Dollywood’s Wildwood Grove Construction Update – Nov 27, 2018

Alexander: Hello! How’s everyone enjoying the holiday season so far? If you’re like us and have spent some time at Dollywood this fall, we suspect your holidays have been pretty great so far!

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This is an exciting time for Dollywood; Glacier Ridge, the largest ever addition to Smoky Mountain Christmas has just made its debut, Lightning Rod is open (and running consistently!) following a lengthy closure over the summer season, and plenty of work is taking place on the park’s biggest ever expansion, Wildwood Grove.

Oh! What’s this I see? Some lovely green track poking out behind Thunderhead.

The entrance to Wildwood Grove is situated right where the midway passes beneath Mystery Mine. Guests will make their way up the gentle slope to the many attractions waiting at the top of the plateau.

A ride on the Dollywood Express offers excellent views of the new area as construction progresses.

The clearing is HUGE. Only about half of it is currently being used for Wildwood Grove; I wonder what’s in store for the rest of the developed land?

See the smoke in the air? That’s genuine coal soot from our chariot, the WWII-era locomotive, Cinderella.

As we make our way above the construction zone, there’s lots of new things to admire.

The building in the foreground is the station for Black Bear Trail, a mini monorail wherein guests of all ages can ride upon the backs of friendly black bears. The larger building to the right is a climate-controlled playground!

Once you pass Wildwood Grove, you can sneak a peak at the big Christmas Tree that lights up The Plaza at Wilderness Pass.

On the way back down? More opportunities for pictures!

I’m very pleased to see just how close the Vekoma family invert Dragon Flier and Thunderhead are. The views of the new coaster from atop Thunderhead’s lift are amazing!

Riders on Dragon Flier will be face-to-face with Thunderhead’s first drop when they emerge from the ride’s underground tunnel!

Behind the area’s current footprint is an organized mess of ride pieces and lumber.

The views of Lightning Rod are quite something up here as well!

And Wild Eagle!

Even Mystery Mine can now be seen from way back behind Wildwood Grove.

It wasn’t very crowded at the park that day. Below-freezing temps kept most rides closed and most guests indoors!

Sean and I really loved getting up-close-and-personal with Wildwood Grove!

Trackwork for Dragon Flier is nearing completion. Soon it’ll be time to start work on structures and landscaping around the ride!

With a little lucky timing, riders on Dollywood Express and Dragon Flier can enjoy a near-miss of each other as the coaster rounds the final turn.

Dragon Flier comes right up to the train tracks! It fits amazing well in its location considering it’s a production model ride.

While it’s a rare example of a non-custom ride build for Dollywood, clones of Dragon Flier can only be found overseas – it’s a one-of-a-kind installation among North America.

We’d be curious to know if Wildwood Grove will eventually make a loop that connects to Thunderhead‘s entrance.

Perhaps there’s a Wildwood Grove Phase II that incorporates a connecting of the midways! I guess we’ll just have to see what the next few years bring.

That concludes our Wildwood Grove update! Stay tuned for more Pigeon Forge-based updates, including detailed looks at the area’s newest mountain coaster, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, as well as more updates from Dollywood!

Oh, and welcome to the new!



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