Annual Golden Ticket Awards Shock The World With A New “Best Amusement Park”
The “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry were honored this past week with the annual Golden Ticket Awards. This year the prestigious awards ceremony was hosted at Sea World San Diego.
Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey that is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world. Surveys are sent out in balanced geographical regions asking fans to rate the “bests” in 25 categories.
This year the poll revealed some big surprises in the voting as some of the usual winners lost to other parks this year. For the first time in the 17-year history of the Golden Ticket Awards Cedar Point was dethroned of the title “Best Amusement Park”. And for the first time ever, Busch Gardens Williamsburg was in a tight race for “Best Landscaping”.
Here’s a run down of the 2014 winners:
- Best Wooden Coaster – Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn.
- Best Steel Coaster – Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
- Best Kids’ Area – Kings Island, Mason, Ohio
- Friendliest Park – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
- Cleanest Park – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
- Best Halloween Event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
- Best Landscaping – Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va. (Gilroy Gardens in CA was only 1% behind in 2nd)
- Best Christmas Event – Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
- Best Food – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
- Best Shows – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
- Best Outdoor Night Show Production – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Orlando, Fla.
- Best Water Ride – Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
- Best Waterpark Ride – Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
- Best Dark Ride – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
- Best New Ride of 2014 (Amusement Park) – Flying Turns, Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
- Best New Ride of 2014 – (Water Park) – Verrückt, Schlitterbahn Kansas City, Kansas City, Mo.
- Best Carousel – Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
- Best Indoor Roller Coaster – Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
- Best Indoor Waterpark – Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas
- Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction – Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.
- Best Seaside Park – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Best Marine Life Park – SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
- Best Children’s Park – Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.
- Best Water Park – Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
- Best Amusement Park – Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
The Golden Tickets also names the Top 10 coasters in both the wood and steel categories. The winners are usually the same with rides only bumping up or down a spot. We were shocked to see that the new Kings Island coaster “Banshee” did’t make the top ten list, but it did come in as 2nd for “Best new Attraction“.
Here’s a list of the 2014 winners…
Top Ten Steel coasters:
10. Intimidator – Carowinds
9. Goliath – Six Flags Over Georgia
8.New Texas Giant – Six Flags Over Texas
7.Apollo’s Chariot – Busch Gardens Williamsburg
6. Leviathan – Canada’s Wonderland
5. Nitro – Six Flags Great Adventure
4. Diamondback – Kings Island
3. Expedition GeForce – Holiday Park Hassloch, Germany
2. Bizarro – Six Flags New England
1. Millennium Force – Cedar Point
Top Ten Wooden Coasters:
10. Balder – Liseberg Gothenburg, Sweden
9. Outlaw Run – Silver Dollar City
8. The Beast – Kings Island
7. Gold Striker – California’s Great America
6. Ravine Flyer II – Waldameer
5. Thunderhead – Dollywood
4. Phoenix – Knoebels Amusement Resort
3. The Voyage – Holiday World
2. El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure
1. Boulder Dash – Lake Compounce
Although Boulder Dash is a great coaster, we still like El Toro as our pick for number one woodie… Do you think the list was accurate this year? Or was there something missing? Let us know in the comments below!
Stay connected with Coaster-Nation!
Subscribe on YouTube!