2019 Golden Ticket Awards: Europa-Park, Morey’s Piers and SeaWorld Orlando among the winners

The 2019 Golden Ticket Award winners have been announced at Idaho’s Silverwood Theme Park. 

Presented annually, The 2019 Golden Ticket Awards aim to celebrate the”Best of the Best” in the amusement park industry. They are run by 22 year old US magazine Amusement Today. Votes come from theme parks fans and enthusiasts. However, some categories were opened to votes from suppliers, manufacturers and media.

2019 golden ticket award winnersThe awards mostly went to North American based parks. A few notable exceptions were Germany’s Europa-Park (best amusement park), Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (best water ride) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland, China (best dark ride).

Three past categories were formally “retired”. These were “Best Seaside Park”, “Best Carousel” and “Best Indoor Roller Coaster”.  The consistent winners of these had been, respectively, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, The Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort and Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando. Each was made a Golden Ticket Awards Legend.

Other awards went to Morey’s Piers (park of the year) and Kings Island (the Renaissance Award). The latter was for “respecting its roots and being committed to guest experience”.

The 2019 Golden Ticket Awards recipients

  • Best Amusement Park: Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
  • Best Water Park: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
  • Best Family Park of 2019: Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pa.
  • Best Wildlife/Marine Life Park: SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
  • Best Water Park Ride: Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Best Wooden Coaster: Phoenix at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
  • Best Steel Coaster: Fury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Best Kids’ Area: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Best Guest Experience: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Breakout Family Entertainment Center of 2019: C.J. Barrymore’s, Clinton, Mich.
  • BestHalloween Event of 2018; Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
  • Most Beautiful Park: Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Best Christmas Event of 2018: Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Best Food of 2019: Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
  • Best New Show of 2019: Reuben’s Swashbuckling Adventure at Silver Dollar City, Branson, Mo.
  • Best Water Ride: Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire, England
  • Best Dark Ride: Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland, China
  • Best New Attraction Installation of 2019: Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
  • Best New Roller Coaster of 2019: The Steel Curtain at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.
  • Best New Family Attraction of 2019: Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run at Disneyland, Anaheim, Calif.
  • Best New Water Park Ride of 2019: Cutback Water Coaster at Water Country USA, Williamsburg, Va.
  • Best Innovation of 2019: Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario