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Robert Niles

Announcing the 2006 Theme Park Insider Awards

Published: May 15, 2006 at 10:16 PM

It's time again for the annual Theme Park Insider Awards. The awards, again, will be announced over the Fourth of July holiday weekend (Independence Day here in the United States) and will reflect the top locations voted on by Theme Park Insider readers over the past 12 months.

This year, the categories will be:

  • Best theme park
  • Best new attraction
  • Best theme park restaurant
  • Best theme park hotel

The main change from previous years is the elimination of the "best attraction" category, won by Islands of Adventure's Spider-Man for the past four years. Rather than keep handing the award to the same attraction, we are going to focus instead on rewarding the best new attraction, from a fresh crop of rides and shows each year. Attractions that opened between June 1, 2005 and May 31, 2006 will be eligible for this year's award. We will continue to honor the best park, restaurant and hotel because, unlike with attractions, the quality of these locations can, and often does, change substantially from year to year.

One other change we're making this year: In an effort to encourage voting, I'll be listing the top contenders in each category each day this week. I hope you'll take a moment to submit your honest rating and review for these locations you've visited. And if you'd like to take a crack at writing a more complete and detailed description for a location, please feel welcomed to use the "Update this description" feature on the listing pages, as well. Please do submit photos, too!

For those of you new to the site, here's how the awards work: click on the Browse Parks and Find Hotels links at the top of the page and browse to the attractions, restaurants and hotels you've been to in the past year. Submit your rating and review for each. We'll tally the ratings and the places with the highest average rating for the year win the awards. For parks, we take the highest cumulative rating for all the attractions and restaurants at the park.

Please vote only on those locations that you've visited in the past year, and please resist the temptation to "vote down" competitors of locations you like. After all, if you've not visited one, how do you know it isn't better than your current favorite? Remember, I was a stats major in college, and have built in... ways... to keep folks from stuffing the ballot box. If everyone votes honestly, we get more honest results. Thanks for your help.

That said, here are top contenders for this year's best theme park restaurant award (in alphabetical order, by theme park):

Busch Gardens Williamsburg:

Disney's Animal Kingdom:


Universal's Islands of Adventure:

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom:

Let's get voting!

Replies (8)

Adriel Tjokrosaputro

Published: May 16, 2006 at 4:41 AM

Looks like Orlando has the most nominations this time. It's so weird that MGM doesn't even get a nomination.
Barry Wallace

Published: May 16, 2006 at 6:03 AM

Can we write-in?
Adrian Walker

Published: May 16, 2006 at 11:39 AM

OMG! I havn't voted for anything! Starting now.
Mark Walker

Published: May 16, 2006 at 11:42 AM

That can only mean one thing...Spider-mans the undisputed champion of TPI's best ride.

And Ioa's gonna scoop (gettit?) another award, hands down.

Robert Niles

Published: May 16, 2006 at 10:09 PM

Those restaurants I listed are leading the pack at this point, with one month's voting to go. It is certainly possible for another restaurant to pass these and take the award, so please vote on anyplace you've eaten at in the past year or so, if you have not already.
Rachel Dixon

Published: May 17, 2006 at 9:02 AM

Here you go....

Best Theme Park - Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Best Resturants...

BGW - Das Festhaus
AK - Rainforest (love it!!!!!)
EPCOT - Le Cellier
MK - Liberty Tree Tavern

Rachel Dixon

Published: May 17, 2006 at 9:15 AM

OOPS....forgot best new ride

By far it's SHIKRA @ Busch Gardens Tampa

Michelle Pilling

Published: May 17, 2006 at 10:31 AM

let the regular visitors to the theme park insider page, have a vote.

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