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Dollywood back open to all visitors on Wednesday

Dollywood opened to passholders Monday June 15, about three months later than planned because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Dollywood opened its gates Monday for the first time in the 2020 season to season pass holders. It will be open to the general public starting on Wednesday, June 7.

Even with hundreds of operational changes, fans of the park said they're happy to be back.

"We've done all the things that we think we can do to make the park as safe as we can," said Pete Owens, vice president of marketing for Dollywood.

Thousands of signs reminded pass-holding park-goers to wear masks and social distance.

Portable sinks and a couple hundred hand sanitizer dispensers are now near rides and restaurants.

RELATED: Dollywood to begin phased reopening Monday

"We feel that this is safe operation and we wouldn't be open if we didn't feel it was safe operation," said Owens.

The Shelton family felt the same way. Wearing masks didn't deter them from Dollywood.

"I think they're doing everything they can, I think it's great," said Jimmy Shelton.

His family just donned a little extra fabric on their daughter's favorite ride.

"The carousel," she said.

The Poskas family was willing to make changes to enjoy their favorite family tradition, too.

"The fun is still here, the family stuff is still here, we're having a great time," said Angie Poskas. "You just have to learn to work around the mask."

You can take off your mask while eating, riding high-thrill or water rides, while taking pictures, or sitting in a designated relaxation area.

Dollywood encourages hydration to combat any extra sweat a mask may cause.

Staff hopes people enjoy the perks of a park open at half capacity, like shorter lines and wait times for rides.

"There's more space for everybody and that will afford them a little quicker experience," said Owens.

RELATED: Your Dollywood questions answered | Can you get season pass refunds? Do you have to wear a face mask?

Anyone who wants to go to Dollywood will have to reserve tickets through a reservation system online, even if you decide to come last minute.

Dollywood and Dollywood's Splash Country open to the general public Wednesday, June 17.