Dolly Parton Announces My People Fund


December 1, 2016 – Our friends at Dollywood and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort were not directly impacted by the recent wildfires in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, thanks to the hard work by volunteers, firefighters, and first responders. The theme park has resumed normal operations of its guest favorite Smoky Mountain Christmas. The Dollywood family is dedicated to continuing to serve Tennessee and the surrounding area by doing what they do best – providing a complete getaway for families looking to reconnect with each other in the mountains.

Helping families make memories at times like these also means helping families recover from the devastation. You can join in the Dollywood Foundation’s efforts to help families in Sevier County by visiting DOLLYWOODFOUNDATION.ORG.

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Adventure Aquarium Announces Grand Opening of Shark Bridge Exhibit

Shark Bridge Image Screenshot


CAMDEN, New Jersey (March 21, 2016)—Adventure Aquarium officially announced its newest exhibit addition for 2016 earlier today, which involves walking over water – and sharks.

Shark Bridge, with a grand opening set for Friday, April 8, will take visitors just inches above nearly 30 remarkable sand tiger, sandbar and nurse sharks along with other animals swimming below. Guests will become part of the experience as they cross the longest, V-shaped rope suspension bridge in the world over the 21-foot deep Shark Realm exhibit.  Shark Bridge is sure to be an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind thrill.

“As our guests make the journey across Shark Bridge, they will have an unprecedented perspective of the 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit,” said Vince Nicoletti, Executive Director and Vice President, Adventure Aquarium. “For the first time ever, we will take visitors directly above the water, and these magnificent creatures, all while granting access to areas previously accessible only to the biologists. There’s no doubt that Shark Bridge will incite the explorer in all of us.”

Shark Bridge is constructed of almost 4 tons of steel, 148 bolts and enough rope to span the length of 63 football fields, The V-shaped bridge extends 81 feet over the Shark Realm exhibit, home to over 20 different species of fish, including sharks and stingrays.



PBS KIDS Announces New Series SPLASH (w.t.) Will Premiere in Fall 2016

Splash Image Screenshot


New Multiplatform Media Property Produced by The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Enterprises Encourages Kids to Explore Marine Biology and Ocean Science and Builds Social-Emotional Skills

PASADENA, Calif. (January 19, 2016)—Television Critics Association Press Tour: In fall 2016, PBS KIDS will premiere SPLASH (w.t.), a new animated series that dives into marine biology and ocean science. Created by John Tartaglia (“Imaginocean,” Johnny and the Sprites”) and Herschend Enterprises (Dollywood, Harlem Globetrotters), SPLASH (w.t.) is designed to encourage kids ages 4-7 to explore the diversity and spectacle of our natural undersea world. The multiplatform media property will debut on PBS stations nationwide, along with integral digital content.

“PBS KIDS offers high-quality media content to meet the needs of today’s kids, sparking their curiosity and excitement about learning,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “While oceans cover the majority of the Earth’s surface, there is a profound lack of educational media for young children that explores the science of the fascinating world under the sea. SPLASH (w.t.) will introduce kids to the wonders of marine biology, building science skills and fostering an appreciation for the biodiversity that lives in our oceans.”

SPLASH (w.t.) follows the adventures of its title character, a yellow fusilier fish who has migrated all over the oceans before settling down with his family in Reeftown, where he befriends three inquisitive fellow sea creatures. Until Splash came along, Bubbles, Dunk, Ripple and most of the other Reeftown residents had no idea what lay beyond the cozy confines of their coral walls. Together, Splash and his friends explore the world’s oceans, where they meet wildly diverse marine animals and discover otherworldly undersea habitats, bringing back what they’ve learned to share with their neighbors.


World’s First and Only Shark Bridge to Open Thursday at Newport Aquarium


North America’s largest collection of scalloped hammerhead sharks now on exhibit

NEWPORT, Ky. (April 29, 2015)—Newport Aquarium‘s all-new Shark Bridge – the only rope suspension bridge in North America where guests can walk just inches above nearly two dozen sharks – is scheduled to open to the public 10 a.m. Thursday, April 30.

