Fall is in the air across our properties, so this issue is dedicated to celebrating the sights, sounds, and experiences of the season – from Chillingo at Silver Dollar City to Seaworthy Scarecrows at Adventure Aquarium. Fall is also the time to start thinking about open enrollment for benefit-eligible team members, which will take place between November 1 and 18. Get a head start by reviewing 2023 options HERE.
I’d also like to congratulate Silver Dollar City on the exciting announcement made earlier this week about the historic $30 million investment in guest experience improvements. Over the next two years, infrastructure updates will include:
-Andrew Wexler, CEO
While our deep-rooted values of kindness, caring, and love play a major role in what has made Herschend such a great place for more than 70 years – there are always opportunities for us to do and be better. One of those opportunities is inclusion – because you can’t have a culture rooted in love without it.
Inclusion is a foundational part of love in action, which is why we are focused on achieving the following goals:
This month, the Inclusiveness Council is encouraging team members to watch this shortened clip of the TED Talk – “The Danger of a Single Story.” The speech, by Chimamanda Adichie, highlights the risk of reducing people to a singular narrative and how that thinking emphasizes differences rather than similarities.Watch Complete TedTalk
Share It Forward (SIF) is grateful to be a beneficiary of the Light the Way 5K Race at Dollywood. The 10th annual race is set for November 11. Runners will begin at Dollywood’s Front Gate area and travel through the theme park twice, giving them time to take in the five million Christmas lights. Walkers will have the opportunity to follow the route for one loop around the park.Join The Fun
SIF is passionate about helping our Herschend community in need and strives to bridge life’s gaps with love. One way that accomplishes this is through our Child Assistance Program (CAP), which provides monthly assistance to help share the load when parents are having trouble making ends meet. This critical program has provided approximately $2 million in Herschend family household assistance since its launch in 2010.
CAP was expanded in early 2022 to assist even more Herschend families. Monthly assistance for eligible families may be used for childcare, food, clothing, school supplies, doctor visits, and more.
Our commitment to creating memories worth repeating starts from within – find a rewarding career here at Herschend! Check out available positions across the Enterprise by clicking the link below.Work With Us
A crew of seaworthy scarecrows has taken up residence at Adventure Aquarium for Scarecrows of the Sea. Through November 13, guests are encouraged to search for all the scarecrows, with one scavenger hunt participant being selected to win a $500 Adventure Aquarium gift card. Aquarium employees handcrafted each aquatically-themed scarecrow as part of a staff competition, with winning teams winning up to $2,000!
Earlier this month, the Aquarium also hosted the Philadelphia Flyers ahead of their home opening game. The day kicked off with the team’s famous mascot, Gritty, feeding the Aquarium’s sea turtles and Nile hippos Button and Genny. After snack time, Gritty and the Flyers Ice Team spent time with community members in the Aquarium Loop for a morning of aquatic fun that included Flyers-branded inflatables, giveaways, and enter-to-win opportunities.
Biologist Tamara is part of the team that cares for the African Penguins at Newport Aquarium. That includes finding fun enrichment opportunities that change the animals’ day-to-day routines and let them exercise all their behaviors. Tamara snapped this pic of Blueberry, who is a natural at trick-or-treating. She selected a pumpkin pale that can hold tons of fish!
The Vancouver Aquarium shared its appreciation on International Chefs Day (October 20) to Chef David Lee and his team for creating unique and delicious food options for our guests and special events, as well as their ongoing commitment to sustainability – from compostable cutlery to tireless recycling efforts.
*Chefs Photographed: Odhette Abraham, Trixia Olalo, Chef David Lee, and Alejandro Alvarez
In September, Dollywood debuted its all-new Hoot Owl Hollow experience as part of the park’s award-winning Great Pumpkin LumiNights presented by Covenant Health. Inside Hoot Owl Hollow, park guests are greeted by a giant 14 ft. harvest owl made of more than 150 pumpkins. Other owl displays include seven rooftop owls, 25 shelf owls, and more than 150 custom-carved pumpkin owls on the ground. These new friendly faces, which are created with white pumpkins, are delighting families with kid-approved fall fun. Also new for Hoot Owl Hollow is an owl atmosphere character named Ollie Owl and a Harvest Owl photo opp.
Chili and bingo – Chillingo – may seem like a strange combination, but it has become an annual tradition as Silver Dollar City transitions to fall. With the assistance of several folks helping to set up and staff the event, more than 200 hosts and family members enjoyed the event. Laughs were exchanged, cheers erupted, and many bingo numbers were called – with dozens of prizes given away. A few lucky winners took home air fryers, a Dolly Parton baking collection kit, and several Silver Dollar City craftsman-made pottery and glass pieces.
Wild Adventures hosted the Lowndes County Animal Shelter on October 19 for “Paws and Pumpkins,” an event to raise awareness for the shelter and the pets' needs in their care. Lilly, one of the dogs available for adoption, got to spend some time at the park enjoying the pumpkin sculptures of Great Pumpkin LumiNights and some extra love from Wild Adventures team members.
Callaway Gardens recently launched a 7.5-acre corn maze attraction that transforms after-dark into a glowing labyrinth of lights for not-so-spooky nighttime exploration. Guests are transported by trolley to the new corn maze and pumpkin patch from the 2,500 acres of illuminating experiences, including a towering Pumpkin Tree and an Enchanted Pumpkin Forest.
The Harlem Globetrotters 2023 World Tour, presented by Jersey Mike’s Subs, officially begins this December, with tickets now on sale. Your favorite Globetrotter stars are bringing out their amazing basketball skill, outrageous athleticism, and a non-stop LOL good time. Catch the players off the court by streaming the latest episodes of Harlem Globetrotters: Play It Forward on NBC’s The More You Know.Tour Dates