Best Roller Coasters of 2010 | Golden Ticket Awards

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2010 Golden Ticket Awards: Best Roller Coasters of 20102010 Golden Ticket Awards
Once again, Amusement Today has announced the winners of their annual Golden Ticket Awards. Here are the lists of the top wooden and steel coasters based on the votes received by the industry publication.

Golden Ticket Awards – Top Wooden Coasters of 2010
There’s not usually a whole lot of movement in the top woodies and this year was no different. Two rides exited and entered the list. The Prowler at Worlds of Fun, which debuted at #8 in 2009, was booted from the Top Ten. As was Shivering Timbers at Michigan’s Adventure.  The biggest mystery in the wooden coaster kingdom The Raven at Holiday World and Lightning Racer at Hersheypark took their places after being bumped out of the top ten last year by Ravine Flyer II and Prowler. I really need to get back to Holiday World and re-ride The Raven. I just don’t get all the love for this little terrain woodie. It was fun, but I’d prefer a ride on the park’s rarely mentioned Legend than The Raven. Other than that, I feel that the rest of the Top Ten are worthy of their ranks. Here’s my Top 10 Wooden Roller Coasters.

The Voyage at Holiday World

1 The Voyage* – Holiday World (Indiana) 1st in ’09
El Toro* – Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) 3rd in ’09
Phoenix* – Knoebels Amusement Resort (Pennsylvania) 4th in ’09
4 Boulder Dash* – Lake Compounce (Connecticut) 2nd in ’09
5 Thunderhead* – Dollywood (Tennessee) 5th in ’09
6 Ravine Flyer II* – Waldameer (Pennsylvania) 6th in ’09
7 The Beast* – Paramount’s Kings Island (Ohio) 7th in ’09
Hades* – Mt. Olympus Theme Park (Wisconsin) 9th in ’09
8 The Raven* at Holiday World (Indiana) Not in Top 10 ’09
10 Lightning Racer* at Hersheypark (Pennsylvania) Not in Top 10 in ’09
*=Coasters that I’ve ridden.

Golden Ticket Awards – Top Steel Coasters of 2010
Millennium Force at Cedar PointLast year, I noted that Superman Ride of Steel’s transformation to Bizarro hadn’t seemed to hurt its reputation as it held on to the top spot once again. This year, we see that ride’s new trains and enhancements may be making it slightly less popular. Millennium Force unseated Bizarro from its top spot for the first time since 2006. Other than that, there were no real major changes just a few coasters that flipped positions by one spot.

Class of 2010 Can’t Break Into the Top 10
Of the three major steel roller coasters that debuted this year in the U.S. Intimidator 305 ranked the highest as it just missed the top ten at 11th. Kennywood’s Sky Rocket came in at 17th beating out Intimidator at Carowinds which tied Maverick at Cedar Point at 21st. I would imagine that Intimidator will climb to the top ten over time like the other B&M hypercoasters have.

1 Millennium Force* – Cedar Point (Ohio) 2nd in ’09
Bizarro* – Six Flags New England (Mass.) 1st in ’09
3 Nitro* – Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) 3rd in ’09
Apollo’s Chariot* – Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia) 5th in ’09
5 Goliath* – Six Flags Over Georgia (Georgia) 4th in ’09
6 Expedition GeForce – Holiday Park (Germany) 6th in ’09
7 Diamondback – Kings Island (Ohio) 7th in ’09
Magnum XL-200* – Cedar Point (Ohio) 9th in ’09
9 Phantom’s Revenge* – Kennywood (Pennsylvania) 8th in ’09
10 Top Thrill Dragster – Cedar Point (Ohio) 10th in ’09
*=Coasters that I’ve ridden.

