Theme Park Insider

Looking for something fun to read next? Book photo
"Stories from a Theme Park Insider" includes 40 stories about life working at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, in a feel-good book any theme park fan will love. And it's just $3.99 from Amazon.com and Apple's iBooks. Download it today!

Robert Niles

Robert Niles is the editor and founder of Theme Park Insider. A former Disney World cast member, he holds a master's degree in journalism and has written and edited for some of America's top newspapers and websites.

New Theme Park Insider debuts this weekend
December 21, 2005: Robert's delivering a long-awaited site redesign for Christmas.
5 responses. Last at 4:39 PM (MST) on December 24, 2005

Snyder Claims to Have Control of Six Flags
November 22, 2005: The owner of Washington D.C.'s NFL franchise says that he's got majority control of the company and will replace the amusement chain's CEO.
5 responses. Last at 5:05 AM (MST) on December 26, 2005

A Photo Tour of Christmas at Disneyland
November 14, 2005: Theme Park Insider's editor takes a look at some of the holiday happenings at Disney's original theme park.
11 responses. Last at 4:20 PM (MST) on December 21, 2005

Six Flags' New Owners Face a Capital Challenge
September 9, 2005: Whoever buys the struggling amusement park chain will need to bring a new model, and a lot of cash, to turn around the ailing company.
28 responses. Last at 12:03 PM (MST) on October 24, 2005

Disneyland to Offer New Family-Friendly Halloween Event
August 11, 2005: But "Mickey's Halloween Treat" will be at California Adventure, not the original Disneyland park. Will families go?
19 responses. Last at 12:01 PM (MST) on September 15, 2005

The Rainforest Cafe Takes a Stumble in the Jungle
August 4, 2005: Disney World's outpost of the popular theme restaurant chain offers interesting recipes, but poor ingredients and an atmosphere that is showing its age.
17 responses. Last at 8:10 PM (MST) on September 16, 2005

Girls (and Boys) Go Wild at Orlando's Nickelodeon Hotel
August 1, 2005: Love pools, water slides and lots of cable TV? Then, just outside Walt Disney World, there's a hotel for you....
9 responses. Last at 1:59 PM (MST) on August 3, 2005

Little Princesses on Parade at Disney World's 'Perfectly Princess Tea Party'
July 28, 2005: This ultra-expensive event at Disney World's Grand Floridian Resort sells out quickly and, for one little girl, was worth every dime.
25 responses. Last at 9:58 PM (MST) on August 11, 2005

Are Theme Park Breakfast Events a Good Deal?
July 23, 2005: The first hour when a park opens is the best time to ride rides. Should you spend that time eating breakfast with the park's characters instead?
8 responses. Last at 2:09 PM (MST) on July 30, 2005

Legoland Sale to Blackstone Now Official
July 13, 2005: Merlin Entertainment Groups, co-owned by Blackstone and Lego, will be the parks' new owner in a $460 million deal.

'Wild Woods' Is Too Wild for Young Golfers
July 11, 2005: Legoland California's hot streak with new attractions comes to a close with a kids-sized course that's too much frustration and not enough fun. Save your money for the park's breakfast buffet, instead.
16 responses. Last at 5:24 PM (MST) on September 1, 2005

Tokyo DisneySea, Legoland California Lead Winners in Fourth Theme Park Insider Awards
July 1, 2005: Disney and Universal theme parks picked up two award each in this year's reader voting.
12 responses. Last at 7:18 PM (MST) on July 10, 2005

Fear Factor - Live! at Universal Studios Hollywood
June 30, 2005: The NBC grossfest finds a new home at Universal's California park, and might just stick around a while.

California Ruling on Theme Park Safety Changes Nothing
June 17, 2005: The industry's up in arms over the state Supreme Court declaring amusement rides 'common carriers.' But the decision merely upholds decades of tradition in California law.
6 responses. Last at 3:38 PM (MST) on June 18, 2005

Kick-Off Time for the Fourth Annual Theme Park Insider Awards
May 31, 2005: More than 10,000 registered readers are eligible to pick the world's best among theme parks. What will you vote for?
19 responses. Last at 6:57 PM (MST) on June 5, 2005

How to Save Money on a Theme Park Trip
May 24, 2005: Deals and discounts are only part of the strategy to get best value for your vacation dollar when visiting a theme park.
4 responses. Last at 7:34 PM (MST) on June 1, 2005

Innovative 'Robocoaster' Debuts at Legoland California
May 19, 2005: The new Knights' Tournament continues the Carlsbad park's tradition of interactive attractions.
6 responses. Last at 10:21 PM (MST) on May 21, 2005

Dear Michael Eisner, Before You Go....
May 2, 2005: Theme Park Insider's editor suggests Disney's departing CEO leave his own legacy by greenlighting a theme park land based on a project from Eisner's past: Schoolhouse Rock.
8 responses. Last at 10:18 PM (MST) on June 24, 2005

TPI Nominated for Webby Award
April 12, 2005: Vote for your favorite theme park website as it competes for the People's Voice Award in the world's most prestigious online competition.
8 responses. Last at 10:40 AM (MST) on April 15, 2005

Disneyland is Back
March 27, 2005: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, a restored Tiki Room and an amibitious clean-up program are helping the self-proclaimed 'Happiest Place on Earth' challenge to regain its throne atop the theme park industry.
18 responses. Last at 6:00 AM (MST) on June 19, 2005

What Makes a Great Theme Park Attraction?
January 19, 2005: Great storytelling is one of the steps in the recipe for crafting an enduring classic.
11 responses. Last at 1:37 PM (MST) on February 20, 2005

Happy New Year from Pasadena
January 1, 2005: Theme Park Insider's hometown also hosts this little parade every New Year's Day. Here's a personal look at this year's Rose Parade.
10 responses. Last at 7:27 PM (MST) on January 16, 2005

Lego Looks to Sell, but Who's Buying?
October 27, 2004: Lego's created a great asset for the theme park industry. Now the industry's major players must find a way to keep that asset from slipping away.
7 responses. Last at 1:33 PM (MST) on October 28, 2004

The Monsters Are Due on Knott's Streets
September 29, 2004: A year's worth of work prepares Knott's Scary Farm for the granddaddy of all theme park Halloween events, the Halloween Haunt.
11 responses. Last at 3:03 PM (MST) on April 17, 2005

'Persister': Finding the New Blog Flume Writer
September 20, 2004: It's the new online reality show where several contestants vie to become the next author of the BLOG FLUME on Theme Park Insider.
15 responses. Last at 8:20 AM (MST) on September 27, 2004

In Defense of CBS
September 17, 2004: Robert responds to a MousePlanet.com commentary ripping CBS for its conduct in pursuing a story on Disneyland safety last fall.
20 responses. Last at 6:53 PM (MST) on September 23, 2004

Don't Blame Eisner
September 12, 2004: Disney fans wanting a scapegoat for the company's recent problems should not look to CEO Michael Eisner. They ought to look in the mirror instead.
14 responses. Last at 5:05 PM (MST) on March 17, 2005

Changes Coming as Gates, Snyder Target Six Flags
August 31, 2004: The owners of Microsoft and the Washington D.C. pro football team each filed papers declaring their intention to seek changes at the top of the troubled amusement park company.
6 responses. Last at 2:10 AM (MST) on September 4, 2004

Low Pay Buys Poor Quality in Theme Park Employees
August 30, 2004: Low pay in the theme park industry is driving high turn-over among ride operators. And that leaves the public at risk.
11 responses. Last at 7:42 AM (MST) on September 6, 2004

Answers for Your Theme Park Questions
August 24, 2004: TPI's editor opens his in-box and shares some of his answers to readers' questions about theme parks and vacation planning.
13 responses. Last at 1:03 AM (MST) on October 15, 2004

What Happens in Garden Grove, Stays in Garden Grove
August 18, 2004: Hey if a west-coast International Drive didn't get the tourist development dollars flowing to this Orange County 'burb, perhaps a Vegas-style casino resort will.
4 responses. Last at 8:29 PM (MST) on April 24, 2005

Robert's Tour, Conclusion -- Questions Answered
August 13, 2004: Robert's answers your questions about his summer theme park tour, including where to go, what not to miss and what parks are doing the best job.
20 responses. Last at 9:50 AM (MST) on May 1, 2005

Robert's Tour, Part Nine -- Cedar Point
August 8, 2004: Robert hauls the family up north for a day at Ohio's Cedar Point. But he makes the mistake of not skipping breakfast first.
5 responses. Last at 3:23 AM (MST) on April 1, 2005

Celebrating a Birthday at a Theme Park
July 28, 2004: Theme parks offer a variety of packages for parents looking for someplace a little more special than the backyard for a special celebration.
8 responses. Last at 7:22 PM (MST) on November 28, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part Eight -- Epcot
July 24, 2004: Disney shows that it still knows how to tell a great interactive story in the world's leading non-fiction theme park.
20 responses. Last at 8:29 AM (MST) on August 5, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part Seven -- Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
July 22, 2004: Robert returns to his home park to watch a new show, and reflect upon his former park's performance over the past decade.
16 responses. Last at 1:27 PM (MST) on July 28, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part Six -- Universal Studios Florida
July 21, 2004: We head to the east coast to ride the movies, in new ways and old.
16 responses. Last at 11:04 AM (MST) on August 15, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part Five -- Disney's California Adventure
July 16, 2004: Are things getting any better at Disney's second Anaheim theme park?
37 responses. Last at 8:24 AM (MST) on April 28, 2005

