It’s Award Season and Dollywood is Looking Strong!

I’m just going to say it. I’m proud of the place I get to work. I grew up coming here and made so many memories of this place that I’m glad I’m able now to help families make those same memories. It always makes me happy to see other people experience Dollywood for the first time and then leave with an understanding of why the park is so special. That obviously is the reason we’ve had a successful few days in terms of earning some major awards.

On Saturday night, Sept. 7, we earned three more of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards. Dollywood earned finalist placement in seven total categories and won more awards than any other park. To give you an idea of how prestigious the Golden Tickets are in our industry, I’ll explain more about them.

The awards are 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 a number of categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, kids’ area, food and more. The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought after awards in the business of amusements and attractions.

Two categories Dollywood has dominated for a number of years—Best Shows and Friendliest Park—have been retired and replaced with new categories. Best Guest Experience combines the previous Friendliest Park award with the Cleanest Park award into one prestigious new category. On Saturday night, Dollywood became the inaugural winner for Best Guest Experience of any theme park in the world. Wildwood Grove also won Best Kids’ Area (the first time we’ve won the award), while the Smoky Mountain Christmas festival earned its 12th consecutive win for Best Christmas Event. Dollywood is the only park in the world to ever win the Christmas award.

Dollywood also had Top Ten (finalist) positions in four additional categories:

  • Best Food, second place;
  • Best Park, second place;
  • Most Beautiful Park, third place
  • Best Wooden Coaster for Lightning Rod, seventh place

If those awards weren’t enough, on Friday, Sept. 6, USA Today announced we were the winner of their 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event, an award voted on by the general public! These awards are also very special to us because they are voted on by you, our guests. You come and experience our events and then show us the overwhelming support you do to help us win these awards.

Our main goal is not winning awards, but for more families to come experience Dollywood and create more of those same lifelong memories that I—and so many of you—have made through the years! We appreciate your votes and support because it helps us illustrate why Dollywood is such a special place for families.

By | 2019-09-09T13:58:36+00:00 September 9th, 2019|Community|0 Comments

About the Author:

While he is originally from Gate City, Virginia, Wes Ramey has long considered Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains region his second home. Many weekends of the year, he would travel with his parents and grandparents to the Smokies to enjoy some his favorite attractions in the area, including the Space Needle, the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, go karts, and of course, Dollywood. Based on his love as a three-year-old for Dollywood’s Convoy ride (there is a picture on his desk), Wes first told his parents he wanted to become a truck driver when he grew up. He also enjoyed the Flooded Mine because: A.) it was the only ride his mamaw was brave enough to ride, and B.) she was usually scared halfway through! When Wes isn’t working to tell people about the awesome things you can do at Dollywood with your family (scaring your grandparents doesn’t count), he enjoys spending time with his wife Lyndsey and young children. Most of his days are filled with reading Imagination Library books and baking imaginary cupcakes for tea parties, but when he has time, he enjoys anything with wheels and an engine. While Wes doesn’t own his own race car (yet), he does enjoy watching the professionals do their thing each week. For now, he fulfills his need for speed on Lightning Rod, Thunderhead, Wild Eagle and the Rockin’ Roadway!
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