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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Round Two match-ups and schedule

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Published: February 17, 2012 at 1:04 PM

You certainly surprised me with some of your decisions so far in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament. But that's created some really great match-ups for Round Two, and beyond.

Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion earned the most votes of all the nominees in Round One.

When I set up the tournament, I had an idea which categories would feed into the Best Ride bracket and which ones would go into the show brackets. But then you selected Soarin' Over California for Best Simulator, and Carousel of Progress for Best Animatronic Show. Now, which one of those moves more? Which one is a ride, and which one is a show? I have to admit, I hadn't thought too hard about those specific rides, because I hadn't anticipated either one getting out of Round One.

Basically, you blew up my bracket. :^)

So I took the winners from Round One, ordered by the number of votes they'd received, and broke them into three brackets for Round Two and beyond. Initially, I'd planned on four brackets, but after looking at the line-up I decided there was no logical way to make clean fields for "live" shows and "animated" shows, as I'd planned. Too many shows blur the line between the two. So we're down to just one "Best Show" bracket.

After I made those changes, I decided to just go ahead and expand the fields so that there would be no more byes. That meant adding a couple attractions to the Best Themed Ride field and six shows to the Best Show field. Those slots went to runners-up from Round One with the highest vote totals. So, yes, Star Tours and Toy Story fans, your rides are back from the dead and live to fight at least one other day!

Here are the brackets for the rest of this year's tournament:

Best Themed Ride
1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. 16. Carousel of Progress
2. Haunted Mansion vs. 15. Tom Sawyer Island
3. Pirates of the Caribbean vs. 14. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
4. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man vs. 13. Revenge of the Mummy
5. Tower of Terror vs. 12. Jungle Cruise
6. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges vs. 11. Maharajah Jungle Trek
7. Men in Black Alien Attack vs. 10. Splash Mountain
8. Toy Story Midway Mania vs. 9. Test Track

Best Roller Coaster
1. The Voyage vs. 8. Apollo's Chariot
2. Incredible Hulk Coaster vs. 7. Top Thrill Dragster
3. Manta vs. 5. Cheetah Hunt
4. Prowler vs. 5. Montu

Best Theme Park Show
1. Waterworld vs. 16. Clyde and Seamore
2. It's Tough to Be a Bug! vs. 15. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
3. Lights! Motors! Action! vs. 14. MuppetVision 3D
4. Mickey's PhilharMagic vs. 13. Shrek 4D
5. Soarin' Over California vs. 12. Terminator 2: 3D
6. Fantasmic! vs. 11. Festival of the Lion King
7. Walt Disney: One Man's Dream vs. 10. Poseidon's Fury
8. Universal's Horror Make-Up Show vs. 9. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular

And here's the match-up schedule for Round Two:

Monday, February 20: Waterworld vs. Clyde and Seamore
Tuesday, Feb. 21: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man vs. Revenge of the Mummy
Wednesday, Feb. 22: Incredible Hulk Coaster vs. Top Thrill Dragster
Thursday, Feb. 23: Soarin' Over California vs. Terminator 2: 3D
Friday, Feb. 24: Toy Story Midway Mania vs. Test Track

Monday, February 27: Mickey's PhilharMagic vs. Shrek 4D
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Haunted Mansion vs. Tom Sawyer Island
Wednesday, Feb. 29: Manta vs. Cheetah Hunt
Thursday, March 1: Lights! Motors! Action! vs. MuppetVision 3D
Friday, Mar. 2: Men in Black Alien Attack vs. Splash Mountain

Monday, March 5: Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and It's Tough to Be a Bug! vs. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
Tuesday, Mar. 6: Tower of Terror vs. Jungle Cruise and Walt Disney: One Man's Dream vs. Poseidon's Fury
Wednesday, Mar. 7: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. Carousel of Progress and The Voyage vs. Apollo's Chariot
Thursday, Mar. 8: Universal's Horror Make-Up Show vs. Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and Prowler vs. Montu
Friday, Mar. 9: Fantasmic! vs. Festival of the Lion King and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges vs. Maharajah Jungle Trek

And on Monday, March 12, Round Three begins. There will be no reseeding, so the 8/9 winners will face the 1/16 winners, and so forth. (In the coaster bracket, the 1/8 winner will face the 4/5 winner, and we'll have one fewer round.)

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far, and I can't wait for Monday! (When has anyone ever typed those words before?)

Readers' Opinions

From Melanie Howe on February 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM
Wow, that's quite the line-up!

Some of them are downright funny -- FJ vs. Carousel?? But pitting MIB against Splash is just downright mean. I may have to resort to coin-flipping for that one.....

Dom should be happy as TSM should have things pretty easy against Test Track :-)

Can't wait for the next round to start!!

