Dolly Parton is the Real Deal

December 1, 2016, 8:00 AM

The fires in Tennessee came very close to wiping out Dollywood and is devastating the community around the park.

Dolly Parton has come forward with her many companies including Dollywood and DreamMore to pledge $1000 per family per month to help families get back on their feet.

When we as the “unwashed masses” deal with celebrities, it is always tough to tell who is the real deal and who is just putting a public face forward for the cameras. Such people as Sigourney Weaver and Chris Pratt actually are the nicest people in the world, and everything bad you’ve heard about Kate Beckensale and Matthew McConaughey are also probably true.

But I’m here to tell you, Dolly Parton is the real deal. I’ve known this for a while, but this goes beyond what I’ve known about her.

We, as theme park fans, always have the choice to vote with our feet and wallets, and I think this is one of those times we need to do so.

As we are approaching the end of the year, many of us are already starting to make plans for what parks we are going to visit as soon as the snow moves back to Canada and the weather gets warmer. I want everyone to see if they can somehow fit Dollywood into their itinerary for the coming season. $1000 per family per month is not going to be a cheap pledge and I can think of no better way to support Dolly Parton than to make next year the busiest year Dollywood has ever seen.

In the meantime, why not reconnect with some classics and tune your Spotify account to a Dolly Parton channel and go reacquaint yourself with one of my favorite movies while growing up: 9 to 5.

I will be getting with my Midwest Tour Guide (I’m looking at you, Jim) and specifically requesting that we make the trip after we take a couple of spins on Cedar Point’s new Iron Streak roller coaster (or whatever they name it).

For those of you in the affected areas of Tennessee, our hearts and thoughts are with you as you take the painful steps of recovering from such a tragedy. Consider yourselves blessed to have such a wonderful person keeping an eye on things who is willing to step in to help her people.

Replies (8)

December 1, 2016, 9:47 AM

She is a class act. No doubt.

December 1, 2016, 5:25 PM

I'm definitely going to Dollywood next year. This just cemented it.

Edited: December 1, 2016, 6:35 PM

If it's possible to as famous as Dolly Parton and STILL be underrated as a musician, she's that. What she does, she does well, and she goes all in. (The best-selling single of all time by a woman? A Dolly Parton song.) There are very few people in this world that I would say I am in awe of, but Dolly Parton's on that list.

December 1, 2016, 8:34 PM

Truly a remarkable person. Perhaps even more remarkable still is what she inspires in those around her. Dollywood is such a unique place in that it is a major theme park imbued with the sincere and kind spirit of Dolly herself. Each park is special in its own way but few places outside of Disneyland have the soul of a namesake running through it like Dollywood.

December 2, 2016, 12:21 AM

Dolly Parton truly is one of the most amazing celebrities, and this donation goes well above and beyond what almost anyone would have expected as a charitable contribution. As of right now, my tentative plans for 2017 are Florida, Houston/San Antonio, and a weekend at Carowinds, but I'm considering pushing Texas to 2018 and doing a full Deep South trip a year earlier than planned (I'm currently planning that one for 2018). I previously visited Dollywood in 2010, and I am very overdue for a return visit.

For anyone who has never visited Dollywood, I highly recommend visiting as an alternative to your next California or Florida trip. Not only is Dollywood one of the best parks in the country, it is one of only three parks (out of the over 70 I've visited) that I would consider perfect for all age groups (if you're curious, the other two are Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Knott's Berry Farm). Plus, there is so much else to do in the area you could easily spend 4-5 days there in addition to your day at Dollywood.

December 2, 2016, 5:21 AM

Jeff, I'm with you. Let's make it happen, for a good cause (and a good time!).

December 2, 2016, 10:11 AM

When I saw this post, I thought you're referring to something else that's real. \joking.

December 5, 2016, 5:08 PM

And if you can't visit - or even if you can - you can help by donating to the Dollywood Foundation. Details at

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive