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King of the Theme Park Graveyard: The Finals

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Published: May 9, 2008 at 11:16 AM

And here we are. The finals of the "King of the Theme Park Graveyard" tournament.

  • Day one, attraction descriptions and results
  • Day two, attraction descriptions and results
  • Quarterfinal results
  • Semifinal results

    In the semifinals of our tournament to select readers' favorite defunct theme park attraction, top seed Back to the Future eliminated one-time Universal Studios Florida neighbor Kongfrontation. In the other match-up, the Magic Kingdom's The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter took out Disney sibling, Epcot's Horizons.

    The higher seeds have won every match-up in the tournament so far. Does that mean BTTF will be our winner? It is time for you to decide:

    Talk about your pick in the comments, please. And thanks, again, to everyone who e-mailed a nomination or cast a vote in this tournament!

  • Readers' Opinions

    From Anthony Murphy on May 9, 2008 at 11:28 AM
    Man! Its tied at the moment!
    From Dan Rosenberg on May 9, 2008 at 12:00 PM
    Right now, BTTF is winning. Like I said, with King Kong gone now, it is SO gonna win.
    From Danny Melillo on May 9, 2008 at 12:23 PM
    The only thing that could've taken down BttF was Kong and it lost, so your winner is BttF.
    From Larry Zimmerman on May 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM
    My only regret is that I never saw BttF...however, since The Simpsons ride is based on the same platform, I must give the nod to BttF. The ExtraTERRORestrial was a good concept poorly executed.
    From Joshua Counsil on May 9, 2008 at 1:23 PM
    I loved Back To The Future and Alien Encounter equally, so my voting came down to this: which should have stayed?

    Well, I personally love the first BTTF movie, but the other sequels were lame. Also, I just had a chance to ride the new Simpsons attraction that replaced BTTF, and it was excellent. Finally, BTTF broke down so often that waiting in line ate up a good chunk of time, so a replacement and update was necessary.

    Alien Encounter was not based on any attraction, so it was timeless. Also, the attraction that replaced it was the extremely mediocre Stitch. Finally, Alien Encounter was something new for Disney - an attraction aimed at teens/young adults. It's unfortunate that they listened to the parents who ignored the warnings and brought their children on rather than the throngs of people who got a real kick out of the ride. I mean, it must have been good if it made it to the extinct attractions' finals.

    It's funny that the tournament came down to two attractions that weren't demolished, but rejuvenated. The original ride systems remain intact and only the presentation varies.

    From Chris Walton on May 9, 2008 at 1:31 PM
    Ugghh, Alien Encounter better pull off a come-from-behind victory...

    Both great rides, but BTTF was simply a simulator (granted it was easily the best simulator in O-town), but still, not that innovative...

    From James Rao on May 9, 2008 at 3:42 PM
    I stuck with my Stitch protest to the bitter end. Alien Encounter gets my vote....die, Stitch ride, die!!!!
    From Joshua Counsil on May 9, 2008 at 4:42 PM
    I want Alien Encounter to win just to spite Disney for getting rid of it and replacing it with garbage.
    From Bradley Robertson on May 9, 2008 at 4:52 PM
    As much as I loved BTTF I had to vote for Alien Encounter. When I went on my honeymoon at MK in 2003 I was looking forward to taking my wife on this ride. Unfortunately it had been shutdown a few weeks beforehand. I only rode it once, compared to the countless times on BTTF, but that was enough to make a lasting impression.
    From Manny Barron on May 9, 2008 at 7:48 PM
    Alien Encounter had no business in the finals of this tournament. Not surprisingly, Back to the Future won this thing easily. Back to the Future was a great ride and was well deserving of this title. This was a neat little tournament that let us remember some of the retired gems in theme parks. It's a shame that these attractions had to go since each one had a following. I'm still trying to recover from the closing of my favorite ride ever in Back to the Future. This tournament is like the NIT, its nice to win it, but at the same time I would much rather preferred BTTF to have taken part of the earlier tournament in which Tower of Terror won. Anyway, it is nice to see that Back to the Future is King of the Theme Park Graveyard and will forever remain as an important part of theme park history.
    From Brandon Mendoza on May 9, 2008 at 11:23 PM
    Slightly off topic, more of a tangent, could the next Tournament be something like "Best Ride for Families", or "Best Ride with Children", or even "Best Ride for taking out of town friends and family"?

    I voted for BttF because I never liked ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. And I'm a fan of the BttF Trilogy. And I could care less what replaced each attraction. Sure, many people hate the Stitch version, but I don't enjoy the whole concept of the attraction.

    I'll agree though that BttF was beginning to show its age by the late 90's just due to wear and tear.

    From Molly R on May 10, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    Aww man. I really liked the ExtraTERRORestial ride. I only rode it once, about 9 years ago, (I don't remember), and it was really cool! I wish I would win, but, I don't think that's happening. Too bad.

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