Robert's Tour, Part Four -- Disneyland
July 15, 2004: Is the magic back at Disney's flagship theme park?
14 responses. Last at 10:17 PM (MST) on July 17, 2005

Robert's Tour, Part Three -- Knott's Berry Farm
July 14, 2004: Come wade through the sea of summer campers and other kids as the tour visits Orange County's original theme park.
17 responses. Last at 7:36 PM (MST) on October 10, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part Two -- Universal Studios Hollywood
July 13, 2004: It's Universal's 40th anniversary week. So... where's the party?
26 responses. Last at 10:40 PM (MST) on December 25, 2004

Robert's Tour, Part One -- Six Flags Magic Mountain
July 12, 2004: Slather on some sun block, chug down a water and get ready to broil as we look for an open ride at Six Flags' 'extreme park.'
36 responses. Last at 9:10 PM (MST) on August 8, 2005

Introducing Robert's 2004 Summer Theme Park Tour
July 8, 2004: It's about 10 parks around the country in less than four weeks, kicking off with five parks in five days here in Southern California. What should Robert see and do?
30 responses. Last at 10:50 AM (MST) on August 9, 2004

Orlando Parks Dominate 2004 Theme Park Insider Awards
July 3, 2004: Universal Orlando leads the way again with four awards in the third annual competition. Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Legoland California each capture one award from TPI readers as well.
21 responses. Last at 5:14 PM (MST) on July 17, 2004

Revenge of the Mummy: Saving the Best for Last
June 24, 2004: Universal Studios Hollywood's new dark ride/roller coaster stands above the other attractions that have debuted in Southern California this year. But the ride lacks the length, and the heart, to become an enduring classic.
23 responses. Last at 11:51 AM (MST) on November 25, 2004

A Dark Ride Lost to the Sea
June 6, 2004: The continent of Atlantis isn't the only thing missing from SeaWorld San Diego's newest thrill ride.
14 responses. Last at 11:41 PM (MST) on June 26, 2005

The Power of Music
June 3, 2004: A roadtrip to Las Vegas illustrates the power of music to drive and define great themed entertainment.
7 responses. Last at 12:06 AM (MST) on June 7, 2004

Announcing the Third Annual Theme Park Insider Awards
May 26, 2004: On July 4, 2004, ThemeParkInsider.com will announce the winners of the third annual Theme Park Insider Awards, selected by the website's more than 8,000 registered members.
20 responses. Last at 10:51 AM (MST) on June 30, 2004

Ready, Set, Go for Legoland's New Challenge
May 22, 2004: The Carlbad, California park unveils Fun Town Fire Academy, the latest of its five new attractions marking the park's fifth anniversary.
1 response. Last at 10:13 AM (MST) on May 23, 2004

An Inside Look at Universal's Revenge of the Mummy
May 19, 2004: Take a walk through the ride with its designer and see what Universal Studios Hollywood is building for its first indoor roller coaster attraction.
7 responses. Last at 7:26 PM (MST) on November 28, 2004

Van Helsing: Fortress Dracula Debuts at USH
May 12, 2004: Universal Studios Hollywood turns again to Stephen Sommers, who was on hand to open the latest version of the park's walk-through maze attraction.
6 responses. Last at 3:00 PM (MST) on May 30, 2004

Disneyland's 50th Anniversary: It's a Clone-ebration!
May 5, 2004: The Walt Disney Company announced today in Anaheim its plans for a worldwide celebration of its flagship park Disneyland's 50th anniversary.
32 responses. Last at 10:39 PM (MST) on July 19, 2005

Robert Niles Reviews California Adventure's Tower of Terror
May 5, 2004: It's a good ride, but 10 years after its initial release, shouldn't it be even better than the original?
21 responses. Last at 10:44 PM (MST) on April 30, 2005




Search Theme Park Insider

News, Video and Live Updates

Facebook YouTube Twitter RSS Newsfeed E-mail Newsletter

Reader Reviews, by Theme Park

United States Top 10 *

International parks

Readers' Top Themed Rides

Top Roller Coasters

Top Live Shows

Top Movies/Animated Shows

Theme Park Reviews, Features, Advice

Theme Park News Archive

2014

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr.

2013

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2012

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2011

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2010

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2009

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2008

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2007

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2006

Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.

2005

Dec.

2004-2005

Staff column archive