Things 2 Do

Tripadvisor’s top theme park isn’t far from Atlanta

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Dozens of great theme parks fill the United States. Which is your favorite?

Tripadvisor officials named Dollywood as the number one theme park in the United States and the number 10 theme park in the world during the 2024 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Awards.

The 165-acre destination earned top honors from Tripadvisor users, with Dollywood ranked number one in the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Amusement Parks in the United States and number 10 on the Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Worldwide Amusement Parks list. The award was calculated based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings posted on Tripadvisor during the 12-month period from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024.

“I’m so thrilled about what our guests say about what we’re doing at Dollywood,” Dolly Parton said. “I truly wanted Dollywood to be a place where people would be excited to visit because of the warmth and hospitality of the hosts working there and because of the natural beauty God blessed us with in the Great Smoky Mountains. I want Dollywood to be a light in the world; a place where people know they can come have a good time and enjoy making memories with their families. I’m proud of everyone who works so hard to make Dollywood the best!”

RELATED: Celebrate summer at Dollywood

Eugene Naughton, President of The Dollywood Company, echoes the thoughts of the park’s Dreamer-in-Chief.

“Like Dolly says, ‘we don’t do what we do to win awards,’” said Naughton. “We do it because we want to provide the best guest experience in the country. When guests choose to come spend their time with us, we want to give them what they deserve—an atmosphere that truly is world-class, where they can enjoy time with one another creating those moments they are going to cherish forever. This award also is special because it is based on what our actual guests are saying about their time here at our parks and resorts.

“We are humbled by the Tripadvisor recognition, because it is due to the hard work of our hosts. We’ve won so many great awards this year, and they just echo what our guests tell us—the Dollywood Parks & Resorts experience truly is the best in class.”

The United States top-10 is:

  • Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
  • Disney’s Magic Kingdom (Orlando, Florida)
  • Fun Spot America (Kissimmee, Florida)
  • Universal’s Islands of Adventure (Orlando)
  • Fun Spot America Orlando (Orlando)
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Orlando)
  • Legoland California (Carlsbad, California)
  • Knoebels Amusement Resort (Elysburg, Pennsylvania)
  • Busch Gardens (Tampa, Florida)
  • Whale’s Tale Waterpark (Lincoln, New Hampshire)

Dollywood is the only park in North America to make the international top-10 list. The worldwide top-10 list is:

  • Disneyland Paris (Marne-la-Vallee, France)
  • Siam Park (Tenerife, Spain)
  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)
  • Beto Carrero World (Penha, Brazil)
  • Waterbom Bali (Kuta, Indonesia)
  • Beach Park (Aquiraz, Brazil)
  • Puy du Fou (Les Epesses, France)
  • Alton Towers Resort (Alton, United Kingdom)
  • Walt Disney Studios Park (Marne-la-Vallee, France)
  • Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)

“With more than 1.4 million activities and experiences, Tripadvisor is a go-to resource for travelers to discover and book their next adventure, no matter what ‘adventure’ means to them,” says Kristen Dalton, Tripadvisor President. “Experiences make a trip, and our Best of the Best Things to Do Awards offer some of the highest-rated activities from across the world, highlighted by our community of travelers. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or a leisurely explorer, the ‘Best of the Best’ badge has the seal of approval from global travelers as a source of inspiration for an unforgettable vacation.”

Dollywood has had a phenomenal run of awards with several number one rankings coming in just the last nine months alone. In Sept. 2023, Dollywood earned five Golden Ticket Awards, including Best Park in the world and Best Guest Experience. The latter award considers friendliness of employees as well as the overall value for the money paid in bestowing the honor, two areas where Dollywood truly shines. Earlier this season, Dollywood was named the number one attraction in the world which former guests most wish to revisit, owing again to the quality and value guests find during their time at the park. Additionally, Dollywood was named number 27 on Forbes’ first-ever Top 300 Best Companies for Customer Service in 2024.

In May, the National Amusement Park Historical Association named Dollywood the favorite theme park in the country, while National Geographic called Dollywood’s new HeartSong Lodge & Resort one of the top 22 hotels across the globe to visit in 2024. In March, “Southern Living” named the park as one of the South’s Best Attractions for 2024 with a headline proclaiming, “Dollywood is Better Than Any Other Theme Park.”

Dollywood celebrates a year full of exceptional experiences, with each season unlike the next. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Food City continues through Aug. 11 and provides guests with extended hours, a nightly drone show and fun family festivities that make Dollywood the ultimate summer road trip destination! The return of Gazillion Bubbles Show and Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience provide families a fun way to cool off with a great show that will leave everyone with a smile on their face.

Later this year, thousands of pumpkins glow to life this fall as part of the Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 9-Oct. 28), and the season concludes with the most popular theme park Christmas event in the world, Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (Nov. 1- Jan. 5, 2024).

The Dolly Parton Experience, which just opened on May 24, features a number of interactive elements to make guests feel as if they were alongside Dolly as she journeyed from Locust Ridge to stages around the world. The entire Adventures in Imagination area was completely transformed to create The Dolly Parton Experience. Guests can peruse exhibits which span her unparalleled career and include a look at the inspiration behind and the results of her biggest dreams, detail the importance of her family, and highlight many of Dolly’s signature styles through the years.

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