2009 Best Ride in America Tournament: the final

April 6, 2009, 6:47 AM · This is it: The finals of the Best Ride in America Tournament here on Theme Park Insider.

After three weeks and 62 match-ups, we are down to this one: Cedar Point's Millennium Force versus Universal Studios Florida's Revenge of the Mummy.

If you predicted at the beginning of the tournament that this would be the final match-up, well, you're lying. ;-)

This is a classic battle, though: Thrills versus theme; regional park versus Orlando park; amusement park company versus entertainment conglomerate, Cedar Point's Facebook followers versus Universal Orlando's.

We will know by 9 pm tonight (Pacific Time) soon which one you have picked as the Best Ride in America. So come vote, and join the debate in the comments.

[Update: There appears to be an attack being launched against the site from servers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which I assume is the result of Cedar Point fanboys. Therefore, I've blocked access from those IPs and am about to close this thing to protect the rest of the site. Stay classy, Bowling Green.

Update 2: This has been fun, folks. But I need to protect the site and keep the services running. So we're shutting this down. Great run from everyone, and we'll use some new tools for this next year.

Update 3: I do want to apologize to everyone for having to shut this down early, after I saw what looked like the beginnings of an automated attack. I will point out, though, that voting was open for more than eight hours, so cut us some slack, okay?

Update 4: I want to offer one more, final apology for what happened with this poll. As the editor of the site, I have access to referral logs that tell me everyone who is linking to the site. I want to thank everyone who was involved in getting out the vote for this tournament. You helped us have a lot of fun and I am more grateful to you than you could realize.

That said, I became concerned when some of the discussions on some fan websites became more focused on cheating the poll than getting out the vote. In fact, yesterday, people on at least one fan website had found a way to vote multiple times in the poll.

Let me also say that the people running the official park websites and Facebook pages were nothing but cool and totally above board in dealing with me and with the site. They had nothing to do with any funny business and are total pros.

I was ready to let the discovery about how to cheat the poll go, since the percentage of votes for each side was not out of line with percentage of referrals coming from the various official park and Facebook pages. But when I got wind of some conversations about using automated agents to game the poll, then saw a new bot in my log files that I hadn't seen before, around the time the site started having performance issues, well, I freaked out.

With a potentially compromised poll, and a potential overload of the website, I just didn't see the upside of continuing with the poll any longer.

Again, I apologize. And I have been taking notes, and have a list of features that I will build into a new tool to replace the poll tool we used this year, so I can rest more assured that cheating will not happen in the future.

Thank you, again, to everyone who played fair, got out the vote and came to chat about their favorites. I hope you had a great time. I know that, up until yesterday, I did. Thank you, again, and I hope we'll see you all around Theme Park Insider on a regular basis in the future. - Robert ]

Thanks to everyone who participated in this year's tournament, and I hope to see you next year for the new format.

Replies (138)

April 6, 2009 at 6:55 AM · Millennium all the way!!!
April 6, 2009 at 7:07 AM · after going through this tournament for my first time this year.. ive seen alot of great rides get the boot.. but between these two. Revenge of the Mummy has my vote because it has all the elements to be the best ride and to me . it takes more than just a coaster to become great.. which ROTM has..
April 6, 2009 at 7:14 AM · ROTM all the way!!

This will be an interesting day!

April 6, 2009 at 7:15 AM · 68 votes in and it looks like it's going to be a close one! I voted for Revenge of the Mummy for the same reason as I did last round. A pretty good thrill and an amazing theme beat just a really big thrill for me.
April 6, 2009 at 7:15 AM · I waited in line for 4 hours and 38 minutes on opening day 2000 for front car on Millennium Force. It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life. I could ride it over and over again. It is still just as smooth as it was then. It consistently delivers awesome airtime and amazing speed. Nothing beats a ride at night during Halloweekends when the air is cool and full of fog.
April 6, 2009 at 7:18 AM · This particular matchup is a no-brainer for me. There are several other themed rides that I would have to do some more thinking with regard to my vote but this one's cut and dried for me: Millennium Force.

But, Universtal sent a message to all of their Facebook fanbase yesterday with a promise of more to come today. CP didn't and with only half the fan-base as Universal, MF may not be able to hold it's lead on this matchup!

