SeaWorld has been in the news a lot lately, and not all of it good. The park has undergone a ton of controversy surrounding the whales in it’s parks, thanks largely to an anti-SeaWorld movie. The amusement industry, however, showed that SeaWorld still makes a difference and matters by honoring the chain and several of the individuals within the company at the 17th annual Golden Ticket Awards, presented by Amusement Today. Several of the SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment parks took home big awards, and the chain was even recognized for it’s achievements in Animal Rescue and education.
SeaWorld Orlando took home the title of the Best Marine Park for the ninth year in a row. The park has kept the title ever since the award was introduced in 2006. The other SeaWorld parks in San Diego and San Antonio took home 2nd and 5th (respectively) while Discovery Cove took the number three spot.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg won Best Landscaping for the 17th year in a row, making it a clean sweep since the start of the awards.
Every year Amusement Today honors individuals and companies with their “Publisher Picks”. This year one of the driving creative forces of SeaWorld, which celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary this year, was honored in the Legends Series. The late George Millay was honored in this year’s Legends series. Millay was co-founder of SeaWorld and was considered the godfather of waterparks. He built the very first Wet n Wild in Orlando, which still stands in it’s original location.
“His concepts of participatory fun and promoting conservation and showcasing the natural wonders of our world were pure genius and have set a new standard for the amusement industry.” Said Amusement Today on their website.
SeaWorld was honored with Amusement Today’s “Persons of the Year” for their SeaWorld Rescue team. The team was honored for their rescue efforts, as well as their education and conservation efforts. The conservation message is strong at all three SeaWorld parks, as the rescue team has rescued over 23,000 animals.
Other recipients of the Publishers Picks include Hyland Hills Water World, and Great Coasters International’s own Jeff Pike.