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.
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!
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
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.