2009 Best Ride in America Tournament, round one, day one: Griffon bracket
It's day one of the 2009 Best Ride in America tournament
on Theme Park Insider.
We've got four match-ups a day for the next eight days, as we work our way through Round One of this 64 ride single-elimination tournament. Your votes will decide which rides move on in the tournament, and which rides don't. Here's the complete tournament bracket and schedule. [PDF]
Today's action kicks off with the fourth seed in the tournament, Busch Gardens Europe's floorless dive coaster Griffon, going up against Hersheypark's Fahrenheit.
Hersheypark's on the board again today, this time with the favorite as the 29 seed, Storm Runner: Vertical Horsepower!, taking on Six Flags Magic Mountain's revamped 4D coaster, X2.
We go all Disney in our next match-up, with two favorites from Disneyland's Tomorrowland facing off: the 13 seed, Space Mountain, against Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
We wrap up day one of the tournament with our first (of many) Disney vs. Universal match-ups. How do you want to get wet on a hot Central Florida summer day? On the 20 seed Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, or on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges at Universal's Islands of Adventure?
Votes are open for just one day, so don't wait to vote, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next four match-ups. And, please, tell us in the comments why you voted how you did.
Now that the contest is closed, here are my semifinal picks:
I don't understand the lack of early love for Buzz. I have more fun on that ride that just about any other ride in Disneyland. Their Space Mountain is great, but just doesn't have the re-ride appeal that DL's Buzz does.
If Im interested in getting wet, Ill pick Bluto's any day, but Splash has my vote for an overall better ride.
It's a shame about the "no clones" dealio. I like the MK Space Mountain trains much more than the DL trains.
I went with Space Mountain over Buzz Lightyear for nostalgic value. There are plenty of shoot em up dark rides out there, and this one isn't really any different. I rode Space Mountain as a kid and still remember that first ride.
In looking at your picks, Robert, the one I most disagree with is Expedition Everest. While I think the coaster is tops in theming and narrative, I am taking a step back from it this year due to
They do in the bar when your band is about to take the stage. There's always some drunk who yells it out...it's usually followed by....the rest of the phrase.
Derek, should I log off and post the "rest of the phrase" anonymously? Robert will never catch me!! ;)
I voted for Buzz and Bluto's as underdogs. I love both rides!
Griffon is a clear winner, in my mind.
X2 + Strormrunner = Barn Burner!
I am definitely going to agree with James with this one on Everest. I remember going on it when they had the cast member previews the first time i did the college program. Nothing prepared me for the awesomeness of that Yeti in the light. The strobes are just plain lazy and awful. Very upset with the condition of a ride that actually made me scream WTF (the full phrase) when i first rode it cuz i couldnt believe what i had seen.
Well first my picks for the finals were:
I always thought Everest was overrated. I don't think it has a particularly unique or interesting layout and has many missed opportunities for increased theming. It seems to me, that the sudden dissatisfaction previous fans of the ride have with it now that the Yeti isn't working, proves that the ride is a one-trick-pony. If the only reason for a ride is a fleeting 3-second glimpse of a robot, it wasn't especially good to begin with. I agree that it will fall early.
We'll talk about the Yeti more when the time comes, but for today: the first time that mammoth animatronic swung his beefy arm down on me and my son, well, let's just say it was a "change of clothes life event". I was impressed. But the Yeti was just the icing on the cake of what I thought was the most impressive, immersive, themed coaster I had ever ridden. My only point in detracting from the ride now is this: we all like good cake, but who doesn't like cake BETTER when it has really good icing?
Hey, the anonymous comments don't go up automatically. I do have to approve them, so don't get any ideas....
I vote for Buzz due to Space Mountain being changed from its good ol self a few years back.
Im kind of a Cedar Point Biased since I live 2 hours away so I say 1.Raptor 2. TTD 3. Millennium Force 4.Superman Ultimate Flight with Millennium Force winning it all.
Lower seeded X2 is hanging in there!
I've only been on Griffon and Stormrunner... I hope they win. Anyway, I'm going to Hershey 2 maybe 3 times this year, so that's a new one for this year!!!
Popeye and Bluto is the best tubular raft ride ever. And I actually think Dudley Doright is superior to Splash Mountain (blasphemy, I know). But, Splash Mountain will win because more people have ridden it and, it's a really well done ride. I believe it was the first to do the "false drop" in the middle (where you go back up instead of just splash into water).
I can only vote on 2 match-ups today:
Although Popeye and Bluto's Bilge Rat Barges is definitely worth riding--- especially if you want to get wet--- I had to pick Splash Mountain over Popeye, because Disney did the theming for Splash Mountain really well. A great theme park ride (in my opinion) is one that has a storyline that envelopes ride-goers, and throws in some thrills. Splash Mountain delivers on that.
Agreed, anonymous poster 18.104.22.168. Theming and story will carry a lot of weight with me, too.
I really like shooting gallery dark rides, especially ones with lots of hidden targets and tricks. I'm really surprised they're not more popular, because they one of the few rides that can be completely different EVERY time you ride.
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