It’s that time of year again! Dollywood is currently accepting applications for our next panel of Dollywood Insiders. I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain the program and what we’re looking for in our next panel.
What is a Dollywood Insider?
Each year, Dollywood puts out an open call for park guests to apply to join its panel of “Insiders”—a group of people who know and love our theme park, water park and lodging properties and can share words of advice for best value, what not to miss, where and what to eat, etc.
This is a small group of 20 people who represent varying seasons of life, backgrounds and communities to offer a wide range of perspectives about their park experience.
There is an application and interview process, and those who are selected serve a year term. After attending a required orientation, Insiders are expected to pitch and create content throughout the year. That content appears on Dollywood’s website, and may be featured in Dollywood emails, the newsletter and Dollywood’s social media accounts.
Dollywood Insiders are considered to be an integral part of our influencer media base and are invited to all media events. Attendance at all events is not required, but it’s definitely a perk of the job!
In exchange for their contributions, Dollywood Insiders will receive up to four Two-Park Gold Passes.
What is Dollywood Looking for When Selecting Dollywood Insiders?
The first thing I’m considering: how well do you know Dollywood? I think it’s wonderful if you just visited for the first time and fell in love with our park and plan to be here every weekend for the rest of your life, but I’m looking for veteran Dollywood goers for this role. It’s much easier for Insiders to write about their experience if they have a lot of context for that experience.
I also want to know how feasible it is for you to visit often. Consider your circumstances and all that’s on your schedule. With baseball tournaments, cheer competitions and those busy months at work, are you able to visit enough to create content throughout the year?
What is your perspective? I want to fill our panel with moms, dads, grandparents, singles, coaster enthusiasts, foodies, theater lovers and more! I want people who bring something relatable to the table. Have you mastered the Dollywood experience with toddlers? Are you someone who benefits from our Ride Accessibility Center? Do you have all the tips for a food-focused trip? Have you created a trip itinerary that outlines the best park flow? Do you know every note in every show?
Are you committed? While being a Dollywood Insider is a LOT of fun, it comes with responsibility. Can you meet deadlines? Can you come up with your own ideas?
Are you creative? Dollywood Insiders isn’t the place to “review” Dollywood. I want to provide guests and future guests insight into the less-obvious things about visiting our theme park. Can you cover the same topic that’s been done before in a new way?
Are you active on social media? Understanding your audience and trends is important. I expect Insiders to be engaged online.
This panel is for people who love Dollywood and want to share that love with others.
What is the Application Process?
This year, I’m splitting up the application into three rounds. The first part is basically a gut check: are you a Dollywood regular and can you commit to what’s required? (It’s not required that you’re a current Dollywood Season Passholder, but it certainly doesn’t hurt!) For those who make it to the second round, that’s where I want you to tell me more about yourself and your perspective: why are you a good fit for our team? This is where you can anticipate to submit a sample blog or vlog AND a two-minute video introducing yourself. For those who make it to the final round, I’ll schedule a phone interview. The new panel will be set by mid-August and orientation will be Sept. 16-17.
I’m Interested in Applying. What Else Should I Know?
Qualified candidates must be at least 21 years old and may not be a current or former Dollywood host.
This year, the required orientation is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16 – Saturday, Sept. 17. If you’re not able to attend, it’s best to wait to apply until next year!
Successful Dollywood Insiders are self-starters—brainstorming creative, executable content ideas is a MUST.
If you are unsure you’ll be able to visit Dollywood each season (Flower & Food Festival, Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration, Harvest Festival and Smoky Mountain Christmas), then this may not be the gig for you.
Dollywood Insiders are not paid. We do not cover lodging or meals. We ask our Insiders to visit our properties as a typical Dollywood guest. There is a stipend that may be approved when covering specific elements of the experience.