I will not call out which contests I am talking about... sometimes it just seems like people are voting without riding both rides.
It is like people who review movies before they come out... they give it 5 stars and say... this movie is going to be soooo great... happens on netflix all the time.
Besides, it might as well be a historic landmark.
Disney Dominates. And that's the way it should be...
Apollo's Chariot vs. Dinosaur! That's tough! But Apollo is just so dang exciting. Disney does not always need to win.
And MIB vs. Matterhorn??? C'mon people!! MIB is absolutely the BEST. The Matterhorn is a classic, yes, but MIB MUST win!!
This was an especially tough day, because I'm watching Jaws, Kilimanjaro, and Dinosaur up against rides I haven't ridden yet. And I'm watching the incredible MIB lose to the fun, but dated and rather plain, Matterhorn.
I still can't believe Big Thunder lost to Test Track, and that Spaceship Earth came so close to beating Dragster. The WDW fans are out in full effect.
Now for where I disagree (paraphrased from one of my previous postings):
I think the main thing a good theme does is it immerses you into the story. Where Everest is concerned, you are no longer Joe Vactioneer from Kansas City on yet another coaster with a long drop and some airtime, you are an explorer about to have an encounter with the fabled Yeti. It is called escapism. Good movies do it, good music does it, and good theme parks do it.
If I just wanted to ride thrill rides I could drive over to my local Cedar Fair park, Worlds of Fun, and ride their coasters and midway rides all day long. But there is nothing immersive about the park. No matter what I ride or how thrilling it is, I am still just passing time in a stationary carnival off of I-435, minutes from my house.
It is all in the immersion. That's why Walt Disney World is the #1 vacation destination in the world. And, that's why Expedition Everest is better than other more thrilling coasters: it offers thrills, chills, AND a great, immersive story. Other coasters just offer a ride. Maybe a great ride. Maybe a heart stopping plunge, or a killer loop, but you know what, I can get that same heart stopping plunge or killer loop at 50 parks across the United States. I can only get the Expedition Everest experience at one park.
But this is the first time I've done a tournament. =:-0 So I, purposely, was a bit vague about the criteria people should use for making a decision. I wanted to see how it went. Next year, there will be tweaks. I have some in mind already. ( I wrote about the kiddie rides yesterday, for example.)
In an ideal world, all of us will have been to the top 30 parks linked on the right side of the page, and be able to make an informed judgment about the relative merit of all the rides at them. What I love about this site is that so many readers actually are in the ballpark of having done that (especially the North American parks).
As for the comments above about Expedition Everest, I.. well.. the story is great, the theming is excellent, the Yeti is impressive, the mountain is awe-inspiring, the actual ride.. is completely lackluster. I do agree with all your praise for it except that I have never experienced neither thrills nor chills during Expedition Everest. I'm not gonna lie, I've probably gotten more thrills on Primeval Whirl.
I do agree that Men in Black should win, though. It's far and away the best shooter ride I've seen. I love that you shoot aliens, not targets. The Matterhorn is great too, but a simpler experience.
Spoken like a true fanboy. Have you actually ridden any non Disney rides?
Seriously people. Apollos Chariot is one of the best steel roller coasters in the world. The fact that it is losing to Dinosaur is a testament to the Disney superfan turnout. Thankfully, Disney isn't the only one around here with a loyal fanbase that probably hasn't ridden half the rides they are voting on, although it seems like every ride Disney owns is in the tournament. I know it's based on the ride ratings here at TPI, but there are plenty of other great rides around that are taking a backseat to the C rated darkride.
A vote uncharacteristic of me was the choice of Jaws over Griffon. Jaws is one of those attractions that I can appreciate for some odd reason. It's been years since I've ridden it, but for some reason I remember it like it was yesterday. Griffon, for all of it's hype, comes off as a bit of a one trick pony to me. Some rides are meant to be like that (Dragster), but Griffons trick isn't nearly as impressive, and the ride is a bit short. Great experience, but for some odd reason, the coaster lover preferred Jaws in this case.
I also went for the Matterhorn out of respect. The ride is 50 years old, but was an absolute groundbreaker, and is the grandfather of all steel coasters. MIB is a fun ride too, but went with Matterhorn, and also Kilimanjaro.
As for Dragster's victory, I'll just say this. Just like there are plenty of Disney fanboys, there is a horde of Cedar Point superfans too. Don't underestimate the cult following of the Point. In my opinion, the better ride won, but I figured there would be some kind of static. Lord forbid a Disney ride actually loses to a Cedar Point ride right? I really doubt there has been any ballot stuffing though, that would be a bit pathetic. It really is all in fun people.
Of course all the voters haven't ridden all the rides they are voting on. It's a bit skewed that way. I'm staying out of contests that involve rides I havent ridden, although my travels have taken me to all of them so far. Honestly it appears that all one pretty much has to do is travel to LA, Ohio, and the Orlando/Tampa area to have first hand experience on the rides in the tournament, and that to me is a bit of a shame. I understand that the picks are based on TPI ratings, and that many of the other regional rides probably don't have enough votes to be eligible anyway. Thus is the current democratic process I suppose.