SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Dollywood is open for the 2023 season and Dolly Parton made an appearance at the park on opening day for season pass holders.

Season pass holders got a sneak peek at what’s new at the park on Friday. Parton shared with visitors some of the projects the park is working on including a new rollercoaster, a lodge and resort, and how they’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dolly’s iconic song “I Will Always love you.” 

In an exclusive interview with Parton, I asked what makes a particular project stand out to her.

“Well, I’m just working on all kinds of things. I’m very excited right now I’m working on my first rock and roll album that’s going to come out somewhere in the fall. I have a lot of iconic singers and a lot of iconic songwriters on that. So I’ve been looking forward to that.” Parton said.

“I’m actually doing a movie of Run, Rose, Run, a book that I wrote with James Patterson. We got a movie coming out of that. So I got a lot of wonderful projects going on. I’m going to be a busy girl and we’re going to be busy over here at Dollywood. We got a lot of great things coming up next year. We plan all year long on what is going to be happening for the next year. So my plate is full. My plate runneth over.” She continued continued.

Dolly has always given to the Sevier County community including during the recent wildfires and during the 2016 wildfires. She has given funds to help with Covid-19 relief, and her Imagination Library continues to grow. Parton said when it comes to her philanthropy work that she helps simply because she is able to.

“I think that once you get into a position to help, you should help and it gives me a good feeling because I’ve been given so much in my own lifetime. I like to be able to give back and it gives me a good feeling to know that I can do something to help somebody else.” Parton said.

She added “I truly love my work and that’s just so much a part of me, and if I didn’t have something to do I’d probably turn all that energy into myself. So that wouldn’t be good. So I think energy begets energy and I always say I live on creative and spiritual energy anyway and that’s the truth. I just love what I do it as long as I’m able to.”