Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Plans Revealed for New Theme Park in Tennessee

June 30, 2021, 10:43 PM · A new, story-driven theme park might be coming to Tennessee this decade. Storyville Gardens is planned to be part of a 130-acre destination that includes the theme park, as well as three hotels and more than 220,000 square feet of entertainment, retail, and dining facilities.

Elde and DeLisa Guerrier of Nashville's Guerrier Development are leading the development, with California-based Storyland Studios handling the design.

Storyville Gardens
Storyville Gardens site rendering. Image courtesy Storyland Studios

"Nashville and the surrounding counties are missing family-friendly entertainment options for our children," DeLisa Guerrier said. "Storyville Gardens will provide that option while also helping parents and caregivers instill a love of reading in their children."

Here is a teaser video for the park's design, provided by the team at Storyland Studios:

"We want to create an unforgettable experience that ignites an insatiable love of reading and story in the next generation of children," Storyland Studios Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Clients Ben Thompson said.

"The potential for Storyville Gardens is limitless, both in terms of its ability to become a global attraction as well as its expected impact on children and families that will embrace reading and stories through world-class, experiential attractions," Storyland Studios Founder and Chief Creative Officer Mel McGowan said. "The theme park industry will have never seen a park quite like this one. Tennessee families and tourists to the region are in for an experience they won’t be able to get anywhere else."

Construction is set to begin in the middle of next year, on a site to be announced by the end of this year. The Nashville area formerly was home to Opryland, a 120-acre, music-themed park that closed in 1997 and was replaced by the Opry Mills shopping mall. That leaves Dollywood - more than 200 miles away in Pigeon Forge - as Tennessee's only current major theme park.

* * *
We wanted you to read this article before we make our newsletter pitch, unlike so many other websites. If you appreciate that - and our approach to covering theme park news - please sign up for our free, twice-a-week email newsletter. Thank you.

Replies (4)

July 1, 2021 at 7:55 AM

Efteling meets Nashville. interesting concept but i really think it is better suited someplace else. although they touch on music at the end of the impressive video, a theme park in Nashville really needs to be music-based. Opryland may have suffered in the rides department, but it was a beautiful park with live music and entertainment everywhere and that's what made it so popular in Music City USA.

July 1, 2021 at 3:58 PM

Interesting theme, see how it works out as the state could use a bit more boost.

July 3, 2021 at 9:56 AM

Love to see this park happen. But when their webpage has a link on how to invest in this park, I am not sure it’s got a bright future.

July 3, 2021 at 11:18 AM

Well, the theming and landscaping looks impressive, and it seems to be a park mostly oriented towards younger children, which should help cut down costs.

My Two Big Questions:

1. Have they actually hired designers & consultants from Africa/the Middle East/East Asia to ensure that these areas will be designed in an way that is both accurate and respectful towards the cultures they're based off of?

2. Will this park be able to survive and compete against Dollywood, especially after Dollywood expands Wildwood Grove?

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Buy Tickets

Plan a Trip

Get News, Discounts