Ask anyone to name a few famous amusement parks and they’ll likely come up with names like Disneyland Paris, Port Aventura, Alton Towers and Universal Studios. If they’ve been to St. louis or Southern California, they might even list slightly less well known attractions such as Six Flags or Knotts’ Berry Farm. So, what are the chances that any one of you can guess which amusement park has won this year’s Golden Ticket Award? Any of the above? Sorry! How about Cedar Point. Cedar what? Cedar Point in Sandusky (that’s in Ohio since you ask) has just won the top accolade — and get this — for the 15th year in a row. And you’ve probably never even heard of it. I must confess, neither had I. Cedar point’s main claim to fame is that it features one of the meanest, longest, highest and fastest (i.e. scariest) roller-coasters in the world. Americans just can’t seem to get enough of roller-coasters, or for that matter amusement parks in general.
So, in case you’re fed up heading off to Orlando each year or can’t stand the oppressive humidity of a Floridian summer, here — for your ediification and delectation is a listing of the best US parks named in this year’s honours list. Go figure!
Best Waterpark – Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Tex.
Best Children’s Park – Idlewild and SoakZone, Ligonier, Pa.
Best Marine Life Park – SeaWorld Orlando
Best Seaside Park – Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Best Wooden Coaster – El Toro at Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J.
Best Steel Coaster – Millennium Force at Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Best Kids’ Area – Kings Island, Kings Mills, Ohio
Friendliest Park – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Cleanest Park – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Halloween Event – Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando
Best Landscaping – Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Best Christmas Event – Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Food – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Shows – Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best Outdoor Night Show Production – IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, Orlando
Best Water Ride- Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando
Best Waterpark Ride – Wildebeest at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Dark Ride – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando
Best New Ride of 2012, Amusement Park – Wild Eagle at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn
.Best New Ride of 2012, Waterpark – Mammoth at Splashin’ Safari, Santa Claus, Ind.
Best Carousel – Grand Carousel at Knoebels Amusement Resort, Elysburg, Pa.
Best Indoor Roller Coaster – Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Studios Orlando
Best Indoor Waterpark – Schlitterbahn Galveston Island, Galveston, Tex.
Best Funhouse/Walk-Through Attraction- Noah’s Ark at Kennywood, West Mifflin, Pa.