Jodi Bettencourt

Jodi is the Vice President of Editorial Content for Travel Channel Digital, but don’t let the fancy title fool you. She’s really just a country girl from West Virginia who decided at a very young age that she wanted to write and see the world. Her big break came when a boss at Discovery Channel asked her if she’d be interested in launching a site on the “World Wide Web.” That was a quick 20 years ago, and Jodi’s still producing innovative and engaging content with the help of her amazing digital team at Travel Channel. Jodi’s travel turn-ons include boutique hotels, people watching, NC beaches, hiking, local food and wine, exploring big cities, Italy … and Dollywood!

Posts by Jodi Bettencourt

Dolly Parton at Dollywood's Splash Country

Dolly flipped the switch, and RiverRush welcomed its first riders at Dollywood’s Splash Country.

“There’s a lot of fun in store at my Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013,” Dolly Parton said. “Growing up, playing in the creeks and streams here in the Smoky Mountains, I could only dream of something like a water coaster. But look at us now!”

Thanks to cutting-edge hydromagnetic technology and linear induction motors, RiverRush defies logic. Guests ride a 4-person boat 237 feet in the air and race down a 25-foot, 45-degree drop. Moving water continues to propel them up hills, through twists and tunnels, hairpin turns, rapids and 3 more scream-inducing drops along the 1,176-foot track.

Named America’s Must-See Waterpark in 2009 by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, Dollywood’s Splash Country also features Fire Tower Falls, the state’s tallest twin-speed slides, a 25,000-sq-foot wave pool, a 1,500-foot lazy river and more than 25 speed slides and white-water rafting adventure rides.

In preparation for the highly anticipated RiverRush, Dollywood’s Splash Country introduced Time Saver, a convenient line reservation system. The system reserves a rider’s spot in select lines, freeing them to experience other attractions. A waterproof wristwatch device indicates when it’s time to return to the ride.

Dollywood’s Splash Country, located next to Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, TN, is open 10am-6pm daily through Labor Day.

You May Also Like:

Check out our Postcard From … Dollywood.

Go behind-the-scenes on Dollywood’s insane Wild Eagle and Thunderhead coasters.

Relive the extraordinary life (and small-town roots) of Dolly Parton.

Killer Whale

SeaWorld will resume its “Dine With Shamu” killer-whale show at its San Antonio park on Feb 26 after a year-long hiatus following the attack and death of trainer Dawn Brancheau at SeaWorld Orlando.

Like most kids, I was beyond excited to see the Shamu show back in the ‘80s, but I was NOT the type of kid to volunteer to climb a ladder, lean my head way over the tank and patiently wait for a big tongue kiss from a 6-ton killer whale. I was impressed with the graceful orcas and the brave trainers, but like most things in life, there was an element of danger that kept me in my seat. Would I take my kids to see a Shamu show now, after what happened? Sure, but I wouldn’t let him kiss them!

Limited admission to the “Dine With Shamu” show will include a buffet meal and a training demo with one of the park’s whales. And if all goes well in San Antonio, SeaWorld will reopen the show at its Orlando and San Diego parks later in the spring.

bedbug

Just when you thought the bedbug panic was dying off, they’re back in the news. A Michigan couple is suing the famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, claiming they picked up bedbugs during their stay in May and carried them home. Known for its affluent clientele, including politicians and celebrities, the iconic hotel would do well to avoid any future bedbug invasions, as well as other travel pests.

Check out our Top 10 Travel Trends for more fun with bedbugs!

No-Pants Subway

Subway riders around the world dropped their drawers in support of an international improv movement, Improv Everywhere, last weekend. Riders in chilly New York City and Mexico City celebrated the “No Pants Subway Ride,” and less proper Londoners traveling on the Underground took part in “No Trousers on the Tube.”

Men and women simply stripped down to their underwear during their normal commute. Participants were instructed not to reveal the reason for their exposed private parts. When asked, most responded by saying, “I forgot my pants.” We think it’s important to note that several pranksters were cited by the police for “forgetting their pants.”

Snowstorm

What’s cuter than dry baby animals at the zoo? How about wet baby animals in aquariums? Cubs, pups, calves or chicks … there’s never been a better reason to support your local zoos, aquariums and wildlife preserves. Take a look at our Zoo Babies and Aqua Babies slideshows and prepare to squeal with mindless delight.

Snowstorm

Congratulations to the Auburn Tigers and the state of Alabama for their 22-19 defeat of the Oregon Ducks during last night’s Tostitos BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, AZ.  A 19-yard field goal with only seconds remaining in the game officially ended the 2011 college bowl season, leaving the undefeated Horned Frogs of TCU (Texas Christian) with a bad case of the “What ifs.”

If you’re still hyped up and want to see more, check out our 2011 College Bowls slideshow and College Football Weekends.

Latest Pins on Pinterest

  • Marrakech, Morocco

  • San Juan Mountains, Colorado.

  • Traverse City, Michigan.

  • Queenstown, New Zealand.