PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Following its 67-day winter season hiatus, Dollywood will launch its 2022 season for pass holders beginning on March 11, with the park opening to the general public on March 12.
Tennessee’s beloved Dolly Parton made an appearance at the theme park at 10:30 a.m. Friday to kick off its 37th season — marking her first public appearance in the park since 2019. During a previous interview, Dollywood’s vice president of marketing told News Channel 11 that Parton will spend more time in the park throughout the new season.
“You know that old saying, ‘Love makes the world go ’round?'” Parton asked an audience of season pass holders and fans on Friday. “Well, certainly, love makes Dollywood go ’round.”
The 2022 season will also see that all COVID-19 protocols be lifted after two years of limited capacity and other restrictive measures. Click here to see all the changes the park will see throughout the new season.
“We managed to do well because we followed all the rules, and did everything we could, and we’re just glad to be back, hopefully, full force this time,” Parton said during her appearance Friday.
Another change will include Dollywood’s new HeartSong Lodge & Resort, which will stand at five stories featuring themed suites and loft rooms. It is expected to open its doors in the fall of 2023.
“It will be the same good service,” Parton said. “Just a little bit different, which is good, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Parton also spoke of her collaboration with bestselling author James Patterson, “Run, Rose, Run,” which debuted at No. 1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list.
“I thought, ‘Well, one way I could contribute is to write music to go with it— almost like a soundtrack to a book,'” Parton said. “It’s about a young girl who’s running to something but running from something; you’ll have to read the book to know the whole deal.”
Watch Parton’s appearance at Dollywood below:
News Channel 11 will have team coverage all day Friday as the kick-start to Dollywood’s 37th season continues. The park remains open Friday to season pass holders until 6 p.m. It will open to the general public Saturday from noon until 7 p.m. — a delayed opening due to inclement weather.
Stay tuned for News Channel 11’s livestream of Parton’s appearance at 10:30 a.m. on Facebook and WJHL.com. Friday at 5 p.m., join News Channel 11’s Josh Smith on-air and on WJHL.com as he speaks one-on-one with Dollywood’s dreamer-in-chief as she details what fans can expect from the upcoming season.
For more information on Dollywood, season passes, park hours and more, click here.