miles down U.S.-441 on the park’s opening weekend and 1.34 million visitors came during the park’s first 5 months. Now, about 2.5 million folks come each year.
It Has Doggy Daycare
If you bring your furry friend on your Pigeon Forge vacation, Dollywood has special accommodations just for them. While you visit the park, let fido have the time of his life over at Doggywood. They open 30 minutes before the park and operate as a kennel where your dog can spend the day safely. It's super easy to leave the park, let them out and feed them throughout the day- no driving required.More Info
Dollywood Church Services
Dollywood is unique in that it has a completely functional chapel inside that hosts services on Sunday. The chapel is named after the doctor who delivered Dolly Parton, Robert F. Thomas. Services during the regular season are at 11:30 am. It's a one-room church with wooden pews and floors that set the scene for a simple and beautiful service you will never forget.Dollywood Tickets