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2021 Golden Ticket Awards

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
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Page 12 has a list of the winners.

It's immediately a little interesting that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney's Hollywood Studios wins "Best new family attraction of 2021" while its exact replica at Disneyland only comes in 4th (and the California ride isn't even mentioned in the other relevant categories). It suggests the methodology is a bit spotty, in case the other red flags, blinking lights, and klaxons didn't tip you off already.

On page 50, the top Steel coasters are listed. As usual, it's a pile of bovine waste. 43-year-old Mindbender at SFOG among the 25 best coasters in the world? Yeah, right.

The woodie list on page 56 is, er, "strange" too. I don't think all the coasters above Wildfire deserve to be above Wildfire, to put it that way.
 

Hixee

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The highlights for me are:
  • Valhalla winning Best Water Ride of 2021 - has it even run one public boat this season?
  • FLY winning Best New Roller Coaster of 2021 - it opened in 2020.
  • In fact, VelociCoaster is the only coaster in that list that opened in 2021 at all!
The steel and wood coasters list are frankly a bit nauseating.

God, it's pathetic. :D
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
One question… I thought Rise of the Resistance at DHS opened in 2019?
The highlights for me are:
  • Valhalla winning Best Water Ride of 2021 - has it even run one public boat this season?
  • FLY winning Best New Roller Coaster of 2021 - it opened in 2020.
  • In fact, VelociCoaster is the only coaster in that list that opened in 2021 at all!
The steel and wood coasters list are frankly a bit nauseating.

God, it's pathetic.
Didn’t VelociCoaster win Best New Coaster of 2021, with FLY coming 3rd? Or am I wrong there?
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Surely you've seen the Golden Tickets before? Logic means nothing to these people! :D
I certainly have seen the Golden Tickets before; I even stayed up late one year and live-streamed them, in fact! A decision I’ll admit I regret, in hindsight, as I could just have gotten the results in the morning, and staying up late enough to see the whole awards ceremony made me absolutely exhausted the next day…

Out of interest, how are the GTAs actually decided? Does an industry panel vote on them or something, or is it a public vote?
 

Hixee

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Does an industry panel vote on them or something, or is it a public vote?
It's an "industry panel", but exactly who that is I'm not completely sure.

What I do know is that they've only left North America once to visit Europa Park, they daren't set foot in Asia, and they have an insane nostalgia that they can't seem to let go of. :D
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
It's an "industry panel", but exactly who that is I'm not completely sure.

What I do know is that they've only left North America once to visit Europa Park, they daren't set foot in Asia, and they have an insane nostalgia that they can't seem to let go of. :D
They are including foreign rides; for instance, I know Shanghai’s Pirates was close to winning Best Dark Ride, and FLY was nominated for Best New Installation along with Ride to Happiness!

I guess the panel must just have a certain taste in rides that enthusiasts don’t tend to have!

I’ll admit I’m confused at how Steel Vengeance is yet to win Best Steel Coaster, however; it’s an American ride that’s received nothing but rave reviews for 3 years, so surely it would be high on the radar for the award? Fury looks great too, though!
 

Hixee

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They are including foreign rides; for instance, I know Shanghai’s Pirates was close to winning Best Dark Ride, and FLY was nominated for Best New Installation along with Ride to Happiness!
Ah yes, you're right. Of 93 "winners", 16 are from outside North America (and of those 16, 6 are Europa Park), and there's only 1 (one!) in Asia.

Good to know they shortlisted a few though - probably saved them having to bother visiting them, as they knew they'd never let them win.

I'm being facetious. ;)
 

Matt N

Strata Poster
Here are the top 25s for both steel & wood, if you haven’t seen them.
Top 25 Steel
  1. Fury 325 at Carowinds
  2. Millennium Force at Cedar Point
  3. Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point
  4. Superman the Ride at Six Flags New England
  5. Candymonium at Hersheypark
  6. Expedition GeForce at Holiday Park
  7. Lightning Rod at Dollywood
  8. Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland
  9. Maverick at Cedar Point
  10. Taron at Phantasialand
  11. Apollo’s Chariot at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  12. Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  13. Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion
  14. Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure
  15. Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood
  16. Twisted Colossus at Six Flags Magic Mountain
  17. Mako at SeaWorld Orlando
  18. Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure
  19. Diamondback at Kings Island
  20. Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point
  21. Alpengeist at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  22. Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa
  23. Intimidator at Carowinds (tied #23)
  24. Steel Curtain at Kennywood (tied #23)
  25. Mind Bender at Six Flags Over Georgia
Top 25 Wood
  1. Phoenix at Knoebels
  2. Voyage at Holiday World
  3. El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure
  4. Boulder Dash at Lake Compounce
  5. Beast at Kings Island
  6. Mystic Timbers at Kings Island
  7. GhostRider at Knott’s Berry Farm
  8. Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer
  9. Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City
  10. Thunderhead at Dollywood
  11. Lightning Racer at Hersheypark
  12. Gold Striker at California’s Great America
  13. Cyclone at Luna Park (tied #13)
  14. Jack Rabbit at Kennywood (tied #13)
  15. Troy at Toverland
  16. Balder at Liseberg
  17. Raven at Holiday World (tied #17)
  18. Wildfire at Kolmarden (tied #17)
  19. Thunderbolt at Kennywood
  20. Comet at Great Escape
  21. Shivering Timbers at Michigan’s Adventure
  22. Boardwalk Bullet at Kemah Boardwalk
  23. Wodan at Europa Park
  24. Legend at Holiday World
  25. Colossos at Heide Park
 

Pokemaniac

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From what I understand, it's also a point-based system without weighting. Meaning something to the effect that if 100 panelists give a coaster a 2/10 rating, it will receive 200 points. It will then beat out a coaster rated 10/10 by 19 people. Naturally, if you have ten times as many judges from the US as from elsewhere, it's nearly impossible for foreign coasters to win anything.
 

JoshC.

Giga Poster
A water ride that hasn't operated since 2019 is the best water ride of 2021.
Just let that sink in.

Either that means every other water ride in the world is that bad that they're all better off closed, or that the Golden Ticket Awards are farcical.
And in a world where something like Chiapas exists, it certainly ain't the former.
 

CanobieFan

Giga Poster
First off, everybody knows the Golden Tickets are just a joke where Parks just pay for publicity... obviously there's an extreme American bias. It's an American publication where I would say most of its clientele are also American. They used to release the voting information and I'm pretty sure it was some insane number like 25% coming out of the Ohio region. They have 4 or 5 vote regions but Ohio has its own.... and I believe anyone who subscribes to AT is eligible to receive a ballot on request. My parents bought me a physical subscription when they used to mail out newspaper like media in the early 2000s. So I guess I could have voted way back, but didn't care.

FLY winning Best New Roller Coaster of 2021 - it opened in 2020

But I do have to point out I'm pretty sure Amusement Today made it clear in the voting process that any ride from 2020 was eligible for 2021 because last year's season wasn't proper for most Parks, they also only did a modified golden ticket last year, with most categories not happening, so this gave the handful of things that opened last year some sort of recognition.

Valhalla winning Best Water Ride of 2021 - has it even run one public boat this season?

Again, this has to do with how GT works, rides are eligible to win even if they -don't open- to the public, solely based on the concept it's trying to promote. Like 10 years ago one of the Schlitterbahn water parks got the best water ride for their action river which didn't even open until a month -after- voting concluded!

And are we not forgetting how Steel Curtain managed to win best new ride what it was open a grand total of 6 days before voting concluded?
Since everyone is so continuously dissatisfied, why not just completely ignore it and focus on something more worthwhile as far as Amusement Awards go.
 
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