[boxparagraph]Geek Speak is a special feature that will present the opinions of theme park fans on a specific topic or news story. Every issue we’ll highlight the buzz and reactions (both positive & negative) to give an overview of how news is being received. Every effort will be taken to attempt to present a variety of opinions from a variety of sources.[/boxparagraph]

[intro-paragraph]This edition of Geek Speak includes reactions to the 2011 Golden Ticket Awards.[/intro-paragraph]

“In an awards show hosted today by Holiday World & 2011 Golden Ticket AwardsSplashin’ Safari, Amusement Today announced the winners of its prestigious 2011 Golden Ticket Awards, which are presented to the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry.”

– Amusement Today
Read the results here.

[quoteicon author=”Robb Alvey from Theme Park Review”]…if you look at the top 20 woodies in the Golden Tickets versus another poll like Mitch Hawker’s the results are very different. I see why both polls are important, and they are done for different audiences. But I wouldn’t over look the fact that the results are very different, and I know a lot of people who submit ballots equally for both.[/quoteicon]

[quoteicon author=”Katie from ThrillNetwork”]People vote what they know and also off of memories. I think a lot of people think back to their favorite visit to a park ever and mark it as their favorite park…[/quoteicon]

[quoteicon author=”Coasterguy from the Coaster Blog”]Once again there are no coasters with inversions in the top ten. Intimidator 305 still didn’t make it into the top ten, which surprises me because a ton of people love it. I can’t argue with Millennium Force winning #1 Steel Coaster (again).[/quoteicon]

I figured that New Texas Giant was a lock for best new coaster, but to make #6 in it’s debut year? Surely, this was helped by both a TPR event there AND the ACE Convention this year. But it’s still damn impressive. Imagine once the masses have all ridden it? This could be a contender for #1 in a
few years. It will be interesting to see where it ranks on Mitch’s poll, which doesn’t require a lot of riders to win.
– David H on the Rec.Roller-Coaster Google Group

Video posted on YouTube by Amusement Today

Well, the awards are in…..and the only thing of high significance is how noticeably missing Six Flags parks are. Cedar Point and Schlitterbahn kept their crowns for Best Park and Best Waterpark. The only park award that Six Flags was even close on was a second place for Best Shows at Six Flags Fiesta Texas, something that is not really a huge selling point for the franchise.
– Jeff Elliot on Theme Park Insider

The voting options are skewed to US based attractions, at least 80% of the voting options were in the US, sure you can write-ins candidates, but a write-in is unlikely to ever win. So even with international ballots those internationals are not concentrated in any one area where a consensus of the international voters can get behind their home coaster.
– larrygator on Theme Park Review

Just because the winners are commonly in the midwest doesn’t mean the voters are. Oh, and 20% of the top 50 woodies are outside the US. I seriously doubt that 20% of the world’s woodies are outside the US, so it seems that the votes are skewed away from the US in that category
– texcoaster on Theme Park Review

I’m not sure in what universe Cedar Point is better than every Disney park and every Universal park, not to mention Dollywood, Silver Dollar City, Busch Gardens Williamsburg and more than a few others. …how can Cedar Point be the “best” when it doesn’t even place in the top five of any other category? Shouldn’t the best park just maybe have something like the best food, friendliest employees, best shows, best landscaping, etc. or at least be somewhere near the top of such lists?
– Tim Chatlos on Theme Park Insider

But again, use the Golden Ticket awards the way they are intended: to help guide you in your more localized amusement park travels (as opposed to your vacation destinations). The Amusement Today folks do know thrill/iron ride parks quite well (as evidenced by the Voyage continuing to be the #1 wooden coaster in the world), and if a coaster makes the top ten in one of their lists, you can bet it will offer a fine ride indeed!
– James Rao on Theme Park Insider

I say all of these rankings are pretty much meaningless. Even Mitch Hawker’s great poll is limited by the number of people who have actually ridden the coasters, no matter how distant or obscure. Each of us will always maintain our personal favorites, regardless of what anyone else says. Getting everyone in agreement would almost be the equivalent of trying to achieve World peace. In other words, nearly impossible.
dc on The Coaster Critic’s Blog

Noah’s Ark at Blackpool getting a mention just proves absolutely that the people voting are not travelling to these parks each year and are not riding the rides each year.
– furie on CoasterForce

I’m not personally bothered by the America bias, since that just means I’ve ridden many more of the top coasters according to these awards than I have according to the Mitch Hawker Poll (which I find more interesting and valid).
– cal1br3tto on Theme Park Review

I swear the winners never change either on about 90% of the topics… Boring boring boring…
– Nemesis Inferno on CoasterForce

They have pretty much the same group of people in their panel each year, probably adding some and losing a few. How often do you change your opinions of your favorite park, or favorite water ride? Sure, new rides and coasters come in, which change up the rankings. See Wildebeest, for a good example. Or Harry Potter.
And sure, sometimes parks change things up in ways that we like — or don’t like. But is it really any surprise that the parks which enthusiasts like the most have mostly remained the same over the years?
David H. on the Rec.Roller-Coaster Google Group

About The Author

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

2 Responses

  1. Joel

    I really like David H.’s quote. The last one in the post. People complain that it’s the same rides every year, but how often should they really change. How often does your favorite ride, coaster, or park change? Probably not very often.

  2. XYZ

    I really think that the GTA is biast and that many of the top coasters aren’t deserving. For instance, Expedition GeForce has to be in the top three and Goliath at Walibi World has to be found on that list. That is why Mitch Hawker’s Coaster Poll I think is much better.


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