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Cedar Point named Best Amusement Park

September 13th, 2010

As Academy Award winners often say, it’s an honor to be nominated by one’s peers and to win is just the icing on the cake. The same goes for the Amusement Park industry awards known as the Golden Ticket Awards. These are the destinations that industry insiders consider to be the top of the top.

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey that is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world – in balanced geographical regions – asking them to rate the “bests” in 25 categories such as “amusement parks,” “roller coasters,” “shows,” “landscaping” and “water rides.”

The 2010 winners are …

Best Amusement Park
Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Best Waterpark

Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas

Best Children’s Park
Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.

Best Marine Life Park
SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

Best Seaside Park
Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Best Wooden Coaster
The Voyage at Holiday World, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Steel Coaster
Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio

Best Kids’ Area
Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio

Friendliest Staff
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Cleanest Park
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Halloween Event
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla..

Best Landscaping
Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.

Best Christmas Event
Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Best Food
Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.

Best Shows
Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Best Outdoor Night Show Production
IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center, Orlando, Fla.

Best Water Ride
Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best Waterpark Ride
Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

Best Dark Ride
Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best Indoor Waterpark
Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Texas

Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction
Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.

Best Carousel
Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.

Best Indoor Roller Coaster
Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Orlando, Orlando, Fla.

Best New Ride of 2010 - Amusement Park
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.

Best New Ride of 2010 - Waterpark
Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.

This is the 13th annual year for Amusement Today’s coveted Golden Ticket Awards, which are the most sought-after awards in the business of amusements and attractions. This year’s host park, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, has won the Best Landscaping title every year since the poll has been in place.

“We are very proud of the men and women who maintain Busch Gardens’ landscaping. The park’s landscaping complements the park experience for our guests. It’s something we take great pride in, so this award is especially meaningful,” says John Reilly, president of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. “We are thrilled to host this year’s Golden Ticket Awards and welcome the industry to our park.”

Personally chosen by Gary Slade, publisher and editor-in-chief of Amusement Today, the Publisher’s Pick Awards are presented in three categories: Park, Individual and Supplier. Respectively, the 2010 recipients are Beech Bend in Bowling Green, Ky., for its perseverance in overcoming unexpected health and flooding challenges; Jeff Novotny of Larson International in Plainview, Texas, for his donation of land and labor to make the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives a reality; and Environs in Jacksonville, Fla., for its generous $650,000 gift of a scenic ship to Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Fla.

The honoree of this year’s Legends Series, which pays tribute to an amusement legend who has impacted the industry in a unique way, is the late Will Koch of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind. Koch was a true visionary, leader and dear friend to the industry. His genuine spirit, brilliance and laughter touched all who had the pleasure to know him. Will passed away at the young age of 48 in June, and Amusement Today honors his legacy with this special award.

For the sixth consecutive year, Amusement Today recognized college students who plan to pursue a career in the amusement industry and are employed by the ceremony’s host park of Busch Gardens Williamsburg and neighboring park, Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg as Ms. and Mr. Golden Tickets. These individuals exemplify the spirit and integrity of the amusement park industry by promoting the cornerstones of safety, service, courtesy and cleanliness at the highest level, while consistently exceeding job expectations. This is an annual designation by Amusement Today to promote education in the field of hospitality and amusement.

Amusement Today newspaper covers international amusement and waterpark news and trends and in its 14-year history is a five-time winner of various awards from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. For a detailed outline of the 2010 winners and survey results, please log on to www.goldenticketawards.com.

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