At Dollywood, the proprietor has a guilty little secret
NEW YORK – Dolly Parton has a sly little secret about her stewardship of Dollywood, the giant amusement park she co-owns at the Smokey Mountains tourist mecca of Pigeon Forge in her home state of Tennessee.
She never rides any of the rides.
During press interviews for her new musical movie, “Joyful Noise,” hosted by Warner Bros. at the Regency Hotel, the actress and country music legend, always cheerful and forthright, let slip the odd fact that she’s simply too nervous to partake of her huge fun park’s whirly-gig amusement rides.
“Well, to be honest with you, I don’t ride the rides,” Parton said with a sheepish grin when asked about her favorite park amusements. “Right now, we’re building our biggest ride ever; it’s the equivalent to the Space Mountain or the other really big roller coasters. It’s called the Wild Eagle.
“And they’re saying to me, ‘you have to ride this one,’” Parton said. “And I said, ‘I don’t have to do anything. And I’m not getting on it.’ I wrote a theme song for it and all. But, no …”
Dollywood is a sprawling country theme park on the former site of a Silver Dollar City that features thrill rides, traditional crafts and music, a water park and a toe-tapping schedule of live concert performances (occasionally featuring Parton or members of her family). The roster of rides runs from the kid-friendly Village Carousel and the Piggy Parade to the thrill-a-minute Daredevil Falls, the Mountain Sidewinder and the Tennessee Tornado.
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