National Amusement Park Historical Association Names Dollywood as Favorite Theme Park

The National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA) has named Dollywood one of the association’s favorite theme parks in the country. Dollywood finished in a three-way tie for the NAPHA Members Survey Favorite Theme Park of 2021, with Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia co-winning the award.

In 2020 and 2017, Dollywood placed second in the same survey, while placing first in the survey’s “Most Beautiful Park” award in 2016.

The survey is conducted by NAPHA members who are “experienced riders who have visited countless amusement parks and have ridden a diverse assortment of roller coasters and other rides,” according to the association. The average NAPHA member “has been to more than 120 different amusement parks and has ridden about 315 roller coasters,” the association notes. The NAPHA was founded in 1978 and is an international educational and enthusiast’s organization dedicated to preserving and documenting the heritage of the amusement park industry’s past, present and future.

The 2021 award from the NAPHA follows the most recent USA Today 10 Best voting which saw Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa earn the title of Best Amusement Park Hotel in the country, according to a press release by the city of Pigeon Forge, where the park and resort is located.

Dollywood has also been named “America’s Most Beautiful Park” at the 2021 Golden Ticket Awards.

More than 3 million people visit Dollywood every year. Right now, park guests can enjoy the Flower & Food Festival presented by Covenant Health (now – June 5th). Once the Flower & Food Festival concludes, the Smoky Mountain Summer Celebration presented by Bush’s Beans (June 18th-August 7th) takes place followed by the all-new Hoot Owl Hollow as part of this year’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (September 23rd-October 29th). Finally, park guests can experience the award-winning Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana (November 5th-January 1st, 2023).

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Dollywood” by Brian Stansberry. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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