April 6, 2009 at 7:27 AM · Universal Orlando's Facebook has sent a vote request out asking for early votes.
UPDATE - Looks like the fans responded. ROTM takes an early lead!
UPDATE - Wow, CP have some good fans out there. 60% 40% now.
I am going to have to log out otherwise this will drive me insane all day and there is work to be done!!
April 6, 2009 at 7:21 AM · This is going to be a pretty close final.

In the end I'm going to say millennium force.

April 6, 2009 at 7:29 AM · Neither one of these rides deserve to be here. Period.
April 6, 2009 at 7:39 AM · Revenge of the Mummy is good. Millenium Force is better. I'll take the world's greatest roller coaster over anything anyday. It's the perfect coaster experience. Millenium all the way.
April 6, 2009 at 7:41 AM · I am a Cedar Point fan. I am a Universal Orlando fan. I am very thankful that both parks exist and I would spend a week a year at each if I could. But we're voting on rides here, not parks.

Both rides are incredible - but which one is "best?"

Ultimately - I'm going to weigh in on the combo of thrills AND theme.

I'm giving it to Revenge of the Mummy.

Robert - this has been incredibly enjoyable. Although you've had many complaints, stress-outs, anger, and cries of "unfair" from your TPI fans, I'd like to be the first to congratulate you on a thoroughly wonderful battle. This was more fun than last year and I loved hearing all the comments as well as your responses and thoughts for next year's contest.

Thank you for taking our minds off of this dreary economy and giving those of us with a passion for theme AND amusement parks the opporunity to gather and have our voice heard.

And about that Mystery Mine...

April 6, 2009 at 7:46 AM · This is easy... It comes down to the hands down best ride at one of the greatest park on earth, or a ride that is one of the best rides at another very great park. The answer is Millennium Force!
This is going to be fun to see who comes out on top.
April 6, 2009 at 7:54 AM · ROTM is a theme park innovation, a coaster is a coaster. Now, I am sure I will get slammed for saying this and before you begin to judge, just remember, that I am a huge coaster junkie, have been around the country and ridden most of the rides in this tournament and will choose a coaster over most things to do in life; but I have to give my vote to a themed ride. The immersion factor in a themed ride is more powerful than a coaster anyday since the buzz of a good coaster wears off quicker than the impression made by an immersion ride. Can't believe Spidey isn't at the top this year and must say that I think it has a lot to do with skewed results, but we all have a right to vote, here, and it shouldn't be the same TPI readers in each contest, making the results homogenous. Its been great reading the posts of newbie and old board users alike. Best of luck Orlando fans, and best luck to you as well CP riders. With all fairness and loyalties aside...May the most people voting for an entry win!!!
April 6, 2009 at 8:04 AM · Great job Robert. On a fun tourament. My final vote goes to Millenium Force. I am partial to coasters over Themed atractions and MF is the best out there.
April 6, 2009 at 8:08 AM · I am going to agree with Scottland and a few others who have already posted: I'll take thrills + theme over thrills alone any day. While I don't think RotM at USF is the best ride in North America, it is a great attraction, and the best ride in this match-up (and yes, I have ridden both).

I am also going to second Scottland's note of gratitude: great job Mr. Niles on this contest and for keeping us sane and focused. Thanks for the entertaining past few weeks!

Lastly, Robert, make sure to keep the polls open for the late arriving Universal employee rush. The Florida parks are open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM EDT, so give 'em some time to get home and vote! Not everyone can alt-tab to vote while they should be working!

April 6, 2009 at 8:14 AM · I have enjoyed this contest too, but I won’t be voting today as my favourite is out. I enjoy Mummy, but not as mush as Spiderman and having watched videos on You Tube I can see MF looks good, but can't really appreciate what makes it so special that it would deserve to win (haven't experienced it myself).

All in all as I haven't been on MF and I don't think Mummy is as good as Spiderman so I won't be voting in this round. May the best ride win!

I also have to say that I am so looking forward to next years contest.

April 6, 2009 at 8:19 AM · I'm just a big kid.

I want my Mummy ;)

Weird voting sessions so far. Mill too the lead, ROTM overtook slightly, Mill, grab it back and took a nice big lead, and just lost it again.

Great contest so far

Robert, how many votes did you get in last years final?

