Dolly's Splash Country to debut at Dollywood's April 7 reopening

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. -- Dollywood has a new attraction and a new water park planned for its 16th season, which begins April 7.

The new attraction, Festival of Nations, is an international celebration featuring more than 400 entertainers from 15 countries. It will open with the park and run through May 6.

The new water park, the long-awaited Dolly's Splash Country, will debut on May 19.

Near the existing 125-acre Dollywood complex, the water park is being built on a 25-acre site at a cost of $20 million.

Major attractions will include a family mountain raft ride, a children's activity area, single and double tube slides, a 25,000-square-foot wave pool and a freefall water slide.

The water park will have food and beverage areas and a changing facility.

Dollywood said it expects Splash Country to attract 300,000 visitors in its first season, which runs through early September.

Each park will have a separate admissions and parking area, and tickets for one or both parks will be available.

The Festival of Nations will include Irish and Cossack dancers and musicians; an Indian group from the Andes, and dancers from the National Folkloric Ballet of Puerto Rico.

Among other countries represented will be Germany, India, Spain, Trinidad, Australia and Vietnam.

During the festival, restaurants throughout the park will feature food from around the world.

The water park is the second recent expansion for Dollywood. Last April, Dreamland Forest, a $3 million, 15,000-square-foot children's area, opened.

The number for Dollywood/Dolly's Splash Country is (800) DOLLYWOOD.

The Web site can be visited at www.dollywood.com.

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