From Justin M on February 17, 2012 at 1:42 PM
Haunted Mansion vs Tom Sawyer Island? Thats not even fair Im guessing less than 15% for TSI.
From Dominick D on February 17, 2012 at 2:12 PM
TSM AND STAR TOURS MADE IT?!?! I MUST BE DREAMING. Only bad part is Star Tours might not win agaisnt POTC.
From Stuart Henny on February 17, 2012 at 3:11 PM
I work Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so every week I can't wait for Monday!
From Todd Houts on February 17, 2012 at 3:35 PM
Robert,

Although we're just between Round 1 and 2 I want to thank you for another great year of this tournament. Work for me has been killer this month (and there is no let up in sight) and the tournament has been the bright spot for me daily.

I look forward to seeing how Round 2 shakes out considering the surprises from Round 1.

From James Rao on February 17, 2012 at 4:04 PM
If these attractions were all at one park it would be called PARADISE.

Spidey versus Mummy makes my stomach hurt. How can I pick one over the other????

Stiff test for Prowler coming up, so we'll see if the KC contingent of TPI is up to the challenge.

And I am all for CoP pulling the 16 v 1 upset!!! What a great, big, beautiful tomorrow it will be!!!

From Will Chilcote on February 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM
Robert,

I'm not sure what your "versus" criteria was in Best Themed Ride and Themed Show, unless it was random, but it seems that you set this up with a decided outcome in mind. It would have been more "fair" if similar attractions were to compete against each other, for example, Toy Story Midway Mania vs Men in Black Alien Attack or Splash Mountain vs.Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges or Waterworld vs Indiana Jones Stunt Show. Just my 2 cents.

However, the roller coaster category seems fair.

Will

From Dominick D on February 17, 2012 at 9:17 PM
Will, some of these like TSM and MIB were neck and neck, so it would make sense to seperate them.
From 65.24.233.153 on February 17, 2012 at 10:49 PM
How come the Roller Coaster bracket only gets 8 spots while Show and Themed Ride both get 16? There were some great coasters in the last round that should have won. I for one am still miffed Prowler beat Beast. I hope it gets destroyed in the next round!
From Robert Niles on February 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Let me try explaining this again:

The criterion for rides versus shows was simple: Do you move? In every entrant in the ride bracket, the answer to that question is 'yes'. (There is a walk-through in there, but you still move through it.)

For all but three entrants in the show bracket, the answer is "no." And for those three: On Shrek 4D you seat shakes a little, but you don't go anywhere. On Soarin', your seat moves into position before the show and back down after but never moves during the actual performance. Since there is no movement during the performance, I sent Soarin' over to the show bracket.

Poseidon's Fury was the most troubling, since you do walk through that. (Again, this was another example of an attraction I thought for sure wouldn't make it into Round Two - silly me.) But I didn't want to bump a higher-scoring ride out of the Best Ride bracket (which would have been Star Tours, FWIW) to move Poseidon over there, so I left it in the show bracket.

As for the seedings, I just listed the attractions in the order of votes they received in Round One. That's the seeding you see above. Harry Potter got the top seed as a result of its opening round bye. Shrek and Muppets were tied, so I coin-flipped them. Other than that, there were no judgment calls there - that was the easiest part of the whole tournament, because you made all those decisions with your votes!

Finally, there are 16 attractions in the Best Show bracket because I gave up trying to separate them into the planned "Live" and "Animated" brackets, which would have had eight entries each, just like the coaster bracket.

From Derek Potter on February 19, 2012 at 7:03 AM
Interesting matchups in many brackets. The coaster bracket is whack though. Speaking from true experience, there are a whole lot of great ones missing that should be here. I know this is how the voting panned out, but if we are only picking eight (eight?) I would give 4 of these consideration (Voyage, Hulk, Montu, and maybe Manta). The rest don't belong. Dragster is about the 4th best coaster at Cedar Point. Apollo might get a look from me if I hadn't ridden Millennium Force, Diamondback, and Bizarro. Cheetah Hunt has zero business being here, but is the benefactor of yet another Busch push. As for Prowler, I love a good GCI coaster, but I hesitate to put any of them above The Beast when the chips are down. I'll give it a pass though, because it's not everyday that you see a good coaster from a relatively obscure amusement park in Missouri getting through the ranks here.

That's quite an achievement...don't you think James Rao from "Near Worlds Of Fun" Missouri? :)

From Mark Fairleigh on February 19, 2012 at 8:58 AM
Looking forward to the fun! :D
From James Rao on February 19, 2012 at 5:42 PM
I will say this about Prowler, it is a coaster any true coaster fan would love to have at his or her home park. Provided Cedar Fair gives it the love and care it deserves there is no reason to think it won't rise to the same revered status as The Beast at some point in the distant future.

As for my little home town park pulling the huge upset victory over The Beast, I just have one thing to say to all those with sour grapes: GOTV!!!

(I learned from the best, eh, Derek?)

From Derek Potter on February 20, 2012 at 9:10 PM
James...good for your charge (and others) in the tournament that I've been a little off the grid these days :)

I've never ridden Prowler, but I've ridden a lot of GCI coasters, and any one of them has a lot more business being in this field than Cheetah Hunt does, or Dragster for that matter. As a matter of fact, I'll vote for it...if for no other reason than because people should realize that the theme/amusement park universe doesn't start and stop with Florida.

Here's to the little guy that gets no respect...vote for Prowler.

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