As the face of Dollywood, some might assume that Dolly Parton has been on every rollercoaster. But she’s taking a hard pass on many of the park’s more than 50 exciting rides, including the latest addition, the Big Bear Mountain rollercoaster. It’s part of a $500 million expansion of the park.
The country music icon sometimes stops to join the festivities, like introducing the new rollercoaster. But she told the crowd she wouldn’t be among the first riders, sharing concerns about potential national embarrassment.
Dolly Parton opened Dollywood in 1986
According to the Dollywood website, three other amusement parks existed in its location before Parton got involved. The country star publicly stated her desire to open a theme park in her Tennessee hometown and was invited to become part of what was then called Silver Dollar City.
Dollywood opened in 1986, and over a million people visited in the first season, doubling the number of guests to Silver Dollar City the year before. The park now “offers more than 50 world-class rides, high-energy entertainment, award-winning dining, and the friendliest park atmosphere in the world!”
In 2022, it was TripAdvisor’s top pick for US theme parks, and we’d bet having Parton’s signature all over it certainly helps. But why doesn’t she ride the rollercoasters when she goes to Dollywood?
Dolly Parton doesn’t want her ‘hair to fly off’ on a Dollywood rollercoaster
When the park opened in the late ’80s, Parton was slightly more inclined to hop on a ride to demonstrate the fun. However, 50 years later, she’s more concerned about losing something.
While introducing a preview for Dollywood’s largest attraction to date, the Big Bear Mountain rollercoaster, Parton shared her excitement with the crowd. “Well, does that look like fun or not? I think that is really gonna be something really great,” she told them (per Bang Showbiz). However, she added that she had no intention of getting on it herself.
She explained, “Now you all know as well as you know my name that I am not gonna be riding that thing! Because I don’t ride the rides, I don’t want my hair to fly off right on national television or something!”
Parton has made no secret of her preference for wearing cheap, synthetic wigs and once said she has hundreds — one for every day of the year. So, she’ll stay off rollercoasters to avoid holding onto her hair, but she still encouraged park-goers to have fun. “… I know that all of you will be fighting to get on it,” she concluded, “and I’ll be standing watching you get in line!”
Dolly Parton gets motion sick and is ‘a little bit chicken’
Parton’s hair isn’t the only reason she has for staying off the rides. “I have a tendency to get motion sickness,” she explained (per New York Times). “Also, I’m a little bit chicken.”
She added she has “so much to lose, like [her] wig or …. shoes.”
“I don’t like to get messed up,” Parton offered, joking that she’d rather “have some handsome man” mess up her hair than “some ride doing it.”