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2009 Best Ride in America Tournament, round two: Griffon bracket

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Published: March 25, 2009 at 7:23 AM

Welcome to the first day of round two in the 2009 Best Ride in America tournament on Theme Park Insider.

Yesterday, upsets abounded as only Universal's Islands of Adventure's Incredible Hulk Coaster advanced among the four favorites. Underdogs Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls from Islands of Adventure, Superman: Ultimate Flight from Six Flags Great America and Curse of DarKastle from Busch Gardens Europe all won their match-ups.

Today, tournament four-seed Griffon, from Busch Gardens Europe, leads the remaining 32 ride into round two with its match-up against Six Flags Magic Mountain's X2.

As always, I ask you to take a look at the comments below *before* casting your votes. (Early voters, get the campaigning going by submitting a comment.) Thoughtful votes help make this a better tournament.


Disney fans have a tough choice today, as they must decide between Disneyland's Space Mountain and Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain.

Your roller coaster battle today matches Apollo's Chariot from Busch Gardens Europe against Cedar Point's Raptor.

And, finally, one more all-Disney match-up, as Disneyland's Haunted Mansion takes on its neighbor Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Let's start talking in the comments!

Readers' Opinions

From Michael Owen on March 25, 2009 at 7:51 AM
Wow, some really tough choices today, with at least one Disney Mountain having to go out.

In the first poll I'm going to have to go for Griffon, I simply see it as an improvement on Sheikra, a coaster I really love. X2 is great, but I just don't think it's on the same level as Griffon.

The second choice was MUCH harder to make. I love both attractions a lot. I'm going with Space Mountain, because I think it's one of the greatest, if not the greatest indoor roller coaster around. Splash, as much as I love it I do think there are better flume rides out there, such as Dudley-Do-Rights, it may not beat it on theme but it does what flumes do best, get you wet.

Third choice I went for Apollo's Charriot, I just think it's a better coaster on the whole.

The last choice was another hard one to make, really hard in fact. Along with The Tower of Terror The Matterhorn Bobsleds and The Haunted Mansion rate as some of my favourite rides in the world. I think Haunted Mansion just takes this one by a fraction of an inch.

From Scottland Jacobson on March 25, 2009 at 8:35 AM
The heartburn has returned!!

X2 vs. Griffon!? Painful! Both are so original - but I'm going to have to give it to X2 for truly original.

Space vs. Splash!? Argh... but you all know I'm a Dudley fan, so I'm giving it to Space for multiple ride fun.

Apollo vs. Raptor. Both are excellent, but you've heard me say before that I think Alpengeist and Montu are better inverted floorless coasters. I'm giving it to Apollo.

Haunted Mansion vs. Matterhorn? I believe it was the rickety old Matterhorn that knocked out my beloved Mystery Mine. And to go up against one of my absolute favorite attractions ever!? Easy! Haunted Mansion!!

Keep the heartburn coming Robert!!!

I'm still enraged about the Bull! Superman!?!? C'mon!!!

From Raul Araoz on March 25, 2009 at 8:48 AM
Round 2...now, it gets interesting.

X2 makes me a bit crazy, so the first pairing goes to the tremendous Griffon.

Ah, yes...mountain versus mountain. This is a tough match-up. The originator of the indoor coaster against the best log flume in the world. I have to give it to Splash Mountain simply because it is the best flume with the most encompassing theme.

Raptor is not the best inverted coaster and Apollo's Chariot may just be the most entertaining coaster out there. The gods have spoken.

The Matterhorn is a classic, but until they replace the track for it, the Haunted Mansion easily wins this round.

Remember, vote early and vote often.

From James Rao on March 25, 2009 at 8:53 AM
Starting this round I have to consider my final four in my voting....

I have not had the pleasure to ride X2, but, it looks like a fantastic, original, and very fun coaster. Were it not for my brackets, I would pick X2 as the better attraction. However, I think Griffon moves on today and will vote accordingly. And honestly, Griffon is an excellent, thrilling ride, so I have no remorse in my pick.

In the battle of highly themed, story-driven mountain masterpieces, I am going with Space Mountain. I will take a highly themed indoor coaster over a highly themed flume ride any day.

Apollo's Chariot beats any inverted coaster, period.

I agree with Scottland, Matterhorn should not even be on the ballot this round. Go Haunted Mansion!

From Derek Potter on March 25, 2009 at 10:14 AM
X is still a unique experience with multiple elements. Griffon does the same trick twice. It goes like this....drop, dive loop, brake....drop, dive loop, brake into water. Fun experience? yes...but X has that fun factor, plus continuity plus AV enhancement. Think about that before blindly voting Griffon because it's in a Busch park.

I went with Splash Mountain on the second one. Nostalgia only takes a mild thrill ride so far.

Call me the homer..Raptor got my vote. It's a masterpiece of pacing and smooth transition, and I can and have ridden it again and again. Apollo's Chariot is a great roller coaster that I really enjoyed, but I've ridden tall coasters that are just as good or better, so to anoint Apollos Chariot as the king is a little much for me. I'm sure I will be in the minority on this one, and I may even vote for Apollo down the road, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one.

How the Matterhorn even got past the first round is beyond my comprehension. It doesn't deserve to be here. Haunted Mansion on the other hand, does.

From Emily G on March 25, 2009 at 11:01 AM
Oh my god, such a tough choice. I want to vote for both but have voted for Splash Mountain simply because from viewing the results so far is appears to be lagging behind more than it deserves to be.

