Dolly Parton’s Dollywood Named Top Amusement Park in the US in Awards Ranking

by Emily Morgan

It’s a great day for Dolly Parton and theme park fans alike. The country music icon’s East Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, landed the number one spot on Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards.

Trip Advisor calculated the award with user reviews and ratings from May 1, 2021, through April 31, 2022, according to Tripadvisor.

“I’m so proud of the work my people do to make Dollywood such a great place for families,” the “Jolene” singer said about the news. “When I started dreaming up Dollywood all those years ago, I hoped it would be somewhere folks were excited to come visit and enjoy time together. To hear that they are leaving so many positive comments about their time here really shows what we’re doing is working. In the current world, I want Dollywood to be a place where the light shines every day.”

The popular theme park also earned the eighth spot for theme parks across the world. Trailing behind Parton’s hometown amusement park is Universal’s Islands of Adventure in second place and Disney’s Magic Kingdom in third.

The announcement marks a big improvement from 2020. That year, Parton’s Pigeon Forge theme park ranked sixth in the country.

“To be included in the top 10 with the most iconic parks in the industry illustrates our strong commitment to delivering the absolute best guest experience,” said Craig Ross, company president, in a statement at the time. “On behalf of Dolly and all of our hosts, we are thankful to be named in the company of these amazing parks. This truly is a great honor.”

Dollywood expanding with new rollercoaster in 2023

Parton’s vacation spots include not just the theme park but also a water park known as Dollywood’s Splash Country, as well as a resort.

Tucked in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Parton opened the doors to her theme park in 1986. However, there has been an amusement park at the site since 1961. After multiple name changes, it decided on Dollywood as a way to welcome visitors to Parton’s Tennesee mountain home.

Although the park just landed in first place, Dollywood is far from slowing down. Although we said goodbye to some rides this year, the theme park has plans to expand with a new rollercoaster. In 2023, Dollywood will launch its biggest roller coaster yet. The new coaster is part of its $500 million expansion plan.

Although we won’t get to ride on the coaster for another year, dirt is already moving at the construction site. According to a user on Coaster 101, the Dollywood Express conductors, who narrate the train ride, tell the curious guests that the construction is due to Dolly Parton losing an earring during a recent visit.