It's almost time for the 2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament
Written by Robert Niles
Spring approaches, which means that regional theme parks will start reopening soon, and that it's time for the annual Theme Park Insider Tournament.
Last year's Best Themed Ride champion: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, from Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando
In our ever-lasting quest to explore new tournament formats, we're trying yet another way of running the tournament this year. Rather than place every type of attraction under the sun against each other as we have in the past, this year we've decided to focus on the attractions that Theme Park Insiders love most: themed rides. Based on your reader ratings, and with a little executive judgment thrown in, I've selected 16 top themed rides to participate in this year's tournament.
We'll get started Monday, with daily one-on-one match-ups until we've got a champion. Each weekday, I'll present a write-up of the day's contestants, along with photos and maybe some on-ride video, too. Then it'll be up to you to vote. Each vote will be open for just 24 hours, so you'll need to visit the site every day to not miss a match-up.
If you've been on both the rides in a daily match-up, great. You'll be a most-informed voter and I'll hope that you'll speak up in the comments to make the case for your favorite. But if you've not yet ridden both contestants, please do go ahead and vote anyway. Just read the descriptions, watch the videos, see what others are saying in the comments, and go with the ride you think you'd prefer. Think of it this way: If all that information we're giving you in each post was what you knew about the rides from a guidebook, and you were suddenly transported to a theme park with both of the day's competing attractions, which one would you want to ride first? Vote for that one, then.
Here are the rides that will compete for the 2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament title (in alphabetical order):
I've created a bracket, but I'm going to refrain from labeling the rides as 1-16, in an attempt to avoid biasing the vote. Plus, I've arranged the bracket to create what I hope will be the most interesting possible match-ups throughout the tournament, rather than trying to impose a strict ranking order on the rides.
So please be here on Monday for our first match-up, and stick with us daily for the following 14 contests in this year's tournament. Let the campaigning begin!
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