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2018 Golden Ticket Award winners revealed


Amusement Today’s annual Golden Ticket Awards have been presented the winners at Silver Dollar City, Missouri.

Europa Park continued its winning streak at the event. The German park picked up the award for best amusement park.

Europa-Park owner, Roland Mack, said: “We are truly delighted that, as a family company, we were able to win through against some of the industry giants. Europa-Park is my life. I am the seventh generation and we are reaping the benefits of the hard work of the generations that came before us. My son and I are accepting this award on behalf of the entire Mack family and the 3,800 employees who work in Europa-Park. In so doing, we are confirming our position as the market leader among German amusement parks.”

The host park was awarded the “Turnstile Award” for “its commitment to excellence, willingness to push themselves and take risks.”

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, Texas, was named the best water park for the 21st consecutive year. Terri Adams, COO of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts, said: “Over the last 40 years, we’ve been blessed with a diverse staff team, many of whom have gone on to lead amusement and waterparks around the world. Today we are committed to working as a team and a family for the next 40 years with the mission of giving our amazing fans more of what they love – great entertainment that will create cherished memories that last a lifetime.”

Award winning rides

Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point, Ohio, was named the Best New Ride of 2018. Carowinds’ Fury 325 was named the best steel coaster. The park recently announced their new coaster for the 2019 season.

The event is hosted by trade magazine, Amusement Today.

International theme park and roller coaster experts are asked to vote for their favourite parks in a total of 25 categories.

Full list of winners:

  • Best Amusement Park: Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
  • Best Water Park: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
  • Best Children’s Park: Idlewild & SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.
  • Best Marine Life Park: SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
  • Best Seaside Park: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
  • Best Wooden Coaster: Phoenix at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
  • Best Steel Coaster: Fury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Best Kids’ Area: Kings Island, Kings Mills, 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.
  • Best Christmas Event: Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Best Food: Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
  • Best Shows: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
  • Best Water Ride: Valhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire, England
  • Best Water Park Ride: Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
  • Best Dark Ride: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Fla.
  • Best New Ride of 2018 – Amusement Park: Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
  • Best New Ride of 2018 – Water Park: Ray Rush at Aquatica in Orlando, Fla.
  • 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 Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction: Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.

Images courtesy Golden Ticket Awards, Amusement Today

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Michael Mander

Michael Mander

I am a journalist from Essex, England. I enjoy travelling, and love exploring attractions around the world. I graduated from Lancaster University in 2018. Twitter @michael_mander.

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