Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

TPI reader contest: Best reports on new parks

February 11, 2008, 9:51 PM · Planning on visiting Aquatica or Hard Rock Park during their soft openings? Want to spread the word about these new parks, and possibly make a few bucks?

Then we've got a contest for you!

I'm opening up a pair of trip report contests, starting right now. The winner of each contest will get $250, and there might be runner-up awards of $100 each, based on the number and quality of entries received.

So what's the contest? I'm looking for the best reader-written report on Aquatica and Hard Rock Park. Here's what you need to do to enter: Visit either park, either during soft opening or its first week of "official" operation. Take notes, take pictures, then post a detailed trip report here to the Blog Flume.

You'll increase your odds of winning by taking photos of the attractions at each park and posting them to the relevant attraction listing pages here on Theme Park Insider. And if you really want to make your case, shoot a video, submit it to TPI's YouTube group and embed it in your trip report. (Also, we need the attraction line-up for Aquatica submitted through our Aquatica listing page.)

I'll read all the entries and pick the winner(s). It's $250 for the best overall report for each park, and if I have a hard time picking a winner, I'll give $100 each to up to three runners-up.

Here's what I am looking for:

  • Detailed descriptions of each new attraction, ones that put these rides, shows and exhibits in context with existing attractions. Describe, compare and contrast.
  • Fresh, sharp and concise writing.
  • Vivid photography that helps readers fell like they are standing right there.
  • Early reports. In case of tie, the report submitted first wins.
  • Reports submitted under real names, not pseudonyms.

    Here's what I am not looking for:

  • Pictures and video taken in violation of parks' safety policies. (This will DQ an entry.)
  • Words or images you poached from another site. (Also a DQ.)
  • Your opinions or conclusions, without supporting evidence.
    Don't tell us what you thought -- tell us what you saw, how you physically felt and how that compared with other parks. We will decide, then, whether the park sounds worth visiting or not.

    The Aquatica contest ends March 8. [Okay, let's make it March 10 instead.] The Hard Rock Park contest ends May 3 8. I will look through Blog Flume submissions, attraction photo submissions and attraction vote comments to select the winners. The decisions will be made by myself alone and all decisions are final. Payment will be by check, in U.S. dollars. You must be a registered member of Theme Park Insider in order to post and, therefore, to be eligible.

    Have fun with this one, and I, along with other TPI readers, look forward to reading your reports!

    Replies (4)

    February 12, 2008 at 4:38 PM · Sounds like a lot of fun, Robert, though I hafta point out that you aren't giving a lot of time for that Hard Rock Park thing. The deadline is before the official opening day, and there's no guarantee at this point that the projected soft opening dates are going to be correct.

    Of course, if that's the case I'm sure you'll change the due dates.

    Really, I just wanted to say that it sounded like a lot of fun.

    February 12, 2008 at 5:45 PM · Oh, yeah, the due dates are based on current projections of when the parks will be open. If Hard Rock slides on its soft opening dates, I'll push back the deadline.
    February 12, 2008 at 5:59 PM · Robert, please give us some more time. Especially on Aquatica. Clearly the reports will be far more comprehensive. Give us the month of March. The quality of response will be worth the extended deadline.
    February 12, 2008 at 6:51 PM · This makes me really want the 3 month job that his dangling in front of me in Columbia, SC. Me and my possible co-workers are talking about going over to Hard Rock!!!!

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