April 6, 2009 at 8:22 AM · Almost 1300 last year, but that has been getting pasted since Cedar Fair and Universal have taken an active interest in the proceedings.
April 6, 2009 at 8:25 AM · Yeah, its a good thing too. Just over a couple of hours in and nearly 500 already, I think its going to top that!
April 6, 2009 at 8:31 AM · Congrats Robert on a very public braket tourniment this year. I wonder if we will see these results for the TPI awards.

I agree with the person who thought neither two should have been in the final two, but thats the way the chips fell. I also have to disagree with the poster who said CP is the greatest park ever. I don't think so, but thats just my opinion.

Its good that we have two roller coasters in the final two since you can compare. However, this is THEME Park Insider, not AMUSEMENT Park Insider so theme is the key. Of course ROTM takes the cake in that aspect for me. MF is an awesome roller coaster. I would have to be dumb for not admitting credit where its due, but then again, its just a roller coaster. ROTM takes the roller coaster aspect and turns it on its head with theming, animatronics, fire, sound, etc.

So its ROTM for me!

April 6, 2009 at 8:36 AM · Come on people! While I love a good themed attraction, ROTM is simply not as good a ride as MF. ROTM is great and has achieved Top 2 status regardless of how the final poll tallies, but it does not deserve to be number 1.

MF provides an amazing ride that leaves you in awe. The coaster portion of ROTM just doesn't come anywhere near the MF experience. If it did, then it should take the number 1 spot. But it doesn't, so it shouldn't.

April 6, 2009 at 8:36 AM · Mummy is running away with this match-up!


April 6, 2009 at 8:42 AM · Cedar Point haven't updated their FB page yet, maybe the "webMaster" is still in bed?
April 6, 2009 at 8:49 AM · Wow, Millennium is taking quite the beating. Ah well, I'm glad to see it in the finals. Great tournament, and I definitely look forward to sticking around here and voting next year.
April 6, 2009 at 8:59 AM · MF=Stalin

Mummy= Ronald Regan

Consider this before you cast your vote.

April 6, 2009 at 9:01 AM · lol @ Brian.

12 EST, 70% Mummy

April 6, 2009 at 9:02 AM · Looks like all the pissy posters here are voting for ROTM. It's ridiculous how people will vote for an inferior ride just to see MF lose. There's a reason it's the 2nd best steel coaster in the world, it's just that good.
April 6, 2009 at 9:07 AM · Word is out on the CP forums now. Things could start to change quickly.
April 6, 2009 at 9:07 AM · CP just posted an update on Facebook.

Lets see if it turns around, but Mummy does have a very nice lead!

April 6, 2009 at 9:13 AM · I too have rode both MF and ROTM. My vote goes to ROTM because like someone said before me, a coaster is a wonderful ride, but to enhance a coaster with theming is even better. Don't get me wrong the drops and airtime on MF are amazing but the special effects used in ROTM leave a lasting impression on me. Maybe liking the movie the ride is based on too happens to help with my decision as well. You gotta hand it to Universal for coming up with the concept of putting a roller coaster/dark ride to the theme of The Mummy.
April 6, 2009 at 9:14 AM · Millenium is awesome baby!
April 6, 2009 at 9:17 AM · There were more than 100 votes registered in the last two minutes.
April 6, 2009 at 9:24 AM · CP didn't send out a notification like Universal did. So, you'd have to navigate away from FB to the CP Facebook to see their posting. Universal sent a notification to all of their fans and on a weekend. Marketing wise, Universal wins hands down.

Still pulling for MF over RotM, though!

April 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM · id rather have a great thrill giong down a huuuge hill than a small thrill with a cheesy and fake theme so obviously i voted for the millenium force!
April 6, 2009 at 9:26 AM · I've a feeling it's not over yet. Good early turnout for Universal though. It strikes me as strange that Mummy is currently "running away" with this one, and Spiderman was never in the lead against Millennium.

Anyway, Millennium Force has been my horse from the start of the tourney. I've heaped praise on it all tournament long. I guess one more time won't hurt. 300 feet high at 80 degrees, 94 mph, silky smooth design, airtime, inverted curves, and a sideless stadium style train that makes you feel like there isn't a train beneath you at all. Mummy gets credit for use of effects and theming, and it is one of the best rides in Universal Orlando, but after a couple of rides, the intended effect is all but gone. I defy you to unboard Millennium Force unaffected...even after several rides. MF all the way.

This tournament has been a lot of fun. Thanks to all who came to vote and support their favorite rides.

April 6, 2009 at 9:34 AM · Maybe I'm just a MF fan because I work for them?
April 6, 2009 at 9:35 AM · guess more people have ridden the mummy vs MF. Granted cp has a six month shorter season. Can u factor that into the vote?
April 6, 2009 at 9:49 AM · thrill trumps theme ANY day. theme parks are simply repackaging, and reselling to you stuff that you've probably already bought. coasters and true amusement parks are focused on the ride itself - they're more innovative, they're more creative and they're certainly more thrilling. call me a purist - but it's millenium force FTW as far as i'm concerned.
April 6, 2009 at 9:57 AM · millenium force all the way!!!--- i've ridden that ride dozens of times, and it never gets old

the ROTM isn't as fun, you don't get off of it and say wow I want to do that again, but I do after every ride on millenium force!

April 6, 2009 at 9:57 AM · Well over 1,000 new votes poured in over the last 45 minutes.

Congratulations Mr. Niles!

April 6, 2009 at 10:02 AM · Millinium Force is number 1! It's been my favorite coaster since it came out :D I've ridden it every summer since the 4th grade (I'm in graduate school now) And I always love it every time and go back for more! GO MF ALL THE WAY!
April 6, 2009 at 10:11 AM · Really!? ROTM is a great ride, but absolutely nothing near MF. Ridiculous!
April 6, 2009 at 10:14 AM · With both CP and Uni having sent out updates, the percentage seems to have steadied for now!

Will there be a late rush later?

April 6, 2009 at 10:16 AM · I voted ROTM. Never been on it but, I have been on MF and I don't think it deserves to win it is a totally overrated ride, not much airtime, not much g-forces. ROTM looks like it could win.
April 6, 2009 at 10:19 AM · So, I've ridden both of these and loved them both. For me, MF isn't the best coaster at CP, I prefer Maverick. I really like Millenium Force but don't see it as that much better than a number of other mega coasters. It's a great coaster, no doubt but not THAT much better than say Nitro at Six Flags Great Adventure, my current home park. I can ride this and say to my teen kids it's like Nitro but a little bigger/longer.

ROTM is a great ride; one of the best dark coasters in the country mated with incredible theming, especially if you're a fan of the movie. There is no comparison for this ride at regional themeparks, and it's a ride that when I describe it to my teen kids, they really want to go to FL and ride.

If this were a pure coaster contest, my vote would be MF, but since it's not, I'm voting ROTM.

April 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM · In the words of Imhotep, "Not even the Medjai can save you now" these words might as well be directed to millenium force since after nearly 4,300 votes RotM has a nice lead. Go Mummy!
April 6, 2009 at 10:28 AM · They both suck.
April 6, 2009 at 10:29 AM · Revenge of the Mummy? Come on people. Millenium Force is the the best ride ever. Millenium fans, start voting and often.
April 6, 2009 at 10:31 AM · I can only vote for what I have experienced - so Millennium Force gets it.
April 6, 2009 at 10:34 AM · Voting often doesn't work as it registers your IP address!
April 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Both rides are very good. Either one is deserving of the title.

Congratulations to the winner of the Best Facebo...er, I mean Best Ride in America Tournament.

April 6, 2009 at 10:55 AM · The Millennium Force is definitely one of the best roller coasters I have ridden, and I am a coaster maniac! The ride is smooth and fast, but has an amazing thrill. There is nothing like being at the top of the hill for a few seconds and looking around to see the lake and the entire park. (I can even see my house from the top.) Yeah, definitely has the elements of an amazing coaster...
April 6, 2009 at 11:00 AM · I've ridden both more than once.

If you want the ultimate ride experience, it's the Millennium hands down. The speed, flow, everything about it is pure coaster exhilaration.

The Mummy is a decent coaster with pretty theming. It frankly doesn't belong in the same discussion.

April 6, 2009 at 11:02 AM · Both rides are fun but, when it comes to a ride I would ride over and over again it would be Millennium Force hands down.
April 6, 2009 at 11:03 AM · This is a rediculous poll. Millenium is a million times better than the universal ride. people are only voting for it because they have riden it and not the millenium. I cant see how this can even be considered a contest because the millenium is a million times better than any ride at universal studios.
April 6, 2009 at 11:09 AM · So the question to Universal voters is this, Is Mummy really a better ride than Spiderman? Millennium literally ran Spidey over in the last round. If this has truly become a game of numbers, you would think that the Universal voters would have eliminated MF last round....odd.

That could mean that some of the always assumed "one sided" Cedar Point fans are voting for Mummy. I don't think that's really happening a whole lot, but I'm scratching my head a little.

April 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM ·
April 6, 2009 at 11:19 AM · Derek, that point is something I was constantly bringing up the other night with the ROTM and Spiderman numbers. Mummy consistently had about two times as many votes compared to Spiderman throughout the day.
April 6, 2009 at 11:20 AM · Theme Shmeme...

This is about the most thrilling not the best theme.

I have rode both, and would rather have the adrenaline of the force than the special effects of mummies.

Millennium Force any day of the week and twice on Sunday

April 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM · I voted earlier, when MF was winning and there were about 350 votes, but didn't have time to comment. Imagine my surprise to see a repeat of the volume of votes that lead to the Maverick upset earlier in the tourney. Considering I had MF in my Final Four (and as good as Orlando RotM is, as well themed, as fun) I have to say I've never been on a ride that brings such initial apprehension followed by such sheer joy as Millennium Force. (I get a pit in my stomach seeing only Lake Erie to my left on that lift hill; I've stopped on the lift hill and thought - this had better be short or I'm going to freak; but once I cross that 310 foot mark for the 300 foot drop, I'm a hands-up, smiling-fool for the rest of the ride. Obviously, I'm giving it to MF here.

I would grouse about the Facebook influence, but since both sides are doing it in the final, it means both sides are sending people to Robert's site, which has got to help Robert. Whichever one wins (and I'm hoping for a late, but unlikely MF comeback), I'd say it will be a ride just as deserving (if not more so) than last year's winner, Tower of Terror.

And I'd like to echo other's comments in thanking Robert for a very enjoyable ride the last few weeks.

Finally, I'd like to encourage all you *anonymous voters* to create a FREE profile, tell us a bit about yourselves and take the time to rate the rides you've ridden. More participation only makes the already great TPI even better.

April 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM · Seems like CP fans shot themselves in the foot by voting for ROTF over Spidey. They obviously tried to vote for a ride they thought they would easily win over in the final!

Regardless of any Facebook pages promoting their own rides its still fair. Both pages have a substantial fan base, but with 4k votes so far, its not like 113k universal fans and 71k CP fans have all voted!

And of course, the pages just put it out there, its up to the fans if they want to vote or not!

April 6, 2009 at 11:39 AM · It is still early, so anything can happen. We've seen bigger swings in past rounds (remember RotM's comeback against Maverick?).

As for Spider-Man, there is no doubt that word got out too late to the Universal fan base. On Friday, it came down to the last few minutes, and had Robert not closed the polls at dinner time (pacific coast), we'd likely be looking at an all Universal final (Spider-Man closed a 30% gap in about 30 - 45 minutes, if I recall correctly). The final tally was like 52% to 48% Millie... anyway, it was close.

With Universal getting the word out early and often this past weekend, I think they are trying to prevent that situation from recurring.

Again, we're splitting hairs here as both rides are excellent, and both stand out from the crowd. We should all be happy we have these types of attractions to enjoy.

April 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM · I think not many people travel around the country riding rides as some of us do so they are limited in voting.
Unfortunately some of the greatest coasters will not make it because many of these people are not "traveled" and donot get the chance to ride these great machines. Otherwise you'd see a much different vote here.
How many of you are "enthusiasts" and have traveled to lots of parks in and out of the USA?
April 6, 2009 at 11:49 AM · I'm happy that ROTM is winning, seeing to the fact that it is the ride I hold nearest and dearest to my heart because it was my first roller coaster. As most seven year old third graders would, I was balling my eyes out, saying "I DON'T WANNA GO!!!!!!" But of course, when I got off, every thing was fine. My dad even bought the picture of that ride, and now I am too embarrassed to show it to any body!
April 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM · Mummy isn't my first choice but it's a worthy ride. MF is as worthy but the theming adds an alement that a baked out turnstyle doesn't give you while waiting in line! :)
April 6, 2009 at 12:21 PM · I'm an MF fan through and through. I mean, ROTM is a nice ride, but the Force has more exhilaration. And sure, Mummy's theme adds a touch, but the coaster isn't about decorations. It's about the ride. MF's is better.
April 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM · One of our new Posters said earlier "how can you not vote for MF, it's the second best steal coaster in the world" OK, with that Logic then how could you vote for MF? If it's only the second best steal coaster how can it be the best ride in America?

Remember, every time you vote for MF the terrorist win.

April 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM · Whoever said this vote is about the most thrilling attraction you clearly have no idea what this competition is about.
April 6, 2009 at 12:31 PM · ROTM is an extraordinary attraction. The launch, the fire effect, the outstanding theme work (on both the ride and the queue) make it more than worthy of being selected as the 'Best Ride in North America.'
April 6, 2009 at 12:36 PM · Any idiot knows why more are choosing the Mummy and that is because it is bigger. I have lived in several states and if you live outside of OH, IN, MI, PA you more than likely have NEVER heard of Cedar Point!!!!
April 6, 2009 at 12:49 PM · I am glad somebody else picked up that MF was the second best steel roller coaster comment. Second Best? According to whom? Details folks!

Vote for ROTM, its the better attraction overall. As Stewie Griffin once said "Oh Hosana, its the lesser of two evils!"

April 6, 2009 at 12:51 PM · I haven't voted since I haven't ridden ROTM, but I'm not sure that I appreciate being called a terrorist for being a MF fan. That's just a little harsh and inappropriate.
April 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM · For me this a an easy choice - Millenium Force all the way!! Both rides are good but in very different ways. Millenium has that incredible height and speed while RotM has some good theming and makes it more exciting. However, I think a coaster enthusiast like me would rather go on millenium because of its height and speed. All said and done, If I had to choose going on Millenium force only once and RotM 5 times in a row it would be MF.
April 6, 2009 at 12:59 PM · I wonder how many people have actually been in both rides...
April 6, 2009 at 1:03 PM · Unlike some of the people that have voted on one ride or the other, I've been on both. The theming on the Mummy is awesome, but I just didn't find the ride to be that fun. If you're looking for awesome theming in a fun ride try Italian Job at kings island, kings dominion, or Canada's wonderland, or even Flight of Fear at kings island and kings dominion. NOTHING will ever change the way I feel about Millennium Force, I was still scared to death of roller coasters when I first rode it, and now I can't stop riding them... its absolutely the best ride I've ever been on.
April 6, 2009 at 1:10 PM · Tom I'm not trying to be inappropriate or harsh, I'm just being honest. In Iran all they have is giant steal coasters with no back story. Is that the world you want to live in? Not me my friend I'm an American.

It's called Sarcasm Tom, you should learn to enjoy it.

April 6, 2009 at 1:22 PM · Brian, whether your joking, your just plain out not funny at all to tell you the truth. Just stop before you make yourself look like a bigger idiot.

Millennium Force deserves to win but once again, everyone is voting against it. Personally I think Maverick should have been in the final bracket but the voting is unfair. Who cares about theming over thrills? I sure don't

April 6, 2009 at 1:27 PM · 6717 votes, 60% to ROTM (Well, 59.something) 40% to MF. Someone worth the Math out for me and find out how many votes the evil one needs to catch up with the Mummy.

My brain hurts!!

April 6, 2009 at 1:28 PM · Seems like sour grapes amongst the Cedar Point fans, the same people who were commenting on Disney fans particular bitterness when Tower was beat by Maverick.

I've been on either of the attractions in today's pole and I voted honestly. The overall experience on Mummy, in my opinion, is simply better than that of Millennium Force. This is coming from a coaster enthusiast as well, I wouldn't rate MF in my top five coasters in the world.

I still believe there are far too many people voting for the wrong reasons, or are not quite understanding the tournament. This isn't about the most thrilling, nor is it about the best themed, it's not even about what park the attraction it's in. It's about the overall experience, mixing all the elements. If it was a thrill-based competition Mummy wouldn't have got this far, no where near. However, when you take it's great story and theme into account it is a very good finalist.

Millennium Force has its thrills, but in my opinion that's all it offers, even if it is extremely thrilling there's other coasters like it in the world.

April 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM · RotM is up about 1400 votes. If I did it right. It's been a while since I've been in school...
btw... Go RotM!
April 6, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Even though i like them both the same, Millennium Force deserves to win. it doesnt look like its goin that way, though =(
April 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM · T&T posted a link to the vote on the official Cedar Point blog at about 3:45. It's not over yet - it is a steep road for MF to climb, but you never know what can happen in these things.

