Dollywood again earned several of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards, this year picking up four “best of” awards and placing in the top-five in five additional categories during the magazine’s 2016 awards ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 10 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio.
“I’m so very proud of the experience families have when they come visit my Dollywood,” Dolly Parton said. “While they’re here having fun with us, I want them to create those special heartfelt moments they’ll always treasure. I know it’s our people who work here who help make those memories happen for them. Some people call it friendliness, but I just call it what it is—caring for others.
“Our folks show their love for families through the care they put in to everything they do—from our beautiful landscaping and that delicious food to makin’ sure each guest leaves with a smile on their face. I’m very proud of the way Dollywood has grown, but I’m most proud of my Dollywood team who goes above and beyond to give families memories they’ll share forever.”
Dollywood’s four Golden Ticket Awards include:
· Best New Ride, for Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wooden coaster and the world’s first wooden launching coaster;
· Friendliest Park, for the fifth consecutive year;
· Best Shows, Dollywood’s eighth consecutive victory in this category;
· Best Christmas Event, the only park to ever earn this award, Dollywood celebrates its ninth consecutive win.
Dollywood also ranked in six additional categories:
· Best Food, second place;
· Cleanest Park, second place;
· Best Park, third place;
· Best Water Park for Dollywood’s Splash Country, third place;
· Best Landscaping, fourth place;
· Best Wooden Coaster for Thunderhead, seventh place.
“Dollywood is a finalist in more categories than any other park—ten to be exact,” noted Tim Baldwin, Golden Ticket Awards Communications Coordinator for Amusement Today. “The destination claims four Golden Ticket wins this year! These accomplishments should command the attention of anyone in the industry looking for a model of how to do things right. It’s no wonder Dollywood charms more and more visitors each year. The place is sheer joy.”
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 23 categories such as best parks, roller coasters, water rides, shows, kids’ area, landscaping and Christmas events.
The Golden Ticket Awards are the most sought after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. The awards have become the subject of much discussion by park aficionados the world over and garnered mentions in such notable media outlets as USA TODAY and the Chicago Tribune, and by the late radio newsman Paul Harvey. The awards also were the topic of a one-hour Travel Channel documentary.
Dollywood was recognized in 2010 at the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions with the Applause Award in recognition of a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development.