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Hey everyone!

 

As usual, I've compiled all of the winners from this year's Golden Ticket Awards! Find out more here: goldenticketawards.com/amusement-todays-annual-golden-ticket-awards-presented-at-2019-host-park-silverwood-theme-park/

 

Some of the categories have been removed this year, and some are new. I'll make note of those below. In addition, according to the presser, they have diversified the voter pool a bit to include fans, journalists, manufacturers, and suppliers.

 

The highlights:

 

Best Amusement Park – Europa Park

Best Water Park – Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

Best Children’s Park – Dutch Wonderland

Best Marine Life Park – SeaWorld Orlando

Best Water Park Ride – Wildebeest, Splashin’ Safari

Best Wooden Roller Coaster - Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort

Best Steel Roller Coaster - Fury 325, Carowinds

Best Kids’ Area – Wildwood Grove, Dollywood

Best Guest Experience - Dollywood (new category)

Breakout Family Entertainment Center - C.J. Barrymore's

Best Halloween Event – Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando

Most Beautiful Park – Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Best Christmas Event – Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood

Best Food – Knoebels Amusement Resort

Best New Show - Reuben's Swashbuckling Adventure, Silver Dollar City

Best Water Ride – Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Best Dark Ride – Pirates of the Caribbean Battle For Sunken Treasure, Shanghai Disneyland

Best New Attraction of 2019 - Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Islands of Adventure

Best New Roller Coaster of 2019 – Steel Curtain, Kennywood

Best New Family Attraction of 2019 - Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run, Disneyland

Best New Water Park Ride of 2019 - Cutback Water Coaster, Water Country USA

Best Innovation of 2019 - Yukon Striker storage bin rail system, Canada's Wonderland (new category)

 

 

Three categories were eliminated due to the same attractions winning many consecutive years. They've been given special "Golden Ticket Awards Legends" status. They are:

 

Best Seaside Park – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Best Carousel - Grand Carousel, Knoebels

Best Indoor Roller Coaster - Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Studios Florida

 

 

These categories were eliminated as well, though some may have been consolidated into the categories above:

 

Friendliest Park (Dollywood in 2018)

Cleanest Park (Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in 2018)

Best Shows (Dollywood in 2018)

Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction (Noah’s Ark, Kennywood in 2018)

 

 

And now, the top ten coasters!

 

Steel:

1. Fury 325, Carowinds

2. Millennium Force, Cedar Point

3. Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point

4. Superman The Ride, Six Flags New England

5. Expedition GeForce, Holiday Park

6. Twisted Colossus, Six Flags Magic Mountain

7. Iron Rattler, Six Flags Fiesta Texas

8. Apollo's Chariot, Busch Gardens Williamsburg

9. Leviathan, Canada's Wonderland

10. Nitro, Six Flags Great Adventure

 

Wooden:

1. Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort

2. Voyage, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari

3. El Toro, Six Flags Great Adventure

4. Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce

5. Beast, Kings Island

6. GhostRider, Knott's Berry Farm

7. Lightning Rod, Dollywood

8. Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City

9. Ravine Flyer II, Waldameer Water World

10. Mystic Timbers, Kings Island

 

 

And the usual tidbits / stray thoughts:

