Celebrating the very best operators from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, together with the outstanding manufacturers, suppliers and entertainment specialists that worked with them to bring 2020’s top experiences to life, yesterday’s live streamed Park World Excellence Awards proved a triumph for the industry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Datateam media director, Paul Ryder said: “The Park World Excellence Awards were launched by Park World magazine publisher Datateam Business Media in 2018 to celebrate Europe’s most outstanding parks, projects, rides and attractions.
“2019 saw the addition of the Middle East and African regions, together with two new awards designed for the FEC sector.
“This year our judges were faced with the difficult task of choosing 20 winners from over 250 entries and nominations. Not only have we seen a particular increase in entries from the EMEA region, but overall.
“The fact that so many operators, manufacturers and suppliers have taken the time to put themselves and others forward during these challenging times proves, perhaps now more than ever, that a Park World Excellence Award is the ultimate stamp of endorsement.”
Germany came out on top in a number of categories this year. Europa-Park was named Best Large Park for the second year running, while Rulantica, the indoor water world also owned by the Mack family and located next to Europa-Park’s sixth themed hotel Krønasår, was named Best Water Park. Rulantica’s Vinterhal, supplied by ProSlide, also picked up Best Water Park Experience. Tripsdrill, meanwhile, was named Best Regional Park.
Meanwhile, the Best Roller Coaster category was so hotly contested this year that it produced not one, but two winners: Vekoma Rides for Hals-über-Kopf at Tripsdrill (again), and Rocky Mountain Construction, for Zada at Energylandia in Poland.
Clearly on a winning streak, Vekoma Rides was awarded Best Roller Coaster (Limited Budget) for Saven at Fårup Sommerland, Denmark while the company’s Charlotte Van Etten was crowned the first ever winner of ‘Unsung Hero’ award, new for 2020.
In Germany again, Best Ride – Limited Budget went to Technical Park and faszinatour for Emaille-Werke at Karls Erlebnis-Dorf Rovershagen.
In the Middle East, indoor skydiving, flight chamber and climbing wall attraction, CLYMB Abu Dhabi was named Best Family Entertainment Centre; while The Family Zone at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, supplied by Zamperla, snapped up Best Ride.
Best FEC Project went to ParadropVR, a premium VR attraction featured at VR Park, Dubai; Tekzone Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Universe Science Park, Denmark and iFLY Basingstoke in the UK.
Created with the help of SDEI, Europe Technologies, Solideo, AMPM and Crystal Group, Les Noces de Feu, the stand-out show at Puy du Fou, was awarded Best Use of Technologies and Best Live Entertainment. The accolades didn’t stop there – the historical theme park in France emerged victorious a third time, alongside 6k and Grumpy Productions in Best Use of Theming for Théâtre Molière and Grand Siècle.
In the category Best Dark Ride or Media Based Experience, Efteling, the fairytale theme park in the Netherlands, was awarded for Fabula together with Aardman Animations; while Polin Waterparks scooped Best Product Innovation for Glassy Looping Rocket at Candyland park in Turkey.
Simworx was named Best Supplier, while Andreas Anderson, CEO of Liseberg, Sweden became 2020’s Industry Icon on the operator side, while the Zamperla family were awarded the same honour as a supplier.
Introduced for the first time this year, the award for ‘Best of the Best’ was not open to entries, instead the Excellence judges were tasked with each nominating a ride, attraction or park, introduced at any time, that they believe represents the very best that the industry has to offer. The recipient of this award was Tivoli Gardens, Denmark, which has been a hit with guests ever since its grand opening in 1843.
Paul Ryder continued: “I would like to say a big thank you to all of this year’s judges all of whom committed their time and expertise to ensure that the rightful winners would be taking home a trophy.
“I’d also like to take to say thank you to all of our sponsors: Credo Projects, Digital Centre, Hologate, Puy du Fou, Polin Water Parks, Simworx, Sunkid and Vekoma Rides for helping us to deliver a fantastic event.
“And finally, we look forward to seeing you, in person, at the Park world Excellence Awards 2021 in Barcelona!”