Dollywood’s Down-Home Charm Explained

If you’ve spent any time researching Dollywood, you know that this theme park is known for its down-home charm. Born and raised in Northeast Tennessee, I found myself wondering if this description makes you want to visit?

According to the dictionary, down-home means of, relating to, or exhibiting the simple, familiar, or folksy qualities associated with one’s family or with rural areas, especially of the southern U.S.,” while charm is “a power of pleasing or attracting, as through personality or beauty.”

The down-home charm I know and love means southern hospitality to me, and I believe this brings visitors to Dollywood and makes them feel at home again and again.

I came across this article that analyzed views of Southern hospitality with both Southerners and Non-Southerners rating the top six qualities. Dollywood exudes each of these six qualities and exceeds expectations in each.



Most children in the South are taught politeness before they can spell or count. The idea is that people are important, and we are never too busy to engage others in conversation. If we know how to treat others and how to politely carry on a conversation, life is much more pleasant and enjoyable. This is never truer than at Dollywood—from the way employees are treated and how they in-turn engage with every visitor. Politeness is the essence of “down-home charm” at Dollywood!


It’s been said that just thinking about “The South” can get anyone’s mouth watering for meals that comfort and satisfy the soul. You will find no shortage of such fare at Dollywood! From the iconic cinnamon bread baked onsite at The Grist Mill and the delicious food served at Aunt Granny’s Restaurant, Granny Ogle’s Ham ‘n’ Beans and more, you’ll find your fill of down-home cooking and charming service!



Folks from all over always tell me they can’t believe how friendly people are in the South. From stopping to kneel down and talk to a child “on their level” to greeting people with a smile, taking the time to let people know they matter is the natural way visitors are treated at Dollywood. It can be attributed to the atmosphere created at Dollywood and the way employees are treated. A little kindness truly does go a long way!



Southerners take pride in serving others making sure guests are comfortable, preparing home-cooked meals, lending a hand, thinking of guest’s needs first, making sure everything is clean and convenient, and offering directions. The quality of helpfulness is alive and well at Dollywood, with employees always looking for ways to be helpful and anticipate guests’ needs.


Charm is what draws others to you again and again, a quality that makes others feel good about themselves when they’re around you. Think of Dolly ̶ doesn’t she simply personify charm? That’s also the atmosphere of Dollywood ̶ simply charming! The floral creations, quaint architecture, attractions and entertainment are captivating; then add the warm welcome  received, and Dollywood is one of the most charming places on Earth! The feeling you get at Dollywood will draw you back time and time again to experience their special brand of “down-home charm”!


I can’t write about the connection between Dollywood and down-home charm without talking about the special quality of charity. If you have followed the career of Dolly and are familiar with The Dollywood Company, you know they exemplify the definition of charity, stepping up and helping countless people and communities. The Dollywood Company enthusiastically supports Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, The Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation and many other not-for-profit organizations whose missions are consistent with improving quality of life for families.

I hope as you enjoy your future visits to Dollywood, you will remember to look for these qualities of “down-home charm” all around you.

By | 2021-01-16T16:45:42+00:00 January 16th, 2021|Dolly Parton|0 Comments

About the Author:

Teronya Holmes (Dollywood Insider 2016-2018, 2019-2021), a native of Kingsport, Tennessee, has been a fan of Dolly Parton her entire life, having great admiration for her beautiful voice, song-writing and story-telling ability and Dolly’s uplifting attitude and outlook on life. Teronya has enjoyed visiting Dollywood since its opening in 1986. She and her family, including her husband and two sons, love the adrenaline rush from all of the great rides and attractions! Her favorite time of year to visit is during the Christmas season when the spirit of the season shines especially bright at Dollywood! Teronya blogs at ChristianTravelingMom.com and has written for various travel industry publications, including TravelingMom.com as “Storytelling TravelingMom.” Currently, she serves as executive director of the Holy Friendship Collaborative, mobilizing the Church to address the problem of addiction in Southern Appalachia. Teronya considers it a great honor to have this opportunity to share her love of Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains with everyone!
WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux