Why Dolly Parton's Dollywood Theme Park Just Closed Down During Opening Weekend

Dollywood was set to reopen on March 12, but some unexpected winter weather pushed back the schedule to March 13 instead. Dolly Parton had even come to Pigeon Forge, TN, to celebrate the kickoff of the season, but snow and freezing temperatures put those plans briefly on hold. Parton, for her first in-person appearance at the park since 2019, welcomed back season pass holders on Friday. The general public was supposed to return on Saturday, but the weather put a hold on those plans.

Parton sadly will not be at Dollywood on Sunday. After two years of COVID restrictions, Dollywood will no longer have a mask policy, will not enforce social distancing, and not offer ticket reservations.

Parton revealed in June that she is expanding Dollywood, announcing the upcoming addition of Dollywood's HeartSong Lodge & Resort. The resort takes its name from Parton's song "Heart Song" and will be a five-story 302-room resort located adjacent to the Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa.

The Heartsong Lodge & Resort is set to open in 2023 and its design is inspired by the Great Smoky Mountains in which it resides. The video describes the resort as "a new, elevated take on the great American lodge, filled with the warmth of the Great Smoky Mountains." Its aesthetic is "rustic yet refined," with accents like exposed beams and large fireplaces and touches that are "true to Dolly." "I am so proud of everything and every time I see [HeartSong Lodge & Resort] I just love how we're incorporating the great Smoky Mountains into the design," Parton said in her announcement.

"Welcoming the outdoors in with high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures, Dollywood's newest resort offers lodging options for multi-generational families and couples," a press release shared, via Country Now. "Spacious family suites and bunk rooms feature lovely touches that are inspired by the beauty of the Smokies, inviting guests of all ages to gather for meaningful connections."

Dollywood opened in 1986 and hosts nearly three million guests during a typical season. "I'm so proud of this place that we've been able to build here in the Smokies," Parton said in a statement. "I always dreamed of accomplishing two things with Dollywood. I wanted to give jobs to the folks who live here and I wanted to give visitors another reason to come and experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. We celebrated our 35th season last year, so I think it is fair to say we've been able to do that."