Dollywood's Wildwood Grove Offers 11 Unique Experiences For Families
By: Leigh Anne Borders
Posted: May 30th, 2019
Blog:Living One Full Life
Dollywood is known for being one of the nation’s premier family destinations, and this past Friday Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove officially opened. Designed after Dolly Parton’s childhood memories in the Great Smoky Mountains, this new area is perfect for families!
“When I was a little girl growing up in the hills of the Smoky Mountains, I’d often let my imagination just run away—something I still do now—dreaming these big dreams about what it’d be like to venture off with a family of bears in to the woods or how fun it would be to hitch a ride with the butterflies and dragonflies,” Parton said. “All us kids would splash and play in the creeks and ponds around home and have these daydreams about the world around us, and that’s what’s so special about Wildwood Grove. We’ve been able to create a new area to allow families to experience some of those exact dreams we all had when we were little.
“Wildwood Grove is so special to me because so many of the same daydreams and imaginations from my childhood have now found a perfect place at my Dollywood. I hope families will enjoy laughing, playing and exploring together in this great new place that truly does feel like home for me.”
Guests of all ages and sizes can enjoy this new area with over 11 unique experiences to enjoy together as a family. The adventure begins as soon as guests enter Wildwood Grove through the massive hollow trunk of a fallen tree. Once inside this delightful place, a remarkable world is unveiled to families through their own imaginations. Once you step through the entryway of the Wildwood Grove, your imagination takes flight as you and your family head out on a journey of discovery in this breathtaking area. Remarkable sights await visitors throughout the land. In the distance, the breathtaking Wildwood Tree catches the eye as lively butterflies shimmer in the daylight.
Til & Harvest
Till & Harvest, Wildwood Grove’s featured dining establishment opening around Memorial Day, provides the perfect blend of Smoky Mountain flavors and fresh Mexican cuisine. The menu features a variety of build-your-own style entrees such as burritos, bowls, salads and nachos all filled with wood-fired meats, fresh vegetables and flavorful sauces.
Along with the Smoky Mountain Mexican flavors, Till & Harvest also provides a spacious open-air patio for families to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wildwood Grove while they enjoy their meal.
Treetop Tower gives guests a sky-high view of Wildwood Grove as they soar nearly 40 feet in the air. Riders, seated inside giant acorns, spin around the top of a tall oak tree before gently drifting back to the grove floor. It is the perfect place for families to laugh and play.
Great Tree Swing
Board this thrilling “leaf boat” swing back and forth just like a leaf falling from a giant sycamore tree. One of the things I love about this ride is that you can choose your level of intensity. Sit in the back row of either side to get the maximum effect, or sit in the center to enjoy a little more leisurely swing. No matter what, you are doing to love the Great Tree Swing!
A refreshing stop for play can be found at Wildwood Creek where numerous pop jets, splashing pools and more await. There, guests also can discover their musical side thanks to the various “instruments” available to play.
Flit & Flutter and Benjamin Bear
Be sure to look for a few new friends in Wildwood Grove! Flit and Flutter, Wildwood Grove’s butterfly ambassadors of beauty and grace, dutifully watch over the Wildwood Tree. They enjoy interacting with visitors.
Make sure to find Benjamin Bear, too. He’s a playful friend who loves to explore the grove with visitors.
Characters will have scheduled opportunities to meet guests each day.
Black Bear Trail
Take a ride on a friendly bear! Riders hop on the back of these friendly bears and meander with them through their own natural habitat at the Black Bear Trail.
Hidden Hollow is a 4,000 sq. ft. indoor play space that provides a climate-controlled area for families looking to recharge before their next big adventure. With climbing structures, slides and multiple games, play time here is full of exploration.
Mountain Grove Merchants
From hats to shirts, Mountain Grove Merchants is the one-stop-shop for guests looking for the perfect gift or souvenir to celebrate their adventure in Wildwood Grove. You can even make your own necklace!
At the heart of it all is The Wildwood Tree. Featuring nearly 650 lighted butterflies (orange, blue, yellow, pink and multi-colored) and almost 9000 leaves, draws families to watch the butterflies play in its leafy canopy while encouraging others to splash and play in the winding creek that flows at its base.
As the sun sinks in the sky, Wildwood Grove glows warmly as lanterns and lights glimmer like cheerful fireflies. Once darkness falls, the area sparkles as the Wildwood Tree comes to life each evening in a unique nighttime show that features the butterflies glowing in a kaleidoscope of spectacular color.
Frogs and Fireflies
Friendly frogs hop up and down as they chase each other around the lily pad trying to catch the flickering fireflies fluttering from the tall reeds and grasses. Adventurous guests can hop aboard for this riveting race.
The Mad Mockingbird
Families scream with delight as they take a ride with Tennessee’s state symbol, the mockingbird, in an experience they control themselves at The Mad Mockingbird. Riders control their ride experience by moving a sail as the birds rush above the ground at a high speed.
This thrilling suspended roller coaster lets guests soar with a dragonfly as it dips and darts along the gushing geysers and lush landscape of Wildwood Grove.
Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove is an experience families don’t want to miss. These merry memory making moments are certain to become a treasured part of every family’s visit. Make plans to attend duirng the 2019 season. They’ve got an incredible line up this year. You can read all about it here.