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2009 Best Ride in America Tournament: Millennium Force, Soarin', Hulk and Dudley Do-Right

By Robert Niles
Published: March 31, 2009 at 1:29 PM
Welcome to the third round of the 2009 Best Ride in America tournament on Theme Park Insider.

Again, everyone, please read through the comments before casting your votes! Well-informed voters make for a better tournament. (Plus, reading the comments is more than half the fun of this thing, anyway.)

We kick off today's afternoon match-ups with Cedar Point Nation's Millennium Force taking on Soarin' Over California from Disney's California Adventure.

For anyone complaining about the voting results, at least be thankful that I didn't place the SeaWorld baby otters in the bracket. Based on site traffic over the past 24 hours, I suspect that they'd be beating everyone in this tournament! :-)

The evening's second match is an all-Islands of Adventure battle. Coaster or flume? Incredible Hulk Coaster or Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls?

Anyone care to comment? ;-)

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on March 31, 2009 at 1:33 PM
If the Internet Gods truly hate me, this is the one day that the Cedar Point fans skip, allowing Soarin' to move on into the next round.
From Michael Owen on March 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM
This one was a bit harder for me but here's my choices.

For the first vote I went for Soarin', I'm a big coaster fan but I just really enjoy Soarin', it's something a little unique.

The second vote I went for Dudley-Do-Right's. I'm a fan of Hulk but there are better B and M coasters out there, including the now eliminated Kraken. DDR offers a really well themed log flume attraction which is fun for all the family.

From 99.18.46.12 on March 31, 2009 at 1:37 PM
M Force for the win
From Doug Kelley on March 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM
The first one is easy: my favorite coaster against a poorly themed, fairly uninteresting ride (which my wife loves but she's not voting). Millennium Force wins the first vote.

I'm still working on the second one.

From Audra Distler on March 31, 2009 at 1:40 PM
As Milennium Force is my favorite coaster of all, I surely hope it doesn't lose! So I voted for it.

And as far as the other race, I chose Incredible Hulk coaster, although I've never been to Islands of Adventure, because I more of a coaster gal, than log flume, although Dudley does look fairly exciting and entertaining!

From 141.151.22.191 on March 31, 2009 at 2:09 PM
Lets see. High Altitude High Speed rollercoaster vs. David Puddy and a pretty unique attraction. I'm gonna have to go with Millenium Force but i still love Soarin'. And For the other one, Incredible Hulk is a really fun roller coaster and i'll take splash mountain over Dudley Do-Right (Which still beats any other log flume in the world) any day.
From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 2:45 PM
On the surface, MF is clearly the better ride. However, just to be fair, I dug a little deeper into the equation, knowing full well that MF is going to get 95% of the vote with or without me.

Thrills: MF, no contest. Not even worth discussing. Advantage: MF.

Originality: MF has that first drop which no other out-and-back hyper-coaster has yet duplicated. After that drop, though, the ride is very similar to a lot of hyper-coasters out there, including the Mamba, here in my home park, Worlds of Fun. Soarin’, on the other hand, offers a unique experience, relaxing and enjoyable, tame and fun. There are a lot of attractions out there with similar components, but only Soarin’ puts all those components together into one neat little package. Advantage: Tie.

Accessibility: MF has a 48” height requirement, a 300’ drop, and speeds around 80 mph. Definitely a ride for thrill-seekers and coaster junkies. Soarin’ has a 40” height requirement and no intense thrills. It is accessible to the entire family, from 5 to 95. Advantage: Soarin’.

Re-ride-ability: MF is always fun, and offers the perception of even greater thrills at night (as most outdoor coasters do). Soarin’ offers a consistent ride each time as well. MF offers speed and airtime; Soarin’ offers that excellent sensation of gliding. I call this one a tie. Advantage: Soarin’.

Narrative: neither ride is narrative at all, though there might be a smidgen more theming on Soarin’. Tie. Advantage: Soarin’.

Which one would I rather have at my local park, Worlds of Fun?

At first, I thought, MF, for sure. Who wouldn’t want the tallest and faster hyper-coaster at their home park (Kingda Ka and TTD may be taller and faster, but they are not hyper)? Then, I thought, why have the Mamba then? It would just be taking up space. There would be no reason to ride it anymore. So, if MF came to my park, it would have to be a replacement for the Mamba. Which is fine, I guess, but there is nothing at Worlds of Fun like Soarin’. Nothing even close. So, to be completely honest, I would rather have Soarin’ at my local park, than MF. Advantage: Soarin’.

