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April 1, 2008

Best Ride in America Tournament: The quarterfinals, day one

We are down to the final eight in the Best Ride in America Tournament, with the first two quarterfinal match-ups today, followed by the remaining two tomorrow.

We'll start with the undercard: top seed Spider-Man facing the tough underdog from Busch Gardens Africa:
(1) The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man vs.
(41) Montu

And, then, to the Disney vs. Disney main event:
(4) Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland) vs.
(12) Expedition Everest

As for the prediction contest, no one will pick correctly all four semifinalists in the tournament. However, nine readers remain in the running to get three of the four correct. Ryley Hoffman is the only reader to have all four picks still alive in the tournament, however Ryley picked both Pirates and Everest to reach the final four, and they meet each other in the round of eight today.

The other eight readers still alive in the contest are:

  • Dan Babbitt
  • Joshua Counsil
  • Heath
  • Justin
  • Carl Marks
  • Marc Ricketts
  • Donna Tolliver-Walker
  • Ryan Traylor

    Talk amongst yourselves in the comments....

    Readers' Opinions

    From Joshua Counsil on April 1, 2008 at 9:31 PM
    Congrats, Ryley.

    The first match should be a no-brainer, but Montu is one of the most impressive coasters I've ridden, right up there with Hulk and Magnum XL-200.

    I also voted for Everest, but it was a tough choice. Pirates is equally, if not more, deserving of this award.

    Hey, where's my buddy Jake? My day hasn't been ruined yet.

    From James Rao on April 2, 2008 at 3:37 AM
    So, do you vote for one of the all around best themed attractions ever (Pirates), or the very best themed coaster ever (Everest)?

    All things being equal, go with the coaster.

    From Kyawt Tin on April 1, 2008 at 10:59 PM
    I actually ended up voting for Montu, it is a very nice coaster, and one drawback of Spiderman to me is all those video screens. I know Spidey will win anyway though.
    I voted for Pirates over Everest since Pirates is the classic dark ride, and I like dark rides the most. I'm hoping it makes a comeback to overtake Everest.
    From Kyawt Tin on April 2, 2008 at 12:05 AM
    Woah! Poll down at midnight Pacific Time...
    From Bradley Robertson on April 2, 2008 at 8:06 AM
    I'm one of the few folks that doesn't really like Spidey. I never really thought it was any better than BTTF, and like others have said I won't wait more than about 5 minutes to ride it. It is also going against my favorite coaster at the moment so I had to vote Montu.

    Everest vs Pirates wasn't that hard of a choice for me. I voted for Mansion and Everest previously so I am sticking with Everest as well for this round.

    From Sylvain Comeau on April 2, 2008 at 9:50 AM
    I would take Pirates if it was the old version. Against the Jack Sparrowed version, it's easy for me to vote for Everest. That ride is perfect.
    Speaking of perfect rides, Spiderman has a good chance to win the whole enchilada in this tournament...
    From Robert Niles on April 2, 2008 at 9:51 AM
    I thought the top four seeds were all going to make it to the semis, but it looks like Pirates is having trouble. Will the west coast and old-school Disney fans turn out?

    The more I look at these brackets, the more I wonder if Everest's one-vote win over Hulk might not the be contest that decides this thing. I don't think Hulk would have had a prayer against Spider-Man, but Everest could give Spidey a tough fight, since the whole Disney vs. Universal thing comes into play then.
    And if Pirates had faced and beaten Hulk, I think that Spider-Man would have fared better against Pirates than it would against Everest. What do you think?

    From Lee Mak on April 2, 2008 at 10:25 AM
    50-50 right now in the contest of caribe vs everest...I got chills; disney vs disney
    From Eric Ey on April 2, 2008 at 10:27 AM
    The hardest choice yet. Pirates or Everest? I went with Everest, making it 50% Everest to 49% Pirates. Tough decision. If we get down to the whole Disney vs. Universal thing, Disney will sweep. Now it's 50-50! Ahhhhhhh!
    From Robert OGrosky on April 2, 2008 at 10:46 AM
    To me this was easy, Spiderman is easily better Montu, which is a great coaster, it just cant compete against a great ride like Spiderman.

    And the same for Everest. It is also a excellant attraction, but cant compete against a greast classic attraction like POTC.

    From Robert Niles on April 2, 2008 at 10:55 AM
    It looks like the delivery of the daily e-mail has prompted a surge of support for PotC.... I suppose that says something about the e-mail subscribers versus those who just check the website.
    From Derek Potter on April 2, 2008 at 11:31 AM
    I've suspected all along that Spiderman would win, but that is all going to depend on two things. One, which Disney ride is the opponent, and two, will people be unbiased, that is...will they select the better ride in their mind, or will they vote for it because it's Disney or Universal.

    In the end for me, Spiderman is one of the few themed rides out there that stacks up against the best coasters. In this case, Montu is a superb ride, way better than Dueling Dragons, but not better than Spiderman. Only a few choice rides get my vote over Spidey, and Montu is not one of them

    I voted for Pirates. Everest is a good themed ride, but the coaster track itself is weak to me. Building great scenery around it and the broken track element helps tremendously, but in the end, a roller coaster lives and dies by it's track design, and Everest doesn't stack up to Pirates, even if Pirates did get hacked up a bit with the new stuff.

