2014 Golden Ticket Award Winners


Over the weekend, Amusement Today announced the winners of its prestigious 2014 Golden Ticket Awards, which were presented annually to the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry for the 17th consecutive year.

The results came from an international poll presented by Amusement Today, asking a database of selected theme park enthusiasts to choose their personal “bests” in 25 Categories.


After a 16 year run at the top, Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH) was dethroned in the “Best Amusement Park” category by Europa-Park. (Rust, Germany), while Cedar Point finished in Second Place. The Best New Ride at a Theme Park of 2014 was Flying Turns at Knoebels (Elysburg, PA) while the Best New Ride at a Water Park was Verrückt at Schlitterbahn, Kansas City.

Other Golden Ticket Award Winners Included:

Best Water Park: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas (17th win, 17th in a row, 1998-2013)
Best Children’s Park: Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa. (5th win, 2010-2013)
Best Marine Life Park: SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla. (9th win, 9th in a row, 2006-2013)
Best Seaside Park: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif. (8th win, 8th in a row, 2007-2013)
Best Wooden Coaster: Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce, Bristol, Conn. (3rd Win, 2nd in a row, 2004, 2013)



Millennium Force at Cedar Point 

Best Steel Coaster: Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio (9th Win, 5th in a row – 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2010-2013)
Best Kids’ Area: Mason, Kings Mills, Ohio (13th Win, 13th in a row, 2001-2013)
Friendliest Park: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (3rd win, 3rd in a row 2012, 2013)
Cleanest Park: Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind. (14th Win, 14th in a row, 2000-2013)


Best Halloween Event: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla. (8th win, 7th in a row, 2006, 2008-2013)
Best Landscaping: Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va. (17th win, 17th in a row 1998-2013)
Best Christmas Event: Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (7th win, 7th in a row, 2008-2013)
Best Food: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (3rd Win, 2012, 2013[T-1 with Knoebels)



The Grist Mill at Dollywood, Home of their Famous Cinnamon Bread

Best Shows: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (6th win, 6th in a row)
Best Outdoor Night Show Production: IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Orlando, Fla. (10th win, 10th in a row, 2005-2013)
Best Water Ride: Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla. (12th win, 9th in a row, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006-2013)
Best Waterpark Ride: Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind. (4th win, 4th in a row, 2010-2013)
Best Dark Ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla. (1st Win, Dethroned Amazing Adventures of Spiderman, Also at Islands of Adventure)
Best Carousel: Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa. (10th win, 10th in a row, 2001, 2004, 2007-2013)



Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Florida

Best Indoor Roller Coaster: Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando, Orlando, Fla. (7th win, 7th in a row, 2008-2013)
Best Indoor Waterpark: Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas (7th Win, 7th in a row, 2008-2013)
Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction: Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa. (5th win, 5th in a row, 2010-2013)

The Golden Ticket Awards Also Named Their Top 10 Wood and Steel Roller Coasters for 2014.

Wooden Coasters (Last Year’s Rank in Parentheses)

1. Boulder Dash – Lake Compounce, Bristol, CT (1)

2. El Toro – Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ (2)

3. The Voyage – Holiday World, Santa Claus, IN (4)

4. Phoenix – Knoebels, Elysburg, PA (3)

Thunderhead at Dollywood

5. Thunderhead – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, TN (5)

6. Ravine Flyer II – Waldameer, Erie, PA (6)

7. Gold Striker – California’s Great America (Santa Clara, CA) (NR)

8. The Beast – Kings Island – Kings Mills, OH (8)


Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City

9. Outlaw Run – Silver Dollar City – Branson, MO (7)

10. Balder – Liseberg – Gothenburg, Sweden (NR)

(Dropped from the Top 10: Lightning Racer – Hershey Park, and Shivering Timbers – Michigan’s Adventure

Top 10 Steel Coasters (2013 Rank in Parentheses)


1. Millenium Force – Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH (1)

2. Bizarro – Six Flags New England, Agawam, MA (2)

3. Expedition GeForce – Holiday Park, Hassloch, Germany (3)

4. Diamondback – Kings Island, Kings Mills, OH (NR)

5. Nitro – Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ (4)

6. Leviathan – Canada’s Wonderland, Vaughan, Ontario, Canada (NR)

7. Apollo’s Chariot – Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, VA (5)

8. New Texas Giant – Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX (6)

9. Goliath – Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, GA (7)



Intimidator at Carowinds

10. Intimidator – Carowinds, Charlotte, NC (8)

Dropped from rankings: Magnum XL-200 – Cedar Point, and Intimidator 305 – Kings Dominion.

What do you think about the 2014 Golden Ticket Award winners? Do you think anyone can dethrone the long time winners for 2015? Let us know in the comments below!