IAAPA 2010: Dollywood wins Applause Award

Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 2:18 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited press release issued by the park. -J]

Dollywood received the 2010 Applause Award during a special ceremony at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 16, 2010.

The Applause Award, the most prestigious award within the amusement and theme park industry, honors a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with its foresight, originality and sound business development. The award is presented every other year by Liseberg amusement park located in Gothenburg, Sweden. For this 2010 award, Dollywood competed with Alton Towers in the UK and Phantasialand in Germany for the honor.

Entertainment legend and Dollywood owner Dolly Parton accepted the award for the park. “We are so honored to win this award. Our success over the last 25 years is because of the great team at Dollywood that I lovingly call my other family! All those folks back home cooking, cleaning, entertaining and landscaping – I am proud of every one of them,” Parton said. Dollywood’s Applause Award comes as the park completes a successful and eventful 25th anniversary season.

“This truly unique park shows an outstanding level of quality, especially regarding originality of theming in shows, rides, landscaping and attractions. The friendliness of staff and cleanliness of the park is extraordinary and this, combined with a dedicated leadership honoring family values, sets a tremendous example to the whole industry”, says Mats Wedin, President CEO Liseberg Group and Chairman of the Liseberg Applause Award Board of Governors.

Dollywood was one of three finalists for the honor in 2006, along with Legoland and the winning Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The family park Xetulul, located in the rainforests of Guatemala, won in 2008. Previous Applause Award winners include Epcot, Disneyland, Europa-Park, and Silver Dollar City.

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Open nine months a year, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; award-winning live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood is part of a family travel destination that also includes Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark and Dollywood Vacations. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 3:18 PM

Congrats to Dollywood! I can't think of a more deserving park for this award. Every trip I've had there has been a complete blast.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:22 PM

I went for the first time last Spring, and had a great time. I avoided the park over my lifetime because I thought that I would be subjected to country music, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that that was not the case, at least to the degree that I feared.

I would compare Dollywood more to Disney, and less to Kings Island. It was amazing. Yes, they deserve this.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:06 PM

Dollywood is certainly one of the best parks out there. Congratulations to everyone at the park!

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:29 PM

Dolly was looking good on stage. I did not see her enter the theatre, so when they announced the candidates, I was boldly saying Phantasialand would win this easily. I was incorrect. Dollywood is a great park, and while I don't know anyone there, I know folks at SDC, and they were proud!

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