Dollywood Theme Park

Dollywood Earns Four Golden Ticket Awards

Published September 13, 2016 / Last Updated September 13, 2016
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 honored for best new ride, entertainment, friendliness and Christmas event at this year’s Golden Ticket Awards.

Dollywood again earned several of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards, this year picking up four “best of” awards and placing in the top-five in five additional categories during the magazine’s 2016 awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. Dolly Parton said,

“I’m so very proud of the experience families have when they come visit my Dollywood. While they’re here having fun with us, I want them to create those special heartfelt moments they’ll always treasure. I know it’s our people who work here who help make those memories happen for them. Some people call it friendliness, but I just call it what it is—caring for others.”

Dolly went on to say,

“Our folks show their love for families through the care they put in to everything they do—from our beautiful landscaping and that delicious food to makin’ sure each guest leaves with a smile on their face. I’m very proud of the way Dollywood has grown, but I’m most proud of my Dollywood team who goes above and beyond to give families memories they’ll share forever.”

Dollywood’s four Golden Ticket Awards include:

  • Best New Ride, for Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wooden coaster and the world’s first wooden launching coaster
  • Friendliest Park, for the fifth consecutive year
  • Best Shows, Dollywood’s eighth consecutive victory in this category
  • Best Christmas Event, the only park to ever earn this award, Dollywood celebrates its ninth consecutive win

Dollywood also ranked in six additional categories:

  • Best Food, second place
  • Cleanest Park, second place
  • Best Park, third place
  • Best Water Park for Dollywood’s Splash Country, third place
  • Best Landscaping, fourth place
  • Best Wooden Coaster for Thunderhead, seventh place

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

“Dollywood is a finalist in more categories than any other park—ten to be exact. The destination claims four Golden Ticket wins this year! These accomplishments should command the attention of anyone in the industry looking for a model of how to do things right. It’s no wonder Dollywood charms more and more visitors each year. The place is sheer joy.”

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. Voters are asked to rate the “best” in 23 categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, shows, kids’ area, landscaping and Christmas events.

The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought-after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. The awards have become the subject of much discussion by park aficionados the world over and garnered mentions in such notable media outlets as USA TODAY and the Chicago Tribune, and by the late radio newsman Paul Harvey. The awards also were the topic of a one-hour Travel Channel documentary.

Dollywood was recognized in 2010 at the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions with the Applause Award in recognition of a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.

Team DollyDollywood Earns Four Golden Ticket Awards

Lightning Rod On Mayfield’s Newest Ice Cream Flavor

Published February 24, 2016 / Last Updated April 27, 2016
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

The newest ice cream flavor from Mayfield Dairy features Dollywood’s highly anticipated new wood coaster, Lightning Rod.

As anticipation mounts for the opening of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod, fans now have one more way to satisfy their appetite for the world’s fastest wood coaster—a new Lightning Rod-themed ice cream flavor, thanks to Mayfield Dairy.

The packaging for Mayfield’s newest flavor, Smoky Mountain Fudge, features the colorful artwork of Lightning Rod launching riders to a world-record 73 mph top speed. The special ice cream flavor features chocolate ice cream swirled with fudge and chocolate sandwich cookie pieces. Dollywood fans can purchase Lightning Rod Smoky Mountain Fudge at Food City, Ingles, Weigel’s, Kroger, Publix, Walmart and Food Depot stores in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Scottie Mayfield, Mayfield President Emeritus said,

“Smoky Mountain Fudge is the perfect flavor to tell the story of Lightning Rod. Guests are taken for a wild ride through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains every time they board! Now, they can taste some of that excitement at home.”

While the ride has yet to open, it already has received much attention. USA Today called it “The most anticipated ride of 2016.”

Lightning Rod rolls to the starting line as part of an adrenaline-packed 2016 season. Both the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster, it provides guests nearly 20 seconds of airtime, a number of innovative ride features and an unforgettable journey through the hills surrounding Dollywood.

Lightning Rod is not the first Dollywood coaster to receive special Mayfield ice cream packaging. In 2014, Mayfield helped celebrate the opening of FireChaser Express with Crunchy Caramel Pretzel.

For more information about Dollywood, please call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit Dollywood.com

Team DollyLightning Rod On Mayfield’s Newest Ice Cream Flavor

Dollywood’s Lightning Rod “On Track” For March Debut

Published February 4, 2016 / Last Updated April 27, 2016
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 showcases stunning features of the new coaster, Lightning Rod, and the hot-rod-inspired ride vehicles.

Construction progress on the most anticipated new theme park attraction of 2016 is moving ahead at “lightning” pace. Dollywood recently showcased Lightning Rod, the park’s new record-breaking coaster, during a construction tour.