Therefore, when you break it down, Soarin’ appears to have the advantage. However, for people like me (just me…not my kids, not my wife, not my parents…just me), thrills are worth more points than all of the other categories except maybe narrative. Moreover, since neither ride offers a narrative of any sort, MF is the clear winner.

Having said all that, I am voting for Snorin’…err…I mean Soarin’ as a protest. It is my way of waving a certain middle digit, in true Jake Rivers fashion, at Anonymous Voters everywhere.

As for the other contest, I will go with Snidely Whiplash and his stand-alone mustache. Not because Ripsaw Falls is a better ride than the Hulk, but because it is mandatory for me to support such a great mustache.

Two underdogs…two wasted votes. And a lot of tongue and cheek here, gang...don't get upset!

From Mike K on March 31, 2009 at 2:43 PM
Robert, why are you splitting the polls into two threads? Will the times of when they are posted remain roughly the same?
From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 2:47 PM
Don't answer that, Robert! Hide behind the 5th Amendment! ;)
From Doug Kelley on March 31, 2009 at 2:57 PM
I haven't ridden DDR but I'd place Splash Mt. just ahead of Hulk. Is DDR pretty close to Splash or just a cheap knock off? I'd don't care about wet factor...
From Todd Houts on March 31, 2009 at 3:01 PM
Soarin' vs. Millennium Force is definitely apples and oranges. But since I think the best steel coaster in the US is either Millennium Force or Superman: Ride of Steel (Six Flags New England) I had to give it to Millennium. I've ridden it with dew on seats. I've ridden it during Halloweekends when it was only in the mid-30s. I've ridden it in the inky blackness of night. I have never had anything less than an exhilarating ride on that perfectly designed coaster. From the elevator style lift "chain" that actually gets faster about half-way up and gets to the 310 foot peak amazingly fast [why aren't all coasters now using this lift system?], to the non-stop speed with the smooth-as-silk magnetic brakes at the end (and no trim brakes anywhere), it got my vote. Plus it is the only coaster that I actually own a model of. (A Franklin Mint model if I'm not mistaken. I can look at it sitting with my amusement park related collection and just reimagine my rides on it.)

BTW, in response to James' blow-by-blow comparison, I have to say (as much as I love Mamba), that Mamba is no MF. MF is smooth beyond belief- and frankly lacking trim and no body shattering brake at the end puts it in front of anything similar. (And considering Intamin never made another ride all that similar [the closest being Superman: Ride of Steel at SFNE {note this is a different layout than the coasters of the same name at Six Flags America and Darien Lake}] - makes MF still unique in my book.) I'd let them relocate my Mamba (to say Knotts or Michigan's Adventure) if they would put MF in her place.

From Robert Niles on March 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM
I'm mostly trying to avoid 100-comment threads, plus I'm also seeing if I can get y'all to visit the site at least twice a day. :-)
From Joshua Counsil on March 31, 2009 at 3:21 PM
Hulk takes Dudley, no problem. Hulk very well could be my favorite theme-less coaster. I like it better than MF, as well.

The first bracket was a little tougher. I enjoyed MF, but found it overrated for all the hype. The cable lift carries passengers so quickly up the initial hill that appreciation for the surroundings and pre-drop anxiety is lost. The coaster was so smooth that I barely felt thrilled during the entire ride. I much prefer Magnum XL to MF.

Still, Soarin' doesn't exactly deserve to advance, either. It's a great ride, but not quarter finals great. BUT I would like to see Everest advance over either of these attractions, and Everest has a strong chance of losing to MF. I'm voting for Soarin'.

Sorry, James...

From Joshua Counsil on March 31, 2009 at 3:25 PM
Oh, and Doug - DDR is not nearly the ride that Splash is. The drop is way better on Dudley, but thrills aside Splash wins.
From Raul Araoz on March 31, 2009 at 3:50 PM
Great to see Spider-man get through. There is some justice in the world.

These two pairings are really no contest for me. I feel that Soarin' is the most overrated Disney attraction of the decade. It may be the worst simulator of all time, even worse than Body Wars. After Spider-man revolutionized the simulator experience, a cheap stationary hanging above a badly edited film just isn't going to cut it anymore. This attraction should have been the suspended version of that classic. Millenium Force, on the other hand, is the best coaster in a park full of them. Nuff said.