Splash is so well themed, has appealed to me as a youngster and has lost none of its magic as a grown up. It could be improved though by building in more drops before the big one and maybe a few squirts of water to get people wetter than it currenly does.

Space is far superior to other rides of this type and although I don't find it that thrilling it is certianly very enjoyable and is a charming old school ride.

I have never experienced the Matterhorn but think that the haunted mansion is such an amazing, well themed and inovative ride it should go through against most rides left in this competition so fingers crossed.

From brian lochridge on March 25, 2009 at 11:16 AM
Come on people, Splash is 10 times the ride Space Mountain is.
From Michael Barkdoll on March 25, 2009 at 11:23 AM
I am glad to see BGE doing well. For a park that is not open year around...they have some of the best rides. Go BGE
From Joshua Counsil on March 25, 2009 at 11:47 AM
Brutal pun time!

Griffon has too much down-time whereas X2 never seems to stop. Take a dive, Griffon - Magic Mountain's coaster is simply eXcellent.

Space and Splash are amazing in that they are standard amusement fare (a wild mouse and a log flume), yet they both are dressed to impress. Splash is still the better of the two, so I hope Splash blasts off and Space takes a dive.

I did not find Raptor to be that great of a coaster. Apollo will cast a deadly plague on the soon-to-be extinct Raptor.

Why is the Matterhorn here? The Mansion should be battling the Mine. The Bobsleds will stop dead in their tracks as the grim grinning ghosts come out to immobilize.

From Mike Deitz on March 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM
Although an extremely tough decision, you've go to go with Splash Mountain over Space Mountain. Splash Mountain has a lot more detail, and is a lot more fun- it ends up going faster than Space Mountain on its last drop (Space Mountain only goe 28 mph). If I were you, I would pick Splash Mountain. Everybody has a laughing place!
From Greg Bark on March 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM
Griffon vs. X2

I have never been on X2, and it looks like a lot of fun, but due to its first drop intensity and nice blending in with the surroundings, I went with Griffon.

Splash Mt vs. Space Mountain

I voted Space because I'm a sucker for indoor roller coasters (or roller coasters of any kind.) :-]

Apollo vs Raptor

Not every inverted coaster is a great ride, but since B&M hypers are always outstanding, I went with Apollo's Chariot.

Since I have never been on Matterhorn Bobsleds or anything like it, I didn't vote in the fourth category.

From Todd Houts on March 25, 2009 at 2:09 PM
Well, I did ok in the first round predicting 24 of the 32 matchups. My final four are all still in it, although not my Elite Eight (only seven survived the first round).

For today, as I've said before, I wasn't a fan of X so I'm likely to be a fan of X2, even with the lighter cars and AV enhancements. I gave Griffon my vote.

As much as I like the improvements to DL's version of Space Mountain, the themeing of Splash Mountain won me here.

I used to be a Raptor junkie until Montu took that prize for me. But I'm more of an airtime junkie and Apollo's Chariot gives me that, hence my vote for AC.

And finally a no-brainer on a ride I think will make it to the final four: the classic Haunted Mansion.

From Mark Mahoney on March 25, 2009 at 2:38 PM
The first drop and weightless Immelman alone make Griffon one of my all-time favorite rides. X2 is a great concept, one that we will probably never see again because Arrow is out of business, but that's the problem; it's a great concept, but the actual execution didn't leave me particularly impressed. I'll take Griffon any day.

Space Mountain vs. Splash Mountain. That's a tough choice. I love both rides dearly, but feel that the better theming is in Splash Mountain, and the coaster, though fun, is nothing but a modified wild mouse ride like you'd see at a carnival (not that that makes it a bad ride.) In the end, I had to go with Splash Mountain.

The tough choices keep on coming. Apollo and Raptor are two of my favorite coasters, and I personally think Raptor is underrated. Because I was fairly certain Apollo was going to win (and trust me, I'm very happy either way), I went ahead and cast a symbolic vote for the Raptor.

The final choice was the easiest. Matterhorn, though historically significant, is not a great ride by modern standards and needs some love from the Imagineers. Haunted Mansion, on the other hand, is the cream of the crop and has some of the most stunning effects and intricate details I've ever seen on a ride. Unlike Matterhorn, Haunted Mansion is a ride only Disney could make, and thus got my vote.

From Joshua Counsil on March 25, 2009 at 5:57 PM
Damn ... there goes Splash, knocking one of my final four out.

Tower
Spiderman
Splash (replaced with Space, now)
Indy

What an upset.

From Adrian Walker on March 26, 2009 at 2:33 AM
Haunted Mansion vs Mattahorn Bobsleds

Haven't ridden the bobsled which is unfortunate for that ride, cause' my vote is going for a night at the mansion.

Space Mountain vs Splash Mountain

Now this is interesting. I havn't ridden Space mountain so my vote would normally go to Splash. However, I'm going to refuse to vote for it since it took the place of a more deserving and better attraction. Popeye and Bluto's should be in this round! It's the best river raft type ride and should be up against Space Mountain!!!

Whilst I am EXTREMELY annoyed at Splash getting through, I won't vote against it since that would be going against what I've been doing since I started voting (only voting for attractions I've been on) and secondly, it would be cheap to vote against it simply because it beat one of my favourite rides. So I'm gonna be abstained from this match up and let the other voters decide who goes through.

From TH Creative on March 26, 2009 at 5:32 AM
I was a rather weak 24 and 8 in the first round. But I get a degree of solace having picked Goliath, Mystery Mine and El Toro.
From 71.206.161.32 on March 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM
Griffon is THEE BEST RIDE out there!!! Front seat...on the sides...Unbelievable!!!

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