Dollywood Expands, Adds New Rides

Dolly Parton's Dollywood (search) theme park, Tennessee's biggest tourist attraction, is getting bigger.

The amusement park, located in the Great Smoky Mountains (search), will add 10 rides in 2005 in a 3 1/2-acre expansion of the park's Country Fair area that will increase ride capacity by more than 2,000 passengers an hour.

"This project will allow more people to enjoy Country Fair, one of Dollywood's most popular areas," said Dollywood general manager Barbara Joines recently. No value on the additions was disclosed.

The new rides will mix traditional midway favorites with unique attractions, such as an airplane-style ride that allows passengers to create their own experience.

Most will allow parents and children to experience the ride together. Several existing rides will be retired to make way for the additions.

Construction is to begin in November with completion prior to the park's seasonal opening March 26.

Open nine months of the year, Dollywood is a 125-acre park offering more than 30 rides, crafts and musical attractions. It draws more than 2.2 million visitors annually, second in visitation in Tennessee only to the neighboring Great Smoky Mountains National Park.