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What is the best new attraction of the year?

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Published: June 23, 2008 at 10:06 PM

One of the most anticipated honors in this year's Theme Park Insider Awards will be Best New Attraction.

This award goes to the top-rated ride or show, listed on the site, that debuted between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008. In cases where "clones" of the same attraction open at multiple parks, the installation that debuted first is eligible for the award. Here are the leading candidates for this year's award, in alphabetical order:

Behemoth (Canada's Wonderland)
The Dark Knight Coaster (Six Flags Great Adventure)
Eagles Life in the Fast Lane (Hard Rock Park)
Fahrenheit (Hersheypark)
Led Zeppelin - The Ride (Hard Rock Park)
Lost Kingdom Adventure (Legoland California)
Nights in White Satin (Hard Rock Park)
Pony Express (Knott's Berry Farm)
River Battle (Dollywood)
The Simpsons Ride (Universal Studios Florida)
Toy Story Midway Mania (Disney's Hollywood Studios)

If you have been on any of the above, please click the links for the attractions you've experienced and submit your rating to be counted for this year's awards. The winners in all four categories will be announced on the Fourth of July.

Campaign for your favorite in the comments....

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on June 24, 2008 at 5:22 AM
I feel as though I am failing as a Theme Park Insider...I have not had the pleasure to ride even one of the attractions on this list! The only new attraction I will get to ride this year is Evel Kinevel at SFSTL, and it is not even on the list!

Is there a job that pays well enough to feed a family of five and sends you across the nation just to sample brand new attractions?

From Barry Wallace on June 24, 2008 at 6:28 AM
Did Griffon at Busch Gardens: Europe not qualify for some reason, or was it just not special enough to make the list? I don't remember if it was on last year's ballot, but seems like it opened after the window would've closed, which would make it eligible for this year. Well, if it is eligible I'd write it Griffon...

[UPDATE] Ok, I checked and it was on last year's ballot. But it seems strange to include a ride that at that time had barely had a preview opening (May 16) when the cut-off date is May 31. Who in the world would have had time to try out this ride? Doesn't make sense. I'm thinking regardless of the opening date cut-off, a ride needs to be opened for at least a month or so to allow people time to ride it and form an opinion before it should be listed in "Best New Rides" category...

From Robert Niles on June 24, 2008 at 7:16 AM
The opening cut-off is May 31, but the voting/rating cut-off is June 30. And lots of May-open rides have won over the years.
From Justin Spisto on June 24, 2008 at 7:46 AM
I feel as if I am failing too. I have yet to ride any of these. I will be riding Farenheit in July but after the deadline.
From Anthony Murphy on June 24, 2008 at 8:31 AM
Toy Story Midway Mania is the most unique and newest concept in the attraction category. My vote goes to them
From Andy Guinigundo on June 24, 2008 at 8:34 AM
To James - I think the essence of being a "TPI" is not being able to ride everything. Not many of us are able to do that. We're all over the country riding what's close; maybe getting in a trip to Disney or something.

I'd love to hear your impression of the Evel Knievel ride! Sorry, nothing new at Kings Island...

From James Rao on June 24, 2008 at 8:47 AM
I am not going to SFSTL until August to ride the new Evel woodie, but Ben James has already ridden it and will soon be providing his report. Watch this discussion thread for his upcoming review!
From Deidre Dennis on June 24, 2008 at 9:41 AM
Planning to do the Toy Story ride at DCA some time in August but other than that, haven't ridden or been to any of these parks, either.

Excited about this topic of discussion in 2009 with everything happening down in Orlando...

From Bradley Robertson on June 24, 2008 at 12:56 PM
I have booked vacations to ride a few of these, but haven't had a chance yet. I think it's a little early for this vote considering Hard Rock Park had their grand opening less than a month ago. Over a 1/4 of the rides on this poll are from that park. This seems like a poll better suited for the end of the season once people have finished their summer vacations. I am abstaining since I can't offer a valid opinion.
From Robert Niles on June 24, 2008 at 1:04 PM
It is unusual in that, for the first time since we've had the award for best new attraction, an entire new major park has opened. So, technically, all the rides from HRP are "new attractions," and thus, eligible. But I've picked the top three in early rating for the straw poll.
From Anthony Murphy on June 24, 2008 at 4:24 PM
We got a good one going on! Its a tie at the moment!
From Scottland Jacobson on June 24, 2008 at 9:56 PM
I'll be visiting Canadas Wonderland this coming Monday (June 30th) and my first stop will be Behemoth.

When does voting close??

From Joshua Counsil on June 25, 2008 at 9:53 AM
Good stuff. It's funny, though, how Canada's Wonderland is North America's most visited seasonal theme park, yet so little light is shone on it on this site. Other seasonal parks, like Cedar Point, get a lot of press.

Canada's Wonderland remains, to this day, my favorite seasonal theme park. Its coasters are no match to Cedar Points or many of the Six Flags franchises, but the layout is easy to navigate, the scenery is nice, the park is clean and well-maintained, and the mix of rides gives enough to do for a solid two-day trip.

From Anne Middleton on June 27, 2008 at 3:56 PM
I am by no means a theme park/ride authority, but I have had the opportunity to experience the new Hard Rock Park numerous times since the soft opening in April. It has been fun to watch it grow. There are three daily entertainment shows that encompass everything from ice skating to diving, the rock and roll memorabilia collection is very good, staff is friendly, the rides are themed and fun, music on the Led Zeppelin coaster and Eagles coaster definitely adds to the ride, Nights in White Satin has some great special effects, food choices are good, and the nightly fireworks to Bohemian Rhapsody are pretty awesome. Overall, I think it is a fun place to go.

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