Dark rides run away with Golden Ticket Awards for best new rides

2022 Golden Ticket Awards logo (© Amusement Today)
2022 Golden Ticket Awards logo (© Amusement Today)

Like every year, Amusement Today presented their Golden Ticket Awards to various parks and rides that they deem to be the best of the best. The live event took place on 10 September and, in contrast to the year before, was hosted locally rather than online. The results are in, so let’s take a look at which dark rides have been regarded as top of the bill by the industry.

Most notable every year are the categories celebrating the best new rides, in which only rides which opened during the last 365 days are present. Of course, arguably the most important Golden Ticket Awards category is that of Best New Attraction Installation for 2022. According to Amusement Today this category focuses on ”uniqueness, popularity, theming and effect on the industry”. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Walt Disney World – EPCOT – 2022) is the overall winner this year, and dark ride Volkanu: Quest for the Golden Idol (Lost Island Theme Park – 2022) wins a (tied) third place (with the Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger-roller coaster).

Apart from this main category for new rides, there are several specific categories where different types of rides are put in the spotlight. The category for Best New Family Ride for example featured five database listed rides:

1. Volkanu: Quest for the Golden Idol (Lost Island Theme Park – 2022)
2: Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (Walt Disney World – EPCOT – 2021).
3. Pirates of Speelunker Cave (Six Flags over Texas – 2022)
4. Jumanji – The Adventure (Gardaland – 2022)
5. Chasseurs de Tornades (Futuroscope – 2022)

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Volkanu takes the cake when it comes to newly opened family attractions (© Dark Ride Database)

Most categories in the Golden Ticket Awards are awarded for the best ride of the year and not specifically new rides for 2022. In the category Best Dark Ride of 2022, all operating dark rides could be nominated. The top 5 for this year is as follows:

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Walt Disney World – Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 2019).
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure (Shanghai Disneyland – 2016).
3. Haunted Mansion (Knoebel’s Amusement Resort – 1973)
4. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Disneyland – 1995)
5. Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts (Universal Orlando Resort – Universal Studios Florida – 2014).

Similarly, in the category of Best Water Ride of 2022 all currently operating water rides could be nominated. Three rides that are on the database are included: second place winner Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls (Universal Orlando Resort – Universal’s Islands of Adventure – 1999), forth place winner Timber Mountain Log Flume (Knott’s Berry Farm – 1969) and fifth place winner Splash Mountain (Walt Disney World – Magic Kingdom – 1992). All of these are semi-dark rides.

Check out Amusement Today’s magazine for an overview of all winners.

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Like last year, Rise of the Resistance is found at the top of the list (© Heartline Coaster)