I MIGHT get on SkyRush in a couple of weeks, but far from definite.
Surely the vast majority of people judge attractions on the basis of what they've seen or heard about them? That's one of the ways they decide where to invest their time and money in visiting. It's certainly the initial battle that Disney, Universal, et al, have to win - persuading potential punters AT A DISTANCE that their attractions are better than anyone else's. So surely asking people to vote on attractions that the majority can't have experienced first hand you have to accept that people will vote on what what looks good to them...
Only once the attractions have been open some years and you have a reasonable number of people who have experienced most of them can you seriously make a comparative poll limited only to those who have first hand knowledge.
We do plenty of polls and tournaments for people to play along with second-hand impressions. But we'd like to keep the ratings and reviews only to those who have first-hand experience with the location they're rating.
For more, here is our guidelines for submitting ratings and reviews on Theme Park Insider.
And with a global readership, I'm sure we'll get a reasonable number of votes from people who've been on the top new rides in time for the July 2 vote cut-off.
This right here is how it should be. It disappoints me when people vote for an attraction just because they love Disney, or vote against it just to see a Disney attraction lose.
I'm a Disney fan first, but in no way shape or form can I vote for (just as an example) Little Mermaid over Tranformers. I'm not even a fan of Michael Bay's Transformers... but Hollywood's soft open showed me and my friends what Universal is more than capable of... a great blend of 3D and actual physical effects and AA's. And this is coming from someone who doesn't really care for 3D in movies or attractions. I'd actually take Transformers over Star Tours (again, this is coming from a Star Wars fan). But if you asked me to vote for Fantasmic! versus Universal's Cinematic Spectacular? Fantasmic! wins everytime.
Blind brand loyalty never made sense to me.
I too would prefer to see reviews of rides from people who have actually experienced them. In fact I'd go as far as to say that it can't be considered a review unless it's written from a first hand perspective. Equally any rating of a ride has to be following actual experience.
My question is more to do with the fact that these ratings are then used in a competitive way to announce awards. I'm kind of ambivalent about awards based on what is likely to be a relatively small number of reviews initially. My hunch is that there'll be lots of reviews for Transformers, (all of them 10 out of 10), but not many for Shambhala, for example, just because of the geographical location and the US-centric nature of most theme park websites, (that's not meant to be a criticism by the way - you guys have the best theme parks in the world for the most part of far more of them than anywhere else). I'm not sure I have a solution but I was just trying to raise a discussion about the whole process of ranking and comparing different attractions when inevitably very few people will have personal experience of more than a handful. I clearly didn't express my self very well so I apologise for that...