For those tired of working 9 to 5 and looking to treat themselves to a true one-of-a-kind Tennessee escape, there’s a new ultra-premium lodging opportunity at Dollywood: the new "Suite 1986" Tour Bus Experience. The Prevost tour bus was Dolly Parton’s preferred home away from home for 15 years and recently was acquired by Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa to transform into the property’s ultimate experience, parked in a permanent space behind the hotel.
Dolly apparently was never a big fan of air travel. She preferred to have her own space, food and belongings, so her tour bus was a customized rolling sanctuary that ensured she always traveled in comfort and could do her two favorite things — writing and cooking — from absolutely anywhere. She loved creating meals in the kitchenette and sharing them with her best friend and personal assistant, Judy Ogle, and driver Tim Dunlap.
Definitely, the most interesting accommodations in Dollywood’s history, guests at Suite 1986 also will receive some extra special amenities, including dedicated concierge service, one-of-a-kind culinary offerings, and customized souvenirs to take home. The tour bus only sleeps two guests, but each reservation also includes a room at DreamMore Resort, which can accommodate up to four additional guests.
In addition to providing a unique glimpse into her life, the bus allows guests beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains, where Dolly grew up. It also offers easy access to Dollywood, her theme park established in 1986 (hence, the bus’s new name) to provide more employment for residents and a spark of joy for the millions of visitors drawn to the region.
There’s a two-night minimum stay for Suite 1986 and a starting rate of $10,000, but a portion of proceeds reportedly are donated to The Dollywood Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dolly’s enterprises. In part, it funds Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gifts free books to children from birth to age 5 as part of an ongoing effort to instill in everyone a passion for reading. So far, more than 2 million children have benefited from the program. Dolly herself loves to read, and she’s a writer at heart. In fact, she wrote her “Backwoods Barbie” album as well as “9 to 5 the Musical” in the bus.