Disney, SeaWorld and Universal win 2009 Theme Park Insider Awards
ThemeParkInsider.com readers have been voting, and for the second year in a row, they've selected Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California as their choice for the world's best theme park.
Disneyland leads the winners in this year's Theme Park Insider Awards, selected based on cumulative reader ratings submitted to the site over the past 12 months. Disneyland earned the highest average rating for its attractions and restaurants, among ThemeParkInsider.com readers who submitted ratings for locations at multiple parks during the past year.
Our goal at ThemeParkInsider.com is to give people the best advice on finding the best value in a theme park vacation for their families. The Theme Park Insider Awards provide us the chance to say 'thank you' to the very best of the best in the theme park industry, from its millions of customers and fans.
Best Theme Park - Disneyland Park
"We are always happy when people enjoy and appreciate our product," said Mike Hyland, director of public relations for Disneyland Resort. "Thank you for honoring Disneyland as World's Best Theme Park."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three Theme Parks:
Best New Attraction - Manta, SeaWorld Orlando
This year's Best New Attraction is Manta, the new Bolliger & Mabillard flying roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. ThemeParkInsider.com readers gave Manta the highest average reader rating among all attractions that debuted between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009.
"We've known since the early design stages that Manta would be crowned as one of the world's top thrill rides, there's just nothing else like it," said SeaWorld spokesperson Nick Gollattscheck. "And to have Manta named Best New Attraction by readers of Theme Park Insider is quite an honor. They are our biggest fans and people who know an incredible thrill ride when they see one."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three New Attractions:
Best Theme Park Hotel - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.
Theme Park Insider honors the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort as the Best Theme Park Hotel of 2009. The Portofino Bay earned the highest average reader rating among all on-property theme park hotels over the past 12 months. Readers raved about the Portofino Bay's setting, service... and its free front-of-the-line access to Universal Orlando's rides and shows.
"The entire team here at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is thrilled and delighted to receive this honor," said General Manager Paul Leclerc. "Our loyal guests mean so much to us and ensuring their satisfaction is our highest priority. Our commitment to delivering a taste of 'la dolce vita' - the sweet life - to our guests is stronger than ever."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three Theme Park Hotels:
Best Theme Park Restaurant - Les Chefs de France, Epcot.
And in the final - and closest - category, Epcot's Les Chefs de France edged six-time Theme Park Insider Award winner Mythos to claim this year's honor as Best Theme Park Restaurant. Voting's been tight in this category for the past several years, reflecting the high quality of the top three honored restaurants, and the passion they elicit among their fans. Theme Park Insider's Top Three Theme Park Restaurants:
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists... and thank you for providing us such great places to spend our vacations!
Without a doubt, Disneyland is the best theme park in the world so I'm glad it won that category. I wonder if Hollywood Rip,Ride,Rockit would have opened weeks ago and been eligible, would it have beaten Manta? Anyway I can't wait to ride both.
Ah, Manny, the great mystery of the year, isn't it?
Barring some unforeseen delay, I just can't see Harry Potter losing.
I love all our winners (and am especially glad to SeaWorld finally win one), but it's hard not to see a big Universal Orlando storm on the horizon for next year, isn't it?
I am a bit suprised at all the winners except Manta, who, for all purposes, rocks!
As of right now, Manta has received 32 votes for a 9 rating, and Prowler has received 74 votes for a 9 rating.
I'm pretty satisfied with the results this year.
In regards to the park, remember that its a total average of all the eating and attraction ratings. Personally, I think that puts MK at a disadvantage with its sheer number of ratings. IOA, as lackluster as it has become, get high reviews with Dueling Dragons, Hulk, Spiderman, and Mythos. If you count that up, thats like 1/4 of the whole rating. Same thing with Disneyland which doesn't get pulled down by rides like Stitch's Great Escape and Tiki Room under new management.
Very true, Anthony.
I agree with Disneyland as the best park in America. It's just the best Magic Kingdom in the world, even though it's still not perfect.
I actually feel that this site has always been fair, honest and open, which is why I've been coming here almost daily for years now.
Whoa there, Robert, I simply wanted the full details, and no where in my post did I accuse you of lying or cheating, or anything else that should make you want a prolific contributor and ardent supporter such as myself to abandon your site. My reference to the "behind-the-scenes" victory was simply pointing to the calc you just described giving Manta a 9.4 edge to Prowler's 8.6. Let's face it, on the surface, every indicator pointed to a Prowler victory.
Haven't ridden any of the new rides, so I won't comment on those.
I counted and you are right :) Still, I think my major theory is still true. I think it explains IOA's high rating. Still, if I were to follow my own logic, what about Animal Kingdom? Good rides and good shows, but perhaps the lacking of spectacular places to eat kinda kill it! I also think that one thing that is not rated upon (and I really don't know a way to do it) is the whole enviroment of the park. Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and IOA would do very well I would think.
Four words give Portofino a huge advantage over the top-flight Disney parks:
I've also been mulling whether we need to go to half-points or tenths-of-a-point on the park listing pages, to avoid this sort of confusion. But there's a level of hair-splitting geekery that I don't mind for the annual awards, but would really change the tone of the site on a daily basis, so I've avoided that switch to date.
For day-to-day purposes it is probably not important to list fractional ratings, but when everything looks even and you are posting some sort of ratings winner, it makes sense to list all the details.
I have not been to Disneyland yet, so I can't compare it to other theme parks. I really like Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I can ride the front row of Griffon for hours. I just rode it for 2.5 hours. It is a great attraction. IOA, as in 2009, should not be in 3rd place. The Harry Potter "detour" significantly detracts from any type of themeing. The Hulk and Spiderman are superior attractions but the rest of the park is showing its age. Dueling dragons has the one of the longest queue areas in the history of theme parks. The Eighth Voyage of Sindbad is fun for a couple of times but repeated viewings become tiresome. Poseidon's Fury is very tired and weak. However, Jurassic Park River Adventure still holds up well. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls lacks the themeing of Splash Mountain and the ride vehicles can be uncomfortable if you are over 6'2" (lol). If Disneyland is #1, I would pick Busch Gardens Tampa or Seaworld Orlando over IOA as #3.
I was glad DL won for the second year running. It certainly is the best theme park in North America, if not the world. While it still has a few problem areas, it is overall a charming and beautiful park that is packed with great attractions.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.