July 06, 2020
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: What did the theme park say to the amusement park? What’s THEME-atter with you?!?!? Okay, so maybe that was a pretty poor attempt at a ‘dad joke’ but one that may be relevant to our topic for this blog—theme park vs. amusement park. I never considered the difference between the two until I visited Dollywood with my family. The fact of the matter is, Dollywood is the living definition of a theme park and all that a true theme park has to offer. So, what exactly is the difference? Merriam-Webster defines an amusement park like this: “a commercially-operated park having various devices for entertainment (such as a merry-go-round and roller coaster) and usually booths for the sale of food and drink.” For a theme park, Webster says: “everything an amusement park has but better.” Haha! Only kidding, but the actual definition is: “an amusement park in which the structures and settings are based on a central theme.” So, what exactly is the central theme of Dollywood and what makes the park so special that we all keep making memories worth repeating? Let’s take a moment to look at the theming of Dollywood and the DNA of the place that we all know and love.
Can you name all eleven lands and their themes? Let’s take a look and maybe you can stump your family and friends with this piece of info:
The uniqueness of Dollywood truly comes in the theming and overall branding throughout the park. I’m not talking about ride theming only—though there are some GREAT themed-attractions that include original songs and an immersive experience from the building to the line queue and the ride itself. You see the theming in the design of the park, in host costumes, signage and more. Dollywood believes that the world would be a better place if we just made more time for family and friends. While a theme park by definition, Dollywood is much more than this – it’s the ideal family and friends’ getaway where a unique variety of entertainment experiences, authentic, natural environments and genuine hospitality combine with the park’s namesake, Dolly Parton. The 11 themed areas are all unique and will take you on a nostalgic journey anywhere from the late 1800s to the 1950s or even today. My family loves to spend dedicated time in each specific area – there are hidden gems in all 11 if you are willing to spend the time and attention to find areas that may become your next favorite family hideout. For a complete and very well-done history of just exactly how Dollywood became Dollywood, check out this blog by fellow Insider Angie to see that this theme park has been theming before theming was cool!
There you have it! The next time someone refers to Dollywood as an ‘amusement park’ I hope somewhere deep inside comes the urge to ask them “What’s THEME-atter with you?”
All Insiders Trip Planning
All Insiders Trip Planning