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Dollywood’s 2020 season marks the 35th anniversary for the park and so far, it’s been one for the record books – but not in the way any of us would have expected.
For Dollywood devotees, the annual spring re-opening of the park is an event not to be missed. Each season is marked by some sort of new event, new show, new festival, new ride or new expansion. Last year, it was Wildwood Grove – the largest expansion in the park’s history. This year, most notably, Dollywood was meant to feature the park’s first new festival experience since 2006 – the Flower & Food Festival (Dollywood’s version of the traditional theme park “Food & Wine” festival, sans alcohol, plus topiaries) which was originally scheduled to run May 8 through June 14.
However despite Dollywood’s original plans to open as scheduled despite COVID-19 concerns, on Friday, March 13 in the middle of season-pass holder preview day and just hours before the park was set to reopen to the general public, Dollywood announced they would delay the their opening day for two weeks, til March 28. Days later, the park pushed that deadline out indefinitely.
Weeks later, on April 14th, Dollywood announced that they would be going into “hibernation mode”, temporarily furloughing 630 employees and putting all remaining active employees on a 50% salary reduction.
Since then, even with Tennessee’s “safer at home” order expiring on April 30th allowing some local restaurants and select attractions to re-open to to the general public, while still being strongly encouraged to follow state recommended safeguards and protocols, the future of Dollywood’s 2020 season remains unclear.
While we continue to monitor the situation closely, and expect updates throughout the week, we put together this handy reference FAQ, with what we know so far:
1. When will the park re-open for its 2020 season?
While the park has made not yet made an official announcement, Tenneseee Governer Bill Lee issued an executive order on April 28 that dictates amusement parks are to remain closed. This executive order is to remain in effect until May 29. So we can at least safely say, it is unlikely Dollywood will be opening this month.
A statement on the Dollywood website reads in part, “We continue to consult with medical experts and monitor the situation to determine when it may be safe to reopen Dollywood and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. The safety of our employees and guests remain our highest priority.”
2. What about my 2020 season passes?
Dollywood announced last week that they would be automatically extending the validity of the 2020 Season Pass for both Dollywood and Splash Country through June 1, 2021. According to the website, this extension also applies to the free Pre-K Imagination Season Pass. Even if your child turns six in 2021 they will be grandfathered into this offering.
While this offer does not apply to a holder of a daily ticket – those who have pre-purchased day tickets can still take advantage of this offer by upgrading that ticket to a season pass by calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
3. How do I redeem the “Summer bring a friend for free” promotion?
Dollywood has yet to release information about this summer promotion and says they will announce details when a re-opening date is set.
Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.