The second pairing contains second-class versions of better rides that for some reason or another are no longer around. The Hulk is an average B&M coaster that wouldn't be so acclaimed if it didn't have a launch. Dudley is inferior to Splash Mountain in every way except the final hill. However, in this pair that is enough to make it better than Hulk.

From Scottland Jacobson on March 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM
Woah! This is starting to go fast!

I'm going with MF over Soarin'. Soarin' is a once per visit ride. MF is a multiple rides kind of attraction that leaves me breathless everytime.

And I am a huge Dudley fan - I like it even more than Splash. Hulk is good - but I find I get bored with it after a few rides. I could ride Dudley all day. I'm voting for James' moustache!

From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 4:06 PM
I never said I wanted Soarin' to win...I was just protesting when I already knew the outcome! The best kind of protest! I get my cake and I eat it too...with extra Spider-Man colored frosting on top!

Also, if the question was: would you rather have Mamba or Millennium Force...well, yeah, I'd take MF. Who wouldn't? But that wasn't the question.

Anyway, to answer another question: DDR is more thrilling than Splash, but Splash has better theme and narrative. If I had to pick one over the other, I would go with Splash. DDR is the second best flume ride in the world. Don't feel shame if you give it a vote. And like Scottland and I have said, you gotta go with Snidely Whiplash and his AWESOME stand alone mustache!

From Don Neal on March 31, 2009 at 4:15 PM
Phew! Spidey wraps it up. Had me sweatin' there for a sec. :)

Hulk hands down. Not a lot to debate there for me. Dudley is a fun ride, but that take off on Hulk is amazing! Launching out of that tunnel and immediately diving off to the side is immediate exhileration!

I haven't rode Soarin or Millenium Force but MF seems to be the more popular ride amongst friends and family.

From Derek Potter on March 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM
James, I appreciate your sense of rebellion. At least you admitted it.

Robert, the Cedar Point gods may love you more if you kept the matchup schedule as it was in the previous rounds...all day matches. I think that doing two rounds a day is causing some people to miss their chance to participate, because they thought that the all day format would stick. Surely that wasn't the intended effect (right?), but I'm thinking that it's happened. The 100 comment issue isn't a bad problem to have, but it isn't helped by the fact that anonymous posting is allowed.

To the matchups...there is no contest in the first one. Snorin over California shouldn't even be here. Millennium Force...what else needs to be said. Those of you who have ridden, know what I'm talking about.

My second choice is...Dudley Do Right. I like Hulk, I really do, but there's something about DDR that gets me. Maybe it's just the way it looks from the outside. I really like the drop at the end as well. Still don't like the queue, but it's my favorite log flume. Hulk's launch makes it unique, but it's pretty standard fare after that for a B&M. I'm goin with the moustache.

From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 6:42 PM
I am surprised the mustache (or moustashe, if you prefer) did not sway more voters. Clearly there is a predjudice on this site against stand-alone mustaches. Robert, I won't have it. I am declaring this vote to be a farce.

No matter what happens I will continue to discuss Snidely Whiplash in every subsequent round. Perhaps if I pretend that DDR won, everything will be better.

Uh-oh...denial rears its ugly head. I sense I am entering the first stage of grief yet again....

Someone hide my D23 Pin Collection...and my chaps!

From Raul Araoz on March 31, 2009 at 6:49 PM
So this proves that a mountie always gets his man, but not always the tournament.
From Ryan Vogel on March 31, 2009 at 6:51 PM
This is a no brainer. Millennium Force is the best roller coaster on the planet. Some people say that the trains get up the hill too quick. I dont think that is the case at all. With the lift hill right on the bay, it makes for one of the most exciting lift hills, and it builds the anticipation even more. The first drop is flawless and the over-banked turn is one of the most exciting part of any ride. This coaster has great air-time and is smooth as a ride gets. Soarin' is way over-rated. Yes it was fun and a cool experience, but in a world with spider man and other dark rides they dropped the ball. So this vote goes to the most exciting ride on earth, Millennium Force.

The second choise is also easy. Dudley Do-right has the best drop of any water ride, AND has great themeing to match. Yes it is corky and cheesey, but thats the point. I would ride Dudley any time over splash Mt. The hulk is fun, but i found the launch to be just alright. The rest of the ride can be a bit rough and seems a tad slow and boring. At this point in the tournament just alright doesnt cut it. My vote is for dudley!

