It’s the top award for theme park and amusement parks worldwide. Each year, ‘Amusement Today’ magazine hands out its Golden Ticket Awards for the best of the best in several amusement park categories. On September 7th & 8th, several amusement and theme park officials and fans gathered at the Dollywood Resort in Pigeon Forge, TN to see who would walk away with several Golden Ticket Awards which would be handed out in several different categories. Continue through the page break to see who took home the hardware.
Each year I’m always interested to see who wins these awards. Not just because they are the most recognized awards in the theme park industry, but because the individuals who choose these awards are theme park fans just like ourselves. ‘Amusement Today’ selects various theme park travelers and experts throughout the world to vote on the best of the best in several amusement park categories. Here’s a snapshot of this year’s award winners and top finishers.
In the most recognized category; Best Park the winner was Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH with Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom coming in 5th and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Universal’s Islands of Adventure tying for 7th place overall.
Sea World dominated the Best Marine Park category taking 4 of the top 5 spots. Sea World Orlando took the Golden Ticket award in this category with its San Diego sister park taking 2nd, and San Antonio park taking 3rd place. Discovery Cove came in at 5th place overall.
In other award categories, both U.S. Magic Kingdom parks took 4th and 5th place in the Cleanest Park category.
In the Best Dark Ride category both Disney and Universal dominated. Universal took the top spot with Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey winning the Golden Ticket Award. The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman finished in a close second. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios finished in 3rd place while Indiana Jones – Temple of the Forbidden Eye at Disneyland finished in 5th place.
Moving on to the Best Indoor Coaster category again the Universal and Disney parks dominated. Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando took the Golden Ticket Award for the top spot. Rock ‘n’ roller Coaster took the 3rd spot while Disneyland’s version of Space Mountain finished in 2nd place and Disney World’s version finished in 5th place.
Let’s jump to the shows and special events categories. In the Best Shows category it was Disney’s Hollywood Studios taking 3rd place overall while Sea World Orlando came in at 5th place.
In the Best Outdoor Show Production category Disney dominated this category with EPCOT running away with the Golden Ticket Award. Disney’s California Adventure finished 2nd, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom finished 4th while Disney’s Hollywood Studios came in 5th place.
In the Best Halloween Event category it was Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights running away with the Golden Ticket Award. The Best Christmas Event category saw Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom finishing 2nd while Disney World’s Magic Kingdom finished in a tie for 3rd place.
Here are the results of some other categories where the Orlando and Southern California theme parks finished strong.
Best Kids’ Area – Seuss Landing – Universal’s Islands of Adventure – 2nd Place
Best Children’s Park – Legoland in CA – 2nd Place, Legoland in FL – 4th Place
Best Food – EPCOT – 3rd Place
Friendliest Park – Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom – Tie 5th Place
Best Carousel – Universal’s Islands of Adventure – 5th Place
Do you agree with this year’s winners and top finishers? Do you have a favorite that was left off the list? Tell us your opinion in the discussion forum below or on the DIS’s Facebook page. For a complete list of all the winners and top finishers of the 2012 Golden Ticket Awards see pages 4 and 5 of this month’s edition of ‘Amusement Today’ magazine.
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