Willie Nelson Hits Dollywood to Film NBC Christmas Movie With Dolly Parton

by Lauren Boisvert

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, at least in Dollywood. Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton were seen together in the theme park filming Parton’s new holiday movie. NBC announced the movie, called “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas,” in May 2022. On Monday, August 8, Dollywood guests spotted Nelson and Parton riding through the park in a golf cart. Check out the pics from the park here.

Not only is Willie Nelson going to be a part of the movie, but other celebrities and friends of Parton’s will be included as well. These include Billy Ray Cyrus, god-daughter Miley Cyrus, and Jimmy Fallon. The film will allegedly be a modern movie musical. It’s going to take a tongue-in-cheek behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a television Christmas special. We’re speculating that it’s going to be a huge production worthy of Dolly Parton’s extraordinary personality and talent.

Currently, Willie Nelson has been on tour with his family band, but it seems like he’s found time to take a break for Dolly Parton. Today, August 9th, he was back on stage playing in Charlottesville, Virginia. Next, he’s kicking off three days of Outlaw Fest in New Hampshire and New York State.

Dolly Parton Theme Park Announces Biggest Attraction Ever at Dollywood

The Dollywood social media page announced the arrival of the new ride Big Bear Mountain recently. Get ready now, because it’s going to be the biggest roller coaster at the park. The new coaster will cover a massive 6 acres and 3,990 feet of track. For the statistics, it has multiple launches, top speed clocks in at 48 mph, and it’ll be 66 feet at its highest point. The coaster also cruises behind waterfalls and through tunnels. The ride is family-friendly and suitable for most ages. Dollywood president Eugene Naughton summed it up by calling it “comfortable fun.”

Big Bear Mountain is not just your average roller coaster, though. It’s also going to expand the narrative of the park’s Wildwood Grove area. The ride will feature an audio element with narration from Ned Oakley, the fictional caretaker of the Wildwood Grove mascot, Benjamin Bear. The attraction is slated to be up and running by Spring 2023.

Dolly Parton herself says she’s not going to ride Big Bear Mountain. She joked that “you’ll find one of my wigs in the top of a tree or the top of Clingmans Dome or something.” But, joking aside, she did have something to say about the impact that the ride will have on the park.

“The Smokies are all about adventure and going exploring,” she said. “I’m excited our guests will be able to head out on their own trip into the Smokies to see if they can find that Big Bear! Whether he’s out there or not, I’m sure they’ll find a lot of memories along the way that they’ll keep forever.”