The Shark Bridge is a 75-foot-long, V-shaped rope bridge suspended over the open waters of the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit’s 385,000-gallon tank. Should guests dare to cross, the Shark Bridge offers the thrill of walking closely atop sharks, shark rays, stingrays and hundreds of fish from an unrivaled vantage point.

“For our thrill-seeking guests who dare to cross, Shark Bridge is a breathtaking way to experience sharks like never before,” said Eric Rose, executive director at Newport Aquarium. “It’s an adventure that you can only get at Newport Aquarium.”

A family-friendly attraction, Shark Bridge is included with admission to Newport Aquarium.

Commemorating the opening of the Shark Bridge, Newport Aquarium has added extremely rare scalloped hammerhead sharks into the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit.

After the scalloped hammerheads went into the Surrounded by Sharks exhibit April 27-29, Newport Aquarium now has the largest collection of scalloped hammerhead sharks on display in North America, as well as one of the largest in the world.



New for 2015, Silver Dollar City Presents ‘Fireman’s Landing’ With 10 New Family Adventures


BRANSON, Missouri (February, 2015)—New for 2015, Silver Dollar City presents Fireman’s Landing an $8 million all-new themed area with 10 new family adventures, as the park launches its biggest family year ever.

Set to open March 14, Fireman’s Landing substantially increases the park’s attractions, adding 10 family adventures in all. The new area has six family rides and four interactive play zones for kids and families in a highly themed area, saluting the spirit and training activities of community volunteer firefighters. The area, with theming recognizing the contributions of community heroes who serve as firefighters, is an 1880s volunteer recruitment fair. The storyline creates the atmosphere of the rides serving as “training” adventures for recruits and community heroes – all seeking to become part of the Silver Dollar City Fire Brigade.

This theming has historical background to the internationally-award winning theme park (founded in 1960), as the 1880s town Marmaros, once located on the site of Silver Dollar City, was burned to the ground by a blaze more than 100 years ago. “Now fast forward to the fictional story for Fireman’s Landing, where the citizens share a desire to band together to prevent such an event–to be ready with volunteer recruits who have trained to test their preparedness,” said Brad Thomas, General Manager of Silver Dollar City. “The message carries that everyone can give back through volunteerism and community spirit.”

10 Family Adventures

Fireman’s Landing expands into a new previously undeveloped region of the park, adding 10 family adventures–six family rides and four interactive play zones. The development brings the number of the park’s rides and attractions to over 40 and increases ride capacity to over 21,000 per hour.

Centered around the headquarters of “Fire Station #3,” rides include FireFall, an 8-story fire tower free-fall drop ride for the more daring recruits; Fire Spotter, with soaring balloons for spotting fire dangers; Fire Wagon Frenzy, a bouncing ride for bucket brigade volunteers; Lucky’s Dizzy Dogs, a bouncy ride on Dalmatians racing around a fire hydrant; Up The Ladder, a smaller tower drop ride for junior recruits; and Fireman’s Flyer, a low-flying swing ride for little firefighters.

Attractions include Firehouse Splash Yard, with squirting water jets and pump hoses for outdoor play. Inside Fire Station #3, enclosed and temperature controlled for season-long comfortable play, are Firefighter’s Fire Drill, with buckets, pumpers, foam ball cannons and targets for showering mock fires; Firefighter’s Fire Escape, an obstacle course of tubes, mazes, climbing structures and slides; and Firefighter’s Junior Fire Escape, a soft play area for toddlers.

Kids can meet the Fireman’s Landing official chief rescue dog Lucky, a costumed character that encourages new recruits to have fun and be ready in the firefighters’ tradition of neighbors helping neighbors.

Silver Dollar City is an 1880s-style theme park in Branson, Missouri, featuring 7 world-class festivals and events, 100 resident craftsmen demonstrating America’s heritage crafts, rides from high-speed thrills to an authentic steam train, music and entertainment, all in a park-like setting. The has been internationally awarded numerous times for excellence in theme, presentation and operations, including the worldwide Applause Award for excellence and the THEA Award (Themed Entertainment Association).

Silver Dollar City opens for select days, beginning March 14, and then opens the regular season with World-Fest presenting performers from around the world beginning April 9. Information: 800-831-4FUN,

Silver Dollar City is the original property of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, the largest family-owned theme park corporation in America.