Best Ride in America champion: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Published: April 7, 2008 at 8:34 PM
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
Tower of Terror upset the tournament's top seed, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park. Voting was intense all day, with Tower of Terror jumping out to an early lead. In the late afternoon, Spider-Man closed the gap and pulled ahead, but in the end, Tower of Terror elicited enough votes to recapture the lead and win the title.
"We are very excited that the readers of Theme Park Insider share our enthusiasm and enjoyment of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios," Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President, Walt Disney Imagineering wrote to TPI in a statement Monday evening. "Disney Imagineers add special effects, change timing sequences and incorporate new story elements in ways that create a new thrill with each experience. This ability, combined with a unique storyline that is equally flexible, enables us to continually reinvent the ride experience and ensures this timeless attraction remains a must-see for many years to come."
That flexibility appears to have been the deciding factor in the tournament's final match-up. Fans cited Tower of Terror's addictive random drop sequences, which reward repeat riders with unique experiences, something that Spider-Man could not match.
Not that readers had anything negative to say about Spider-Man, a four-time winner of the Theme Park Insider Award for world's best attraction. Fans raved about the ride's cutting-edge technology, immersive effects and strong story-telling.
Tower of Terror and Spider-Man were judged the top two rides in the country in a three-week-long tournament, pitting 64 of the country's most popular rides against each other in a series of single-elimination online polls. Rides were selected and seeded based upon their average rating by readers of ThemeParkInsider.com over the past year.
Before the tournament, Theme Park Insider readers were invited to submit their guesses at to what the top four rides would be, as well as their pick as the winner. No one correctly picked the top four, but reader Ryley Hoffman came closest, picking three of the top four, with his fourth pick losing in the quarterfinals. As a result, he is the winner of the $100 prize.
Watch in July for the announcement of the Seventh Annual Theme Park Insider Awards, which will again honor fans' picks for the best theme park, new attraction, theme park restaurant and theme park hotel. In addition, if you've enjoyed voting in the tournament polls, watch Friday for the return of Theme Park Insider's weekly "Vote of the Week."
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's tournament. We look forward to doing this again next year, with many of this summer's crop of new theme park attractions participating!