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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Haunted Mansion vs. Tom Sawyer's Island

Written by
Published: February 28, 2012 at 10:17 AM

And now, for the blow out.

Our second-round match-up today in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament pits the defending Best Themed Ride champion and the attraction that gained the most votes in Round One, against my former home at the Walt Disney World Resort and the setting for about a third of the stories in my book about working at Disney, Stories from the Theme Park Insider.

It's Haunted Mansion (at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and at Disneyland Paris as Phantom Manor)

Haunted Mansion

versus

Tom Saywer's Island (at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland).

Tom Saywer's Island

I weep gently into my keyboard for today's result. :^(

Do me a favor, please, as you vote Haunted Mansion onto the next round? Think a good thought about my dear island, and maybe leave a pleasant comment, too. Humor an old raft driver as he watches his island sink into the abyss. Foolish mortal, indeed.


Tomorrow: We got a surf n' turf roller coaster battle as Manta takes on Cheetah Hunt.

Readers' Opinions

From Jack Curley on February 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM
TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI! TSI!
From Dominick D on February 28, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Sorry Robert. As much as I love TSI (I always spend 40-60 minutes there), Haunted Mansion is a great ride and one of my favorites. Also Spiderman fans, Universal is gonna make a Spiderman announcement today.
From Tyler Stover on February 28, 2012 at 10:35 AM
At the recent Dapper Day at Disneyland we spent a good hour or so on TSI with fellow dapper guests and had a great time. Sadly, it has the misfortune of being paired against the unequaled HM and I just have to vote for Haunted, one of the greatest attractions of all time.
From Mark Fairleigh on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Tom Sawyer is neat, but HM is classic. No contest here.
From Justin M on February 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM
So far my prediction of TSI getting less than 15% is holding true!
From James Rao on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Sorry, Robert, even my deep respect for you (man-crush) won't allow me to go against the Mansion.
From 199.193.10.250 on February 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM
I haven't visited Tom Sawyer's Island in ages. Nothing against the island, I just can't stand the idea of waiting on those rafts.
From 198.151.130.138 on February 28, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Its an unfortunate turn of circumstances for Tom Sawyer's Island having to go up against a Goliath in the Haunted Mansion, because even to this day I still have a blast going around the Island to kill some time. Best of luck Tom Sawyer
From Robert Niles on February 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM
So now the question becomes... which will be the larger number? TSI's final vote in this contest or my personal record for people loaded onto a single TSI raft?

(Eternal gratitude to regular readers who know what that over/under number is from memory.)

From Tim Odom on February 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM
I have to say, this vote was tough. If it were not for TSI, we would not have this site, thus we would not have this tournament. I mean, where would we be without TSI? All those wonderful stories Mr. Niles tells of dashing adventures, those are memories we all share from TSI. I debated this vote for hours...

No, seriously, I voted for Haunted Mansion in about 2 seconds of looking at the vote. But, I did not want Mr. Niles to feel bad.

From Andrew Carrieri on February 28, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I am a big fan of Mark Twain's writing so I'm going to go against the grain by voting for...the Haunted Mansion. Sorry Tom Sawyer but there's no contest here.
From Andrew Mooney on February 28, 2012 at 1:42 PM
If memory serve me well, it was 90 people you loaded onto the raft, Robert. Oh dear, I felt more comfortable answering about Robert's World Record attempt :P than maths knowledge for my exams on Thursday and Friday.
From Mike Gallagher on February 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM
Closer than I thought it would be. ;)

HM for me.

From 97.104.194.146 on February 28, 2012 at 3:33 PM
In fairness to the Robert's raft record. Tom Sawyer should have been knocked out in the first round by Camp Jurrasic if IOA had MK's attendance or more people stopped with their butter beers to soak in THE BEST THEME PARK PLAYGROUND, not that I'm bitter. Also isnt TSI one of the possible next expansion plans for MK after fantasyland as it does occupy alot of prime real estate without the guest count to truly merit it
From Will Chilcote on February 28, 2012 at 3:54 PM
no brainer here. Haunted Mansion FTW.
From Rod Whitenack on February 28, 2012 at 3:58 PM
I love Tom Sawyer's Island. It's the greatest, most organic and well themed play area ever conceived and constructed. I was the reader who dreamed of over night camping adventures on Tom Sawyer's Island. At the end of the day, however, it's still a play area. It's not a living dream or a completely immersive experience. I had an exciting adventure on Tom Sawyer's Island as a child, but the Haunted Mansion changed my life. The Haunted Mansion got into my dreams and stuck with me for the rest of my life. I'm sorry, Robert, but this isn't your day. :)
From Giovanny Cruz on February 28, 2012 at 4:06 PM
Dang this is not an even battle like not at all when I voted it was haunted mansion 91 percent and tom sayer island 9 percent
From Robert Niles on February 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM
4:30 in LA, and we're not even to the SOP capacity of a TSI raft yet. Sigh. ;^)
From 69.155.122.173 on February 28, 2012 at 7:20 PM
Yes, I do love Tom Sawyer Island. I love it more than just about any ride at Six Flags, and even than many Disney attractions. The problem is that it is against the single best ride that is or ever will be created: The Haunted Mansion. If HM is being refurbished, we do not go to the park. I would rather be riding the HM than just about anything else. If they ever replace the ghost host with another announcer, I will chain myself to the doom buggy in protest.
From David Kirby on February 28, 2012 at 9:54 PM
Tom Sawyer Island? Never heard of it.

Oh! Wait! That's the big island they built for the Jack Sparrow meet and greet at Disneyland, isn't it! I love Johnny Depp so I voted for that island thing.

From Robert Niles on February 28, 2012 at 10:05 PM
David's trying to either kill me or send me on a murderous rampage, isn't he?
From Rob P on February 29, 2012 at 6:27 AM
I voted for Haunted Mansion but I like these two attractions equally. What tipped the scales was the introduction of pirates to Tom Sawyer's Island.
It was , for me, an unnecessary and unwanted move away from the Tom Sawyer theme. When did we last see 17th Century pirates attacking a Mississippi paddle steamer I wonder ? Fiddle dee dee I say !

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