Tokyo, Hong Kong parks lead the 12th annual Theme Park Insider Awards
For the past year, you've voted with your ratings of the world's most popular theme park attractions here on Theme Park Insider. And today, for the 12th consecutive year, we are pleased to announce the winners of the Theme Park Insider Awards
, the best of the best in the global theme park industry, voted on by you, the world's best theme park fans.
We used the cumulative ratings submitted over the past year by Theme Park Insider readers to determine the winners in four categories: Best Theme Park, Best Hotel, Best Restaurant and Best New Attraction.
We determined the Best Theme Park award by determining which parks had the largest number of highly-rated attractions that received more than a minimum number of ratings. In the other three categories, the eligible location with the highest average reader rating, given at least a minimum number of ratings, was declared the winner. We considered only table-service restaurants in the Best Restaurant category, "official" on-site hotels for Best Hotel, and attractions that opened officially since July 1, 2012 in the Best New Attraction category.
With those techie details aside, let's get to this year's winners!
Best Theme Park:
This is the third overall Theme Park Insider Award for Best Theme Park for Tokyo DisneySea, and second in a row.
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel
This is the third overall Theme Park Insider Award for Best Hotel for the Portofino Bay, which last won in 2009.
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
S.S. Columbia Dining Room, Tokyo DisneySea
This is the first Theme Park Insider Award for the S.S. Columbia Dining Room, which is the first restaurant outside the United States to win our Best Restaurant award.
Carthay Circle Restaurant, Disney California Adventure
Lombard's Seafood Grille, Universal Studios Florida
Best New Attraction:
Mystic Manor, Hong Kong Disneyland
This is the second year in a row that an attraction outside the United States has won the Best New Attraction award, following Universal Studios Singapore's Transformers: The Ride (which shared the award with its sister attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood).
Outlaw Run, Silver Dollar City
Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Hong Kong Disneyland
For the first time, a majority of our winners represent parks outside the United States, with the Tokyo Disney Resort claiming two of the four awards, and Hong Kong Disneyland claiming the third honor. Universal Orlando kept the American theme parks from being shut out, as Universal Orlando returned to winning after a one-year absence last year, which followed an 11-year streak of winning at least one Theme Park Insider Award every year.
Including the runners-up honors, here is how this year's top theme park resorts fared:
- Tokyo Disney Resort - 2 winners
- Hong Kong Disneyland - 1 winner, 1 runner-up
- Universal Orlando Resort - 1 winner, 1 runner-up
- Disneyland Resort - 4 runners-up
- Silver Dollar City - 1 runner-up
- Walt Disney World Resort - 1 runner-up
Congratulations to all of these parks, and to all the people who help make them award-winning destinations!
Great to see Portofino win. We'll be there Sept. 21 to Oct. 4th. Disney Seas seem to be the best theme park in the world at this point. But Universal might give it a bit of a challenge once Diagon Alley opens. Glad to see Lombard's Seafood Restaurant get some recognition. Its an excellent restaurant. Nice theme and good food at an affordable price.
With the winner and other runner-up going to rides at Hong Kong Disneyland, I wanted to point out that, technically, I suppose one could say that we've voted Outlaw Run the best new attraction of the year in America.
I knew Tokyo DisneySea was going to win. Glad to see Portofino Bay win best hotel!
It speaks volumes as to how Disney and Iger are ignoring the WDW with the overseas parks winning so much. Unfortunately, I think this will continue and WDW will continue to go down the drain.
Kudos to Outlaw Run and Silver Dollar City! What an honor for such a humble, Midwest theme park to be among such prestigious company. And for those of you who have doubts, I strongly urge you to visit the best theme park west of Orlando and East of Anaheim and learn first hand why Silver Dollar City is such a special place.
Nothing surprising here. Quality won out, as should always be the case.
To the Anonymous poster above:
Great awards folks! As someone who is a domestic frequenter of theme parks and avid follower of this website, I'd like to see things broken in separate categories next year, similar to airline travel awards. Domestic vs. international, including overall. The will help keep the domestic only folks excited and engaged, while providing great international insight as well.
Tokyo DisneySea wins yet again, and although a lot of us haven't visited that park I can see why it should win. Hopefully one day soon, I'll get to visit that park.
Honestly, Disneyland should have won as best overall theme park. Since most readers of this site have not visited DisneySea, why vote solely based on reputation? You should vote for things you have experienced first hand, not through YouTube videos.
Actually, a good number of Theme Park Insider readers have been to DisneySea. That's one of the great strengths of the Internet — it's international reach. I've worked hard over the past few years to increase the site's international readership, because I think it's important for theme park fans to know what's happening around the world. Information helps customers find better choices, or, at least, to have more confidence that the choice they've made is the right one for them.
It's sad to see no love for WDW at all but there is indeed nothing there that can compete with the winners. Yes new fantasy land and tangled toilets emerged but it's very mediocre. It is a mitch match of different movies and theming. That is not what makes a good land like the lands in Disney Sea do exceptionally good and why Cars land and Harry Potter land makes them so beloved by guests. The whole Belle cottage experience is (minus the magic mirror) painful to watch and the story is even broken because you are supposedly magically transported to the beasts castle but after exiting you are in front of the castle without a mirror. That is bad story telling not Disney worthy.
Was thinking for the restaurants next year it gets divided into three groups to compare apples to apples.
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