From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 7:11 PM
Welcome to the site, Ryan! I appreciate your breakdowns of both MF and DDR. Your commentary was tough but fair. Good job!

I still think Snidely Whiplash's moustache is the main reason to vote for DDR....grrrr....grrrr...

...Don... Raul... Scottland... I am starting to enter my anger phase now... call 9-1-1!

From Jacob Sundstrom on March 31, 2009 at 7:13 PM
Hmm.. Finally a round where I've been on both rides quite recently with Millennium Force and Soarin' Over California. And while I am not a big fan of Soarin' compared to other Disney rides.. I'd much rather put that in my park as opposed to Millennium Force.

This in conjunction with my desire to destroy the mob voters... Soarin' gets my vote!

From Raul Araoz on March 31, 2009 at 7:17 PM
Serenity Now, James! Serenity Now!
From Scottland Jacobson on March 31, 2009 at 7:19 PM
Raul - awesome quote to tie in from the ride (and the cartoon)! Love it!

James - we'll keep you calm. We're here for you.

Go moustaches!!

From James Rao on March 31, 2009 at 7:37 PM
Uh...hi. This is James's wife, and I wanted you to know that he... uh... he... ahhh... well... he yelled something like "no...no...not the shaving cream..." then passed out. He is sleeping now, and I think he will be fine with about 12 hours of rest.

Thank you for your concern. I think he indeed has found Serenity Now. I just hope he doesn't wake up and keep repeating it over and over and over...

These darn tournaments are so hard on him...oh, but I do go on. Well thanks for your concern...and goodnight! <3

From Robert Niles on March 31, 2009 at 7:57 PM
I don't think the split votes really had that much effect. The vote totals, comments and traffic yesterday when we also had the two voting sessions were similar, overall, to the previous round, when we didn't.

The difference today in the overall vote totals can be attributed to the fact that...

A) There were no Busch Gardens Williamsburg attractions involved. (Though BGW's Facebook page did link to TPI's story on BG Tampa's birthday today.)

B) Cedar Point did not link to the polls today, from either the official blog or the Facebook page.

Both parks linked yesterday, so I don't know why CP chose not to link today.

Still, thanks to the BG Tampa anniversary and SeaWorld baby otters stories, traffic stayed up for the day, and the two-shift voting helped in that regard, too.

From Robert Niles on March 31, 2009 at 8:01 PM
I do fear, however, that some of the site's regular visitors bailed on the tournament this evening, figuring that the CP crowd would make it a runaway. So the vote totals for the evening vote were down from vote totals in the first and second rounds.

Quarterfinals are on Thursday, and it's a coin flip for me whether to do the two sessions again, or go back to the one.

From Joshua Counsil on March 31, 2009 at 8:05 PM
James -

I wasn't apologizing for Soarin'. I was apologizing for voting for Soarin' so that Everest (the ride you don't want moving on) could easily take it in the next round. Contrarily, MF would give Everest a run for its money.

Tomorrow should be really interesting.

Damn - this tournament is REALLY distracting me from my final exams. And I graduate in one month! AHHHHHH

From Mark Tilsher on March 31, 2009 at 8:44 PM
Robert I am one of those considering bailing on the whole thing altogether for the rest of this year. I feel like the integrity of this contest has been compromised and has become a signature drive... the type you see in your local non-theme park sometimes.

I don't know what the solution is. I would recommend only allowing registered users to vote. Then I would only allow registered users who have been registered for a predetermined amount of time to vote.

I think your polls, historically have reflected the quality of attractions and dining. This time around it is obvious that quality is not the driving force, nor is personal preference. It is a popularity contest and nothing more.

How much are those banners over mythos going to mean when Charlie Browns Cookout is voted the best theme park dining spot? Not to say that mythos has to win... But at the rate this contest is going it wont have a chance. TO see previous years winners knocked out in round one in a SLAUGHTER... tells you that something is very, very wrong with the system.

