Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Earns Four Golden Ticket Awards

Published September 12, 2017 / Last Updated September 12, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Most-honored park wins for best entertainment, Christmas event, food and friendliness

The winningest park in Amusement Today’s Golden Tickets history, Dollywood again this year earned more category wins and finalist positions than any other park in the world. During the magazine’s 2017 awards ceremony, Dollywood picked up four “best of” awards. The park also placed in the top-ten in six additional categories.

2017 Golden Ticket Wins

Dollywood receives 4 Golden Ticket Awards in 2017

2017 Golden Ticket Awards

  • Sixth Consecutive Win – Friendliest Park
  • Ninth Consecutive Win – Best Shows
  • 10th Consecutive Win – Best Christmas Event (the only park to ever earn this award)
  • Fourth Win In This Category – Best Food

The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. Dolly Parton said,

“You all know how very proud I am of my Dollywood and the special folks who work there. It makes me feel so good to know that our guests feel the same way about the park when they come visit us. It’s the perfect place to help them make those memories they’re always going to hold close. Our people do a great job of doin’ just what my mama always used to say—they treat our guests just like they’d want to be treated. And isn’t that what really makes the difference?”

Dolly continued,

“Families can feel the love our folks have for them by the effort and attention they put in to every single detail of the park. They want to make sure every guest leaves with a smile on their face. Dollywood will continue to grow, but I’m thankful my team will never forget what got us to where we are: going above and beyond to give our guests experiences they’ll always remember.”

2017 Golden Ticket Top-Ten Category Finishes

  • Second Place – Cleanest Park
  • Third Place – Best Park
  • Fourth Place – Best Water Park for Dollywood’s Splash Country
  • Fourth Place – Best Landscaping
  • Fifth Place – Best Wooden Coaster for Lightning Rod
  • Eighth Place – Best Wooden Coaster for Thunderhead

Tim Baldwin, Golden Ticket Awards Communications Coordinator for Amusement Today said,

“It has been incredibly exciting to watch Dollywood — which was a relatively unknown contender when the Golden Ticket Awards started in 1998 — become this theme park industry powerhouse. Dollywood not only places as a finalist in more categories than any other park, it has taken top prize in four categories — again, more than any other park. Dollywood is setting the bar, and other parks would be wise to look at their example. It’s certainly a park to watch.”

Tim went on to say,

“Dollywood is the whole package — great food, entertaining shows, friendly hospitality and great rides. It’s little surprise to see them capture the attention of our voters. Each year, our selected panel has an incredible amount of worldwide experience, so to be honored on a worldwide scale in so many categories is an amazing accomplishment.”

About Golden Ticket Awards

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the industry’s leading trade publication, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world in balanced geographical regions. The survey asks voters to rate the “best” in a number of categories. Categories include best parks, roller coasters, water rides, shows, kids’ area, landscaping and Christmas events. The Golden Ticket Awards were held on Saturday, Sept. 9 at Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Connecticut.

Other Dollywood Awards This Season

USA Today’s 10Best recognized Dollywood as the third best theme park in the country. And the organization also named Dollywood’s Splash Country the eighth best water park. The National Amusement Park Historical Association also named Dollywood as their “Favorite Theme Park” this year. Dollywood edged Walt Disney World for first, a position the Florida attraction had held for thirteen consecutive years. The NAPHA also honored Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas as their “Favorite Post-Summer Season Amusement Park Event.” Fox News recognized the park as the top Small Town Theme Park thanks to its location in the foothills of the Smokies.

Learn more about Dollywood’s Year of the Family

Team DollyDollywood Earns Four Golden Ticket Awards

Ronald McDonald Day At Dollywood’s Splash Country

Published August 22, 2017 / Last Updated August 25, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood’s Splash Country hosts annual Ronald McDonald Day on Saturday, Aug. 26!

On Ronald McDonald Day at Dollywood’s Splash Country, the first 600 guests who mention this fantastic charity can purchase tickets for half-price.

End the summer with a splash and in the process support sick children and their families. Dollywood’s Splash Country and WIVK are partnering once again to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Knoxville. Ronald McDonald House’s mission is to aid families with critically-ill children who are being treated in area hospitals. The first 600 guests who mention Ronald McDonald House at the water park before noon on Saturday, Aug. 26 will receive 50% off a regular or child admission ticket.

Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville

One-hundred percent of the funds raised from this special event benefit Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville. It serves as a home away from home for families during their time of treatment. Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson said,

“The Dollywood Company believes strongly in being a great community partner. As a water park, we look forward to our partnership with Ronald McDonald House every year. Splash Country is all about family time and that’s what Ronald McDonald House is trying to restore—they’re supporting families through tough times and trying to get them back to normalcy. What a great mission.”

Sue Beverly, Director of Ronald McDonald House added,

“Thousands of lives are impacted each year by the services we offer at our wonderful house—services that are a direct result of the loving support so graciously offered by our community and our friends at Splash Country.”

Since 2003, Dollywood’s Splash Country has donated more than $347,000 to the non-profit through special events, promotions and monetary donations.

Dollywood’s Splash Country Calendar

This season, Dollywood’s Splash Country extended its operating calendar with several additional days. The remaining open days this season are Aug. 22, 24, 26, 27, 29 and 31, and Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4.

Visit Dollywood.com for more information about Dollywood’s Splash Country or any of The Dollywood Company properties or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyRonald McDonald Day At Dollywood’s Splash Country

Eighth Annual Water Safety Day At Dollywood’s Splash Country

Published June 21, 2017 / Last Updated June 23, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood’s Splash Country hosted Water Safety Day and participated in an international attempt to set a new Guinness World Record™

June is a particularly important month for water safety especially as it relates to children. That’s just one reason why Dollywood’s Splash Country is committed to water safety education and awareness. It’s also why the water park hosted Water Safety Day in conjunction with the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL). This eighth annual event was held on Thursday, June 22. Area partners LeConte Medical Center, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation, WVLT Local 8 News and Star 102.1 joined with Dollywood’s Splash Country to host the event.

Water park guests visited vendor booths to learn about staying safe in the water and sun. They also joined the attempt to set a new record for the world’s largest swimming lesson!

WLSL

This worldwide swim lesson happens at pools and water parks around the globe on June 22. Dollywood’s Splash Country is one location where swimmers of all ages and abilities come to take part in the lesson in hopes of breaking the world record. Last year, more than 40,000 kids and adults from 24 countries participated in setting the Guinness World Record for largest swim lesson.

“LeConte Medical Center is proud to partner once again with our friends at Dollywood’s Splash Country and the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation for Water Safety Day,” said LeConte Medical Center President/CAO Gaye Jolly. “Opportunities to provide health education to the families in our community are very important to us. We want to do all we can to promote a healthy and safe summer for the children of our region.”

Water Safety Awareness

Time in the water can be dangerous for children because drowning remains the leading cause of unintended injury-related death for kids ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of accidental death for children younger than 14. Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children ages 1 to 4.

“We love our community and we want everyone to be safe in the water this summer,” explained Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Janet Dawson. “This event is an opportunity for us to lead the way in awareness and education about water safety, so we’re proud to host it.”

Visit Dollywood’s Splash Country In 2017

Team DollyEighth Annual Water Safety Day At Dollywood’s Splash Country

Video: Dollywood’s TailSpin Racer

Published May 19, 2017 / Last Updated July 9, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood’s Splash Country kicks off 17th season with a five-story tall racing slide complex and other park upgrades!

As the days grow longer and the sun a little warmer, lifeguards at Dollywood’s Splash Country become more eager to open the gates for another season of Smoky Mountain water park fun.

In 2017, the park will celebrate its 17th season by debuting its new family racing slide, TailSpin Racer! Also, new this year visitors will notice attraction upgrades, new parking options and a new calming area. In addition, Dollywood’s Splash Country also has newly-recognized Platinum Award-winning lifeguards.

