PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Ahoy! Gather your booty and start hunting for treasure because the dirt is moving where Dolly Parton plans to open her newest attraction in the Smokies, Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show.
Crews began construction in January on the $28 million attraction located on the Parkway adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge.
It's set to open in May. The show's website lists his first show date and time as Friday, May 24 at 6 p.m.
Most people will start to see changes in late March -- when the outside of the building starts to take shape. The large Pirates Voyage sign will be placed outside the building.
"The treasure – buried and otherwise – already has begun to arrive and take shape at the venue," a release from World Choice Investments said.
The release said the first and biggest task was to “build” the lagoon, the centerpiece of the set that will house the two pirate ships where the action of the entire show takes place. Crews finished that work on Feb. 22.
The 15-foot lagoon soon will hold 300,000 gallons of water.
"The digging of that foundation required removing more than 281 loads of dirt via dump truck for more than a month," the release said. That’s 4,500 cubic yards or 7,500 tons of dirt!
On Feb. 25, crews started installing and finishing 600 cubic yards of concrete and 50,000 lbs. of steel in the 30,000 square foot arena.
Visitors will walk underneath a waterfall on their way to pick up their tickets to begin their Pirates Voyage. While guests enjoy a "four-course pirate feast", there will be acrobatic competitions, live animals and an original music score by Parton and Mark Brymer.
An extensive nationwide talent search began as soon as this entertainment project was announced last fall, the release said.
The cast of 20 has already begun show rehearsals, the release said, and intense training for the acrobatic and diving skills required of pirates and mermaids alike in this show.
“Among our ‘pirates crew’ here for our new Dinner & Show, we like to say that we are going ‘overboard’ with the details as we prepare everything - from the show elements to the new four-course menu to the exterior,” said Corporate Director of Marketing Steve Cruz. “This is going to be a show that guests to our Smoky Mountain area are not going to want to miss. People have been asking for details, so we thought now would be a good time to share some of those.”
The construction phase is a $9 million project which is in addition to the initial investment in the property for a total of $28 million.
Reservations are now being taken for all 2019 shows. Ticket information is available at piratesvoyage.com or by calling 865-505-AHOY (2469).
“The show has been so successful in Myrtle Beach that we kept looking at Pigeon Forge and wondering why we didn’t already have a Pirates show there,” Dolly Parton said back in October when the attraction was announced. “We have the perfect location, in one of the hottest areas of Pigeon Forge, and the time is now for my pirates to stake claim to the Great Smoky Mountains!”