Millennium Force - Cedar Point
4th: Millennium Force at Cedar Point - Photo by CoasterImage.com used by permission.

Golden Ticket Awards – My Take on the Top Steel Coasters

Golden Ticket Awards – Top Steel Roller Coasters of 2011
Millennium Force at Cedar PointIn 2010, I noted that Bizarro was bumped out of the top spot for the first time in four years by Millennium Force. The ride’s transformation from Superman: Ride of Steel to Bizarro may have had something to do with that. Millennium Force retained its title this year and once again reigns supreme as the favorite steel roller coaster of the Golden Ticket Awards participants. Other than a strong debut from the New Texas Giant and Diamondback’s descent from 7th to 11th, there were no real major changes; just a few coasters that flipped positions.

Here are the best steel roller coasters in the World according to the Golden Ticket Awards:

Millennium Force* – Cedar Point (Ohio) 1st in ’10
Bizarro* – Six Flags New England (Mass.) 2nd in ’10
Nitro* – Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) 3rd in ’10
Goliath* – Six Flags Over Georgia (Georgia) 5th in ’10
Phantom’s Revenge* – Kennywood (Pennsylvania) 9th in ’10
6 New Texas Giant* – Six Flags Over Texas (Texas) New in ’11
Apollo’s Chariot* – Busch Gardens Williamsburg (Virginia) 4th in ’10
Expedition GeForce – Holiday Park (Germany) 6th in ’10
Top Thrill Dragster – Cedar Point (Ohio) 10th in ’10
10 Magnum XL-200* – Cedar Point (Ohio) 8th in ’10
*=Coasters that I’ve ridden.

The New Texas Giant Makes a Mark
New Texas Giant Returns to the StationI was happy to see that the New Texas Giant made such a strong debut. Not onlydid it when Best New Ride, beating out Cheetah Hunt by a large margin (45% vs. 12% in voting), but it also came in as the 6th best steel roller coaster. It also debuted on my top ten list. The New Texas Giant is tied for 6th on my Top 10 Coasters List and tied for third on my Top 10 Steel Roller Coasters List.

The ride has cool theming for a wooden coaster with its Cadillac-themed trains and fun elements like its tunnels and extreme banking. Not to mention, it delivers an insane amount of airtime. If you didn’t make it to Arlington, Texas this year, you should make plans to get down there soon. Read my full New Texas Giant review.

A Giga With the Wrong Longitude & Latitude?
Intimidator 305 just missed the top ten when it debuted in 2010. This year it slipped a couple more spots to 13th. I find it interesting that this giga coaster can’t break into the top ten while another has been battling for and sometimes attaining the top spot for much of the last decade. Millennium Force and Intimidator 305 are by no means the same ride, but I305’s absence may give some credence to the Midwest U.S. bias that many feel the awards have. I wonder how I305 would be ranking if it were at Kings Island instead of Kings Dominion.

Other Observations
As far as the rest of the list, I wouldn’t have included Top Thrill Dragster as I consider it more of a thrill ride than a full-fledged, world-class roller coaster. I like Phantom’s Revenge, but I don’t quite consider it a top or best of the best steel coaster. And, as I’ve said many times in the past, Bizarro is a much more complete roller coaster than Millennium Force which just offers speed and height, but little airtime. Lastly, as guest writer Aric covered in his post, Why Looping Coasters Deserve Their Own List, looping coasters still can’t seem to get any love in the Golden Ticket Awards these days.

View the official Steel Coaster results with the point totals here. Also, see: My Take on the Golden Ticket Awards 2011 Top Wooden Coasters. Check out the full list of 2011 Golden Ticket Award Winners including theme park and other ride award categories.

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