It's time for some fun in the sun at Dollywood's Splash Country!

The water park will open on Saturday, May 18, with some new features focused on making a day in and out of the water more comfortable for guests.

They've added more picnic tables and more shade this year, including 6,000 square feet of newly-shaded space on the wave pool deck. They've also added shade where guests line up for their turn on the slides and attractions.

“Safety and guest excellence are the two most important measurements by which we judge our season’s success,” said Janet Dawson, Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager. “In the heat of summer, our water park may be the coolest place to be in town, but it can still get hot! For the best experience, we’re always on the lookout for ways to give guests more shade. We think we came up with some new spots that our guests truly will appreciate this season.”

For those willing to pay to upgrade their experience, Splash Country has added new amenities to their private Retreats. The Deluxe Retreats now offer a couch, love seat, a fridge stocked with bottled water, and barstool seating overlooking the lazy river.

You can also pay for TimeSaver H2O wristbands that could reduce your time waiting in line. There are four different pricing options available. 

Also new this year is a new dining option called Picnic in the Park. It allows guests to place a meal order ahead of their visit so that the food is ready when they are.

“Our guests tell us they love our food, but they’ve asked us to find ways to cut down their wait time,” Dawson explained. “With Picnic in the Park, guests can pre-order their food so it’s waiting for them to pick up! We think this will revolutionize the lunchtime experience at our park.”

Bands and DJ's will also bring some tunes to the stage at the wave pool all summer long!

Splash Country will be open everyday through August 11, then will reduce operations to Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends through Aug. 25. Splash Country opens one final weekend Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 with the last day being Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2).

You can get more info on tickets and special discounts to kick off the season here.