There are certain people in the world that everybody seems to love and that, somehow through everything, actually seem to deserve all the admiration they are given. Dolly Parton is one of those people. It seems impossible not to love Dolly. She’s a fantastic talent, but beyond that, she’s nice to everybody, and she regularly tries to do good in the world, putting her name and her resources behind things that truly help people. And now it has happened again, as the theme park that bears her name, Dollywood, is about to begin covering 100% of college expenses for its employees.
Beginning on February 24, employees, known as hosts at the park, of Dollywood looking to further their education can have 100% of the cost of tuition, fees, and books covered by Dollywood. And this isn’t just available to full-time employees. Part-time and seasonal workers can also take advantage of the program, and it’s available from the first day of employment. As the park’s official Twitter says, it’s a great reason to work there. Seasonal workers will also be able to take advantage of a new housing development set to open later this year.
Dollywood Parks & Resorts certainly isn’t the first employer to cover college costs for employees, but this is without question one of the most generous programs of its kind, especially within the theme and amusement park sphere. Frequently these sorts of programs only cover a percentage of costs, or are only available to full-time employees who have worked there for a period of time, but the Dollywood program covers nearly all college costs and is available to basically anybody who works there.
The world didn’t need another reason to love Dolly Parton, but now we have one, which is one of the reasons the world loves Dolly Parton. The woman has made some of the best music ever. She’s a country music artist but she has fans in every genre and a lot of her music has crossed over. She had a hand in bringing Buffy the Vampire Slayer into the world. Dolly even donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University specifically to fund early work into what became the Moderna covid vaccine. She’s literally done it all.
And she also built a theme park, and it’s a really good one. Dollywood may not have quite the global reach of a Disney or a Universal but the location is consistently named as one of the best amusement parks in the country. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is a place you need to go if you’re a theme park fan.
This is certainly a huge win for current and future hosts of Dollywood. And it could end up being an even bigger deal than that. If other theme parks begin to offer similar perks in order to compete, Dolly Parton’s theme park may have just made the entire industry, where wages tend to be low, a better place. It’s honestly what we’ve come to expect from Dolly.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.