    From Justin Spisto on April 2, 2008 at 12:04 PM
    I still have my bet on Spidy winning it all.
    From Mostly Anonymous on April 2, 2008 at 12:35 PM
    Spidey's chances may depend on today's outcome...

    If it has to face Pirates, Spidey may lose. But it could win against Everest. I think the opponent has an influence on how people think of the attraction, and facing up against a classic like Pirates would make Spiderman's reliance on video look bad.

    From Lee Mak on April 2, 2008 at 1:57 PM
    I am a disney man, but I will say, Spidey will get my vote over any disney attraction...I know, traitor you say...well, step up Disney says I.

    How can it be that it has been, what?, three years now that Spidey has been out and disney had not countered with something that utilizes the same type of technology and innovation? Shame on the mouse...spending too much time with direct to video releases like:

    Alladin 6: the search for Robin Williams sobriety
    Beauty and the Beast 14: Belle's Menopause Tea-party
    Little Mermaid 4: Looks who's a Big Mermaid now?

    Come on...

    From Scottland Jacobson on April 2, 2008 at 2:24 PM
    I think Universal (Florida) and Disney are equals. They both know how to theme a park and an attraction.

    Spiderman just wows me every time so it's hard for me to ever vote against it. That whole scene where you're "falling" from the building gives me butterflies. However, I took my friend's 10-year old son to IOA in January and he rode Spidey once, then never wanted to again. He voted for multiple rides on Dr. Doom, Hulk, and DD Fire and Ice. However, this is me voting and although I adore Montu, my vote went to our webbed friend.

    I love, love, love Expedition Everest and consider it Disney's best themed coaster in the US. However, Pirates is such an amazing adventure - splashdowns, skeletons, cannons, (tin foil) fire! It gets my vote. I'm sure I'm not alone in humming "A Pirate's Life for Me" when I exit the attraction.

    Yo ho, yo ho...

    From Jonny Read on April 2, 2008 at 3:01 PM
    Tough between Spidey and Pirates.. Very tough.

    What about a tournament of all the theme parks on this site? Probably just the US ones as the others wont stand much of a chance seeing theres 3 Brits at most on here! Just a thought..

    From Danny Melillo on April 2, 2008 at 4:42 PM
    How is Pirates beating Everest? Pirates is a great dark ride but Everest is a great coaster, a great animatronic, fantastic queue, and good dark ride elements.
    From Bill jones on April 2, 2008 at 4:55 PM
    I voted Montu, I'm just not a spidey fan, and Everest, it's well themed, so is PotC, but Everest beats it. I would also like to see the best in the world.
    From Scottland Jacobson on April 2, 2008 at 5:09 PM
    Love the idea of a park challenge.

    It might be more interesting to run it by chain. Thus, we vote for the best Cedar Fair park, best Disney park, best SF park, best Busch park and best Universal park - then take those "bests" and have them duke it out. If we did an all park vote, IOA and Disneyland would most likely dominate from the get-go. This would allow us to compare theme parks to theme parks and amusement parks to amusement parks.

    From Derek Potter on April 2, 2008 at 6:38 PM
    A whole park tournament isn't a bad idea, but I think that it would turn out much the same way the ride tournament has...Disney and Universal duking it out. The problem with it is that a lot of these parks have never been attended by people around the site. Example, there are certain Six Flags parks that are actually pretty good, but will be booted because it's Six Flags, and also parks that aren't represented on the site (Silver Dollar City) that are far better places than others. As a matter of fact, Robert, I'm officially lobbying to put SDC on the site.

    I would like to see some kind of rating system established for each park, with a handful of categories in which to rate. Things like rides and shows are factored in, but so are things like cleanliness, employee friendliness, family atmosphere, thrill factor, food quality and selection, etc. etc. Put them all together with the ride, hotel, and show ratings, and you have an overall visitor rating with a breakdown of each strength and weakness of a certain park.

    From Larry Zimmerman on April 2, 2008 at 7:29 PM
    The technology behind Spidey the Ride is truly impressive -- but which ride makes you want to run around and get right back on again???

    And how can a five-second glimpse of a malevolent, howling flokati rug be better than five minutes of rollicking buccaneer mayhem???

    I quit. Again.

    From Kyawt Tin on April 2, 2008 at 8:35 PM
    Arrgghhhh... Pirates is just a little behind... c'mon, those votes have to come from some buccaneering quarter to put it over the top!
    From Sylvain Comeau on April 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM
    Lee Mak, Disney is about to release its answer to Spidey...it's called Toy Story Midway Mania. A 3D interactive ride, the next technological leap forward.
    From Joshua Counsil on April 2, 2008 at 9:13 PM
    I'm shocked that Pirates made a comeback. Walt would be proud, but I guess I'm out of the tournament.
    From Robert OGrosky on April 3, 2008 at 10:10 AM
    While Spidey is a great attraction, I would have to give the nod to TOT or Indy in the final ballot!!

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