PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2012) – Dollywood received five 2012 Golden Ticket Awards, the top honor in the theme park industry.
The awards were first-time recognitions in three categories and repeats in two categories :
- Best Food, beating out longtime winner Knoebels Amusement Resort
- Friendliest park, upsetting 13-time winner Holiday World
- Best New Ride for Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing-design coaster
- Best Shows, Dollywood’s fourth consecutive win in this category
- Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s fifth consecutive win in this category
The awards are organized by Amusement Today magazine, and Dollywood was the host park for the ceremony this year.
Dollywood namesake Dolly Parton attended the ceremony.
“I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed by the five Golden Ticket Awards that Dollywood won,” Parton said. “And to be there and accept all of the awards at Dollywood while we hosted the event just makes these wins even sweeter for me.”
Dollywood also ranked in five additional categories:
- Best Park, third place
- Best Waterpark for Dollywood’s Splash Country, fourth place;
- Cleanest Park, second place
- Best Water Ride for Dollywood’s Mountain Slidewinder; fourth place
- Best Landscaping, fourth place
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.
Two Dollywood rides also were recognized during the awards event. The Wild Eagle coaster is the highest-placing new-for-2012 coaster on Amusement Today’s annual Best Steel Coaster list, while the park’s Thunderhead wooden coaster placed fourth on the Top 50 Best Wooden Coaster rankings.