/my $0.02

From David Kirby on March 31, 2009 at 8:47 PM
Really low vote counts today...where did all the Cedar Point fans go???
From Jacob Sundstrom on March 31, 2009 at 8:54 PM
To be honest, I think the exposure to this contest is what is killing it. You've opened the floodgates to where people from all over the enthusiast world can come and vote.. or know to.. I'm tired of enthusiasts that can't see beyond adrenaline.
From Ryan Vogel on March 31, 2009 at 9:47 PM
I find it intresting that when a themed ride loses to a non-themed ride there is way more complaining than the other way around. And maybe complaining isnt the right word. When I vote I do take themeing into consideration, i also dont get caught up on it. Do I think some themed rides are better than non-themed ones? yes. Do I also think that non-themed ones can be better than heavily themed rides? Yes i do. I guess im trying to say that I feel that there are some people who get caught up in this war of theme/non-themed. And im not saying any certain group. When one votes for a ride i think they should truly think which ride they had a better time on and would be willing to wait longer for.

I will admit that I found this site because of Cedar Point's Facebook. I have spent hours reading all of the past stories and boards. This is truly a great site. But than I read some of the posts on how so and so cant believe that a ride from some park would ever beat a ride from some other park. I ask why not? why cant a roller coaster beat a themed ride. All of these rides are great and come from great parks. People should not take what park they like better into consideration, and if they havent been to a park or on a ride at that park they shouldnt rant on how horrible it is. Talk about why you enjoy the ride you voted for.

I am sorry that this turned into a rant. Its just all kinda intense, and i just wish people wouldnt put down other parks or voters. thats all. again sorry

From Doug Kelley on March 31, 2009 at 9:56 PM
I'm not sure if there are a lot of whiners or elitists pitching a fit about their favorite park's ride getting knocked out by a fan of some other park but it sure sounds like it from many of the posts. It looks to me like there are far more Disney and Universal fans on this site than CP (I personally count myself in the Disney crowd).

Come on people, this is supposed to be for fun, isn't it? Do you really think this "award" means so much that other people can't join in the fun? I didn't stop voting when Haunted Mansion got knocked out and I won't cry when Millennium Force is knocked out by a ride I really don't like (Spider-Man).

It's just a game! Have fun with it.

From Ryan Vogel on March 31, 2009 at 9:59 PM
that was the point i was trying to make! thanks doug!
From Anthony Murphy on March 31, 2009 at 10:16 PM
No, I think people's problems have to do with the way Maverick was pushed over Tower of Terror just because CP told people on their website to go and blindly vote for them. I will admit that Disney, Universal, and Busch get more play on the site, but they are mostly international parks and not as local as CP. CP is great, but like my home park Six Flags Great America, it tends to get local people more for a day trip. SFGA and CP were actually quite well represented in this contest with some excellent roller coasters.

People are not upset that a CP beat a Disney, but that everybody blindly voted for Maverick. I will say this, Maverick, with all that CP has to offer, is not its best just like Superman is not SFGA's best. Tower of Terror, regardless if you are a big Disney fan or not, is one of the most well known and best theme park attraction ever created. Like Spiderman, it defined its type of ride and many have tried to catch the IT factor, but come up short.


I think that its great that CP people are on the site and I hope they do. Many of the local parks (mostly Six Flags ones) need more information and work their bests worsts, whats going on, etc.

From Joshua Counsil on March 31, 2009 at 10:40 PM
Agreed, Anthony. Tower was a big disappointment because of blind voting, just as Mystery Mine was a big disappointment (getting knocked out by Matterhorn? COME ON).

I am somewhat of a Disney fan boy, but MF is better than Soarin'. I go for the best attraction, regardless of the locale.

From Doug Kelley on March 31, 2009 at 11:01 PM
I'll bet money on this: there are FAR more CP fans who have been on ToT then there are Disney fans who have been on Maverick voting in this contest. Do you think the average CP fan hasn't been to a Disney park? That's not realistic. Do you think there are MANY Disney fans who haven't been to CP? You bet there are! And, who do you REALLY think is the more ardent fan, a Disney fan or a CP fan?

In other words, when I saw the link from the CP Facebook, I didn't automatically vote for Maverick like some sort of lemming. First and foremost, I was interested in the premise of this tournament. After some thought, and having experienced both rides (Maverick & ToT) VERY recently, I chose Maverick. Not because CP said to vote that way but because that was my choice!

I know ToT won last year but I wouldn't personally have even placed it in the top four Disney rides. That’s just my preference. Do you want to make this tournament fair? Then make each person voting produce some sort of proof they've been to both parks represented in any one vote. There would be a LOT of match-ups that wouldn't get many votes at all! :)

From Derek Potter on March 31, 2009 at 11:06 PM
It seems tonight has turned into a fairly small contest. Not many voters tonight. At least for now, those who think only their opinion (and the people who agree with them) matters... got their 500 vote closed club tournament back.

