The Golden Ticket Awards | Presented by Amusement Today

The Golden Ticket Awards | Presented by Amusement Today

The Golden Ticket Awards | Presented by Amusement Today

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2021 GTA Winners

The 2021 Golden Ticket Awards were presented online from the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives



2021 Print Issue



Golden Ticket LEGEND Award — Larry Bill of The Gravity Group was honored as a Legend, a lifetime achievement award, for his engineering work and involvement on an estimated 75 wooden roller coasters worldwide.

The Golden Ticket Leadership Award — Deno “DJ” Vourderis of Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park was recognized with the Leadership Award. His resilience at confronting the pandemic was matched by his compassion for his fellow New Yorkers.

Best Amusement ParkEuropa-Park, Rust, Germany
Best Water ParkSchlitterbahn Waterpark Resort,
New Braunfels, Texas
Best Family Park of 2021Dutch Wonderland, Lancaster, Pa.
Best Wildlife/Marine Life ParkSeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.
Best Water Park RideWildebeest at Splashin’ Safari,
Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Wooden CoasterPhoenix at Knoebels Amusement
Resort, Elysburg, Pa.     
Best Steel CoasterFury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.
Best Kids’ AreaDollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Guest ExperienceDollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Breakout Family
Entertainment Center of 2021
Fun Spot America Atlanta
BestHalloween Event of 2020Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas  
Most Beautiful Park  Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Christmas Event of 2020Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Food of 2021Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.  
Best New Show of 2021Rock The Night at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas
Best Water RideValhalla at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Best Dark RideStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance
at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Best New Attraction Installation
of 2020/2021
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Orlando, Fla.
Best New Roller Coaster of 2020/21  Jurassic World Velocicoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure      
Best New Family Attraction of 2020/2021  Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Best New Water Park Ride of 2020/2021  Cheetah Chase at Splashin’ Safari,
Santa Claus, Ind..
Best Innovation of 2021The Gravity Group

Personally chosen by Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today, this year’s Publisher’s Pick Awards were presented in the following categories:

  • Park of the Year – Universal Orlando was recognized as Park of the Year for its determination and positive direction in the pandemic; 
  • Renaissance Award – Six Flags Over Texas received the Renaissance Award for its reinvestment in two 1960s attractions, attention to detail and a refocus on the park’s storytelling; and
  • Turnstile Award – Scene75 not only weathered the storm of the pandemic but also a tornado itself. Recovering even stronger and continuing to keep guests coming, the chain of family entertainment centers was honored with the Turnstile Award.

2021’s Top 50 Wooden Roller Coasters

1Phoenix Knoebels Elysburg, Pennsylvania Dinn-PTC/Schmeck1985
2Voyage Holiday World Santa Claus, Indiana The Gravity Group2006
3El Toro Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, New Jersey Intamin2006
4Boulder Dash Lake Compounce Bristol, Connecticut Custom Coasters Int.2000
5Beast Kings Island Mason, Ohio KECO1979
6Mystic Timbers Kings Island Mason, Ohio Great Coasters Int.2017
7GhostRider Knott’s Berry Farm Buena Park, California Custom Coasters/GCII1998
8Ravine Flyer II Waldameer Erie, Pennsylvania The Gravity Group2008
9Outlaw Run Silver Dollar City Branson, Missouri Rocky Mountain2013
10Thunderhead Dollywood Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Great Coasters Int.2004
11Lightning Racer Hersheypark Hershey, Pennsylvania Great Coasters Int.2000
12Gold Striker California’s Great America Santa Clara, California Great Coasters Int.2013
13 tieCyclone Luna Park/Coney Island Brooklyn, New York Baker/Keenan1927
13 tieJack Rabbit Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Miller1920
15Troy Toverland Sevenum, the Netherlands Great Coasters Int.2007
16Balder Liseberg Gothenburg, Sweden Intamin2003
17 tieRaven Holiday World Santa Claus, Indiana Custom Coasters Int.1995
17 tieWildfire Kolmården Norrköping, Sweden Rocky Mountain2016
19Thunderbolt Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Vettel/Miller1968
20Comet Great Escape Lake George, New York PTC/Schmeck1994
21Shivering Timbers Michigan’s Adventure Muskegon, Michigan Custom Coasters Int.1998
22Boardwalk Bullet Kemah Boardwalk Kemah, Texas The Gravity Group/M&V2007
23Wodan Europa-ParkRust, Germany Great Coasters Int.2012
24Legend Holiday World Santa Claus, Indiana Custom Coasters Int.2000
25Colossos Heide Park Soltau, Germany Intamin2001
26Goliath Six Flags Great America Gurnee, Illinois Rocky Mountain2014
27Flying Turns Knoebels Elysburg, Pennsylvania Fetterman2014
28Giant Dipper Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Santa Cruz, California Prior & Church/Looff1924
29White Lightning Fun Spot Orlando, Florida Great Coasters Int.2013
30Renegade Valleyfair! Shakopee, Minnesota Great Coasters Int.2007
31Prowler Worlds of Fun Kansas City, Missouri Great Coasters Int.2009
32Twister Knoebels Elysburg, Pennsylvania Fetterman1999
33Rampage Splash Adventure Bessemer, Alabama Custom Coasters Int.1998
34Playland Wooden Coaster PNE Playland Vancouver, B.C., Canada Phare1958
35Blue Streak Conneaut Lake Park Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania Vettel/NAD1937
36Screamin’ Eagle Six Flags St. Louis Eureka, Missouri PTC/Allen1976
37Comet Hersheypark Hershey, Pennsylvania PTC/Schmeck1946
38Blue Streak Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Hoover1964
39Hades 360 Mount Olympus Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin The Gravity Group2005
40El Toro Freizeitpark Plohn Lengenfeld, Germany Great Coasters Int.2009
41Cornball Express Indiana Beach Monticello, Indiana Custom Coasters Int.1999
42Boss Six Flags St. Louis Eureka, Missouri Custom Coasters Int.2000
43Cú Chulainn Tayto Park Ashbourne, Ireland The Gravity Group2015
44Rutschebanan Tivoli Gardens Copenhagen, Denmark L.A. Thompson1914
45 tieTexas Stingray SeaWorld San Antonio San Antonio, Texas Great Coasters Int.2020
45 tieZippin Pippin Bay Beach Green Bay, Wisconsin M&V2011
47American Thunder Six Flags Six Flags St. Louis Eureka, Missouri Great Coasters Int.2008
48InvadR Busch Gardens Williamsburg Williamsburg, Virginia Great Coasters Int.2017
49Grand National Blackpool Pleasure BeachBlackpool, England Paige1935
50T Express Everland Yonjin-si, South Korea Intamin2008