TailSpin Racer is a five-story slide complex that offers six people the opportunity to race each other in a thrilling rush. From its unique spiraling, high-speed AquaTubes to its splashdown finish, it’s an all-out competition to see who can get to the end first. TailSpin Racer matches riders in a head-to-head race with the fun of a traditional mat racer-style slide and the tight turns and daring drops of an enclosed slide. Guests will immediately spot the new attraction near the front of the water park, which only adds to the excitement. Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager Mike Brown said,

“TailSpin Racer is our first new attraction since we opened our water coaster, RiverRush. This is something our guests have been asking for and we are thrilled that we’re delivering a family slide that gives six people the chance to race at the same time.”

Award-Winning Lifeguards

Dollywood’s Splash Country also is thrilled to welcome back its team of lifeguards which recently earned the prestigious Platinum International Safety Award from Ellis & Associates. These water park guards are the only team in the state of Tennessee to receive this recognition. Dollywood’s Splash Country is independently audited by a third party several times each season. E&A, a firm specializing in international aquatic safety and risk management, presented the award. In 2016, E&A had 355 clients who qualified for an award; only 10% earned the Platinum Award. Both Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort lifeguards were honored with Platinum for their vigilance in guarding the water. Brown commented,

“Of all the things we’re proud of at our water park, our lifeguards deserve the highest praise. Our guests trust us to keep their families safe as they splash and play with us; our guards take their roles seriously. We expect them to be alert and aware of everything happening in their zones. They do that, and more. We have the best lifeguards in the business.”

More Upgrades

Additionally, Dollywood’s Splash Country guests can look forward to several upgrades throughout the park. Refreshing upgrades sure to enhance guest’s comfort include the new option of Preferred Parking, misters on walkways to cool feet, and new equipment to help streamline food purchases. And, based on the response to Dollywood’s calming room, Dollywood’s Splash Country will offer a new calming area for guests who experience sensory overload. The area provides an opportunity for individuals to take a break in a private area of the park.

Dollywood’s Splash Country opened Saturday, May 13 with daily operation beginning on Saturday, May 20. Daily operation continues through Sunday, Aug. 13. The park opens Aug. 15 and 17 and on weekends through Labor Day weekend until Sept. 4.

Visit Dollywood’s Splash Country

Team DollyVideo: Dollywood’s TailSpin Racer

Winter Projects Total Upwards of $11.5 Million At Dollywood

Published February 16, 2017 / Last Updated March 13, 2017
Team Dolly

Team Dolly

Team Dolly is a collaboration of writers, editors, and publishers assembled by Dolly Parton Productions. Each member is dedicated to accurately publishing the latest news and historical archives of the living legend that is Dolly Rebecca Parton.

Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
Team Dolly

Dollywood crews are working to finish nearly 250 projects before opening day on March 18!

This winter, Dollywood is vigorously working through a 250 point check list of both small and large projects. These range from total renovations of some areas to adding a fresh coat of paint to others. All total, $8-9 million is being invested at Dollywood and $2.5 million at Splash Country making it one of the busiest off-seasons the parks have ever seen.

Notable renovations include a total transformation of Backstage Restaurant to what will become Front Porch Café. Guest are also in for a treat with a newly remodeled Rainbow Blown Glass shop which will become Mountain Blowing Glass. The new configuration will allow for two glass blowing artisans to work at the same time. Visitors can enjoy a new area dedicated to making their own ornaments where items will be available to take home the same day.

 
 
 
 
 

More renovations are taking place in Timber Canyon. Lumberjack Pizza will remain a staple dining option with some noticeable modifications to make for faster ordering and more choices. The pathway to Timber Canyon has been widened and scenic features have been added to make the trek more enjoyable. Brian Dudash, Dollywood Vice-President of Maintenance & Construction commented on the wide scope of projects going on simultaneously. He said,

“One minute you are talking about blowing glass equipment and the next thing is a freestyle machine in a restaurant then we’re talking about the foundation on our new ride. It’s a variety of stuff and it’s challenging but that’s what makes it fun too!”

The winter renovations and maintenance tasks are taking place now while work is also beginning on the new attractions coming to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country this summer. Drop Line and Whistle Punk Chaser will be added in Timber Canyon at Dollywood. TailSpin Racer will be unveiled at Splash Country later this season.

Visit Dollywood.com for more on opening dates, tickets and upcoming festivals.

Team DollyWinter Projects Total Upwards of $11.5 Million At Dollywood