Doug and Ryan, thank you. I share your sentiments exactly, and I'm tired of the double standard. At first I thought it amusing to watch Disney fanboys squirm in the face of opposition, but now some people are starting to sound like a whiny kid who isn't getting their way. I had an ever so slight moment of second guessing myself about trying to get Cedar Point/Kings Island fans involved, but then I saw this, and it reminded me of one of the reasons why I did it.

Quote from Jacob Sundstrom
"To be honest, I think the exposure to this contest is what is killing it. You've opened the floodgates to where people from all over the enthusiast world can come and vote.. or know to.. I'm tired of enthusiasts that can't see beyond adrenaline."

Really Jacob? When was this tournament ever supposed to be some kind of communist country club? I'll answer that, it's not and it never was intended to be. What exactly is wrong with "people from all over the enthusiast world coming to vote"? Is it that they don't share your opinion, so you think they shouldn't be heard? If a "floodgate" of people who share your opinion came through, would you feel that the contest was being killed due to overexposure? Lord forbid we have a contest in which as many voters were informed as possible.

Theme Park Insider is here for the public's enjoyment and to provide the best information. This tournament is supposed to be fun, and it also provides an oppurtunity for the site to make new friends, gain readers who can make significant contributions, and increase exposure to the parks themselves so that it can provide the best coverage and information. When closed minded, elitist comments are made towards people participating, a little bit more is taken away from the fun, and a little bit of credibility is lost. Bash the attractions all you want, trash talk and have fun, but keep your attacks on the voters to yourself.

Now I've gone and ranted myself...maybe it's my insomnia kicking in.

From Emily G on March 31, 2009 at 11:43 PM
I voted for Millenium Force over Soarin as I do not belive that Soaring deserved to make it through the last round. It is a nice ride, but certainly has its problems - The queuing area is boring, the queue is slow moving and unless you are lucky enough to be on the top glider your lovely view gets inertupted by people's feet. As I have said previously I am not convinced that much is gained by watching this movie from a fake glider suspended in the air.

The second choice was much harder I love both rides, Dudley for the fun factor, the numerous times you get wet and the variety of ways you do and Hulk for the thrill, the brilliant launch and the smoothness of the ride. I have decided to look at this on how many times I would re-ride each attraction and Hulk would definitley be the winner so it gets my vote.

From 71.57.146.197 on March 31, 2009 at 11:34 PM
I have to say I am surprised that my views so closely match those of many in some ways, but are vastly different to those same people in others. I've spent quite a bit of time at Universal/IOA and always have to hit Spiderman. It is, without question, one of my favorite rides and I am always telling people how great it is and that they need to go on it. I never realized how many other people felt the same way. On the other hand, I tend to force myself to go on Hulk just because people say it's supposed to be a good ride. Maybe I'm just getting too old, but it is the only ride that I have ever felt icky after getting off, and not the good icky, but really not right (and I'm not just referring to the massive headache I get from most coasters with shoulder harnesses). Then there's Dudley. I make it a habit of standing near the entrance and just watching the ride. I really enjoy riding it, but I don't like getting wet too much. I think it is rude to the other park patrons who have to sit in your puddle on the other rides at the park. So, I either wait until near dark or not at all, but then I usually have to drive home and don't want to get my car seat wet or ride my motorcycle wet (70+ mph doesn't feel good at night when wet, even in FL). I'm glad to hear others praise its flumeyness. So, I voted for DDR over Hulk because I actually want to ride it. With that, I miss White Water Landing at CP and move onto the other contest.

I've done Soarin' at the Evil Empire that is WDW. It was an enjoyable experience especially since the wait-time wasn't nearly as long as indicated. But, it was just OK. Now MF, on the other hand, is simply incredible. I especially like the fact that you go up the first hill quicker. I don't go on these coasters for that first uphill bore-fest; just that bit of anticipation is nice as the train crests the hill-top slowly.

To complete my thought, first post - been holding back, as a general comment, I tend to prefer roller coasters. I grew up on CP (and linked here from FB for the contest, but realize I've been here before for information; and always see the sign at Mythos), so I have a natural affinity towards that park and it will always be the best in my book. However, I do love Disney, but not so much for the rides as for the atmosphere (and especially not the ticket prices). And Universal/IOA is a lot of fun, but quite small and easily 'coverable'. Additionally, what I like about Disney/Universal/IOA are the queues and the fact that most are themed and air-conditioned. But once past the queue, I want a killer ride; which is what Cedar Point has many of (and the others only have a few).

