Dolly Parton makes a surprise appearance on Wildwood Grove expansion tour Friday

Tennessee

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WJHL)- Friday afternoon News Channel 11 got an inside look at the progress of Dollywood’s newest, and largest expansion, Wildwood Grove.

Hours before touring the construction site, Dolly Parton took the stage at the park to announce that Wildwood Grove would be opening on May 10th.

The expansion features 11 new attractions including a suspended rollercoaster.

The centerpiece of the park will be a 55-foot tall Wildwood Tree with 650 butterflies that will light up at night.

As we toured the site, PR Manager Wes Ramey noted that crews have been working in muddy conditions as our region has seen significant rainfall over the past few months.

“They’ve done a great job working inside, and on parts they can do in the rain, and if you also noticed along the trail, they are working off the path, the concrete work will be the last part,” Ramey said. 

At the end of the tour we were taken inside one of the buildings at Wildwood Grove, where Dolly Parton took the stage once more to talk a little bit more about the expansion.

Parton said while she loved every part of Wildwood Grove, her favorite part was the tree.

“That wildwood tree at night is just absolutely unbelievable, it is beautiful anytime, but I think the tree is my favorite part,” Parton said.

Dollywood officially opened for the 2019 season on Saturday and will feature the Festival of Nations from March 16-April 14. 

Dolly Parton said on Friday that she would be back at the park on May 10th for the grand opening of the Wildwood Grove expansion.

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