Winners announced in 9th annual Theme Park Insider Awards
For the ninth year, the readers of ThemeParkInsider.com have honored the best of the best in the theme park industry with the annual Theme Park Insider Awards
. This year's winners represent the highest-rated institutions among the nation's theme parks, based on ratings submitted by ThemeParkInsider.com visitors over the past 12 months.
The 2010 Theme Park Insider Award winners are:
Best Theme Park Restaurant
Bistro De Paris, Walt Disney World's Epcot
Les Chefs de France, Walt Disney World's Epcot
Mythos Restaurant, Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure
Year after year, the restaurant award is the most closely contested of all the Theme Park Insider Awards, and 2010 provided no exception. With specialities including rack of lamb, pan-seared lobster and filet mignon, Epcot's Bistro de Paris wins praise for "great food and great service," providing "a great way to experience classic French cuisine without having to fly across the world." This is the first year winning the Best Theme Park Restaurant honor for Bistro de Paris, which edges out last year's winner, Les Chef de France, as well as the 2003-2008 winner, Mythos.
Best Theme Park Hotel
Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Walt Disney World
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Walt Disney World
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World
A runner-up last year, Disney's Wilderness Lodge in 2010 wins the Best Theme Park Hotel honor for this first time. Located near Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the Wilderness Lodge nevertheless is set back into the Central Florida woods, evoking the resort's theme of a national park lodge. Yet the level of service is pure Disney, winning raves - and repeat visits - from many ThemeParkInsider.com readers.
Best New Attraction
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Universal's Islands of Adventure
World of Color, Disney California Adventure
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dominated in 2010, winning the Best New Attraction honor by a wide margin. Not only does Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey enjoy the highest reader rating on ThemeParkInsider.com of any attraction that debuted in the past 12 months, it currently boasts the highest reader rating of *all* attractions listed on the website. Simply put, our readers say that not only is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey clearly the best new theme park ride of the year, it's the best theme park ride in the America.
Best Theme Park
Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Propelled by the runaway enthusiasm for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the Theme Park Insider Award-winning Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Universal's Islands of Adventure reclaims the title as the nation's top theme park by winning the 2010 Theme Park Insider Award. The winner of the Best Theme Park award in 2002-2004, Islands of Adventure wins praise not only for Harry Potter, but for a wide line-up of world-class attractions and restaurants, including former Theme Park Insider Award winners the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Mythos.
These all look very amazing winners! When you were at IOA last time Robert, did they still have the banner up for Theme Park Insider on Mythos? It would be great to show my family if it is still there!
Yes Islands totally deserved it.
Banner was there in May when I was there..
I think I could not disagree more with giving the award to IOA. I mean, I understand how it was broken down, but IOA is really fallen to the wayside with the exception of Harry Potter coming in. Again, I really do not understand the extreme hype to the point of almost obsession with Harry Potter. I am really starting to get worried that this will not meet my expections because of the rave reviews just like the Mummy next door at USO. I am also not a big fan of Harry Potter Banner in the top corner.
Don't underestimate the power of Potter to drive up ratings. And, yes, the winner of the Best Theme Park gets a photo from it in the masthead until next year's awards. Since Potter was the reason IOA won (let's face it), I selected Wizarding World images for the masthead.
I suspect Forbidden Journey will win Best Ride for the next handful of years to come, short of any crazy upsets (anyone remember Tower of Terror? ;)). Anthony, I don't think IOA's going to be there forever, so I wouldn't worry too much. Next year will probably be more agreeable for you.
Just wait until Disney buys out Universal's rights to Marvel. IOA has learned the value of catering to obsessive fans and will launch Twilight Island!
What was the masthead last time!
Bistro De Paris/Disney's Wilderness Lodge - until my kids grow up and move out, I can't justify the expense.
Thanks to TPI reader Don Neal for the new version of the site masthead!
I think EPCOT has attractions that you either love or hate, but its eateries are undisputed as the best food generally for a theme park. It takes alot of work to have a HORRIBLE meal at EPCOT. I also think that EPCOT's attractions are underrated because many are turned off by their educational value. Besides Captain EO/Honey I Shrunk the Audience and Mission Space, every other attraction teaches you something about the world, technology, or science.