From 132.25.0.206 on April 1, 2009 at 2:20 AM
Derek Potter I understand your point completely. The underlying issue I have is not a diverse group of voters, but a largely skewed voting base.

If this site had an average of 2k voters ina contest and then 1k fans responded to a blog and voted the voting results would be significantly changed.

I challenge you to consider what would happen if Disney put something similar on their front page. Every ride, and dining experience would easily win the contest. I dont think anyone here could possibly disagree with that.

When you increase your polling sample by 50% and that 50% increase comes from one specific voting demographic the margin for error in your poll is increased very, very significantly.

It is not whining it is polling science. It can be heralded as diversity... it can be touted as revenge and justice on those whiney little disney fans... really you can call it anything you like... the bottom line is that it is not an accurate polling.

The only way it would then be accurate would be to try and get an accurate sample from other demographics. Getting similar plugs on universal, disney, dollywood and other fan sites. Which is now what I am seeing on several boards I visit. Though what impact that will have is anyones guess.

Anyway, hopefully that clears it up at least a little bit. I am not concerned with what ride wins. I am concerned with the integrity of the award and the contest. To see last years winner dealt a crushing defeat in round one raises at least a little eyebrow on my BS radar.

It could be nothing... but I doubt it.

From James Rao on April 1, 2009 at 4:45 AM
Hmmmm...I am back from the dead, having passed through all five stages of grief not once, but twice so far in this tournament. And today I do have to get some work done, so I can only add a few things, then I am out for a bit...stop cheering! ;)

First off, Snidely Whiplash rules...go DDR. I refuse to accept that the only attraction featuring a stand-alone mustache (moustache, if you prefer) has been defeated. I demand a recount!

Now, for my real points:

1) Doug, Ryan, Derek...you all are the exception, not the rule. I have toured the CP fan sites, I have read their posts, and the overwhelming majority or posters are saying "Vote CP - Beat Disney!" That tune has changed a LITTLE bit since I called some folks out a few days ago (you're welcome), but it is still very common. Not everyone who skewed the vote last Friday is as high-minded as you three. Accept it and move on.

2) I do not know of anyone who posts regularly on this website who blindly votes Disney or Universal. In fact, the reason the turnout was so low for this last vote, I think, is because everyone knew Millennium Force DESERVED to win and was GOING to win before the thing even started. I mean, who doesn't have MF in their final 4? Seriously. The only time "favorite park bias" should enter into the fray is when we hit the final four. At that point the attractions will all be so excellent, that the only deciding factor is going to be: favorite park. But by that time, it doesn't matter because all the attractions will be at the head of their respective class, anyway.

3) The assertion that there are more Cedar Point fans who have ridden Disney rides than vice versa is ludicrous. With over 110+ million visitors to Disney Parks annually, it is far more likely that a good portion have branched out to Cedar Point, than the opposite. I mean, come on, with just 3+ million annual visitors to Cedar Point, the law of averages would suggest the opposite assertion is far more likely. However, I can only speak for myself, and I used to go to Cedar Point about once every two years before "the children." The last time I went was in 2006...so I have ridden every new addition up to and including TTD. I have not had the chance to enjoy Maverick, but I am sure I will enjoy it once I return to CP when my kids all reach the magical height of 54" (the mandatory height for complete fun at an iron ride park).

4) The only thing that has people in an uproar is that the official Cedar Point web site linked to this tournament. When that happened, last Friday, the vote was skewed mightily by people jumping over to TPI for the first (and potentially) last time, just to vote for Maverick. No one would have been "crying foul" if the final tally had been 55% to 45% in favor of Maverick and if the numbers had not been so skewed for one day. Everyone knows, just by watching a POV on youtube, that Maverick is a sweet coaster, and deserving of major kudos. We are all coaster geeks here...and theme park geeks...and we recognize a great ride when we see one. But there was no equity in Friday's tally. The only way there could have been equity would have been for each major theme park company to also have posted a link on their main web site stating: VOTE (THIS PARK'S REPRESENTATIVE RIDE) Today! And no one wants that to happen, not really, because the much larger fan bases of Disney and Universal would have skewed the results in the opposite way. Getting fansites involved is a fine strategy...getting official sites involved just skews the results, and creates animosity ("Disney bias, CP bias, Busch bias, etc). We at TPI are not elitists, but there will never be equity in the voting if we invite a bunch of uninformed "homers" to skew the results one way or another.

