Posted April 2, 2008
Just mention the name "Dolly," and most folks think of that infectious giggle, stilettos,
blonde bouffant and upbeat down-home attitude of celebrated entertainer Dolly Parton.
With her roots firmly planted in East Tennessee's Sevier County, it comes as no surprise
that her theme park, Dollywood, pays homage to the history and traditions of the Smoky
More than two decades ago, Dolly joined forces with Herschend Family Enterprises to expand
and reinvent the former Silver Dollar City. Dolly's stamp of approval can be found
throughout Dollywood, which has doubled in size to 130 acres.
Every year adds a new attraction ...
The latest Dollywood attraction is the $5 million River Battle raft ride, which will soak
bystanders and riders, who will ride down a 500-foot waterway.
The 2007 season marked the debut of Mystery Mine, the park's $17.5 million steel roller
coaster, the only ride of its kind in the country. Set in an abandoned 1900's coal mine,
Mystery Mine's eight-passenger mine carts plunge adventurous riders into darkness. The
exhilarating ride travels a 1,811-foot track on a 2.5 minute journey that includes a
95-degree, 85-foot vertical drop.
Whether you're a first-time visitor or not, do take the Dollywood Express Train. Rain or
shine, the train takes you on a five-mile trek through the park, "the friendliest town in
the Smokies." You'll catch a glimpse of Dollywood's different areas’ÄîRivertown
Junction, Craftsmen's Valley, Dreamland Forest, Country Fair, The Village, jukebox
Junction, Showstreet and Adventures in Imagination.
What's fun to note is that the two Baldwin steam locomotive engines - Cinderella and
Klondike Katie’ - were built in 1938 and 1943, respectively. Both were used in Alaska on
the White Pass Railroad during World War II to haul troops and lumber.
By KAY HARWELL FERNANDEZ
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