Dollywood owners purchase Kentucky Kingdom, Hurricane Bay

A popular Louisville theme park is officially under new ownership, according to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Beshear said Herschend Family Entertainment has become a majority partner and operator of Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay. Herschend operates popular attractions including Dollywood and Newport Aquarium in northern Kentucky, and is the owner of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Craig Ross, Dollywood’s president for the past decade, will serve as Kentucky Kingdom’s interim General Manager. Under Ross’ leadership, Dollywood was named one of the top theme parks in the world by TripAdvisor and USAToday.

“We strongly believe in using guest and community input to create amazing experiences and will be reaching out to the Louisville community for input on enhancements they’d like to see at the park, including attractions, shows and events,” Ross said.

Ross said that no changes would be happening to the current season pass plan. Guests who have already purchased passes for 2021 will still be able to use their passes this year with no issues.

He also said his team would look into bringing Dollywood’s iconic “cinnamon bread” to Kentucky Kingdom after seeing several comments on social media about the popular treat.


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