Yay! Wilderness Lodge! I stayed there in 2009! I've never been to Islands of Adventure.
I'm Happy for Universal that they are getting more love than they usually do. I'm also happy for Disney! I hope Disney can find a great idea to be what we call a "Harry Potter Killer" Never mind, the always get love every year, i just wish EPCOT gets some love too. It is truly one of the greatest parks in the world, but not as good as IOA which to me is the 2nd greatest park in the world. Right behind Disneyland.
harry potter rocks
It bothers me a bit that a ride that has been officially open less than 2 weeks wins best new attraction. I would be surprised if it's clocked more than 50,000 rides to date. To me, there's just not a large enough sample size to award Forbidden Journey best new attraction. TPI should have waited until next year for this attraction to be eligible. Same goes for World of Color, granted at least you could kind of experience the show online, and it is playing for thousands upon thousands of guests every night.
Good choices all around. Superior choice of Forbidden Journey in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I don't think there has ever been a ride that so fully takes you into the mindset and feel of being in an ancient Wizard castle surrounded by magic. I am absolutely blown away by all of Hogsmeade. The best part is I can buy a VIP Tour and skip the lines!
I have been to many of the restaurants in Walt Disney World. It would be hard to pick my top 2 or 3. I don't think I have ever been to the restaurants in France. Of all the restaurants at all the amusement and theme parks that I have been to, I would consider the restaurants at WDW the best. Of all the theme parks, I would consider the Magic Kingdom the best.
IOA is a great park. I still remember the first time I went to the park (with my grandparents) and my grandpa went on Dueling Dragons with me, it was a blast. I also love the runner up, BG Williamsburg. Great turn out for the awards this year, although, I do wish that Forbidden Journey would have been put over into next year for eligibility, but it sounds like a great ride anyway.
I am starting to feel most of these readers hating so much on Harry Potter may not have chance to visit Harry Potter soon and could be looking for any sort of reason to be happy about it.
I thought the Twilight Island comment was both humorous and probably accurate. There will be dueling coasters named Jacob and Edward!..... lol.
Disneyland, last year's winner, is still easily the best theme park in America. But IOA was bound to win this year, thanks to the excitement over WWOHP. I'm stunned that Disneyland didn't even come in second or third, though.
^Nick, I've been holding back on my comment about Harry Potter untill now. I beg to differ on your post about all the people of America rushing to see FJ and Potterland. May I state that Zachary and I own all the books and the movies that are available on VHS and DVD, so I guess that makes us fans, sort of.
The series to this point has earned $1.7 billion domestic and $5.4 billion worldwide. Seems pretty popular to me, Bob.
James, I still stand with my statement that HP is not that popular here as he is worldwide. If your talking money, POTC made over a billion in the USA with just three films and 2.6 billion worldwide with the same three movies.
Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey undoubtedly deserve the awards this year. Islands of Adventure is a great park, completely underrated in its theming and attention to detail all over. Harry Potter just helped push it to that next level to really position itself as one of the absolute best theme parks in the world.
Bob, with about 5% of the world's population in the US, we contributed almost 30% of the worldwide gross for Harry Potter movies. Whether the US is as crazy about JK Rowling's brainchild as the rest of the world is irrelevant. The fact remains, we're just wild about Harry!
Best Restaurant: I have not been able to go to the Bistro de Paris but it's downstairs partner is phenominal. Le Celier is also amazing.
how much does disney pay this rag? How any disney park can rank over Cedar Point is beyond me.
Disney pays us rather handsomely, 188.8.131.52. With all the extra money they've earned by attracting tourists seeking quality parks with an appropriate mix of thrills, laughs, atmosphere, theming, live entertainment, customer service, comfort, and food, they've been able to create and maintain a seemingly unbiased website with thousands of fans (cast members with aliases, naturally) contributing fictional trip reports, accident watches, park, restaurant, and hotel reviews, weekly votes, ticket discount sources, general theme park tips, and daily news blogs, ALL with the intent of promoting the superiority of Disney above all other organizations.
Yep... all that extra Disney dough has allowed me to live a life of luxury and ease in
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