AT's 2006 Golden Ticket Awards

Monday, September 25, 2006 10:53 PM
So here I am, a 15 year industry vet reading these, and I think I may have some valid questions here.

First off, I know Gary Slade personally, and he has an OUTSTANDING publication. That is for the record. What I question is who votes for some of these winners, and how results arrive.

Best Landscaping
Bonfante Gardens? Find me 17 people who admit to visiting that place, and I will forget Idlewild's trees, or Cedar Points floral action.

Best Dark Ride
Is Tower of Terror a great 'haunted attraction', or a lousy drop ride? Has anyone rode Trimpers 'Haunted House'? 7 minutes of hilarity.

Best Children's Park
I think 'Family Park' is a better category. If I were the owners, and I am not speaking for the Kennywood family, I would definately not consider my 410 Laurel Mountain acres anything but family. There is no way that Memphis Kiddie Park is nicer than Sesame Place. The East Ohio Coaster Club must have stacked the ballots.

Best Indoor Park
How about this one for next year?

Best Waterpark
I know everyone loves Holiday World, but Splashin Safari is NOT a waterpark. It is a section within a park. Waterparks are gated. Really, all Schlitterbahns would sweep this. How about Sandcastle? How many waterparks have a marina?

Best Capacity
Not Holiday World or Knoebels. Where are the Universals? Anyone?

Steel Coasters
G-Force? Anyone really ride this one? Kingda Ka? Better than Kraken, Talon?

Wood Coasters
Where is the HP Comet and CLP's Blue Streak? Now call me negative, but just how many of the general voters hold passports? Too many European coasters, and too many off the beaten path rides, like Silver Comet, Coaster, Ozark Wildcat, etc.

Just some thoughts, and I not pointing fingers. Just some thoughts.

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Monday, September 25, 2006 11:20 PM
I've said it before, and I'm sure it makes me unpopular to say so, but I can't take awards like that seriously when the magazine is filled with ads from the winners. They'd never buy those ads otherwise. I've worked for trade magazines, and it's just a way to book revenue.

Am I suggesting any of the winners don't deserve the recognition? Of course not. I'm just saying that the awards exist first as sellers of ad space. I'm sure Gary Slade would find that opinion offensive, but that's the way I feel.

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Monday, September 25, 2006 11:21 PM
Dang...Dude, have you been stewing on this for months? Anyhow, I am sure many of us see the GT's as just pure entertainment, well for me anyway :).
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:29 AM

Agent Johnson said:
Best Landscaping
Bonfante Gardens? Find me 17 people who admit to visiting that place, and I will forget Idlewild's trees, or Cedar Points floral action.

There have to be 17 people on this board that have been to Bonfante. It is easily one of the best landscape jobs I've ever seen.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:32 AM
Bonfante...just got back lol. AWESOME place.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:48 AM
Go Sesame Place! :)
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 6:18 AM
Am I suggesting any of the winners don't deserve the recognition? Of course not. I'm just saying that the awards exist first as sellers of ad space. I'm sure Gary Slade would find that opinion offensive, but that's the way I feel.

I currently work for a trade magazine and we recently help our first "readers choice" type awards. Why? First and foremost as an additional source of revenue, but it's viewed as a win-win situation as advertisers get publicity from the nomination and win.

Bonfante Gardens? Find me 17 people who admit to visiting that place, and I will forget Idlewild's trees, or Cedar Points floral action.

Having been to Bonfante Gardens, Idlewild, Cedar Point, and others noted for their landscaping [Busch Williamsburg, for example] I would agree that the little park just south of San Jose is the clear winner. Absolutely stunning...and it begins before guests get to the parking booths!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 12:06 PM
Yeah, I've ridden nearly all of the top 25 steel coasters and Expedition GeeForce deserves to be where it is, whereas I can think of a certain coaster above it that doesn't.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:04 PM
While I don't really put too much stock into any "Best of" type of polls, I do look at those that do include some of the less visited parks and rides with a little less skeptism than those that include only those at the most popular destinations.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:05 PM

Grant said:
Yeah, I've ridden nearly all of the top 25 steel coasters and Expedition GeeForce deserves to be where it is, whereas I can think of a certain coaster above it that doesn't.

Yeah, but Nitro has always been an enthusiast favorite. ;)

(couldn't resist, and yes, I know that's not the coaster you meant)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 1:44 PM
The whole point of the poll (and it only patially succeeds at this) is to have less-visited parks get more votes...tell me, why do "off the beaten path rides" or overseas rides deserve less consideration? This is a poll to determine the best rides etc *period*, regardless of location. It only does a fair job at this, but at least a few less visited parks and rides get some love.

For woodies...HP Comet and CP Blue Streak?? They are nice coasters, sure, but the Comet is not even the best woodie in that park.

The best poll for coasters *by far* is Mitch Hawker's internet poll, because it takes out any hint of regional bias,

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 2:12 PM
It's also not statistically significant. The sample size is far too small to be relevant. Yes, it solves the quantity vs. quality issue in terms of number of rides, but you need more people to have been on those rides for it to be an accurate representation of the world at large.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:10 PM
That's one of my points. I know a heck of a lot of industry employees, and no one has ever rode a good portion of those rides, or visited certain parks.

Example: MegaPhobia makes all these lists when it was built in 1996, but who many actually went over in June when it opened. How many claimed to ride it? It, along with many other coasters, made top-10 lists weeks after the ride opened.

Memphis Kiddie Park. Come on now. Who goes there? Its like Nelly Bly Park being selected as a top 5 childrens park. No one visits from the industry, yet Nelly Bly got award after award years back. Your telling me kids couldn't have a better time in Playland?

Back to MKP, then if all those stacked voters really came through, I will throw out on the table that the kiddieland in Conneaut Lake is better, or even Camp Snoopy at Cedar Point. SFWofAdv had an incredible kids area, like 4 of them, Larger than Life, Rainbow Island, Turtle Beach, and Happy Harbor.

And then, if MKP made it, what happened to Pioneer Waterland in Chardon? Best waterpark? Clay's or Dover Beach? How much obscurity is allowed?

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 3:29 PM
I think the point that isn't being addressed directly is one of *recent enthusiast events*. MKP probably made it based on being one of the "Con" parks, and being geared specifically towards kids. Fresh in the mind, fresh off an event, easy to understand the results...
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:12 PM
Yes, but did the enthusiasts actually bring any children to the event? or were they just excited to add a coaster to their list, much like Strikler's Grove and other hard to reach rides?
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:46 PM
^ Certainly, in my mind at least, there's what I call "the Expedition G-Force factor"...

I can't judge, I haven't ridden it...that being said, a ride that's HARD to get to, typically will be *ranked* higher due to the inaccessibility...if it truly IS better than RoS in New England, I'm NOT coming back across the pond... ;)

If I were a kid, I'd prefer my parents take me to PKI...or to DL....but if I were a kid *under the age of five*, in Cleveland specifically....sure. Were any 5-year-olds polled? :)

*** Edited 9/28/2006 4:47:46 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Sunday, October 1, 2006 3:21 PM
^Yeah, YOU! ;)

And me. :)

-Tina

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Thursday, October 5, 2006 9:42 PM
Why would an ad from the winners concern you in this poll?

Since the winners are contacted after the poll is finalized, why wouldn't the publication call to see if the park would like to place an advertisement?

The studio's of Oscar hopeful's put ads in Variety to get votes, at least these ad's are placed after the vote is final.

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Thursday, October 5, 2006 10:06 PM
The most important poll your own poll; all the others, just help you narrow down options for the next vacation spot.
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Friday, October 6, 2006 12:58 PM
Any award that exists for the purpose of selling advertising pretty much reduces the integrity of the award to zero. The reason for the awards being is the financial incentive for the magazine. Let's not kid ourselves. I've been there on trade rags. Heck, why do you think I did the Coasters' Choice Awards and released the results just before parks started top open? I got all kinds of press for that, which in the Internet world leads to more ad impressions.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences does not make its money from Variety ad sales.

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