Dollywood Rumored To Be Working on a Year-Round Experience

dollywood entrance and showstreet

There is a rumor going around town that Dollywood is working on a year-round experience centered around ShowStreet (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Rumors say Dollywood might be starting a year-round experience similar to Disney Springs in 2025

I love my East Tennessee home. I love the traditions, the food and the people. And especially how those people can’t always keep a secret.

After all, a little harmless gossip is practically tradition. And this week, the rumor mill is buzzing about our favorite award-winning theme park opening up a year-round experience for its guests as early as 2025. But first, I want to make one important note: The following has not been confirmed by The Dollywood Company. The following is simply a rumor and, at the very least, a fun idea to entertain. So what are the details of this rumor? Read on, fellow gossip lovers.

It is rumored that Dollywood is currently considering keeping the Showstreet section of the park open year-round for, at a minimum, Dollywood Resort guests, and possibly the general public. However, it is unlikely that they would keep the entire park as most rides are inoperable when temperatures drop near or below freezing.

Details on the possible year-round experience

There’s a rumor going around town that the theme park Dollywood is considering keeping its Showstreet section open year-round. Again – I can’t state this enough – this has not been confirmed by the theme park. But it makes sense, and I’ll explain why it makes sense below. It sounds like the idea could be somewhat similar to Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., which offers dining, shopping and entertainment, but perhaps on a smaller scale.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Showstreet is the section of the Dollywood theme park at the entrance. It features dining options including the Front Porch Cafe, Spotlight Bakery, Showstreet Frozen Lemonade, Showstreet Ice Cream and Showstreet Snacks.

For shopping, it has the Emporium, The Southern Pantry and Traditions, to name a few. And finally, for entertainment, Showstreet features Celebrity Theater, the Market Square Stage, Showstreet Gazebo and Showstreet Palace Theater. You can view a map on the Dollywood website.

So, this means, Dollywood could theoretically offer shopping, dining and shows year-round. It sounds like the idea could be similar to Disney Springs in Orlando, Fla., which is a free entertainment complex with shopping, dining and music. However, it would likely be a smaller version of that. If this idea did come to fruition, it’s unclear if admittance would be free or simply a reduced price from the regular theme park ticket. It could even be limited to Dollywood Resort guests only (those staying at HeartSong and DreamMore).

inside the emporium gift shop at dollywood
The Emporium gift shop is part of Showstreet at the entrance of the park (photo by Morgan Overholt/

Why this rumor makes sense

While this theory is not confirmed, I think it does make sense. After all, Dollywood now has two major resortsDreamMore and HeartSong – to fill during its off-season in January and February, with more on the way. Plus, it would be the perfect option for folks who want to visit Dollywood but can’t always ride the rides. It also makes sense for The Dollywood Company’s full-time employees who normally have to take unemployment when the park is normally closed in January and February.

Plus, it makes sense with the new Dolly Parton Experience that is expected to open in the 2024 season. The Dolly Parton Experience is located near Showstreet, and it has the potential to be a major driver of visitors to the park. It will be a major attraction with interactive elements about Dolly’s life that span her career and family life. Most notably, an attraction that isn’t dependent on weather-reliant rides and coasters.

heartsong lobby
The glamorous Dollywood Heartsong Lodge and Resort is the newest hotel of the Dollywood resorts (photo by Morgan Overholt/

What it means for local business

If Dollywood is considering this as an option, it could potentially help the local economy during the notoriously slow season in the winter. It is a move that has the potential to create more full-time jobs not only for Dollywood employees but for other area attractions as well.

After all, most major area attractions – like Anakeesta – tend to follow Dollywood’s lead each winter with a limited operating schedule. If a year-round Dollywood generates enough area traffic other area attractions may, again, take Dollywood’s lead and remain open too. At least in some capacity.

Finally, it would be the perfect destination for Dolly Parton fans and Dollywood fans. And hey, if the rumors aren’t true … a girl can dream, right?

What do you think Dollywood has in store for its guests in the future? Would you love to see Dollywood be open year-round? Let us know in the comments section below. If you’re planning a trip to the Smokies, be sure to check out our coupons page.

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