I’m home from my little weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, for opening day at Dollywood. The theme park officially opened to the public on Saturday, March 28, but I was there on Friday, March 27, for media day, which was also open to season ticket holders this year.
“I can’t wait for families to see Imagine’ at Dollywood,” Dolly said. ‘It’s got bold and bright costumes, wild makeup and unexpected twists and turns, just like me. That’s why it’ll be just perfect for Dollywood!” I don’t think Dolly could say anything without adding a little bit of her humor to it. But she was right about the show.
Le Grande Cirque has performed for more than 10 million people around the world. Imagine’ features an international cat of world-champion acrobats and performers from several countries, including England,France, China, Russia, Monte Carlo, the U.S., and more. Acts featured in the 45 minute show include pole climbing, contortionists, hoop diving, unicycle, silk ropes, the diablo, and much more.
Dolly was on hand to talk about things going on in the Smoky Mountains this year, and to take some questions from the media. She told us that she has been named Ambassador of Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 75th Anniversary.
There is usually a parade down the Parkway in Pigeon Forge the evening before Dollywood opens to the public, but this year that parade will be held in May, in conjunction with the anniversary of the national park. And, Dolly will be riding in that parade.
With the 75th anniversary of the Great smoky Mountains, Dolly has also written a 45 minute musical production, the most elaborate in the theme park’s 24 year history, which incorporates scenic elements and stage effects never before seen at Dollywood. The show is called Shaconage, a Cherokee word that means land of the blue smoke. Dolly wrote eight songs for the musical, which she has also recorded, along with six other songs that will be featured in the stage show.
The musical will run from May 9-Oct. 31, in the Celebrity Theater at Dollywood. the CD is selling for $10, with $8 from each CD being donated to Friends of the Smokies, a non-profit organization devoted to preserving and protecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by raising funds and public awareness. The CD is available here.
If you’re planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, and you’ll be there for a few days, remember there’s more to Dolly than just Dollywood. You can also enjoy Dolly’s Splash Country, and since you’ll have to eat anyway, why not do it at Dixie Stampede, where you get dinner and a show.
I haven’t found any videos from our 2009 media day, but here’s a short clip someone had up on YouTube from media day last year. In this clip, she’s talking about some of the dancers that were on hand last year for the Festival of Nations, which Imagine’ is part of this year.
I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow. I have a lot of catching up to do around the house before I head to work tomorrow morning. Getting away for a few days is always really nice, but then you have to come home and pick up where you left off. I’ll talk to you all soon. I’ll get on my e-mail just as soon as I can!
I just couldn’t leave Dollywood without taking a picture of her little “good-bye, y’all” sign… so naturally I wanted to put that up here, too. Talk to you all soon!