Tokyo DisneySea, Legoland California Lead Winners in Fourth Theme Park Insider Awards

Disney and Universal theme parks picked up two award each in this year's reader voting.

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Published: July 1, 2005 at 3:29 PM

PASADENA, Calif. (July 1, 2005) -- Disney and Universal theme parks led the way in the Fourth Annual Theme Park Insider Awards, with each company winning two awards. The Theme Park Insider Awards are presented each year on the Fourth of July holiday, after year-long voting by the more than 10,000 registered members of

Best Theme Park

Tokyo DisneySea wrested the award from three-time winner Universal's Islands of Adventure in the closest voting in Theme Park Insider Awards history. "Visitors adore Tokyo DisneySea's attention to detail and world-class line-up of high-tech attractions," said Editor Robert Niles. "This marks the first time a park outside the United States has won a Theme Park Insider Award, a reflection of the growing excellence of the industry outside the U.S."

Best Theme Park for Kids

Legoland California narrowly edged SeaWorld Orlando for the honor. "Legoland has introduced some of the most innovative new attractions in the industry over the past year," said Niles. "The park's commitment to interactive play makes it an ideal choice for families with active kids."

Best Attraction

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure continues its amazing run, winning this award for the fourth year in a row. A reader from Leeds, United Kingdom wrote "Spider-Man is different to everything else in Florida - the rest are rides, but this is an experience. The story is excellent and the special effects are awesome; the final drop at the end is like nothing else, superb."

Best New Attraction readers selected Curse of DarKastle at Busch Gardens Williamsburg as this year's best new ride. correspondent Russ Meyer called DarKastle "a top-notch theme park attraction... that will undoubtedly create a strong fan base."

"Busch Gardens very well may have constructed one of the greatest theme park attractions ever conceived," Meyer wrote.

Best Theme Park Restaurant

Mythos Restaurant at Universal's Islands of Adventure was again the choice of readers for best table service restaurant located inside a theme park.

Best Theme Park Hotel

The Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World is the new winner in this category, taking the honor from Disneyland's Grand Californian Hotel, last year's winner.

About is an award-winning independent consumers' guide to theme parks, written by park visitors themselves. The site has been honored with the Online Journalism Award, presented by the Online News Association and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and this year was one of five finalists for a Webby Award in the Best Guides/Ratings/Reviews website category.

The site attracts more than 250,000 unique visitors a month and includes ratings and reviews on dozens of the world's most popular theme parks, submitted by more than 10,000 registered members from around the world.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on July 1, 2005 at 7:57 PM
I thought it was supposed to be up in a few days? Anyway, I am glad that Disney won at least some! What happened to best family attraction and will there be new categories in the future

Good Job everybody!

From Rhys Evans on July 1, 2005 at 8:45 PM
Outstanding... I was utterly impressed with my trip to Tokyo Disney Sea in May of this year, it's a well-deserved award. Yes, Islands of Adventure is also spectacular, but for TDS, you gotta see it to believe it; the theming is awesome. The shows are unbelievable, rides are excellent (two potentially good ones currently under construction), and surprisingly good food (though I also agree with the award going to Mythos). The ONLY weak part of TDS is, wait for it, the "American" section, but Tower of Terror is on the way to brighten that corner.
From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on July 3, 2005 at 3:16 AM
If Tokyo DisneySea has builded TOT and Raging S.,the park will be very tough to beated!
From mark walker on July 3, 2005 at 7:13 AM
IOA lost the best theme park award?! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
From Ben Mills on July 5, 2005 at 4:21 AM
Yup. That's what happens when you don't actually build new attractions. I'm surprised IoA retained the title for this long.
From Barry Wallace on July 5, 2005 at 8:03 AM
I'd just be curious to know how many people who voted for DisneySea have actually visited IOA (or any other American theme park) and how many voted for IOA have visited DisneySea? Is there a breakdown?

I just find it hard to believe there are that many continent-jumping theme park purists out there, but maybe I'm wrong.

From Mostly Anonymous on July 5, 2005 at 11:13 AM
I've been to both - and it's really close, but I would have to give the edge to DisneySea over Islands of Adventure. IoA has a slightly better mix of attractions, but the theming and atmosphere at DisneySea is simply incredible.

From Cameron Rust on July 5, 2005 at 3:58 PM
I've been to IoA but not DisneySea, and just looking at the pictures and reviews of DS make me want to vote higher for it (I didn't vote, though).
From Rhys Evans on July 5, 2005 at 6:45 PM
Like "Mostly Anonymous," I've been to both (I admit, I didn't go to Japan just for theme parks, I was there on vacation). IOA is nice, but as Ben says, they need to add stuff to stay on top. So Barry, it's worth a trip! But you might as well wait until their version of Tower of Terror is open.
From Kevin Baxter on July 5, 2005 at 10:30 PM
This isn't by simple voting, like other theme park sites. If people would have read the original thread, they'd know how TDS won.
From Adriel Tjokrosaputro on July 6, 2005 at 12:25 AM
Do you want to know why they win?

1)Because of the hi-tech rides!For example Journey,Indy,and Aquatopia.

2)The theming is really really great!For example Mysterious Island,Lost River Delta,American Waterfront.

3)The parades are really great!For example Porto Paradiso,BraviSEAmo,Latin Nights.

4)The atmosphere!I don't know why when I was in the theme park,I felt so happy,safe,and...more!The paths are SUPER CLEAN!No trashes at all!Also,it's a unique park.

From Chuck Campbell on July 10, 2005 at 7:17 PM
And let's hear it for BGW--DarKastle's honor is well earned.

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