2007 'Theme Park Insider Awards' announced

July 2, 2007, 11:38 AM · You rated 'em, and I sent out the press release:

Internet readers have selected the Mystery Mine roller coaster at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. as the year's best new theme park attraction and, for the second year, picked Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Va. as the world's best theme park.

ThemeParkInsider.com selected the winners of the sixth annual Theme Park Insider Awards based on ratings submitted by the site's more than 15,000 registered members over the past 12 months. In other awards, site readers selected Disney's Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World as the world's best theme park hotel and, for the fifth consecutive year, picked Mythos Restaurant at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla. as the world's best theme park restaurant.

Busch Gardens Europe won the Best Theme Park award for the second year, based on the strength of high reader ratings for new attractions such as Griffon, a Bolliger & Mabillard roller coaster that opened this spring and “Curse of DarKastle,” the 2005 Theme Park Insider Award winner for Best New Attraction, as well as consistently high ratings for in-park dining.

Theme Park Insider readers raved about Dollywood's “Mystery Mine,” a Gerstlauer coaster that opened in April of this year, describing it as “a fun and intense ride that provides two different experiences. The indoor part is well-themed and intense while the outdoor part is crazy and twisted.” Other readers praised the ride's “great theme” while calling it "by far the best coaster I've been on" and "Dollywood's best investment by far."

Disney's Polynesian Resort wrested the Best Theme Park Hotel award from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which had won the award for the past two years. Theme Park Insider readers raved about the Polynesian's “excellent service” and “gorgeous grounds.” One reader wrote: “When you're at Disney World, and you want to stay in a tropical setting where you can just enjoy yourself, then the Polynesian is the place for you. My family loved it.”

Mythos Restaurant continued its winning streak by fighting off strong challenges from Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld Orlando and the Teppanyaki Dining Room at Walt Disney World's Epcot. Readers raved: "Mythos is hands down the best theme park restaurant anywhere on the globe. The specials and signature dishes are remarkable compared to any other." Another noted, "Resist the temptation and don't order a comfort food. Mythos has the menu designed by a fine chef for a reason and it shines when you step outside your normal [theme park] fare."

Thanks again to all Theme Park Insider members for another great 12 months. Here's looking toward many improvements, both at the parks and on the site, in the next 12 months!

Replies (11)

July 2, 2007 at 11:49 AM · I really gotta check out that Mythos!
July 2, 2007 at 1:09 PM · I really wish that there was an option to vote for hotel food, because restaurants like Boma and Citricos blow Mythos and any other in-park restaurants out of the water.

And is Mystery Mine that good? I saw a video and I have to say - it looked hokey.

July 2, 2007 at 1:10 PM · Damn, the British failed again...

Still at least IOA has an award.

July 2, 2007 at 1:18 PM · Fifth Year in a row that Mythos has been voted number one themed park restaurant is quite remarkable. It's incredible that one restaurant was able to stand out above all others, new and old for five years consecutively, hats off to the crew of Mythos for five years of great food, a good atmosphere, and great service.
July 2, 2007 at 2:31 PM · Boma has lost some of it's umph the past year or so. A change in menu and a scale down on its once outstanding dessert bar has dropped it a few notches on my list. My wife and I frequent Mythos and one thing you must know about them is they LISTEN to their customers!

If they make a change to the menu and get constructive feedback that the items they took off are missed, they quickly make a change, thus the fact that the famous Banana Chocolate Gooey Cake is STILL a local favorite after a short time off the menu.

Kudos to Mythos. They really are that good!

July 2, 2007 at 2:49 PM · I keep going back on forth on whether to include all "on property" restaurants in the theme park restaurant category, which would bring in the Downtown Disney/CityWalk-type venues as well those at the hotels. My concern has been not getting votes for those locations, but if I get enough time this fall to incorporate those into the database, I'm becoming more convinced that there's a demand to read about and rate them, so I will try to do that.

That said, this is emerging as the second most-competitive category, after best park. Mythos is gonna have to keep stepping it up to get a sixth-straight award!

July 2, 2007 at 5:42 PM · If only Mythos was open later year around. I also wish they changed the menu once in a while, they always seem to have the same items. However, the theming, the service and the food are outstanding.
July 3, 2007 at 5:31 AM · Hi- Is Mythos only open for lunch? I'm confused on the hours. Will be at IOA for wife's birthday and considering taking the family to Mythos.


July 3, 2007 at 10:41 AM · Hey Robert,
Where does this Press release go out to???
July 4, 2007 at 5:53 PM · Kevin.....Mythos is open for lunch. So you can take your wife. I have been to IOA many times and have season passes, but have never tried Mythos. Looked to go there a few times and never did, but you can bet I am going to try it now!
July 5, 2007 at 9:04 AM · Congratulations to my well-loved "home" park, Busch Gardens Europe, for garnering top honors again this year!

For a great all-around experience, encompassing themeing, customer service, shows, and family fun, PLUS thrill rides, it's hard to top BGE. Also, there's something very "repeatable" about the experience there -- we go often and never tire of the park. If it's crowded, we skip the big rides and go to shows or just enjoy walking around or riding things like the train and skyride. If it's not crowded, we hit all the coasters and big thrill rides -- sometimes over and over!

Keep up the good work, Busch Entertainment!

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