Dolly Parton Dethrones Disney; Theme Park Seizes Top Ranking Despite Scandal

On the left, a vibrant amusement park entrance at Dollywood theme park features large colorful butterfly decorations with a scenic mountain in the background. On the right, a majestic fairytale-style castle with blue and gold accents stands in another amusement park under a clear sky.
Credit: Dollywood, Disney

It is no secret that Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort have been considered the top theme parks in the United States of America for some time. These destinations are known for their incredible offerings and top-of-the-line attractions, but that doesn’t mean that they have not faced criticism from theme park fans at large.

In fact, recent pollings have revealed that theme park fans have begun to favor a new competitor as the best theme park this country has to offer. The theme park now being named as the best is none other than Dollywood, the park created by none other than country music legend Dolly Parton.

Related: Disney Faces Mass Exodus Amid Dolly Parton Scandal

Dollywood Dolly Parton

Credit: Inside the Magic

Dolly Parton’s Park Draws Attention From Theme Park Community

Dollywood, situated in the charming town of Pigeon Forge, stands as a beacon of entertainment and adventure for visitors of all ages. Renowned for its captivating allure, Dollywood has recently clinched the prestigious title of the favorite theme park in the nation, as bestowed by the esteemed National Amusement Park Historical Association.

Surpassing industry giants like Walt Disney World and Disneyland, this accolade stands as a testament to the park’s prowess in delivering unparalleled experiences to its guests. The new crown jewel of Dollywood, the Big Bear Mountain roller coaster, has also elevated the park’s status by claiming the coveted title of the best new attraction of 2023.

This win is a great look for Dollywood after the theme park was entrenched in quite a scandal earlier this month. Fans were devastated when the theme park closed due to heavy rain and thunder, with many eyes looking to Dolly Parton herself to remedy the situation. This good PR certainly comes at an opportune time.

Mickey Mouse Dolly Parton

Credit: Inside the Magic

With these two major wins from the National Amusement Park Historical Association under its belt, Dollywood has made it clear that it is a huge competitor for Disney theme parks moving forward. Walt Disney World Resort ranked in second place, while Disneyland Resort landed in third place.

A Bright Future of Dollywood

With its rich tapestry of attractions, including the captivating Dolly Parton Experience, the Barnstormer, the Black Bear Trail, and the Brazing Fury attraction, Dollywood invites guests to embark on a journey filled with laughter, thrills, and cherished moments. It is more clear now then ever that this Great Smoky Mountain destination is going to continue being one to watch for theme park fans.

Dollywood Split image: On the left, people ride a red and black looping roller coaster amid greenery; on the right, at Dollywood theme park, people are strapped into an upside-down amusement park ride against a blue sky. All riders display a mix of excitement, thrill, and fear.

Credit: Dollywood, Canva

Dollywood stands not just as a theme park but as a living, breathing testament to the vision and passion of its founder, Dolly Parton. Through its unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and guest satisfaction, Dollywood continues to set the benchmark for immersive entertainment experiences, solidifying its reputation as a must-visit destination for travelers seeking the perfect blend of nostalgia, adventure, and pure fun.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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