5) Solution - Robert's new format + the removal of anonymous voting. It is easy to join this site, and for those who take the time to do so, I think they will be richly rewarded especially if they like "theme parks" plural, and not "theme park" singular.

I for one have had a lot of fun since I got over my initial rage from Friday's voting (my bouts with grief and despair have been well documented in this blog!). I've met some great new folks, and I think our TPI community is stronger because of what has happened. It is now time to put the harsh words of the past behind us and move forward. Let's either crown Millennium Force or Spider-Man the champ and move on...both rides are very deserving of the title and no one is going to be upset with that outcome (except Scottland who is still pining away for the Mystery Mine and Thunderhead. Yes, Scottland, I think we all agree that more TPI members need to check out Dollywood this year!).

Let's have no more discussion about a blown tournament. The rides remaining are all great and deserve to be where they are, no matter how they got to the top. I will no longer devote serious commentary to what transpired on Friday (it is part of my therapy), so don't call me out or try to instigate a fight. What's done is done, and I am over it. (Denial, again?)

And someone...Derek/erniebald, maybe, tell "blackout/Erin" at the Point Online that I already apologized publicly to her for calling her out (6th comment from the bottom) and she needs to get over it! No one is hating her...it was all just in good, clean fun. She can stop "rolling her eyes" at us. Come on, if people from The Point are going vote, they should at least read the comments too!

Done. Cya much later today, and happy voting!

From James Rao on April 1, 2009 at 4:13 AM
And Robert -->

"Saying that Spidey is a bunch of 3D movies is like saying that Pirates is a collection of singing dolls."

--> Genuis.

ROFLMAO!!!!

From Don Neal on April 1, 2009 at 5:27 AM
James' counselor is making some sweet cash this week! :D

Some good points James. The event is evolving and growing which is a good thing and all of our experience this year will only serve to make it better in the future. I just love all the participation! :) TPI Community rocks!

Kudos Robert for keeping it all rolling ahead!

From Joe Schwartz on April 1, 2009 at 6:40 AM
M.Force is still the best steel coaster out there. Soarin is a great attaction. But should not be against a coaster. Even though the Hulk is getting old. It is still better than a water ride,
From Brandon Mendoza on April 1, 2009 at 7:00 AM
Honestly, I think there should never be any blind park bias. People should vote for whatever ride is the best in their mind regardless of which park it's in. Only thing is that not everyone can go to CP or BG, so it makes it hard to vote for a ride a majority of people haven't been on.

That being said, I would hope that people aren't voting against Disney just because they support their favorite park and hate Disney. That's just ridiculous.

From Audra Distler on April 1, 2009 at 7:17 AM
OK, not to stir up anything more, especially since I agree with most of the "evil Cedar Point" posts. /snirk But I have to point out again, that although the link to this voting was ON the CP main site, it was on the BLOG for the site, not the main page. I personally very rarely actually check the main site of CP. I have a bookmark to the blog. So only those people who checked the blog actually got that from the CP site. The people who you all DISLIKE more likely linked in from the fan sites that you are saying is "ok" for being linked in. The people who are blindly voting are swayed by those comments who are saying "Vote for this - it will more easily lose to Mav/Millenium" on the fan sites.

That being said, as I pointed out, I completely agree with the comments that that's a load of crap. But I'm still glad I found this site, and have it bookmarked now as well, so at least some good of it came for me! :)

From 207.200.116.138 on April 2, 2009 at 11:19 AM
Polling science - inaccuracies - what??? This is a poll of opinions. There are no wrong answers. Or right ones, for that matter. And I do think there are a lot of elitists here, no matter what may be said. The comments speak for themselves. At least, to me.

For rides I haven't been on, I've been voting (when the poll hours haven't changed without prior notice) for the ones I'd be most excited to go on, based on what I've read about them. Not on where they are. And there are a lot I'd like to go on, but my health ain't what it used ta be. And some ride operators just won't let me pull my O2 tank onna ride, for some reason. Save yer pennies, kids. Retirement eats em up.

Anyways, thems my requirements for my voting. Unless, of course, facial hair is involved.

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