Upon arrival at the ride site, onlookers can’t help but notice the coaster’s massive lift hill, which now sits high above Dollywood—more than 20 stories to be exact. The first 165-feet drop propels riders to 73 mph. The ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills were also on display. Thanks to the undulating topography, which the coaster races along during its 3,800-feet journey through the hills and valleys, surrounding Dollywood, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park. Its position serves to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step aboard the thrilling ride.

The tour featured a glimpse at Lightning Rod’s hot rod-themed ride vehicles, which closely resemble tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s. With the ride’s blisteringly quick top speed, Dollywood guests will soon feel the same adrenaline-packed rush hot rod mechanics have after stepping behind the wheel of one of their newest creations for the first time.

The ride, located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train has 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 thrill-seekers per train.

Dollywood’s development team has tapped Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) as the ride manufacturer. RMC is no stranger to out-of-the-box coaster projects, having designed many first-of-their-kind attractions around the world. Lightning Rod employs several unique features including the lift hill launch, twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn, and a non-inverting half loop.

Lightning Rod has already earned quite a following from roller coaster enthusiasts, thanks to its unique attributes. Lightning Rod not only is the world’s fastest wood coaster but also the world’s first launching wood coaster.

For more information about Dollywood’s Lightning Rod visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

Team DollyDollywood’s Lightning Rod “On Track” For March Debut

Dollywood Named One of TripAdvisor’s Top Theme Parks

Published December 15, 2015 / Last Updated December 15, 2015
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 ranks #19 on TripAdvisor’s Top 25 list of the world’s best theme parks.

The popular travel review site TripAdvisor recently named Dollywood one of the best theme parks in the world, continuing the Pigeon Forge park’s string of impressive accolades and awards.

Based on reviews and ratings for all theme parks worldwide, TripAdvisor compiled the list of the Top 25 theme parks around the globe. Dollywood placed 19th on the list, which included parks like Universal’s Islands of Adventure (#1), Magic Kingdom (#3), Universal Studios Florida (#6), Germany’s Europa-Park (#7), Disneyland (#8), Denmark’s Tivoli Gardens (#12), Epcot (#16), Six Flags Magic Mountain (#22), Silver Dollar City (#24) and Walt Disney Studios Park in France (#25).

One recent review on TripAdvisor, titled “One of the Best in the World,” noted,

“This world-class attraction gets better every year…Great rides including seven roller coasters and some of the best shows and food in any park in the world can be found among the arsenal of activities.”

The award-winning park certainly has endeared itself to its many guests, having recently been named #3 Best Theme Park in the country and #6 Best Musical Attraction by USA Today’s 10Best. In 2015, the park also earned Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Christmas Event, Best Shows and Friendliest Park. Dollywood earned the 2010 Applause Award, the theme park industry’s highest honor.

Dollywood is currently celebrating its 30th anniversary. This year also marked the grand opening of Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. The park’s newest attraction, Lightning Rod – the world’s fastest wood coaster, is set to open in March 2016.

Team DollyDollywood Named One of TripAdvisor’s Top Theme Parks

3D Virtual Ride on Dollywood’s Lightning Rod

Published November 17, 2015 / Last Updated November 25, 2015
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

Coaster fans can take a 3D virtual ride on Dollywood’s Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wood coaster coming in March 2016.

Dollywood is giving coaster fans a chance to jump aboard Lightning Rod, its newest record-breaking offering, before the final pieces of track are even in place! Thanks to Los Angeles-based 3D Live, anyone with a smartphone can stream via YouTube 360 optimized, point-of-view footage of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod and take a virtual ride on the world’s fastest wooden coaster.

The pioneering 3D technology is new to the amusement park industry, and something 3D Live CEO Nathan Huber says will revolutionize the way guests visit a theme park. Huber said,

“This year has been crazy for us. We’re doing a bunch of great new stuff, and we said ‘let’s jump into this world (theme parks).’ This is something fun and we see a huge future of bringing people virtually to theme parks.”

Huber went on to say,

“Imagine hospital patients that may never be able to go to a theme park. Now, this is at least the first step in bringing that experience to them. There is something about creating these immersive experiences; you can take something that would be difficult for them to experience and make it accessible. Now they can sit in their living room, put on a VR headset and be inside the park for a minute.”

The opportunity to work with Dollywood and its innovative new coaster was something Huber said was the perfect fit for his company’s groundbreaking technology. Huber said.

“We love the opportunity to be able to explore and find ways to deliver information to people. We’re excited to continue pushing boundaries.”

Due to working on the footage for Dollywood, Huber already has been able to make several circuits of Lightning Rod—albeit virtually. When asked about his thoughts on the thrilling new ride, Huber was quick to respond saying,

“It is scary. I like scary rides. It looks like it is going to be a ride to freak me out when I get a chance to come to Tennessee to ride it, which is going to be as soon as possible. Watching this ride, I’m just like, ‘wow!’”

Team Dolly3D Virtual Ride on Dollywood’s Lightning Rod