Kick-Off Time for the Fourth Annual Theme Park Insider Awards

More than 10,000 registered readers are eligible to pick the world's best among theme parks. What will you vote for?

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Published: May 31, 2005 at 8:54 PM

It's the start of the summer high season for theme parks across the United States and Europe, which means that it is time again for the Theme Park Insider Awards.

This year's awards, the fourth annual, will be announced July 4, 2005. The world's top theme parks will compete in six categories, with the more than 10,000 registered members of deciding the winners. The categories are:

Best Theme Park

Universal's Islands of Adventure captured this award in the contest's first three years, but faces tough competition from Tokyo DisneySea and Busch Gardens Williamsburg this year.

Best Theme Park for Kids

Legoland California is the two-time winner in this category and looks to overcome competition from Disney, Busch and Universal.

Best Attraction

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is the three-time winner in this category, but can it hold off a challenge from Busch Garden's new Curse of DarKastle?

Best New Attraction

In addition to Curse of DarKastle, new coasters from Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Great Adventure, Legoland California and Busch Gardens Tampa promise to challenge for this honor, which was won by Universal Orlando's Revenge of the Mummy last year.

Best Theme Park Restaurant

Mythos at Islands of Adventure has won this honor for the past two years, but Disney fans are rallying behind Cinderella's Royal Table at Walt Disney World.

Best Theme Park Hotel

Disneyland's Grand Californian is another two-time winner, but a surge in reservations over the past year is putting several other top-quality hotels in play for this award.

Register now to vote by rating and reviewing the attractions, restaurants and hotels listed throughout And use the space below to campaign on behalf of your favorites. Tell other TPI readers why your choices deserve to win!

Readers' Opinions

From Ben Mills on June 1, 2005 at 2:45 AM
Not hiring out the Kodak Theatre this year then, Robert?

Am I the only one to still want a European category or two? With the greater proportion of voters located in the States, nothing European is likely to win anything. I know, I know, I should have gotten used to this by now, but still...

Otherwise, I'm looking forward to seeing this year's results. DarKastle probably opened too late to pull on Spidey's tail, but does USH's Mummy count for new attraction? Should be interesting to see if it picks anything up, anyway.

From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on June 1, 2005 at 3:55 AM
Hey,where is Space Mountain Mission 2 from Europe?They are new and I heard about it that it has excellent effects.

Still don't know why Grand Californian become "the chosen one".Grand Floridian is far much better.

Spider-Man still holds the award!I couldn't believe it!3 times in a row and it win,win,win!Actually,DarKastle is a bit better!

Best restaurant...
Mythos isn't that good compared to Cinderella Royal Table!The food at CINDERELLA CASTLE is more "friendly",while in MYTHOS is a bit too expensive!

Best theme park for kids is right!I will definately choose LEGOLand!

To choose best theme park,you should consider the quality of the park,not just the rides and the restaurants.For example:
A park has many great roller coasters.But the park is really dirty and the staff are...
Also the parade!
TPI never consider these all before.Does TPI will give the awards just from the average ratings of rides and restaurants?

From Jake Countiss on June 1, 2005 at 5:28 AM
I'm not sure who I should vote 4 in the restaurant category. Almost all restaurants at theme parks I have ate at was overpriced and the food tasted bad.
From Don Neal on June 1, 2005 at 5:57 AM
It would be nice to have the ability to rate the park overall. Quality of service, cleanliness, good layout, easy to get from here to there, parking, security, etc...

Rides and food play a big role, but these other things can become detractors from a good time very quickly if they aren't done well.

I agree that IOA and some of these others are great parks, the system seems to do well as it is, but it would be very imformative for me as a user to be able to see a rating on these types of things.

Currently, you have to read reviews and get the opinions of only a few people that may or may not be slighted in favor or not of a park. A rating for those types of things by thousands of users would be great!

Just my two cents. ;)

From Robert Niles on June 1, 2005 at 9:22 AM
Attractions that opened on or after June 1, 2004, and that are not clones of existing attractions that opened in previous years, are eligible in the best new attraction category.

Universal Studios Florida's Revenge of the Mummy, which opened in May 2004, won the category last year. USH's version opened in June 2004, but as a substantial copy of the Orlando version, would not be eligible for this year's award.

From Anthony Murphy on June 1, 2005 at 7:14 PM
How do we vote?
From Robert Niles on June 1, 2005 at 9:45 PM
Click the "Park Reviews" link at the top of the page, select a park, and start rating the attractions and restaurants you've experienced. 10 is perfect, 0 is "to be avoided at all costs." Most ratings ought to be somewhere in the middle.
From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on June 2, 2005 at 1:10 AM
Robert,I have vote for all of Tokyo DisneySea.When I vote all of it,some of them have got their rating up and down.I opened it just now and I was really suprised.The ratings are back to where they should be,Also my comments about some of the rides are "dissapeared".What happen?
From Robert Niles on June 2, 2005 at 9:34 AM
You attempted to "stuff the ballot box" by voting every attraction and every restaurant at several Disney parks as 10s, while voting every atttraction and every restaurant at several non-Disney parks as 0. Anyone who tries to do that (for any park, Disney or not) will have all their votes deleted and may have their participation on the site restricted.
From Robert OGrosky on June 2, 2005 at 11:45 AM
Where is the link to vote???
(sorry if a dumb question and maybe i need glasses, but i cant find it)
From ryan saunders on June 2, 2005 at 4:09 PM
Millennium Force is the best attraction without a doubt. Who votes for Spiderman? I'm in disbelief at the moment!
From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on June 3, 2005 at 2:56 AM
Yeah,something like that,I just wanna play for this May.Now,I wabt to get back to work on the real job!
However,I have known that before,Robert.Just wanna try.
From Kevin Baxter on June 4, 2005 at 2:55 AM
Let me just say, that although I enjoy our Awards, this column is ALWAYS the worst one published every year. Such endless stupidity! You explain, more than once usually, AND PEOPLE STILL DON'T GET IT. Sigh. Just do the Awards and don't deal with some of this!
From Robert Niles on June 4, 2005 at 12:19 PM
Well, I always hope that folks will use the column comments to engage in some positive campaigning for their favorites. Plus, when people do that, their quotes help me write the press release for the announcement of the winners.
From Chuck Campbell on June 4, 2005 at 3:14 PM
DarKastle is at wee bit of a disadvantage in its face off against Spidey because BGW is a seasonal park and doesn't get the traffic that IOA does. However, DarKastle should be a lock for best new attraction--excellent work by my home park!
From Kevin Baxter on June 5, 2005 at 1:48 AM
Well, and DarKastle isn't exactly groundbreaking, as Spidey was when it opened. Being first is usually a great benefit.
From Chuck Campbell on June 5, 2005 at 7:33 AM
I still give the edge to Spidey, too--it is the better attraction. But DarKastle is groundbreaking for Busch.
From Anthony Murphy on June 5, 2005 at 5:08 PM
Well, I made sure I voted for everything! Most of the stuff I voted for was in Universal and Disney. I think these two will have a showdown! I hope Disney wins more!! We will have to see!! Spiderman still is looking good!
From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on June 5, 2005 at 6:56 PM
I just watch the result for today-best theme parks-and you'll be surprised by Tokyo Disneyland which is in position 4!