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Keith Urban shared a photo of himself and Nicole Kidman with the caption “HAPPY VALENTINES DAY❤️??” on his Instagram on Valentine’s Day eve, and it didn’t take long for the headlines to start pouring in about the couple’s sweet V-Day date at Dolly Parton’s namesake park, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.
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Multiple news sources reported the couple spent Valentine’s Day by taking a trip to the theme park. People, Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, Page Six and many others all reported with similar headlines — “Dollywood Day! Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban Celebrate Valentine’s with a Theme Park Trip.”
Taste of Country even went on to say that the couple is spending more time in their home of Tennessee as of late, not venturing far from their Nashville home for their Valentine’s Day festivities.
But it didn’t take long for the locals, and those of us that know the area best, to ask the obvious question: “Isn’t Dollywood closed?” Yes, dear reader, it is (and set to reopen in mid-March).
It’s an old photo…Dollywood is closed right now…
— 1urbanfan27 (@1urbanfan27unp) February 15, 2020
At first, we just thought they simply rented out the entire park for the day. That’s the kind of thing celebrities do, right? I mean, Jay-Z and Beyonce famously rented a theme park for their kid’s birthday party. And in season 8 of the “Bachelorette”, Emily Maynard took Arie Luyendyk Jr. on a date to Dollywood, where the theme park was closed for just the two of them. If the “Bachelorette” can do it, it’s not unreasonable to assume such a power-celebrity couple could, too.
While it is hard to find cold hard evidence of celebrities renting out the whole park, Dollywood has been known to close for special occasions — for example, when Julianne Hough toured Dollywood to promote “Heartstrings.”
But then it was brought to our attention that the couple was, indeed, spotted at the park back in November.
At Dollywood. Everyone in my party is jealous of me because I’m the only one that noticed that we walked past Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman ?
— James?Stultz (@jamestultz19) November 29, 2019
Could THAT many respectable news outlets get the story so wrong? Our curiosity led us down a rabbit hole of speculation and an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out how this celebrity couple spent their Valentine’s Day weekend.
And so, for fun, I present to you my findings on the great “Dollywoodgate” controversy.
First, I present Exhibit A: the weather forecast. let’s take a look at the photo. Like, REALLY look at it. The weather on Thursday, the day the photo was posted, was cloudy with a high of 61 degrees and a low of 37. So far, plausible. They are definitely wearing winter clothing.
Next, we examined the foliage and decorations. Exhibit B: In November – Pumpkins. Are. Everywhere. Including next to the log-heart display.
This is another point for the “it’s plausible they rented out the park” column, as the pumpkins aren’t visible in Keith’s photo.
But then we found our “smoking gun” — Exhibit C. The couple at the park, in November, in the same clothing as their Valentine’s Day celebration photo.
— Jennifer (@Jennife46498080) November 30, 2019
And so, we dub this one DEBUNKED! At least, we’re about 98 percent sure. It looks like the other news outlets did, in fact, incorrectly speculate that the couple made a special date at the park specifically for Valentine’s Day.
But at any rate, the sweet couple clearly shares our love for the park, and we wish them a very happy holiday week either way. Talk about couple goals.
my dms are open if you’re trying to be like keith urban & nicole kidman spending valentine’s day at dollywood pic.twitter.com/yFcoWUnXJB
— keaton kilde (@keatonkildebell) February 14, 2020
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