Best Ride in America champion: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Theme Park Insider readers have voted. And their pick for the Best Ride in America is...
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!
Kudos to Disney for pulling out the win. I thought Spider-Man was a no-brainer, but TOT's randomization made for a compelling argument that won the day.
I have to say, I'm rather surprised by this. I absolutely love ToT, but I never would have thought it would win. I am happy though! Upsets are always fun.
I was rooting for Spider-Man but Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is my absolute favorite ride in Walt Disney World. If it should lose to any ride, it's that one.
I'm spent, everyone. I had no idea that the tournament would end up so draining. But it was a blast. Thanks again for all the great comments!
Robert - THANK YOU! That was a complete blast!
Great job, Robert. Really a great tournament. Much appreciated.
Spidey lost and KU won. Great night for me :-)
This contest was awesome by the way and I really can't believe it was 3 weeks long. Thanks for all the hard work, Robert.
None of these two kid's rides would make the list of rides on AMUSEMENT TODAY!!! THE GOLDEN TICKETS ARE LAUGHING AT THIS WEBSITE, TRUST ME I KNOW! This is either a boring website or a site run by senior citizens. No other sites would like these 2 childish rides, sorry!!!!!
Incorrect Mr Rivers, we're laughing at you and your attempts to participate in civilised discussion.
This site is obviously not a joke, seeing as the Senior Vice President of WDI wrote in.
Attempting to determine which of these two extraordinary attractions is the best is certainly a question to be debated.
Me and my friends will be on Millennium Force (PERFECT COASTER NAME) this summer rockin and rollin! You can have your TOT and Spidey lol!!! 2 kids rides, enjoy! Our middle fingers will be sky high in laughter!
What I would like to know to is, how is it that Monday Night around 9:30 pm, Spiderman was leading 52% to 48% percent, yet they still lose. Someone from Disney must had told ALOT of people to vote for Tower of Terror to win. Esp. since Tower of Terror doesn't even come close to Spiderman. And this is a Disney Passholder talking.
I know it'd be pretty much impossible unless a lot of people contribute, but what if we had basically a season leading up to the tournament with head to head matchups so the top 64 are the fairest they could be. Divisions would be regions and 2pts would be awarded for each win. We narrow the league down to like 100 rides, just an idea.
Just wish I could be as cool as Rivers and his friends waving my middle finger around in the air. Wow that sounds like fun!!!
Leave it to Jake to give us one more reason to postpone a Cedar Point vacation.
Right, James? Do you really want to encounter a park full of obnoxious children like Jake?
To response to Vincent, ToT held a pretty comfortable lead all day, until the Orlando Sentinel posted that little fact on its website, which elicited links from a couple of Universal fan sites, which drove the vote up for Spider-Man.
I thought Spidey would take it, but had a real hard time NOT picking TOT. I think from the standpoint of high tech, they are the top two in the world.
As I had said earlier, the whole Disney vs. Universal thing came into play.
Great tournament! But a sad day for me as my pick Spidey failed to hold on, as did my alma mater Memphis!
Both rides deserved to win. Congrats to Walt Disney Imagineering.
This was more fun than I ever imagined. Great job with everything Robert, and I cant wait for next year's tournament.
I'm glad Jake Rivers told us where he would be this summer, on Millennium force, so I can wait at the exit and punch him in the face.
Despite all the war of words between Disney, Universal and Cedar Point fans, I have to say it was a blast participating in this. In the end I believe when all the parks compete and continue to push the envelope, consumers really are the ones who win. Awesome tournament and great job, Robert.
Every place has its troll(s), and we found one of them. I now know where not to go on vacation thanks to Mr. Rivers. I guess Universal & Disney aren't "EXTREME" enough for him. Why all the negativity?
Congrats to both for making it to the top. Although I voted for spidey, BIG congrats to TOT I never leave that ride disappointed, ever! It still gets my heart racing.
If only Spidey could have made his free-throws at the end of the contest, it may have been a different outcome. :)
...And a Spider-Man fan in Memphis bangs his head against the wall.
lmao, tot and spidey are for kids! People in florida obviously never grew up!
Er, Jake isn't your point that '...the people in Florida never grew up...' a prime raison d'etre for the existence of theme parks?
Congradds to Tot on its win...Spidy comming second...Both wonderful attractions...note to CP fan notice I said attrations not rides...Now if it was rides Id be between SF Great Adventure and Cedar Point...
It was really cool that agents of the mouse took notice of our tournament and issued a statement of appreciation. It goes to show you how "watched" this site is when it comes to feedback in the parks...If you have something to say, say it...if you have ride ideas, post them...if you have gripes with parks, air them...Chances are, someone who might be able to do something about it could be reading.
Hey Jake, apparently you havent grown up either since you are still on this site talking crap and giving grief. So your park didnt win....boohoo. Stop acting like the juvenile you are implying the rest of the readers here are. Get a clue dude, you are probably not liked here at all anymore and I'm sure your opinion doesnt count for anything anymore. Just drop it man.
Sort of surprised, but TOT is an awesome ride
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