On May 10, 2019, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, officially opened Wildwood Grove, the largest expansion in the premier family destination’s history.

The 11-ride new expansion was opened by Dolly Parton during an early morning media event.

The legendary singer shared details of inspiration and dreams that led to the creation of Wildwood Grove and pressed for the area to be a “new standard” for Dollywood.

Wildwood Grove cost $37 million to develop, making it Dollywood theme park’s largest capital investment ever. It is also the first new area added to Dollywood since the Wilderness Pass was opened in 2008.

Wildwood Grove provides guests of all ages the opportunity to enjoy unique experiences, attractions and ride.

During the official opening event, Dolly Parton told attendees:

“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away—something I still do now—dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies.

“All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove. #

“We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.

“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”

Craig Ross, Dollywood Company’s president, talked about the significance of the newest addition to the storied theme park.

“Without doubt, this is one of the most exciting days in the history of our company,” said Ross.

“It is rare in our industry that a park adds a completely new land in its entirety, and as we continue to grow and set attendance records, we needed to add more area to give guests more room to spread out and explore.

“Additionally, we were able to take many of Dolly’s childhood dreams and create experiences that are uniquely Smoky Mountain-themed and really help tell the story of this beautiful area.

“I know our guests will be thrilled with the great diversity of attractions they will be able to enjoy when they visit Wildwood Grove. We’re extremely proud of the fact that there are experiences here that every member of the family will love and enjoy,” Craig Ross added.

Wildwood Grove takes visitors on a journey of discovery, past remarkable sites, including the Wildwood Tree covered in butterflies shimmering in the daylight.

Families can experience a series of rides at Wildwood Grove, including those inside the giant acorns at Treetop Tower and jumping onboard the “leaf boat” on the Great Tree Swing.

Younger guests can have fun on Hidden Hollow, which comprises of a 4,000 sq. ft. climate-controlled area with climbing structures, slides and games.

Guests can even meander with the park’s friendly bears in their own natural habitat at the Black Bear Trail.

Nearly $1 million was spent on Wildwood Grove’s landscaping, which included the planting of 400 trees and 2,300 shrubs to create a natural landscape.