  • Unlike last year where only one award changed hands, this year there were some shakeups. Dutch Wonderland took the "best family park" award from IdleWild, another children's park in Pennsylvania. Dollywood also received "best kids area" this year, for Wildwood Grove, over Kings Island's Planet Snoopy, which placed second.
  • Canada's Wonderland took home the new "innovation" award for Yukon Striker's storage bin system. Other innovations highlighted by Amusement Today are Six Flags Great Adventure's solar farm, Intamin's new Dueling Dragons roller coaster in China, and SeaWorld San Antonio's water filtration system.
  • The "breakout family entertainment center" is a new category this year. C.J. Barrymore's in Michigan took it home, but some of the runners up included Funland of Fredericksburg in Virginia, and Two Bit Circus in California.
  • Hagrid's Magical Creatures -almost- took home the best new roller coaster award too, but Steel Curtain won that. Conversely, Steel Curtain was second in the "best new attraction" category, which Hagrid's won. Funny how that works.
  • Tower of Terror, the longtime best dark ride winner, placed third this year. It was beaten by Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey in second, and Shanghai Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean in first.
  • Some changes in the wooden coaster rankings this year. Thunderhead is down to #11 (from 10), and Gold Striker is down to #12 (from 9). Two other Great Coaster coasters take their places, with GhostRider coming in at #6 and Mystic Timbers at #10.
  • Also some changes to the steel rankings. Superman The Ride and Expedition GeForce switched places and are now #4 and #5 respectively, and the same happened with Iron Rattler and Apollo's Chariot (#7 and #8). Nitro (#10) kicks out Maverick and Diamondback, which are now #13 and #14.
  • Twisted Colossus screamed up the rankings and is now #6, way up from #24 last year. As usual, Rocky Mountain coasters are all over the board.
  • Only two new-for-2019 coasters ranked in the top 50 in either category this year - Yukon Striker (#34 steel) and Steel Curtain (#42 steel). Significant new-for-2019 coasters that didn't make the cut are Copperhead Strike, Dueling Dragons, Fury, Hagrid's Magical Creatures, Maxx Force, and Untamed.

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Star Wars Galaxy's edge opens in 2 parks and blows everyone's minds, Bobbejaanland builds a coaster where riders can push buttons on the restraint system to vote to tell the train which direction they want to launch, it calculates the winner and then changes the ride accordingly, that crazy new dueling Chinese inverted / sit down thing opens, Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape makes a ride out of an art installation, tons of other amazing things happen and the best innovation of 2019 is a loose article bin.

 

... I love the Golden Ticket awards.

Edited by coasterbill
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Actually the worst thing on this list is probably to be that Hagrid (a coaster) won best new attraction but it’s not the best new coaster.

 

... take as much time as you need

 

I know they’re going to give out stupid awards but at least get your own list right.

Edited by coasterbill
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Actually the worst thing on this list is probably to be that Hagrid (a coaster) won best new attraction but it’s not the best new coaster.

 

... take as much time as you need

 

I know they’re going to give out stupid awards but at least get your own list right.

The funny thing with "best new coaster" and "best new attraction" is is that both Steel Curtain and Hagrid's Magical Creatures won first and second in both categories.

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According to their website, they basically have five voter pools (four geographical quadrants of the U.S. plus international). Apparently they prefer that interested potential voters have visited at least forty parks in their lifetime. Everyone casts one vote per category and also submits their top ten coasters of each type (wood + steel).

 

http://goldenticketawards.com/frequently-asked-questions/

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Star Wars Galaxy's edge opens in 2 parks and blows everyone's minds, Bobbejaanland builds a coaster where riders can push buttons on the restraint system to vote to tell the train which direction they want to launch, it calculates the winner and then changes the ride accordingly, that crazy new dueling Chinese inverted / stand-up thing opens, Meow Wolf's Kaleidoscape makes a ride out of an art installation, tons of other amazing things happen and the best innovation of 2019 is a loose article bin.

 

... I love the Golden Ticket awards.

 

**SIGH**

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Hagrid's Magical Creatures -almost- took home the best new roller coaster award too, but Steel Curtain won that. Conversely, Steel Curtain was second in the "best new attraction" category, which Hagrid's won. Funny how that works.

371f5a19faec478ebbc75b1ee0383ca1.jpg

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Hagrid's Magical Creatures -almost- took home the best new roller coaster award too, but Steel Curtain won that. Conversely, Steel Curtain was second in the "best new attraction" category, which Hagrid's won. Funny how that works.

371f5a19faec478ebbc75b1ee0383ca1.jpg

Personally I thought Hagrid's was INSANELY overrated and overhyped. Good ride. But it wasn't the "world's first, groundbreaking ride" it was supposed to be.

