MUNICH, Sept 10 — A European-themed amusement park some of you may never have heard of before has nabbed the title of world’s best amusement park away from household names like Disney and Universal Studios.
For the 2018 edition of the Golden Ticket Awards, which honours the best players in the amusement industry, Europa-Park in Germany claimed the title of world’s best amusement park by readers of Amusement Today.
Along with thrill rides and attractions, Europa-Park features original live productions and boasts another unique claim — the park is the only one in the world to be home to a two Michelin-starred eatery for Ammolite-The Lighthouse Restaurant.
Located between the Black Forest and the Vosges in Rust, Germany, the park attracts 5.6 million visitors a year, not only families but also business travellers. Through its “confertainment” program, the park tries to position itself as a venue for conferences and professional conventions.
New additions this year include the reworked 148-foot-high CanCan Coaster, which harkens the mythical Moulin Rouge in Paris, the arrival of Paddington Bear to the British-themed area and new virtual reality experiences.
Europa-Park has 15 European-themed areas and five themed hotels.
Meanwhile, another big winner this year is Cedar Point, Ohio’s Steel Vengeance, which was named best new amusement ride 2018.
Billed as the world’s first hyper-hybrid coaster, the thrill ride takes riders 205 feet over Frontier Town, before dropping 200 feet down a 90-degree angle at speeds of up to 74 mph (119 km/hr).
Here are some of the winners of the Golden Ticket Awards 2018:
Best amusement park: Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
Best water park: Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort, New Braunfels, Texas
Best marine life park: SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, FL
Best steel coaster: Fury 325, Carowinds, Charlotte, NC
Best new amusement park ride: Steel Vengeance, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
Best Halloween event: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Orlando, FL
Best Christmas event: Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Best shows: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn.