Dollywood is more than just a park with thrilling roller coasters. There’s tasty food, treats and shopping – everything from blown glass to home goods.
Nobody wants to carry those items around as they go from ride to ride, but there’s a program where you don’t have to carry items with you. It’s called Package Pickup, and it’s free.
Tom Fain has a special job at Dollywood, involving a cart and a trip around the park. Fain visits all the stores picking up special packages as part of Package Pickup.
“It helps people enjoy the park more in the fact they’re not having to lug packages around,” said Fain.
After retiring, Fain wanted something to do, so five years ago, he bought some comfortable shoes.
“I tell people all the time, I can go to the gym and pay them or I can come out here and workout,” he said.
Every day, Fain puts seven miles on those sneakers, and people love him for it.
“This has been a real experience for me as far as something to do,” said Fain.
Fain keeps track of how many bags are collected from each store. Then, it’s off to the next one.
Package Pickup isn’t a hidden program. There are signs next to all the registers about the free program. Even the cashiers ask you about it, and it doesn’t matter how big or small the item is.
“I love it. I come up here from out of town, I spend an entire day here. We usually come when the park opens and if I find something I can go ahead and pick it up, leave it and when I start to leave it’s waiting for me when I get there,” said park visitor Joan Tipton.
It all ends up where it started at the Emporium where it’s sorted and ready to go when visitors leave.
Next week, Ryan O’Donnell goes behind the scenes at the Tennessee Theatre.