Dollywood Begins Catching Up to Disney, Universal

Dolly Parton’s Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is rising as a stellar American theme park. While decades ago the park was essentially a small, regional park, it has continued to expand and improve its offerings to the point it is now a national tourist destination. Following the 2020 season, in which many theme parks across the country were completely shut down, Dollywood continued to operate at significant profit, while still protecting its employees and guests.

Forbes is now recognizing Dollywood as one of the best employers in 2021 as can be found on their website. The park has simultaneously received other prestigious tourism awards for the 2020 season, including:

Golden Ticket Award for Best Guest Experience
Golden Ticket Award for Best Theme Park Shows
USA Today’s #6 Best Theme Park in America
Trip Advisor’s #6 Best Theme Park in America
Traveler’s Choice #8 Theme Park in the World

What is particularly impressive about the theme park is that it is now beating Disney and Universal theme parks when it comes to many awards – and more importantly – guest satisfaction. In our opinion, Dollywood still needs more indoor dark rides and a greater variety of culinary offerings, but that’s probably coming in the near future given how fast this park is growing. And also heartening is that Dolly Parton, as well as her theme park, have remained refreshingly apolitical at a time when political tensions have risen around the country. Dollywood doesn’t seem to be making the same mistakes that the traditionally top tier tourism companies have been in the past few years.

Dollywood is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which itself is nestled close by to Gatlinburg, Tennessee: both being tourist destinations for those wishing to travel to the Smoky Mountains. The area features a large number of tourist fare, as well as restaurants and hotels. About an hour south of the area is a motorcycle and convertible mecca: the Cherohala Skyway, better known as the Dragon’s Tail. This curvy road through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests winds up over 5,000 feet in elevation and down again with so many vistas, campgrounds, and things to do that many are calling it the Grand Canyon of the Southeast. Because it was only completed in 1996, it’s one of the newer revealed national treasures for tourists to enjoy.

While Pirates and Princesses primarily covers Disney, Disney theme parks, as well as Universal theme parks, we want readers to know… this is what a well-run theme park looks like. While the big guys have been slipping up over the past few years, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood has been making huge gains. And now, they’re a major player in where people decide to take their summer vacations.

Great job, Dolly!

Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer’s point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.