Dolly Parton's Dollywood Delays Opening Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dolly Parton's Dollywood is delaying its opening for at least several more weeks. A statement was shared on the theme park's website, announcing the disappointing news.

"Based on daily changes in the status of the coronavirus pandemic and guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control we are delaying the opening of Dollywood and suspending the operations Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa as of March 24," said the statement by Craig Ross, Dollywood President. "Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Cabins remains open at this time. The coronavirus crisis is unprecedented, and based on the ever-changing developments, we are constantly re-evaluating our options and hoping to open in May."

"We are looking daily at all of our options to present an exciting and entertaining 2020 season that is a great experience for our guests, but our first priority is the safety of our hosts and guests," he continued. "Dollywood will continue to watch the conditions within our region, consult with our medical experts and follow CDC guidelines to determine the re-opening date for the parks and resort. We will continue to communicate any additional changes as they occur."

It's been a difficult week for Parton, who is mourning the loss of her good friend and frequent collaborator, Kenny Rogers. Rogers passed away on Friday at 81 years of age.

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"You never know how much you love somebody until they're gone," Parton captioned a video she shared on social media, expressing her thoughts on the loss of the country music icon. "I've had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly."

In the video, Parton expounded on her relationship with her friend of more than 50 years.

"I loved Kenny with all my heart," she said in part. "My heart's broken and a big ol' chunk of it has gone with him today," she continued. "And I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends, and fans when I say that I will always love you."

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Earlier, the park had announced it would delay its opening until March 28. Updates will be posted at Dollywood.com.

Photo Credit: Getty / Rich Fury