2021’s Top 50 Steel Roller Coasters

1Fury 325 Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina B&M2015
2Millennium Force Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Intamin2000
3Steel Vengeance Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Rocky Mountain2018
4Superman The Ride Six Flags New England Agawam, Massachusetts Intamin2000
5Candymonium Hersheypark Hershey, Pennsylvania B&M2020
6Expedition GeForce Holiday Park Hassloch, Germany Intamin2001
7Lightning Rod Dollywood Pigeon Forge, Tennessee Rocky Mountain2016
8Leviathan Canada’s Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada B&M2012
9Maverick Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Intamin2007
10Taron Phantasialand Brühl, Germany Intamin2016
11Apollo’s Chariot Busch Gardens Williamsburg Williamsburg, Virginia B&M1999
12Iron Rattler Six Flags Fiesta Texas San Antonio, Texas Rocky Mountain2013
13Intimidator 305 Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia Intamin2010
14Nitro Six Flags Great Adventure Jackson, New Jersey B&M2001
15Phantom’s Revenge Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Morgan/Arrow2001
16Twisted Colossus Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia, California Rocky Mountain2015
17Mako SeaWorld Orlando Orlando, Florida B&M2016
18Jurassic World VelociCoaster Universal’s Islands of Adventure Orlando, Florida Intamin2021
19Diamondback Kings Island Mason, Ohio B&M2009
20Magnum XL-200Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Arrow1989
21Alpengeist Busch Gardens Williamsburg Williamsburg, Virginia B&M1997
22Montu Busch Gardens Tampa Tampa, Florida B&M1996
23 tieIntimidator Carowinds Charlotte, North Carolina B&M2010
23 tieSteel Curtain Kennywood West Mifflin, Pennsylvania S&S2019
25Mind Bender Six Flags Over Georgia Austell, Georgia Schwarzkopf1978
26 tieTime Traveler Silver Dollar City Branson, Missouri Mack 2018
26 tieX2 Six Flags Magic Mountain Valencia, California Arrow2002
28 tieGoliath Six Flags Over Georgia Austell, Georgia B&M2006
28 tieTop Thrill Dragster Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio Intamin2003
30Blue Fire MegacoasterEuropa-ParkRust, Germany Mack 2009
31Orion Kings Island Mason, Ohio B&M2020
32Nemesis Alton Towers Staffordshire, England B&M1994
33 tieHagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal’s Islands of Adventure Orlando, FloridaIntamin2019
33 tieSkyrush Hersheypark Hershey, Pennsylvania Intamin2012
35Steel Dragon 2000 Nagashima Spa Land Nagashima, Japan Morgan 2000
36New Texas Giant Six Flags Over Texas Arlington, Texas Rocky Mountain2011
37Banshee Kings Island Mason, Ohio B&M2014
38Behemoth Canada’s Wonderland Vaughan, Ontario, Canada B&M2008
39Twisted Timbers Kings Dominion Doswell, Virginia Rocky Mountain2018
40Helix Liseberg Gothenburg, Sweden Mack 2014
41Cheetah Hunt Busch Gardens Tampa Tampa, Florida Intamin2011
42 tieBlack Mamba Phantasialand Brϋhl, Germany B&M2006
42 tieWicked Cyclone Six Flags New England Agawam, Massachusetts Rocky Mountain2015
44Raging Bull Six Flags Great America Gurnee, Illinois B&M1999
45Steel Force Dorney Park Allentown, Pennsylvania Morgan1997
46Jetline Gröna Lund Stockholm, Sweden Schwarzkopf1988
47Shock Wave Six Flags Over Texas Arlington, Texas Schwarzkopf1978
48 tieCannibal Lagoon Farmington, Utah ART Engineering2015
48 tieRaptor Cedar Point Sandusky, Ohio B&M1994
50Lisebergbanan Liseberg Gothenburg, Sweden Schwarzkopf1987