Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on March 8, 2022
Spring is a time of opening in the Great Smoky Mountains. And even though we're still a couple of weeks from the official start of that season, we're seeing many signs of opening everywhere-both in nature and in tourism. Buds and blossoms are starting to appear in trees, shrubberies and flowers, and here at Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're now open for our 2022 season! In fact, we've been up and running since the first of this month, although we'll be operating on a limited schedule at first. So if you're ready to zip line Pigeon Forge this month, be sure to give us a call in advance to confirm exactly which dates we're open and to book your tour.
However, we're not the only area attraction that's finally emerging from a winter hiatus. On March 12, Dollywood theme park kicks off its 37th season in the Smokies, and if you read on, you'll find out what you can expect this year. Highlights include larger festival offerings, the return of two guest-favorite experiences and a new season pass structure that gives guests more options.
The park's annual Flower & Food Festival returns for 2022, running from April 22 to June 5. The festival has expanded, featuring several new Mosaiculture displays that increase the overall footprint of this colorful springtime event. Vivid larger-than-life flower sculptures create an immersive atmosphere for guests as they make their way among hundreds of thousands of blooms throughout the park. In addition, Dollywood's culinary team showcases its skills with a menu full of delicacies that highlight the tastes of springtime in the Smokies.
And that's just the beginning of all the festival action at Dollywood in 2022. Following later in the year are the park's Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, Harvest Festival and, to round out the year, Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Guests might notice a new area at Dollywood this season-Hoot Owl Hollow. Located in Craftsman's Valley, this section features a number of owl-themed displays, both at park level and suspended in trees.
Dollywood's lodging options are beginning to expand with the construction of HeartSong Lodge & Resort. The 302-room, five-story resort will feature high ceilings, exposed beams and natural layered textures. Park officials expect the property to be open by fall of 2023. HeartSong Lodge is actually the first of many projects comprising Dollywood's 10-year, $500 million expansion plan, which was announced last June.
Some of the changes guests will notice at Dollywood this year are related more to infrastructure. For example, the parking complex serving the theme park has been changed from a two-way traffic flow to a one-way circuit that eliminates points of intersection between guest traffic and tram traffic. They're also adding two extra parking tollbooths (four more attendants) as well as more staging lanes for tollbooths. The hope is that this will reduce the amount of time guests spend waiting to get onto the property. Of course, less time waiting to get through the gates means more time inside the park itself.
Other projects include the renovation of Iron Horse Pizza (formerly known as Victoria's Pizza) to include more seating capacity for guests and a complete makeover of The Emporium. Meanwhile, two buildings have been removed to allow for wider walkways-the former Eagle Shop in Craftsman's Valley and the former Christmas Cottage in Rivertown Junction. Also, the tunnel connecting Craftsman's Valley to The Village has been removed, giving guests an unobstructed view of the Dollywood Express as it passes by.
Finally, Dollywood is implementing a new season pass structure this year to include Silver, Gold and Diamond participation levels. For example, the Silver pass gives holders unlimited entries to Dollywood in 2022 plus two Bring-A-Friend-Free tickets and a $5 discount on single-day tickets. The Gold pass expands on these basic perks and also includes free parking and a 15-percent discount on select food and merchandise. The Diamond pass features even more guest tickets and larger discounts on food and merch.