Mansion over TT. Test Track is such a marginal ride, and the updated Mansion is outstanding.
Mystery Mine over Bobsleds. Disney's rides are typically themed with a storyline. MM has better thrills and theming.
Nitro vs. Raptor was harder - but I think Alpengeist and Montu are the superior inverted floorless coasters, so I went with Nitro.
Beyond that, Robert is starting to give me indigestion again with the other votes. Haunted Mansion and Test Track are two of my absolute favorites of all time. But, ultimately, I'll have to go with my #1 ride at Disneyland - The Haunted Mansion.
Now, I have a bone to pick with TPI readers. I know a lot of folks have not been to Dollywood, but Mystery Mine is FAR FAR FAR superior to the Matterhorn. Although Matterhorn is the first steel, tubular coaster - it's rough, it's slow and it's old, old, old. Mystery Mine has great theming, amazing vertical lifts, fun special effects and an amazing drop and heart line roll at the end. If Mystery Mine does not pull through this leg, I'm going to be very (and I mean VERY) disappointed with all of you!!!!
Raptor over Nitro- I've always had an affinity for Raptor. After almost 15 years, it remains one of my favorites. Still smooth and the transitions are flawless...better than the Busch Gardens pair. I'm sure Nitro is a fine ride, but Raptor gets my vote.
Haunted Mansion over Test Track- Never been a big fan of Test Track. Haunted Mansion is one of those Disney rides that stands the test of time.
Mystery Mine over Matterhorn- I can appreciate the historical significance of Matterhorn, but Mystery Mine is a more complete unique experience. Disney has enough horses in the race anyway.
Based on the look of things, I was inclined to vote for Nitro, but I am going to give Derek a bone and go with Raptor. However, it is irrelevant because whichever of these two rides wins, it will lose to Apollo's Chariot in the next round. And deservedly so.
I have Haunted Mansion going deep into the tournament, but I honestly prefer Test Track. And not just the ride itself, but also the queuing area, and the exhibits. It is a useless vote, but I am going against HM.
And I agree with Joshua, Scottland and Derek: Mystery Mine all the way. It is exciting, well themed, and has an immersive narrative. It beats the Matterhorn on every level. However, MM got bounced early last year just because so few people on this site have been to Dollywood. Come on, people, branch out a little! There are other quality THEME parks besides Disney and Universal!
The Loch Ness Monster is still a classic and an iconic ride. Yet, it has seen better years. Apollo's Chariot is a masterpiece and the best Hypercoaster in the country. Like James said, the front is one of the great ride experiences in the country.
Nitro and Raptor is a toss-up. Neither is the best of its' kind. There are better inverted coasters than Raptor. However, I am a Hypercoaster sucker so I'll go with Nitro.
I am sorry, but it shouldn't be close between the Mansion and Test Track. The Haunted Mansion is perfection. A blueprint by which other dark rides should be judged. The recent renovation has actually made it better. Test Track is a fun ride, but it is a stop and start coaster ride through a relatively barren warehouse. I will always go with 999 ghosts over traffic cones.
The last pairing is the hardest one for me. The Matterhorn Bobsleds are a classic and a trendsetter. In my opinion, the Matterhorn is better themed and more fun than Everest. Now, it is an old, creaky antique. I would love to see Disney tear out the track for it and rebuild it. Mystery Mine is terrific and both an exciting ride that is well themed. So, until Disney renovates the Matterhorn, the Mine wins this round.
Speaking of love, have I mentioned how much I love this tournament, yet? Between monitoring the vote and anxiously awaiting the new episode of LOST, getting though the day was a complete breeze!
BTW, Derek, did you see my earlier comment where I actually typed: There are other quality THEME parks besides Disney and Universal?
See, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
I love Disney and would take most of their parks over any others, but the reason I love them is because, in most cases, they have incredible theming. Such is not the case with the Matterhorn. It's very marginal. The only theming is fake snow and an abominable snowman, if I remember correctly. The seats are tiny and uncomfortable, especially when you have to wrap your legs around the person in front of you. The music in the uncovered queue is stereotypical and unbearable. It's a slow-loading clunker, and the Mine is clearly superior.
How's everyone else doing?
The real exciting votes in this first round will be in the next couple days when Maverick faces TTD, Toy Story Mania faces Kilimanjaro Safaris, Millennium Force faces Kingda Ka, and Kraken goes against Mission: Space, to name just a few. Plus the ever present Yeti Backlash discussed yesterday could haunt Expedition Everest when it squares off against BTMR in the first round....any takers on a huge upset brewing? I doubt it, but you never know.
The last two days have been relatively easy to predict...the next few days the going gets a lot tougher!
It might be interesting to do one of these tournaments in the future but eliminate all Disney attractions. Very, very interesting...
A lot of deserved love for Mystery Mine, yet it seems that the fanboys will prevail. It looks as if those who have actually ridden MM voted for the ride, and the micebrains that haven't ridden it voted for Matterhorn...lame.
Funny thing is, I am one of the biggest Micebrains there is, heck, I eat cheese continuously and sleep in an over-sized Minnie Mouse t-shirt, but even I can be objective when picking attractions. No, some voters are just casual observers hitting this site because someone in a forum somewhere said: "Hang gang, there's a tournament on TPI...go pick all Disney, or all Universal, or all Cedar Point, etc..." Problem is, when the Disney Army moves, it often leaves a trail of great attractions in its wake.
In all fairness, the Matterhorn Bobsleds do have some historical significance, and the attraction is considered by many Micebrains to be the greatest thing since Kraft Singles, so I am willing to let it go. Most of us know Mystery Mine is a better attraction, and one day, if we keep doing our job, others will know that too.
Neither attraction is going to make it out of the next round, so in the end, I guess it is irrelevant. But let's face it, two years in a row the Mystery Mine got...well...shafted.
On a late note, how did splash mountain beat Popeye and Blutos??? Boooo!!!