The only theme park company to make Forbes’ midsize employers list, Dollywood has been named among America’s Best Employers.

What’s Happening:

  • Following a 2020 season that saw Dollywood theme park earn a number of great awards and honors, the Smoky Mountain vacation destination has opened the new year with another stellar achievement as Forbes has named The Dollywood Company as one of the best employers in the country for 2021, according to a ranking on their website.
  • Dollywood was represented well among the 500 companies on Forbes’ list of the best midsize employers. The list includes companies across 25 industry sectors, with only 20 companies on the list in the “Travel & Leisure” category of which Dollywood was included. Among those companies, Dollywood ranked sixth and was the only theme park on the midsize list.
  • Among the companies in the Travel & Leisure sector on the list are Choice Hotels, Best Western International, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association. Companies across all industry sectors on the list include Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), Build-A-Bear Workshop, Carvana, Grubhub, ESPN, The Lego Group, Crocs, Lands’ End, Pinterest, Sirius XM, Nintendo, A&E, Briggs & Stratton, Energizer Holdings, Stihl and Frontier Airlines.

  • An article on Forbes’ website about the award said, “In the wake of the global pandemic, midsize businesses have had to navigate countless challenges, from applying for Paycheck Protection Program loans to securing protective equipment, whether or not they employ healthcare workers. The companies on our list of America’s Best Midsize Employers have risen to the occasion, adapting in ways that benefit both their customers and employers.”
  • Pointing to Dollywood host job satisfaction, the Pigeon Forge park has long been voted as the friendliest theme park in the world. The park also earned the inaugural Golden Ticket Award for Best Guest Experience, which factors friendliness of employees into its criteria. The prestigious Golden Ticket Awards are given annually by industry publication Amusement Today. This recognition is the gold standard for theme parks worldwide.
  • Forbes’ website says the publication partnered with market research firm Statista, a market research company, to compile the list. A survey was sent to workers at businesses with more than 1,000 workers. The results are compiled into two lists, large companies (companies with more than 5,000 U.S. employees) and midsize companies (companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees).
  • From part-time positions for students to full-time careers with ample chances for advancement and all points in between, Dollywood offers employment opportunities for a number of career aspirations. The Dollywood Company continues to host a number of hiring events throughout the season to give potential employees the chance to attend at the time that best suits their individual needs. Additionally, new job opportunities are posted throughout the year at

  • Hosts at The Dollywood Company receive a variety of unique benefits including access to the Dollywood Family Healthcare Center, along with complimentary Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country admission for family and friends. Employees also take part in Dollywood’s Park Perks program which provides free or reduced admission to a large number of regional attractions, theaters and experiences. A comprehensive benefits package, including medical, dental and vision, is available for qualified full-time employees. Affordable lunch options are available at several locations across the properties and are just $2.50. Numerous development opportunities also are available to help employees develop leadership skills, including a new apprenticeship program in conjunction with Walters State Community College.

What They’re Saying:

  • Tim Berry, Vice President of Human Resources: “We are pleased to see others recognize what our hosts have known for so long. It’s not just something we say; The Dollywood Company really is an amazing place to work. We have hosts who have been here for 10, 20 and 30-plus years, like myself, because we love our culture and the opportunity to help our guests make memories with their families. Our success starts with our hosts, so we work hard to find new and unique ways to provide benefits and opportunities for them. Great examples of this are our leadership development programs, our exclusive Family Healthcare Center, Park Perks program and the $2.50 lunch option we provide for hosts while they are working. We want them to feel cared for and appreciated every day. We know if they feel that way they will pass that same feeling on to our guests.”