Internet readers have selected the Mystery Mine roller coaster at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. as the year's best new theme park attraction and, for the second year, picked Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va. as the world's best theme park.
ThemeParkInsider.com selected the winners of the sixth annual Theme Park Insider Awards based on ratings submitted by the site's more than 15,000 registered members over the past 12 months. In other awards, site readers selected Disney's Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World as the world's best theme park hotel and, for the fifth consecutive year, picked Mythos Restaurant at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla. as the world's best theme park restaurant.
Busch Gardens Europe won the Best Theme Park award for the second year, based on the strength of high reader ratings for new attractions such as Griffon, a Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster that opened this spring and “Curse of DarKastle,” the 2005 Theme Park Insider Award winner for Best New Attraction, as well as consistently high ratings for in-park dining.
Theme Park Insider readers raved about Dollywood's “Mystery Mine,” a Gerstlauer coaster that opened in April of this year, describing it as “a fun and intense ride that provides two different experiences. The indoor part is well-themed and intense while the outdoor part is crazy and twisted.” Other readers praised the ride's “great theme” while calling it "by far the best coaster I've been on" and "Dollywood's best investment by far."
Disney's Polynesian Resort wrested the Best Theme Park Hotel award from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which had won the award for the past two years. Theme Park Insider readers raved about the Polynesian's “excellent service” and “gorgeous grounds.” One reader wrote: “When you're at Disney World, and you want to stay in a tropical setting where you can just enjoy yourself, then the Polynesian is the place for you. My family loved it.”
Mythos Restaurant continued its winning streak by fighting off strong challenges from Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld Orlando and the Teppanyaki Dining Room at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Readers raved: "Mythos is hands down the best theme park restaurant anywhere on the globe. The specials and signature dishes are remarkable compared to any other." Another noted, "Resist the temptation and don't order a comfort food. Mythos has the menu designed by a fine chef for a reason and it shines when you step outside your normal [theme park] fare."
Thanks again to all Theme Park Insider members for another great 12 months. Here's looking toward many improvements, both at the parks and on the site, in the next 12 months!
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2017 Best Park Winners