I agree with some of the steel coasters, but  I wouldn’t put Top Thrill Dragster or Phantom’s Revenge in the Top 10. I have lesser of a problem with Phantom, but Top Thrill just doesn’t belong there in my opinion. It’s more of a thrill ride than a world-class roller coaster to me. Also, I’ve got Millennium Force at 7th and Bizarro at 1st. Other than that I’m okay with these coasters although I have more loopers in my list. Here’s my Top 10 Steel Roller Coasters.

Check out more of the 2010 Golden Ticket Award Winners
Read the full 40 page Golden Ticket edition of Amusement Today. It’s a huge PDF and may take a while to download. Click here to download it.

Also, take a look back at the 2006, 2007, & 2008 results.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of this year’s Golden Ticket Awards? Do you agree with the top steel and wood coasters? How many of these coasters have you ridden? Leave a comment below.

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.


  1. Some things I found interesting about the list were 20 B&M coasters in the top 50 to 11 Intamin coasters. I'm a little shocked I305 didn't make the top 10. Is that because it's newer?? It seems a lot of the same coasters keep getting in the top 10 every year. I know I305 is great and have heard from Aric and others on this site how awesome Maverick is plus we hear of many other great coasters so why not a lot of movement at the top? I love Apollo's Chariot and Nitro but I think the new thrill of I305 overrides both of those as well as other coasters(for me personally). Also it seems a lot of people on this site have commented that MF is overrated so what keeps it at the top for all these years? just some talking points on the list because I'm very intrigued by it.

    • There's a reason MF isn't as high in Mitch hawker's poll. many people think that since they've been to cedar point they are big coaster people. One third of them probably think any ride with an areodynamics track is a hypercoaster. therefore, they vote in these polls. Most of the general public would say a ride is there favorite because it has one good elememt. this is why MF and TTD always score so high. they're at Cedar point, and they're big. When Mitche's comes out, I'm sure Bizzaro will retake it's place.

      • Good point Quil. I actually like Mitch Hawker's Coaster Poll a little bit better, but I always post the results from the GTA's because as you can see it gets people talking.

  2. wow i think mellinuim is way to high but thats just my opinion. i persanolly like nitro and mavrick better than it not to say its a bad ride its great but in my mind not tht great

  3. Maverick and I305 not top tenning is borderline criminal.

    Sky Rocket landing ahead of Maverick is delusional.

    Millennium Force at number one just seems kind of stupid, it's not even the best ride at CP, and I love Millennium. Its ranking as a consistent two was already a bit much.

    Top Thrill at ten is and has been a joke.

    Lightning Racer is good, and while I harbor no qualms over ST being booted in place of Lightning Racer, the two rides in my mind do not stack well next to one another. ST has one of the best first halves of any woodie I've ever ridden, and a lackluster-at best-second half. Nothing that LR does comes close to the first half of ST.

    • stupid? It's one to disagree with others and its another to think its stupid. I disagree with the ratings that coaster critic gives all the time, but I would never call them stupid. We just have different tastes.

      MF is easily my #1 ( I have also been on El Toro, Bizarro, Phantoms Revenge and I-305 to name a few) and more people agree with me on that than you would probably like to admit. MF was rated the 2nd best steel roller coaster in the country in Mitch's latest poll and its rated as the countries 2nd best steel roller coaster on coasterbuzz right now, and the gap b/t it and Bizarro is extrmeely small there. I have seen MF rated #1 overall on several other websites over the years.

  4. It's hard to put top rankings on casyers thse days as so many great coasters have been built over the past several decades. KD.s Rebel Yekk kicked off the renewd interst and love for coasters and it's been snowballing ever since. I stopped keeping a Top ? list years ago as there were so many excellent rides out there, all for a myriad of reasons.

    All of the woodies are on my great list except The Beast, which actually heads my list of least favorites. Over-hyped and over-long, it has progressed from boring to brutal over the years. Unless I read somewhere that Cedar Fair spent a boatload of bucks retracting that painful monster, I'll never ride it again. ST would definitely take its place. Such incredible air!

