Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

Best Ride in America Tournament: Round one, day three

Written by
Published: March 18, 2008 at 9:58 PM

Yesterday produced one mild upset in the tournament, as Busch Gardens Africa's Montu roller coaster eliminated Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath. Otherwise, the upper seeds held, as Busch Gardens Europe's Alpengeist fought off a tough challenge from Walt Disney World's Star Tours. Cedar Point's Millennium Force and Disney's California Adventure's Soarin' Over California also advanced.

Today, 5. Incredible Hulk Coaster, from Univeral's Islands of Adventure, takes on 60. Grizzly River Run, from Disney's California Adventure.

Next is a battle of Disneyland dark rides: 13. Haunted Mansion vs. 52. Snow White's Scary Adventures.

Two roller coasters face off in the next match-up: 21. Rock n' Roller Coaster, from Disney's Hollywood Studios, vs. 44. Tennessee Tornado, from Dollywood.

Finally, put on a favorite flannel shirt and your miner's hat for the battle between 29. Mystery Mine, last year's Theme Park Insider Award winner for Best New Attraction, vs. 36. The Beast, the classic woodie from Kings Island.

Let us hear in the comments why you picked what you picked.

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on March 18, 2008 at 10:07 PM
I guess today is the day for the Dollywood fans to show their stuff. Plus, I have to say, I am a big Disneyland fan, but even I am stunned by the number of Disneyland attractions that made the tournament.
From Ryan L on March 18, 2008 at 10:51 PM
I wish Grizzly River Run had a chance of beating Hulk...its a great water ride: great scenery, atmosphere, and ride in general. Hulk is just another looping coaster of which there are a million. GRR is a gem for its genre.
From TH Creative on March 19, 2008 at 3:58 AM
"Just another looping coaster?" Please. To paraphrase Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Thomas, "The beginning of The Incredible Hulk is the best five seconds in theme park history."
From Rob P on March 19, 2008 at 5:52 AM
Unfair to pitch Hulk up against Grizzly Rapids.

One is a fast and furious roller coaster and the other a family water ride.

You wouldn't put a heavyweight boxer in with a flyweight.

Let's have "fights" between rides in the same category.

I love the Hulk and I love Grizzly too but for obviously different reasons.

What next ? Do you prefer grilled cheese or chalk ?

From James Rao on March 19, 2008 at 6:01 AM
GRR and The Hulk are both great attractions. One is probably the best white water rapid ride running today, and the other is probably one of the best coasters running today. While they are in different categories of attractions, they are both just highly themed rides at amusement parks. So it is not quite apples and oranges, and a better question might be: do you prefer a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich or a chef made cheeseburger?

GRR just got a tough first round draw....it happens. Just being in the tournament is a victory of a sort. After all, only 64 attractions were invited to the dance!

From Todd Houts on March 19, 2008 at 6:30 AM
Boy - a tough one there with Mystery Mine vs. the Beast. As much as Mystery Mine is somewhat innovative (in a way similar to "Revenge of the Mummy - The Ride") I had to give it to a coaster that had held onto one of its records for 28 years now. In the coaster wars of the 90s - that's impressive.
From Robert Niles on March 19, 2008 at 7:38 AM
Matching up the bottom 15 seeds or so was an absolute headache. A lot of "D"-ticket-grade attractions that were going to go up against the best rides in the world. I tried to match by theme, park or genre as best I could. But even then, there were "left-overs." Thus, Hulk vs. Grizzly.
From KD Younger on March 19, 2008 at 8:06 AM
gotta agree, HULK vs. Grizzly isn't a fair match. Water rides should go against water rides. Grizzly should be up against Kali at WDW - or otherwise. No brainer.

And, Hulk, unless you are in the front seat, is a losing proposition as far as launch coasters go.....

From brian lochridge on March 19, 2008 at 8:07 AM
The matchups are perfect, you can't put the Hulk against Millennium force in the first round that's not how a tournament works. You don't see North Carolina and Duke playing in the first round do you? That's what makes this sooo brilliant, it's the build up. Who will will advance, who will they be matched up against, I love it. Hulk in my opinion is the all out favorite to win this thing.
From Joshua Counsil on March 19, 2008 at 11:09 AM
I was against heavy-light match-ups at first. But then I think about how I would have chosen Splash Mountain, a family water ride, over Hulk.

At IOA, the headliners are The Incredible Hulk, The Adventures of Spiderman, Popeye & Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls, Jurassic Park River Adventure, Dueling Dragons, and Poseidon's Fury.

At Cali Adventure, It's Tough to Be a Bug, Soarin' Over California, Grizzly River Run, Aladdin, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, MuppetVision 3D, and California Screamin' highlight the biggies.

That's 7-on-7, and if the two parks put those out as their A-game material, then any of them should be fit to take on any of the others. I think it's perfectly reasonable to pit Hulk against Grizzly, or Aladdin against Dudley, or Soarin' against Poseidon.

And if not, then they put out new A-game. Hence Harry Potter, Toy Story Mania, Radiator Springs, and the rest.

From brian lochridge on March 19, 2008 at 11:31 AM
Joshua I have to strongly disagree, you put IOA against California Adventure, that isn't even a contest. Spiderman (arguably the best ride ever) Dudley( Arguably the best flume ever) Hulk (you see what I'm getting at). But those three against any parks whole line up and it's a fight. CA is not in the same league as IOA.
From Robert Niles on March 19, 2008 at 11:35 AM
Oh, Lord, don't tell me I have to do a *park-wide* tournament next! :-)
From James Rao on March 19, 2008 at 11:40 AM
Shoot, DCA doesn't even compete with Magic Mountain right now, let alone IOA. Which is why Disney is spending 1.2 billion to beef it up....hence Joshua's point.
From brian lochridge on March 19, 2008 at 12:32 PM
Since were on the subject of comparing parks thought I would do some comparisons myself.
Magic kingdom-Duke there always at the top and always good.

IOA- North Carolina on the same level as Duke very good rivalry.

Epcot-Kentucky been good for a long time with a few slips here and there

Cedar Point- Gonzaga came out of nowhere years ago and has been a fixture ever since

Busch Gardens Tampa- Georgetown been on the scene for a long time with a surge in the last few years

Disneyland- UCLA one of the best ever back in the day and always remembered for what it did

From Derek Potter on March 19, 2008 at 8:40 PM
Did I see correctly? The middle aged Beast beat out Mystery Mine? Score one for one of my favorite rides in the world

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Previous article: Hard Rock snags the Eagles for a coaster; Disney tips Toy Story; Six Flags cheerleaders?



Stories from a Theme Park Insider

Stories from a Theme Park Insider

What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)