Dolly Parton Reveals Hilarious Reason Why She Won’t Ride the Rides at Dollywood

Dolly Parton has made a name for herself as a singer, songwriter, and businesswoman and while she has conquered many…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 28, 2023


2:28 pm

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Dolly Parton; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Dolly Parton has made a name for herself as a singer, songwriter, and businesswoman and while she has conquered many feats throughout her life and career, there are still some things the iconic entertainer won’t do, including ride the rides at Dollywood

During a recent visit to the theme park to celebrate the opening of the Big Bear Mountain roller coaster, Parton shared the hilarious reason she chooses not to partake in the rides at the award-winning park in an interview with Bang Showbiz.

“Well does that look like fun or not? I think that is really gonna be something really great. Now you all know as well as you know my name that I am not gonna be riding that thing,” Parton quipped of the coaster, adding, “Because I don’t ride the rides, I don’t want my hair to fly off right on national television or something! But I know that all of you will be fighting to get on it and I’ll be standing watching you get in line!”

This isn’t the first time Parton shared her reason for skipping out on the rides at Dollywood. In a 2019 New York Times profile, she said, “With all my hair I got so much to lose, like my wig or my shoes. I don’t like to get messed up. I’m gonna have some handsome man mess it up, I don’t want some ride doing it.”

Dollywood’s Big Bear Mountain, the largest single attraction investment in the park’s history, officially opened in mid-May. The attraction cost $25 million to construct and sits in the park’s Wildwood Grove area.   

At 3,990 linear ft., the ride is ¾-mile long and is the longest roller coaster at the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, park. 

Big Bear Mountain; Photo Courtesy Dollywood
Big Bear Mountain; Photo Courtesy Dollywood

Dollywood’s “Dreamer-in-Chief” was filled with excitement as the ride features theming elements that pay homage to her cherished Smoky Mountains.

“We said we’re going to expand Wildwood Grove, and we really meant it,” Dolly said prior to the opening of Big Bear Mountain. “This ride is bigger than, well, Big Bear! Seriously though, I’m so glad we’re able to incorporate so much of the Smokies into this ride. I’m proud of where I’m from, and these Smoky Mountains truly are so much a part of me and who I am to this day.

“I remember going out on my own little nature adventures when I was a kid, so I’m happy to know our guests are going to be able to go out together looking for that Big Bear! I’ve been hearing stories about him and whether or not he really is out there, but there is one thing I know for sure. No matter if guests find him or not, they’re going to have a lot of very happy memories to take home with them when they leave.”

In addition to experiencing Big Bear Mountain, Dollywood guests can take part in the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration at Dollywood from now through Aug. 6. 

The celebration includes “Dollywood’s Sweet Summer Nights,” a drone show that combines 500 high-tech drones with a world-class fireworks extravaganza, and the Gazillion Bubble Show at the Celebrity Theater.  

Additionally, Dollywood guests can enjoy the tastes of summer from the Dollywood culinary team, including sweet treats like a s’mores funnel cake and refreshing paleta flavors including mango and cookies & cream.

Click HERE to learn more. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.