Taking down 4 million lights among Dollywood's to-do list for 2017 opening

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The cries from its coasters have fallen silent. Right now at Dollywood, a different sound fills the air.

There's chainsaws and their familiar buzz slicing through trees. There's utility trucks and their constant beeping when backing up in motion.

With the park closed to tourists, it's maintenance and construction time at Dollywood.

"I think everyone would be amazed to see what our crews can do during the cold months,' Wes Ramey, public relations manager at Dollywood said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm amazed by the projects our crews can complete in such a short period of time."

Matt Young is the Special Events Supervisor for Dollywood. It's a position he's held for roughly three years.

"The park definitely looks a little different right now," Young said with a grin.

Young and his crew are responsible for taking down the Christmas lights at the park. And when you're talking about four million lights, it's no ordinary task.

"Teams work seven days a week (taking down the lights)," Young explained. "We will take them down until the second week of March."

Young says there's a crew of 15 constantly working to take down the lights.

Ramey also says the walkways will get worked on and that restrooms and some restaurants will be remodeled for 2017.

"As the park ages, things need to be replaced to make sure guests have a great experience."

New this year at Dollywood will be two rides. Drop Line is a 200-foot free falling experience to guests. The second is Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior roller coaster for kids.

Dollywood first opens March 17 for season pass holders. It opens to all guests March 18.