Dolly Parton Rents Her ‘Suite 1986’ Tour Bus for Two-Night Stays

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Dolly Parton is giving fans an opportunity to sleep inside the over-the-top tour bus, Suite 1986, where she wrote numerous songs. Parked at her Dollywood DreamMore Resort & Spa in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the tour bus is now open for reservations.

“I decided to retire it because I wasn’t touring that much anymore and it just was sitting there,” said Parton. “And I thought this could be put to really good use.”

The elaborately decorated tour bus sleeps two and costs guests $10,000 for a two-night stay. A portion of the profits from each stay will go to the Dollywood Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The reservation also includes a DreamMore Resort guest room to accommodate up to four additional guests. 

“If you’ve got money—and a lot of people do,” added Parton, “they just want to experience that.”

Suite 1986 guests will also enjoy a dedicated concierge service, exclusive swag, and a dining menu. Parked in a gated space just outside the DreamMore Resort, Suite 1986 is also within close proximity to Dollywood restaurants and amenities.

Customized to accommodate the Queen of Country, the 45-foot bus broke 360,000 miles driving 13 years cross-country and was originally designed by Parton and her sister to give “an authentic look into her colorful interpretation of life on the road,” according to a descriptor in the Dollywood history.

Set in mostly floor-to-ceiling pink and purple decorations, hand-painted murals also adorn the interior walls and of the bus along with crystal balls, fitting the “Gypsy Wagon” decor. The bus was also updated with electric doors, a bathtub, a wig cabinet, and a full-size refrigerator. A bunk bed was removed to make room for Parton’s closet of costume jewelry, Christian Louboutin shoes, and glittering gowns, which are on display like a mini-museum inside the bus.

“I have homes all over the United States, but my favorite place is the bus because that way I can just feel those wheels rolling,” said Parton, who preferred taking a bus over flying when on tour. “I’m a true gypsy at heart.”

On board, Parton would often make sandwiches for her entourage and wrote most of her 2008 album Backwoods Barbie as well as 9 to 5: The Musical.

“We’ve had lots of wonderful memories of people that would come on the bus to visit when we traveled around—dignitaries, stars, everybody,” said Parton, “but all the memories are special to me.”

Photo: Gillian Laub / National Geographic

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