Cedar Point Amusement Park/Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, won the Golden Ticket this week as the "Best of the Best" in the amusement industry. In addition to taking home the top prize, the park also picked up a Golden Ticket for "Best Steel Coaster." This marks the 13th year in a row that Cedar Point has taken home top honors from the prestigious Golden Ticket Awards, presented annually by Amusement Today.
Amusement parks grew steadily more popular over the past two decades, more than doubling their revenue between 1990 and 2007, the last year for which revenue data are available. In recent years, American amusement parks entertained about 300 million visitors who enjoyed more than 1.7 billion rides, say industry officials.
"The amusement park industry tends to be somewhat recession-resistant," says Colleen Mangone of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. "When there's an economic downturn, people tend to visit a park closer to home, but the overall attendance doesn't see big swings." Even in the midst of the recession, the summer of 2009, "some parks had record attendance and revenue." Summer 2010 data haven't been collected yet, but she says, "We're cautiously optimistic that when the numbers come out, we'll see an improvement over last year."
"Actually," she adds, "the weather tends to impact our industry more than the economy. On a rainy day, people tend not to go even to a local park."
But what if, rain or shine, you don't want to go to Ohio for your roller coaster fun? Here are some other Golden Ticket winners:
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 Dark Ride
Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Fla.
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.
The awards were presented at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., and based on a detailed international survey conducted by Amusement Today.