In addition to its usual stellar lineup of attractions, live shows and crafts, Dollywood features a new, $5 million River Battle Ride for the 2008 season, which began on March 21, 2008. Dollywood also added a 750-foot walkway to connect Timber Canyon with Craftsman’s Valley, reopened its Thunder Road attraction at Adventures in Imagination and will host five spectacular festivals for the 2008 season. Finally, Dollywood has provided a new entrance for 2008 to improve traffic flow into the theme park.
A totally interactive, themed water raft ride, River Battle is equipped with powerful soaker guns. Nine rafts, each with room for eight passengers, follow a 500-foot channel. As the rafts navigate the waters, the battle begins as passengers, each armed with a soaker gun, take aim at each other and more than 100 targets along the way such as “talking animals” – beavers, skunks, otters, bears and more. Some of the targets shoot back while others display a variety of special effects, creating surprises at every turn and ensuring that no two rides are ever exactly the same.
In the official press release for the new Dollywood attraction, Dolly Parton comments, “When I was a kid, me and my brothers and sisters used to sneak away and start up a river battle of our own, but I never dreamed that kind of childhood fun would end up creating a great ride like my new River Battle.”
With an hourly ride capacity of 800 passengers, River Battle will be located just beyond Dollywood’s Mystery Mine steel coaster. The River Battle project also includes a new 750-foot walkway that provides a direct route to the theme park’s Craftsman’s Valley area from Timber Canyon. The new connector represents the largest earthworks project since the Dollywood Express train’s track bed was completed in 1960. The connector project entails moving 170,000 cubic yards of soil and rocks – the equivalent of 8,500 truck loads.
In addition to River Battle, Dollywood reopened Thunder Road for the 2008 season after several years’ hiatus. An indoor attraction, Thunder Road takes you along for a wild adventure with bootlegger Luke Doolin as he attempts to outrun both the sheriff and the revenuers during a lively three-car chase.
Thunder Road will operate through November 1, 2008, at Dollywood. The minimum height requirement for Thunder Road is 42 inches. Thunder Road lies in the Adventures in Imagination area of the theme park.
2008 DOLLYWOOD FESTIVALS
Dollywood also will host five of the South’s largest festivals during the 2008 season: Festival of Nations, KidsFest, Barbeque & Bluegrass, Harvest Celebration and Smoky Mountain Christmas.
KidsFest (June 13 – August 3, 2008)
Kid crafts, karaoke, puppets, clowns, jugglers, magicians, a trained dog show, extreme sports and much more highlight the festivities at Dollywood during Kidfest. Don’t miss Creature Adventures, which takes audiences on a worldwide expedition through the eyes of the Kratt Brothers, stars of the popular PBS series, “Zoboomafoo.”
Barbeque & Bluegrass (September 5-28, 2008)
Enjoy great bluegrass music and tasty barbeque at Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass, a 15-day festival that features more than 500 bluegrass concerts, including Ricky Skaggs (September 5-6, 2008), Del McCoury Band (September 7-8, 2008) and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (September 14-15, 2008).
Harvest Celebration (October 3 – November 1, 2008)
View the talents of more than 100 craftspeople from around the United States and enjoy the best in Southern gospel music at the Dollywood National Gospel & Harvest Celebration. More than 250 gospel concerts will be featured during the Harvest Celebration.
Smoky Mountain Christmas (November 8, 2008 – January 3, 2009)
Dollywood shines brightly with 3.5-million lights and a variety of special holiday events throughout the theme park during Smoky Mountain Christmas.
NEW DOLLYWOOD ENTRANCE
In order to provide the most efficient traffic flow possible, ALL Dollywood traffic will be routed through the entrance on McCarter Hollow Road (just off Veterans Boulevard) for the 2008 season. The Dollywood Lane entrance will be closed to all traffic.
BOOK YOUR DOLLYWOOD VACATION TODAY!
“Make plans to take the whole family to Dollywood during the 2008 season and experience all of the new attractions, live entertainment venues and great festivals this dynamic theme park has to offer,” said Kyle Collins, Director of Interactive Marketing at HotelsCorp.com. “And by booking your Dollywood vacation online, you can enjoy incredible savings on discount Dollywood tickets, Pigeon Forge hotels and Smokies vacation packages.
EscapetotheSmokies.com, the most comprehensive online guide to the Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, also provides discount Smoky Mountains attraction tickets, Smoky Mountains discount hotels and Smoky Mountains discount vacation packages.