Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Attraction Awards
The time has arrived — we’re pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Attraction Awards! We had an amazing number of nominations and votes this year, and some of these races were very close.
We introduced two new categories that aim to highlight parks’ perseverance and optimism in 2020: the “Helping Hand Award” and the “Best Park Twitter During the Shutdown.” See below for more information about each of those as well as the other four categories.
Reminder: these are nonscientific polls. The nominees were submitted by readers. If you think a prime contender is missing, be sure to come back next year to nominate your favorites!
Now, let’s meet the winners:
1. Best New-for-2020 Coaster
While the number of new-for-2020 coasters was smaller than we expected, there were still some stellar additions to the coaster collection both in the US and overseas.
Winner: Orion at Kings Island
After years of speculation, Kings Island finally added a Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) giga coaster to its coaster arsenal. And the wait was so worth it. Standing 300 feet tall and stretching over 5,300 feet in length, Orion reaches a top speed of 91 mph as it sends riders through a slew of elements. Read our full Orion review here.
Honorable Mention: Candymonium at Hersheypark
2. Most Anticipated 2021 Coaster
Which of these new-for-2021 coasters are you most excited to ride?
Winner: VelociCoaster at Islands of Adventure
It’s no surprise that Universal has been constructing a giant launched Intamin coaster for well over a year. But until October, Universal had yet to formally acknowledge that the coaster even existed, despite its sleek black track towering over the park’s lagoon. But the lack of an announcement didn’t keep the coaster from being one of the most anticipated 2021 — and the competition is steep.
Honorable Mention: Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa
3. Helping Hand Award
This award highlights parks’ supporting and giving back to their respective communities during the pandemic. These included food drives, fundraisers and other initiatives to support those most affected by the pandemic.
Winner: Dollywood Face Masks and Food Bank Donation
Honorable Mention: Disney Parks donated excess food to local food banks; donated 3.3 million lights to Give Kids The World Village.
4. Best Park Twitter During the Shutdown
While parks across the globe were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many parks took to Twitter to engage fans in creative ways. These marketers and social media gurus worked tirelessly to keep fans talking and upbeat.
Winner: Valleyfair (@ValleyfairMN)
Despite not opening in 2020, Valleyfair has kept fans engaged and excited for a surely brighter 2021 with a smorgasbord of social media content including games, funny memes, on-ride videos, looks behind-the-scenes and more. The Twitter account even featured Valleyfair employees who were temporarily relocated to help staff Cedar Point. Though the gates remained closed in 2020, Valleyfair was far from dormant.
— Valleyfair (@ValleyfairMN) April 13, 2020
Honorable Mention: Kentucky Kingdom (@KentuckyKingdom)
5. Best Attraction Logo
An attraction’s logo can be just as recognizable as the attraction itself. You see it on merchandise, entrance signs, ride vehicles — the list goes on.
Winner: Time Traveler at Silver Dollar City
Time Traveler’s unique theme is fitting for the Mack launched spinning coaster, which was undoubtedly one of the most unique coasters to open in the US in recent years. The steampunk-inspired logo features the coaster’s namesake in an industrial font with a backdrop of gears and a stopwatch.
Honorable Mention: Millennium Force at Cedar Point
6. Best Tunnel on a Coaster
Tunnels can add a special something to a roller coaster ride — a “head-chopper” moment, a disorienting maneuver in complete darkness or even just a reprieve from the heat.
Winner: Beast at Kings Island (Double Helix)
Even without its tunnels, Beast at Kings Island is arguably one of the most iconic wooden coasters in the world. If you like tunnels, this one’s for you. Beast subjects riders to two underground tunnels (125 and 269 feet in length) and a partially enclosed 540-degree helix that is comprised of two separate tunnels.
Photo © Kings IslandHonorable Mention: Hades 360 at Mt. Olympus (Tunnel under parking lot)
Thank you for your participation, and we’ll see you again next year!