Knoebels Golden Ticket Awards

Visiting Knoebels this weekend? If so, you might be happy to learn that it’s a one-stop location where you can ride the world’s best carousel, taste the best food, enjoy the thrill of the second best wooden roller coaster, and experience a host of other top five “best-ofs” in the amusement industry.

During a recent event at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, Amusement Today announced the winners of its 2016 Golden Ticket Awards. The awards annually recognize the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry and are calculated from an international poll. The results come from a survey that is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world asking them to rate the “bests” in 25 categories.

2016-award-winnersKnoebels Amusement Resort received the Golden Ticket Award for “Best Food,” and “Best Carousel” for its Grand Carousel. Phoenix roller coaster made its highest showing ever as the second best wooden roller coater in the world. In addition to the first place awards, Knoebels was a finalist in a number of other categories as follows: Third Best Halloween Event; Fourth Best Park; Fourth Friendliest Park; Fourth Best Dark Ride for its Haunted Mansion; and Fifth Best Indoor Roller Coaster for its Black Diamond. Flying Turns and Twister also made a showing in the “Top 50 Wooden Roller Coasters” category at numbers 41 and 47, respectively.

“We are very thankful and honored to be held in such high regard by Golden Ticket Award voters,” said Dick Knoebel, President of Knoebels Amusement Resort. “If you take notice, the majority of the distinctions are directly related to the efforts of our team members; we are incredibly grateful for their care and dedication.”

At the ceremony, Dick Knoebel accepted the award for “Best Carousel,” and his sons, Brian and Rick, accepted the award for “Best Food.” The 103-year-old Grand Carousel was purchased by the park in 1941, and has received the top award every year since its inception. The award for best food has been taken home by Knoebels 15 times in 17 years.

“There are over 400 fixed-site amusement parks in the United States alone, so to rank in a number of categories among those parks plus others around the world is truly an honor,” said Stacy Ososkie, Knoebels Public Relations Director. “We absolutely love being a place that helps to create memories and fun times for people of all ages!”

To provide perspective as to Knoebels’ competition in the Golden Ticket Awards, Knoebels’ Haunted Mansion, which opened in 1973, was trumped only by Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Harry Potter/Escape from Gringotts at Universal Studios Orlando. To earn the distinction of “Best Food,” Knoebels beat out Dollywood in Tennessee, Epcot in Florida, Silver Dollar City in Missouri, and Europa-Park in Germany.

Amusement Today newspaper was founded in 1997 and covers international amusement and water park news and trends. To view past results, please visit: To find information on Amusement Today, visit:

About Knoebels: Knoebels Amusement Resort, which has been family owned and operated since its start 90 years ago, is America’s largest free-admission amusement park and offers free parking, entertainment and picnic facilities. While at the park, enjoy over 60 rides, award winning food, swimming at Crystal Pool, challenging games, gift shops, and Knoebels Three Ponds Golf Club, then stay overnight at one of two campgrounds. For more information, visit