Disney, Universal split 2008 Theme Park Insider Awards
Written by Robert Niles
More than 75,000 votes have been cast and it is time to announce the winners in the 2008 Theme Park Insider Awards.Tweet
These awards are selected by you, ThemeParkInsider.com's readers, in year-long rating of the thousands of rides, shows, restaurants and hotels listed on the site. The represent the best of the best in the theme park industry, and stand among many close runners-up in providing outstanding value for a family theme park vacation.
So let's get to it, starting with the one award that changes every year:
Best New AttractionThe Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood
These twin rides debuted on consecutive days in May and wowed fans with their mix of irreverent humor and physical thrills. Theme Park Insider readers said that The Simpsons Ride is "hilarious, thrilling, and visually astounding" and that even "the waiting is enjoyable."
Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative, Universal Parks & Resorts said of the honor, "The Simpsons Ride represents what Universal does best - which is to take pop culture's blockbuster entertainment concepts and bring them to life in wildly entertaining theme park experiences. We appreciate the recognition and share it with our partners at Fox Licensing and Gracie Films, who helped us create a truly authentic Simpsons experience."
Attractions that opened to the public in theme and amusement parks worldwide between June 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008 were eligible for the Best New Attraction award. In addition to The Simpsons Ride, Theme Park Insider readers highly two other rides that stand among the Top Three Best New Attractions of the Year:
Best Theme Park RestaurantMythos at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla.
For the sixth consecutive year, Mythos wins Theme Park Insider's honor as the world's best theme park restaurant. Readers lauded Mythos for "great prices, great food and great service" as well as "wonderful atmosphere."
Ric Florell, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Resort Revenue Operations at Universal Orlando said of the honor, "With Mythos, our team set out to create an entirely new level of theme park dining experience. It was to be an experience that blended extraordinary food with extraordinary atmosphere. The continued recognition Mythos receives shows we have been - and continue to be - successful. We're grateful for the recognition. More importantly, our team is grateful for the opportunity to continue to thrill our guests."
All table-service restaurants located within the gates of theme and amusement parks are eligible for the Best Theme Park Restaurant award. In addition to Mythos, Theme Park Insider readers highly rated two other restaurants that stand among the Top Three Best Theme Park Restaurants in the World:
Best Theme Park HotelDisney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge reclaims this honor for the third time. "Every part of the hotel from the room, to the view, to the food, and the cast members made this resort one of a kind," one Theme Park Insider reader wrote.
All "on-property" hotels at theme park resorts worldwide are eligible for the Best Theme Park Hotel Award. In addition to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Theme Park Insider readers highly rated two other hotels that stand among the Top Three Best Theme Park Hotels in the World:
Best Theme ParkDisneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif.
The park that started the worldwide theme park craze reclaims its crown, winning Theme Park Insider readers' top award for 2008. Disney's always had the most loyal fans in the theme park business, but even casual fans are falling back in love with this park, thanks to recent renovations and fresh attractions. With Pirates of the Caribbean and the Indiana Jones Adventure, Disneyland had two of the top four rides in the country in Theme Park Insider's recent "Best Ride in America" tournament, and qualified more attractions for that tournament than any other single theme park in the world.
In addition to Disneyland, Theme Park Insider readers honored two other parks as among Top Three Best Theme Parks in the World:
Thank you to all Theme Park Insider readers for another great year and... we'll see you in the parks!
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