Skip to main content

Dollywood wins Third Consecutive International Heartbeat Award


Theme park’s entertainment claims four awards at IAAPA’s annual Big E Awards ceremony.

Dollywood theme park claimed its third consecutive international Heartbeat Award along with three additional trophies at this year’s International  association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo’s Big E entertainment awards ceremony in Orlando on Nov. 20.  

The latest awards bring Dollywood’s total to 11 in the past three years, more than any other theme park in the world. 

Dreamland Drive-In won the prestigious Heartbeat Award for the second time.  The show claimed the same award in 2006, while the park’s The Great American Country Show won in 2007.   The Heartbeat Award recognizes the show that demonstrates superior overall ability in reaching the hearts of its audience.  Candidates are judged on the commitment of the cast, the quality and content of the production and the effectiveness on the part of the producing organization in seeking to create a special connection with its audience.  More than 160 productions were evaluated in the competition. 

“We are very pleased to once again receive the Heartbeat Award along with the other recognition we received at this year’s Big E Awards, ” said Dollywood’s Director of Entertainment Paul Couch. “At Dollywood, we strive to touch the hearts of our audiences in a meaningful way. This award tells me and our industry that we are doing just that.”  

Dollywood’s Gem Tones, an a capella group that performs ’50s and ‘60s music, was named Best Atmosphere/Street Performer.  Creature Adventures starring the Kratt Brothers, a show which premiered in 2008 as the headliner of the park’s annual KidsFest event, won honorable mention in the Best Live Edutainment Show category.   Park performer Arnie Shaw from The Great American Country Show won honorable mention for Best Female Performer.      

IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities worldwide. The organization represents more than 4, 500 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. 

Dollywood is a 150-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.  Open nine months a year, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions including the award-winning coasters Thunderhead® and Mystery Mine®, live entertainment and crafters.  For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit

Media: Contact Dollywood Public Relations Manager Pete Owens at 865-428-9486 or for B-roll, photography and more information. Check the Dollywood Press Room at or for updates and new images.

Pete Owens
Media/Public Relations Manager
The Dollywood Companies
1020 Dollywood Lane
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(865) 428-9486 Office
(865) 755-7972 Mobile

See also:
Dollywood was excited to announce Adventure Mountain for 2009
Dollywood recently selected Nashville-based TVX Group, LLC as the theme park’s official sponsorship and strategic marketing alliance firm.
Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) President Joel Manby has announced the promotion of longtime employee Ken Bell to President of the Dollywood Company.  

More from this author

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update