2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament Final: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. Haunted Mansion
Published: March 22, 2013 at 8:14 AM
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey from Universal's Islands of Adventure, which defeated Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges to reach the finals.
The Haunted Mansion from Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which emerged from the bottom half of the 16-team bracket, upsetting Pirates of the Caribbean, Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man to get here.
One of the interesting things about head-to-head tournament voting, as opposed to our normal rating and reviews is that it rewards attractions with passionate fan bases -- rides that a healthy number of visitors count as their number-one favorite, even if other visitors don't rate it that highly. (The normal rating and review data favors rides with broad support, where nearly everyone rates the attraction as near the top. If you're into sports analogies, it's the difference between racing for wins versus racing for points. *Update: The top five rides in our reader ratings are listed in the right column, underneath the top parks listings.) Clearly, Haunted Mansion enjoys one of those passionate fan bases, as it always outperforms its average overall reader rating in our annual tournaments.
But Harry Potter has its passionate fans, as well. It defeated Mansion in last year's themed ride tournament final. Will it do so again? Let's get to the vote. (We're leaving the voting open over the weekend this time, with the poll closing on Monday morning.)
Thank you to everyone who voted in this year's tournament. And I hope that everyone enjoyed our attempt to shine a little extra light on the best of the best themed rides from around the world, including many international rides that U.S. theme park visitors might not yet have had the chance to enjoy. Have a great weekend, and stay tuned as we'll be posting some new pieces on the site on Saturday and Sunday.