KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - Christmas at Dollywood just got bigger and brighter.
For 11 years, Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas has been awarded with the Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event. Friday, Dolly Parton announced the park will take their already successful holiday destination to the next level.
Parton announced Glacier Ridge, an expansion of lights and sights for all to see. The news comes just three months after the announcement of Wildwood Grove, a more than $30 million expansion to the park.
Glacier Ridge, according to Dollywood spokespeople, will push the count of Christmas lights at more than five million.
“Christmas is so important to me for so many reasons,” Dolly Parton said. “I’m so thankful that it’s a time when our family comes together to share stories, remember old times, and make new memories we’ll take with us through the next year and beyond. There’s a lot of laughin’ and a whole lot of love when we all get together. I want those folks who come to experience Christmas with us at Dollywood to feel like they’re part of the family, making those memories and sharing those special times. I know the fun they’ll find in Glacier Ridge will help them create brand new memories and traditions.”
Some of the features of the expansion include synchronized light shows, a 50-ft. tall animated tree, a 130-ft. tunnel of lights and twinkling overhead lights meant to give the illusion of aurora borealis in the Smokies.
Parton, showing no signs of slowing down, says her business strategy is keeping the customers happy.
"Every year at the end of a season we have a dream session to think of what we'd like to do, what fans want, what they’ve commented on, what they don't like, what to take away, what to rework," she said.
Parton says she's even meeting demand by adding on a new resort because Dreamore is always booked.
While Dollywood grows in East Tennessee, Dolly Parton's career is also expanding, into an eight part Netflix series based around eight of her songs.
"I’m real excited about it. They seem to be real keen on what we’re doing so we might be able to continue that. It would be something I would love to do. Im actually staring in some [episodes]. I introduce them all, talk about why I wrote the song," she said.
Right now, Parton is working on the episode about her hit song "Jolene," but says she will be doing "I Will Always Love You."
The anthology series of her hit songs will debut on Netflix in 2019.
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