Reflecting on the Golden Ticket Awards 2018!

The Golden Ticket Awards were back for the 21st year and it was interesting to see which parks received awards.

A list of the winners for every category is below, which is what this article will be focusing on, for your convenience/reference.

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.

Europa-Park took the Best Amusement Park in the World award for the 5th year in a row. Cedar Point again wins 2nd place. 25% of the votes went to Europa-Park, while 20% went to Cedar Point. A 2% increase of votes for Cedar Point this year and a 2% decrease of votes for Europa-Park.

Roland and Thomas Mack are pleased about the Golden Ticket Award 2018. Photo by Europa-Park
Shortly before the award ceremony at the American amusement park “Silver Dollar City”: Brad Thomas, Peter Herschend, Thomas Mack, Roland Mack, Jack Herschend und Sherry Herschend. Photo by Europa-Park
Roland and Thomas Mack tested the new rollercoaster “Time Traveler” by Mack Rides which were opened at “Silver Dollar City” in March 2018. Photo by Europa-Park

Roland Mack, the owner of Europa-Park, states, “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 entire Europa Park family on behalf says, “Despite the strong competition, especially from the USA, the top-class jury put the family-run company from Germany in first place. Europa-Park’s mix of different rides for young and old and the European theme concept reflected in the architecture was highlighted in particular. According to the jury’s statement, the innovative Coastiality offer is pointing the way forward for the industry. The show programme, which runs to a total of 23 hours and boast. Europa-Park’s own musical production “Rulantica – The Musical”, the first- class gastronomy – including the 2* Michelin restaurant “Ammolite – The Lighthouse Restaurant” –, the wide range of shopping and the generous hotel resort also tipped the balance in favor of Europa-Park.”

Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster, one of the many thrilling waterslides at the water park! Photo by Schlitterbahn

Schlitterbahn Water Park Resort in New Braunfels, Texas took the title for Best Water Park. The park is delighted to receive the award and is the only award winner to win a category in the Golden Ticket Awards since 1998 when it began. The park offers many thrilling attractions which contribute to experts voting it as the best water park in the world!

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A water interactive play area at Idlewild & Soak Zone, voted best children’s park by the Golden Ticket Awards! Video Graphic by Liam Heslop

Cedar Point advertised on Twitter that Steel Vengeance was Voted “Best New Ride” and that the ride is the best of the best! Photo by Cedar Point

Cedar Point won best new roller coaster for 2018! It is a well-deserved award and likely the ride will climb to #1 next year!

Kings Island one Best Kids Area again! They have an amazing selection for kids to enjoy!

The Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World was voted Best Dark Ride! I can see why. It is a great experience.

The Best Halloween Event goes to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, very well deserved. Many people have said amazing things about the event.

Best Christmas Event goes to Dollywood. Their Christmas event is unbelievable. Seeing photos and videos of it, it looks amazing! I can’t wait to possibly visit it this Winter!

I think the Golden Ticket Awards chose some amazing candidates for the awards! For more detailed information about the winners, visit the official website of the Golden Ticket Awards here. There is only so much I could cover in this article, so check that page out for lots of details!


4 thoughts on “Reflecting on the Golden Ticket Awards 2018!

  1. More fake news. Awards from a magazine with less than 10 people employed by it, based on (your advertising in Amusement Today and) “surveys”, with the results being made at a insider party and used as PR bragging??? It’s totally fabricated – and about as meaningful as a AAA five star rating travel brochure. Who audits the results and who even gets to vote? If you are going to report on this sort of topic, at least do some investigation and cover all the subject matter.


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