Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Steel Vengeance is best new ride
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Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby A.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:02 pm

Hey everyone!

Here we go again! The 2018 Golden Ticket awards winners. Check out the press release here for full results.

The highlights:

Best Amusement Park – Europa Park
Best Water Park – Schlitterbahn New Braunfels
Best Children’s Park – Idlewild & SoakZone
Best Marine Life Park – SeaWorld Orlando
Best Seaside Park – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Best Kids’ Area – Planet Snoopy, Kings Island
Friendliest Park – Dollywood
Cleanest Park – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari
Best Halloween Event – Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando
Best Landscaping – Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Best Christmas Event – Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood
Best Food – Knoebels Amusement Resort
Best Shows – Dollywood
Best Water Ride – Valhalla, Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Best Water Park Ride – Wildebeest, Splashin’ Safari
Best Dark Ride – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Best New Ride of 2018 – Amusement Park – Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
Best New Ride of 2018 – Water Park – Ray Rush, Aquatica Orlando
Best Carousel – Grand Carousel, Knoebels Amusement Resort
Best Indoor Roller Coaster – Revenge of the Mummy, Universal Studios Orlando
Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction – Noah’s Ark, Kennywood

And the top ten coasters per category -

Steel:
1. Fury 325, Carowinds
2. Millennium Force, Cedar Point
3. Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point
4. Expedition GeForce, Holiday Park
5. Superman The Ride, Six Flags New England
6. Apollo's Chariot, Busch Gardens Williamsburg
7. Iron Rattler, Six Flags Fiesta Texas
8. Leviathan, Canada's Wonderland
9. Maverick, Cedar Point
10. Diamondback, Kings Island

Wooden:
1. Phoenix, Knoebels Amusement Resort
2. El Toro, Six Flags Great Adventure
3. Voyage, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari
4. Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce
5. Beast, Kings Island
6. Lightning Rod, Dollywood
7. Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City
8. Ravine Flyer II, Waldameer Water World
9. Gold Striker, California's Great America
10. Thunderhead, Dollywood

And, finally, the usual tidbits / stray thoughts -

  • Only one award changed hands this year - best food. Knoebels edged out over Dollywood this year. Every other award with the exception for new rides was given to the same recipient that got it in 2017.
  • The top ten wooden coasters really only shuffled around. No new additions or removals.
  • Apollo's Chariot jumped up to sixth place having not been in the top ten last year. It replaced another B&M mega coaster, Nitro, in the top ten. Nitro was ranked at #11 this go around.
  • Rocky Mountain's I-Box coasters were all over the place. New Texas Giant #23, Twisted Colossus #24, Wicked Cyclone #33, Twisted Timbers #38, Storm Chaser #47. No Medusa, and no Twisted Cyclone.
  • Speaking of Twisted Cyclone, it wasn't even in contention for the best new ride category. Steel Vengeance and Time Traveler gobbled up all the votes, leaving Twisted Timbers, Wicker Man and Oscar's Wacky Taxi filling up the spots.
  • Back to Wicked Cyclone, it dropped from #14 in 2017 to #33 this year!
  • In the best new water ride category, Breaker's Edge was breathing down Ray Rush's neck. The Wiegand Slide wheel placed #4 in that category!
  • Morgan's Wonderland, a theme park designed for children with disabilities, was beaten out by longtime winner IdleWild for best children's park.
  • While Steel Vengeance and Time Traveler were in a near dead-heat for best new attraction, as coasters, they ranked pretty far apart. Steel Vengeance #3 and Time Traveler #18.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:49 pm

^ I know some locals found Wicked Cyclone was running poorly (I found it was running fine other than being very loud), but that's a crazy drop.
Top 5 Wood- Lightning Rod, Phoenix, Boulder Dash, Wildfire, Outlaw Run
Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Expedition GeForce, Iron Rattler, Twisted Colossus, Fury 325
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:10 pm

:lover: those Tidbits & Stray Thoughtsss. Thanks for all of it! :)

A children's park designed with their disabilities in mind? OUTSTANDING!
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby gerstlaueringvar » Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:32 pm

I enjoy eating my excellent food at Epcot and judging the GTA results as an annual tradition.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby coasterBro » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:26 pm

I wish they did the GTA voting more like the Mitch Hawker Poll, where relative scores are factored in. I think there should be an initial nomination stage for most categories, with a minimum threshold to be in contention. Then voters should rank contenders for each category, with the caveat that they have to have experienced that park/ride/attraction within the last 5 years (this year for new attractions), unless a major change has occurred in which case they would have needed to experience it since that change. Then w/ the relative scoring where you're looking at head-to-head comparisons to determine the rankings, that would hopefully start making this poll a little more well-rounded.

It also probably wouldn't hurt to clean up some of the categories a bit. There's no reason Knoebels Haunted Mansion should be in the same category as the Harry Potter rides. And it's okay to admit that most of the categories are really just US categories since most voters haven't done extensive overseas travel.

It's pretty ridiculous to have the same things winning every category year after year. I fundamentally don't understand how or why KI has had the best kids area for the last 18!?! years (except that enthusiasts know it's there because they have to walk through it on the way to Diamondback, but that only explains the last 10 years). Nothing against it, but it never really stood out as being anything particularly notable or special.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby ajfelice » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:30 pm

The Golden Ticket Awards as an event and production overall are great! So much great food, adult beverages, and some coasters around.

The award winners and rankings are cute and self-gratifying for those slower to accept there is a larger world outside of nice little collection of parks/attractions always getting the same recognition each year.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby Rollercoaster Rider » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:50 pm

I am happy that Nick Universe's kids area is no longer nominated.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby robbalvey » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:54 pm

I would give my same breakdown and rant as I've given in the past about why I feel these awards are so dated and so not relevant in any way, but I won't. I just wish that "Amusement" today would at least either acknowledge that they are giving awards to only "amusement" parks and remove any of the awards they are giving to "theme" parks or at least split the categories of "Best Amusement Park ......" and "Best Theme Park ...." because Disney SHOULD be winning in almost all of those categories but they seem to ignore the fact that Disney is around, other than in the "dark ride" category and the one ride they chose isn't even really a "dark ride" to begin with.

I have heard from so many people I know in the industry that the main reason why they go is for the party and the social atmosphere that happens outside of the awards, but they feel the awards themselves are stupid. And to be honest, they don't have to be. They could actually be legitimate, respectable awards, and I actually think it would probably be the same amount of work to produce a respectable list as it is to produce this, but for whatever reason they just don't want to.

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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby cfc » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:55 am

I used to be on the list to vote in this poll, but they dropped me years ago, for which I have no regrets--the Golden Tickets are just dumb.
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Re: Golden Ticket Awards 2018

Postby SLCHeadache » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:37 am

Scratching my head at how Twisted Timbers couldn't beat the likes of Verbolten - which somehow made it onto the list after failing to place 2015-2017.
Top steel: Millennium Force / Steel Vengeance / Intimidator 305 / Maverick / Fury 325
Top wood: El Toro / Phoenix / GhostRider / Renegade / Flying Turns

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