Amusement Today announces the 2012 Golden Ticket Awards


It’s that time of year again, time for Amusement Today to announce the “Best of the Best” in the Amusement Industry with the 15th annual Golden Ticket Awards. The announcement was held on Saturday at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. Dolly Parton herself was in attendance as the awards were announced in which Dollywood won several of the awards.


The Golden Tickets are calculated by an international poll sent out into different regions of the world. The polls are voted on by a “database” of well traveled theme park fans, and is considered to be one of the highest honors in the Amusement Industry. In addition to the awards given by the polls Amusement Today Editor, Gary Slade announced his “Publishers Pick Awards”.

The Publishers Pick:

  • Park of the Year-Disney’s California Adventure:With the completion of the $1 Billion dollar make over, and the success of Carsland, DCA was the obvious choice.
  • Supplier of the Year-RWS and Associates Entertainment Inc:The company was the production company responsible for bringing Cedar Point’s Luminosity to Life
  • Person of the Year-Tilman J. Fertitta of Landry’s, Inc., in Houston, Texas
  • Turnstile Awards-SeaWorld San Diego:The park recently opened Manta, a high speed coaster that intertwines coasters with marine technology


And the Golden Ticket Winners are:

Best Amusement Park Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Best Waterpark Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Best Children’s Park Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.
Best Marine Life Park SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Seaside Park Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Best Wooden Coaster El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J.
Best Steel Coaster Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
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 Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Shows Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Outdoor Night Show Production IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Orlando, Fla.
Best Water Ride Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
Best Waterpark Ride Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Dark Ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
Best New Ride of 2012 – Amusement Park Wild Eagle at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best New Ride of 2012 – Waterpark Mammoth at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
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 Indoor Waterpark Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas
Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.


Congratulations to the winners for their accomplishments, and congratulations to Amusement Today for another successful year and event.

For the full list of winners, and the complete rankings of coasters, dark rides and parks, visit the official Amusement Today Golden Ticket website!


What do you think of this year’s list of winners? How would you vote differently? Let us know in the comments below!