What is Theme Park Insider?
Theme Park Insider is a consumers' guide to the world's most popular theme and amusement parks, written by consumers themselves. It has been named the top theme park site on the Internet by Forbes and Travel + Leisure magazines and has been a finalist for the Webby Award for best overall Guide/Ratings/Reviews site.
In 2001, Theme Park Insider became the first travel-related website to win the prestigious Online Journalism Award, presented by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Online News Association, for its pioneering citizen journalism initiative Accident Watch. Theme Park Insider became the first publication to win a major journalism award for a "crowdsourced" report researched and written entirely by its readers.
Who is behind the site?
Robert Niles is the editor of Theme Park Insider, which is a production of Niles Online, a family publishing business headquartered in Celebration, Florida. Theme Park Insider evolved from Robert's "Interactive Guide to Disney Attractions," which itself grew from an online message board about Walt Disney World's Tom Sawyer Island that Niles started in July 1997.
Robert is a former Walt Disney World attractions host, trainer and lead, who worked at the Magic Kingdom from 1987 to 1991. Since then, Robert has worked as a staff writer, editor and website producer at top newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the (Denver) Rocky Mountain News. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in political science and the Honors Program in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences.
Theme Park Insider's front-page reporting staff includes Robert and Laurie Niles, plus several other paid and volunteer freelance writers. Writers' biographies are linked to from their bylines on the ThemeParkInsider.com front page.
Awards and reviews
2001 Online Journalism Award for Service Journalism. Presented by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Online News Association.
2005 Webby Awards, finalist in the Best Guide/Ratings/Reviews Site category.
Forbes Magazine, Forbes' Favorite theme park site on the Internet.
Travel + Leisure Magazine, Top 28 Travel Websites (Best theme park website).
"Combines traditional consumer fare--bargain roundups, hotel ratings, readers' ratings of best and worst attractions--with insightful, pull-no-punches news and commentary." - Electronic Explorer (Syndicated newspaper column)
"An excellent and very useful site" - The Guardian (United Kingdom)
"Aims to make your next park visit more satisfying" - USA Today
"These veterans can steer you away from rides and restaurants that aren't worth your time or money" - Newsday
Also featured on ABC's Good Morning America, National Public Radio, CNN's American Morning, the CBS Evening News and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports, Reader's Digest and Life magazine.
For more information
To submit press releases and story tips, or to contact the editor:
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Features, News and Advice
"Stories from a Theme Park Insider"
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks