Dollywood wins theme-park award
November 17th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Dollywood wins theme-park award

You might want to mock Dollywood simply for being... well, Dollywood. But Tuesday, Dolly Parton's baby won the most prestigious award in the theme park industry, and Parton headed to Orlando, Florida, to accept the 2010 Applause Award in person.

"We are so honored to win this award," Parton said at the ceremony. "Our success over the last 25 years is because of the great team at Dollywood that I lovingly call my other family! All those folks back home cooking, cleaning, entertaining and landscaping –- I am proud of every one of them."

The Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, theme park features more than 40 rides and attractions that focus on country, bluegrass and other musical inspirations. The park is located on 150 acres near the Great Smokey Mountains.

The award presentation came on the same day that Parton announced plans for a new album on her website, Parton plans to release new music and begin a worldwide tour in the summer of 2011.

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Jason

    Dollywood was just lovely just like the lady

    August 4, 2013 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Robin

    Went to DollyWood this summer kids had a blast! My 6 year old daughter is still talking about the Mine ride! She can't wait to go back.
    Robin in Iowa

    November 18, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mok

    Woot for Dolly Mountains (and plastic surgery)
    They have to be the finest 70 year old knocks around

    November 18, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Yeah baby! Big fake hoobers, fake hair, fake face, fake eyelashes.I bet she sleeps in formaldehyde. That has got to be one seriously scary moring after.

      November 18, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Trish

    I love to go during their Christmas season. They have the best shows I've ever seen. "Christmas in the Smokies" is wonderful!

    November 18, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. CSE

    Went here last spring with my 3 kids, very underwhelmed and can say that pretty much every theme park I've been to has been better than Dollywood. Maybe they weight this award heavily on shows which don't interest us much, would rather go to Cedar Point, Silver Dollar City or any Disney Park.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sweetenedtea

    I've grown disillusioned by Dollywood. It used to be about the fried food, now it's about the plushy prizes. They sold out. They just...sold out.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sandra Tidwell

    We have been to Dollywood 3 times in the last year. The best deal is to buy a season pass.
    If you have not been during the holidays, then do go.
    They have some of the best shows at Christmas, it get's me in the mood for the holidays.
    I have been to other theme parks, and yes other parks have their own speciality. I love to go to 6 flags during Halloween they have one of the best in St Louis, Mo. Bush gardens in Va has some of the better roller coasters and so does Universal Studios, and Island of Adventure in Florida.
    We love Dollywood and plan to go back soon.
    Congratulations Dolly and Dollywood.

    November 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tina

    That was the worst amusement park I have ever been to. One rickety roller coaster and some moron doing a not-funny puppet show and it was EXPENSIVE!!!!!!! Not worth it at all

    November 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSE


      November 17, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dollywood Fan

      Don't know where you went, but it wasn't Dollywood. Dollywood has four coasters: one pretty tame one that's an indoor wooden coaster with water features, one nice older steel coaster with a double loop, one almost-new steel coaster with one of the steepest drops of any coaster in the world (95 degrees!), and a wooden coaster that's twice been named the No. 1 wooden roller coaster in the world since it opened six years ago (and has stayed at No. 2 or No. 3 pretty much every year since then). As for cost, as I noted in response to another poster above, I visited Dollywood, Disneyland, and King's Island within the past year, and Dollywood was the least expensive of the three and gave us the best experience out of the three.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. m

    I can't wait to see her live in concert

    November 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. TimB

    I love how CNN only says the attractions focus on country, bluegrass and "other musical inspirations." One of the main attractions is The Southern Gospel Hall of Fame located in the park, as well as the old church that has Sunday morning services. When we were there gospel music was playing all over the park, even on the train! Nice, polite people throughout the park. Dollywood is our favorite!

    November 17, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Wilson

    freaking love her! have to plan a trip to see that park

    November 17, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cassandrasproles

    It's the Great Smoky Mountains...not the Great Smokey Mountains.

    November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. judester

    It's the great Smoky Mountains...... come on CNN!

    November 17, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      I read several news sites daily, and CNN is consistently the lowest quality. Somehow, I'm not surprised.

      November 18, 2010 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. scar

    I was there this summer. I wasn't too impressed with Dollywood. Way over-priced, and not that many rides. I was actually disappointed from all the build up the park gets. A Six Flags park is better any day!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bradmac

    Well-deserved accolades for a wonderful park! Dollywood is my favorite park, hands-down!

    November 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Dean Stelmach

    Years ago I took my children to Disney World and then a week later to Dollywood. We ALL liked Dollywood better. Better food for less money. Better atmosphere. More fun.

    November 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      You should try Cedar Point sometime if you are into thrill rides. It is by far the best park in the world as far as thrill rides go. It is located in Sandusky Ohio, about 8 hours north of Dollywood.

      November 17, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Are you kidding Me

    I was just there this past summer and I now know why Dolly is always smiling. Have been to amusement parks all over the country and her park/water park is the highest priced I have seen anywhere. I guess cost was not a factor in recieving the award. Anyone would smile if thet were making this kind of money.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dollywood Fan

      You must not go to theme parks or amusement parks very often. In the past year, I've visited Dollywood, King's Island, and Disneyland, and Dollywood was the least expensive of the three and the best experience of the three.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CSE

      We didn't like this park either.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Bill Bloom

    Dolly is a class act and so is Dollywood! Well deserved award.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  19. utvol

    Dollywood is my favorite park because even old folks can have a ball.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  20. sunless

    get that!!! http://www.SUPERSONIC.US.COM

    November 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Joe

    So you were part of that record breaking gathering.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Smelly Redneck

    You're an idiot Joe.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mike Palevo

    Pigeon Forge, not Ford!

    November 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Phil

    Great Reporting. The park is in Pigeon FORGE, TN. Thanks for the fact-checking.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      It looks like they fixed that error but left the misspelling of "Smokey." For the record, the National Parks Service calls the mountains "The Great Smoky Mountains."

      November 18, 2010 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |

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