    On the steellie, Top Thrill Dragster would also get booted, since it's a one-trick pony with only height and speed going for it. All of that energy going to waste. Shame! I prefer Storm Runner, which is only half as high but actually has a roller coaster added on after the high hat. The Magnum lost it's lustre years ago. I don't why Arrow coasters don't age well, but that one is almost as shaky and rough as their multi-loopers. And as stated before, Intimidator at KD hold my #1 spot because of it's height, speed, intensity and the utter insanity of its "twisties". (Love that term!)

    • It might also be that Arrow coasters just weren't that well made to begin with and then just get worse over time. As I learned on the Busch Gardens Coaster Tour, there was a much larger amount of spacing allowed between the wheels and the track than on B&M coasters for example. Read more here.

      Having said that, I have Magnum at 6th on my Top Steel Coasters. That may be a tad high, but I just felt like it had character although after a re-ride on my next visit it may fall, because those bunny hops on the trip back were kind of more rough than fun.

  5. Should be "coasters these". Still can't type after all these years. And "Rebel Yell" & "renewed". Where are my other glasses?

    • It was the "Top ?" that confused me.

  6. I added a few rides to my belt in the winner's circle. Including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, not 5 weeks ago. I am also glad that one of the coasters from my home park of Valleyfair! has a coaster in the top 50 wood: Renegade. I am surprised to know that Nickelodeon Universe came third in best Kids Area. All but a few rides are for the wee ones. While I was exiting my math class today, I noticed that an electrical cable was in the shape of a Vertical loop. I wish I had a picture.

    • I do that too Prof. BAM. I think we've talked about this before, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one that sees roller coasters in everyday things.

      • Me too, although somtimes just tieing my shoes is enogh for me sometimes.

        • I took a ceramics class last year with my sp. ed. kids and actually tried to make coaster windchimes! The exploded in the kiln. Maybe I'll try again this year.

  7. I think the steel coaster polls have got to change sooner or later, because seeing the same rides in the same positions is getting old! Maverick deserves to be in the top ten, and I really don't see why Magnum ranks so high up. I do agree with most of the woodies, although Raven should be lower and Lightning Racer doesn't deserve a spot so high (IMO).

    • It is annoying that it's pretty much the same coasters every year. Especially on the steel side, it seems like there's some kind of Cedar Point bias. I like to cross-reference the Golden Ticket Awards with Mitch Hawker's Internet Coaster Poll. It may have smaller numbers (I can't remember) and it has a more international mix of coasters, but it's based on direct ride comparisons. IE. for people who rode both Millennium Force and Bizarro, Bizarro won. Here are the polls steel results from: <a href="

      ">2009 and 2008.

      • Error 404: Your 2009 link lead to something that didn't exist.

  8. I went back into the post and added my thoughts on the Steel Coaster results as well as links to my Top 10 Steel and Top 10 Wooden roller coasters.

  9. THe "Top ?" left the number open. 10? 15? 20?

    I no longeer keep a ranking list as a whole lot of really good coasters now exist and I love so many, each for different reasons and individuality. re: Raven for the ravine drop, Thunderbolt for its terrain use, Phoenix for its airtime in the yellow train-3rd seat, Shivering Timbers for orgasmic, endless bunny hops, Rebel Yell for starting this madness, etc I'm just happy to be old enough to have ridden many classics such as The Comet back at Crystal Beach and all 4 of the 60's Coney Island coasters. I miss Riverside, Willow Grove, Palisades, Woodside and other parks of my youth. But I'm happier still that I'm around to ride all of these incredible new creations.

    Comment on Arrow coasters: I rode many of them when brand new. They were smooth and incredible… then. Most aged badly. A few still run well. However, ones like GASM and it's cousin up north of Chicago should have been arrested for aggravated assault by the end of their existence.

    • Thanks, sorry if I sounded rude at all. By the way, The Comet was relocated, not scrapped. I ride it all the time.


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