Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

New Dollywood Policy: No More Free Rides
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 30, 2003

PIGEON FORGE, TENNESSEE--Responding to a claim that its admission policy discriminates against people with certain disabilities, Dollywood will no longer give free admission to people with any kind of disability beginning January 2004.

According to the company's website, Tennessee's most popular tourist attraction made the decision after a local woman filed an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Smoky Mountain theme park. The woman claimed that Dollywood's current discounts for visitors with "total and permanent vision or hearing loss, and/or who have a medical or physical condition which made them permanently dependent on a wheelchair" violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"From a legal standpoint, our staff is not qualified to make decisions on who should or should not be given free admission to the park based on their level of disability," reads a statement about the new policy on the website. "For those reasons we regret to inform you that individuals who have been admitted under our previous disability policy will no longer be allowed to enter free of charge."

A regular daily pass to Dolly Parton's theme park is around $40. The park estimates that about 45,000 of its 2.2 million annual visitors have disabilities.

Beginning with the 2004 season, the park will make donations to area disability groups equal to the cost of this year's free disability admissions.

Dollywood Disability Information


©2018 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email:   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.