PIGEON FORGE (press release)—Dollywood’s devoted guests have known for years that much of the park’s southern charm comes from the open arms of the caring and inviting hosts, as Dollywood’s employees are known, who call the park home. So it was no surprise when Amusement Today, a publication focused on the theme park industry, presented Dollywood with the 2012 Golden Ticket Award for the World’s Friendliest Theme Park. After sweeping the award in 2013 and again in 2014, it is further proof of the park’s dedication to treating guests with the type of genuine hospitality often missing in today’s world.
Park hosts, quick with a smile, are eager to serve guests and help them with issues that may arise throughout the day. Guests routinely leave the park feeling as if they are leaving family. Other guests call Dollywood their second home. No matter how guests feel when they leave, there is one common thread… Dollywood is different.
Dollywood’s employees are its greatest testament to customer service. From helping with directions to providing dining suggestions, friendly park hosts sincerely care about the guest experience. In fact, hosts routinely go beyond the call of duty to assist guests and ensure their day ends on a positive note. Sheila Hames, Merchandise Supervisor, once searched high and low to help a guest find his false teeth. She eventually found the misplaced dentures after searching through a dumpster.
“Everything about this place makes me want to go above and beyond,” Hames said. “That is what Dollywood stands for and it’s what we do. I love to say hello as I meet guests in the park. They are surprised when you do it. Sometimes, you meet the one person who really needed to hear it. To see that smile makes my day.”
Providing solutions for guests is Barbra Anthony’s favorite part of the job. Anthony, Sales and Services Team Lead, once helped a family who drove across the country only to have their Dollywood tickets stolen before they arrived in town.
“We try to fix every problem,” said the 25-year Dollywood veteran. “Once we found a record of the purchase we replaced their tickets. We didn’t think much about it but a few weeks later we received a letter from the father. He went into detail about the ordeal and then finished by telling us we had saved his vacation. While it was just business as usual for us he told us that without our help, their vacation would have been ruined.”
“How can you not love working at a place where your job is to smile and make people happy by helping them? I love solving problems and helping people.”