 

That Intamin multi-launched coaster we rode at Linnanmaki is was WAAAAAY better. In fact, I even preferred the Intamin launched "motorbike" coaster Juvelen at Djurs Sommerland because it wasn't pretending to be something more than it actually is.

 

I mean, this ride seriously kicks ass....

[twitter]

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haha MF over Steel Vengeance? Really?? Does anyone think that?

Yes.

 

Yep, plenty of people still prefer MF, and I'm sure Maverick and even Magnum have their fans. "Does the most stuff" doesn't automatically mean the consensus best, but Steel Vengeance deserves to be up there and it is.

 

The ones that get me are the ho-hum B&Ms that float strangely up the rankings, even beyond the really good B&Ms.

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Could someone please explain how they get these results? Who votes?

 

Year after year I laugh at the results, but I've never really understood how the whole process works that makes it so biased and laughable?

Based on former experience in ACE talking to a lot of people who claim they are Golden Ticket Awards voters (a lot of the voters are in ACE, by the way), many of them say their favorite coaster is "the one they are currently riding," and that's nice, but when you're forming a ballot, that doesn't quite work. But seeing as the same coasters get the same high placements year after year, I think there is a little more bias than I've been led to believe.

 

Also, knowing who ACE is with the whole preservation initiative, they love the classic parks and coasters with a lot of history, which might have something to do with specific biases.

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^ as in people with their own agendas

 

When you run into people who admit they voted for Beast because it used to be the best, that's a problem.

 

Even with the improvements in geographical diversity, non-US is underrepresented.

 

Voters are asked to pick what they think is the best even if they have not tried any of the choices.

 

I remember myself and a few frequent TPR trip participants being sent ballots around 2008 and many of us wrote in candidates since the choices were so US based. In future years, some of the write-ins were added to the ballot and did quite well.

Edited by larrygator
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Even with the improvements in geographical diversity, non-US is underrepresented.

Say it louder for the people in the back.

 

I always thought the results were more so reflective of what parks the specific group of voters were able to get out to within that year, so there's a lot of parks missing in what's supposed to be, more or less, a worldwide showing of park achievements.

 

Granted, I for one don't think the whole awards show is bad. I like looking through the list and seeing how other parks/coasters/attractions rank among others, but I never, ever think it is reflective of what a total consensus would be (i.e. something like a Mitch Hawker poll).

 

Seeing Millie over SV did surprise me, though really I shouldn't be surprised. SV is not everyone's cup of tea, which was showcased by my dad (who rode Top Thrill and Gemini beforehand just fine) came off the ride incredibly nauseous.

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I think my favorite part of the awards this year is that Steel Curtain placed higher than Yukon Striker for best coaster in 2019 but Yukon is ranked #34 and Steel Curtain is ranked #42.

 

I noticed that right away too, and thought that was the funniest part of it all!

 

Differentiating between the best new roller coaster experience (Steel Curtain) and all around attraction experience (Hagrid's) actually makes a lot of sense, and doesn't seem too off really. But the rankings being different than the specific categories is pretty funny, and hypocritical!

 

haha MF over Steel Vengeance? Really?? Does anyone think that?

 

Yeah! Lots and lots of normal people (ie: not coaster enthusiasts), as well as some enthusiasts I know of on this very site (because everybody on this site is an enthusiast, whether they like to identify themselves that way or not!) SV is super intense, and for the average coaster-rider, they're going to prefer MF to it most likely. Not me, but I certainly don't fault anybody for feeling that way.

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Well, this is probably the best these awards have ever been...I'm going to be positive and say this is a good direction to go in. They should go much farther down this path and become a good award show.

This was my first thought as well. Still a ways to go but it seems like an improvement at least. Hopefully the "diversifying" will continue in the coming years and we'll see even more accurate awards in the future.

 

I mean, wasn't there a year that SFMM Fright Fest won best Halloween Event? Giving it to HHN Orlando makes wayyyy more sense.

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