El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure

2012 Golden Ticket Awards: Wooden Coasters – Did They Get It Right?

Every year Amusement Today celebrates the best of the amusement industry with the Golden Ticket Awards. And, every year hordes of enthusiasts bash the results. I’m going to take a different angle this year. I’m going to present them as always, but try to view the top wooden and top steel roller coasters through a different lens.

Do GTA Winners Represent Some of the Best Coasters in the World?

No one’s ever going to agree completely with something that’s based on opinion; especially when there are so many possible winners. But, if you were going to introduce roller coasters to a friend, would you feel that the results of the Golden Ticket Awards’ Top 10 Roller Coasters are representative of the some of the best coasters around?
El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure

Looking at it this way, I mostly do. Again, I think it’s a bit ridiculous to argue whether I agree with each coaster or get too riled up that my personal favorite isn’t ranked very highly. But, from the standpoint of whether these coasters represent the best, there are only a few I may dissagree with.

Here are the best wooden roller coasters in the World according to Amusement Today’s 2012 Golden Ticket Awards:

El Toro* at Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) 3rd in 2011

2 The Voyage* at Holiday World (Indiana) 1st in 2011

Phoenix* at Knoebels (Pennsylvania) 2nd in 2011

4 Thunderhead* at Dollywood (Tennessee) 5th in 2011

5 Boulder Dash* at Lake Compounce (Connecticut) 4th in 2011

6 Ravine Flyer II* at Waldameer (Pennsylvania) 6th in 2011

7 The Beast* at Kings Island (Ohio) 7th in 2011

The Raven* at Holiday World (Indiana) Not in Top 10 in 2011

9 Shivering Timbers at Michigan’s Adventure (Michigan) 9th in 2011

10 Balder at Liseberg (Sweden) Not in Top 10 in 2011

*=Coasters that I’ve ridden.

Changes in This Year’s List & The Ride I Don’t Agree With

Mt. Olympus’ subterranean adventure ride, Hades, left the top 10 this year. I had an awesome ride on it, but that was some 6 years ago and it’s been recieving pretty negative comments on my review post. So, it’s likely gotten really rough and probably deserves to be bumped. Worlds of Fun’s Prowler also got bumped. I’ve heard mostly good things about Prowler so it may have just left the list for a more organic reason, rather than something being wrong with the ride.

Fan favorites Raven at Holiday World and Balder at Liseberg entered the list this year. On the other hand, Liseberg’s Balder is an Intamin pre-fabricated woodie (like El Toro). I’ve been reading about it for years and it’s like a really fun airtime machine like El Toro. So, I can’t argue with that ride either. Raven’s been in the top in the past and that’s the only ride out of these ten that I’d argue with. As I said in my post about it, I just don’t get the hype around this ride. To me, it was a nice coaster; not necessarily world class. Read more here: Raven: The Coaster with a Cult Following.

Wasn’t That Easy? Now, What’s Your Take?

Instead of arguing the ranks, which coasters aren’t in the list, and how it’s always the same roller coasters, I just asked myself if, “Is this coaster world-class?” What’s your take? Which of these roller coasters would not consider among the best in the World?

We’ll look at the steel coaster results next. Read my take on last year’s results: 2011 Golden Ticket Awards – My Take on the Top Wooden Coasters. And for more results from year’s past, see this list of all of my Golden Ticket Awards posts. Image courtesy of CoasterImage.[poll id=”87″]