At this point, it will take about 70 unanswered MF votes to move the contest 1% closer.

April 6, 2009 at 1:46 PM · If you give me a coaster that's fast and 310 feet tall versus one that's has pretty themes and effects, I have to choose the one that is tall and fast. Don't get me wrong, Mummy looks like a cool ride and all, but Universal Studios is a theme park and Cedar Point is an amusement park. ME is simply just a great fast and smooth ride.
April 6, 2009 at 2:01 PM · Mummy deserves its' lead! What a ride, although really short.. Oh wait thats just the fake station in the middle - awesome!
April 6, 2009 at 2:02 PM · At 7500 votes it is roughly 4500 to 3000
April 6, 2009 at 2:04 PM · If you haven't voted yet, take notice that most of the people that have ridden both of these rides are saying that millenium should win hands down. those are first hand experiences and they don't lie. go millenium!!
April 6, 2009 at 2:06 PM · Universal is a supermodel of a theme park. And that's no compliment.

It looks great, it seems like something you want, but at the end of the day, it's all just pretty looks with no substance.

I can't vote for RoTM for the above reasons. It looks neat, it's got bells and whistles, but the ride itself doesn't live up to the hype. It's underwhelming.

Then you take a look at Millenium Force. It's not as pretty, sure, but it's got it where it counts. You'll remember the thrills long after you you forget the turnstiles.

April 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM · Sour grapes?

So you can bash ROTM, but when I mention a fact, I get personal attacks over email. No lie! I mean I can take it, but some people are taking it a bit too far!

April 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM · Does it even work? I'm sure that they record the ip address and only one vote counts right?
April 6, 2009 at 2:24 PM · It shows how idiotic some people are, what's the point in going through all that just to vote for an attraction which honest voters have said isn't as good as Mummy.

If this is happening something needs to be done.

April 6, 2009 at 2:28 PM · MF has gained 2 full percentage points over the last hour...
April 6, 2009 at 2:28 PM · i think mummy will prolly win just based on how many people have ridden it compared to MF. having ridden both, however, it's pretty clear that the MF is the better ride. hand down. a theme is ok, but not enough to top the experience of riding front seat on MF down that first hill...perfection.
April 6, 2009 at 2:32 PM · we need more millennium force votes going on here!
April 6, 2009 at 2:33 PM · I'm outta here. Will check again at 3am eastern.
Good night all, and good luck to both entries! (But ROTM still rocks)
April 6, 2009 at 2:41 PM · I've been on both. NO COMPARISON. Millenium Force totally smokes the competition. MF is a totally "bangin' ride" (so smooth!) while the other is DBM - dull, boring and monotonous in comparison.
April 6, 2009 at 2:45 PM · Do I believe my eyes or are there over 8,000 votes and with Revenge of the Mummy winning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, I never thought Revenge of the Mummy would get THAT far!
April 6, 2009 at 2:54 PM · Michael Owen wrote...

"I still believe there are far too many people voting for the wrong reasons, or are not quite understanding the tournament. This isn't about the most thrilling, nor is it about the best themed, it's not even about what park the attraction it's in. It's about the overall experience, mixing all the elements..."

Actually, there are no rules about what constitutes the "best RIDE in North America" other than the opinion of what makes a best ride to each individual voter. In providing the initial description of this contest, Robert Niles thoughtfully provided the following [edited] (full text at: http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200903/1089/)

"The basic format will remain the same as in last year's tournament. Each day we will publish several match-ups, pitting one ride against another in the field. You, and other Theme Park Insider readers, will vote for your *favorite* among the two.

"...you and other TPI readers will be able to talk in the comments about the match-ups, and campaign for your favorites. (Or talk trash about the ones you don't like so much....)"

In the comments that day, James Rao provided what I believed were excellent observations on what the regulars of this website EXPECTED to happen, but I think we've all been surprised by what actually happened. (Heaven knows my finalist picks would have been very different if they had been my favorite rides instead of the rides I expected to win...) Mr. Rao's complete comments can be found at the URL listed above but here is an excerpt...

"While this web site has a fairly diversified following, it does tend to celebrate traditional theme parks like Disney and Universal over Iron Ride Parks like Cedar Point and Magic Mountain...

"So be warned: most of the voters in this contest will indeed give props to story over thrills, theming over speed, and immersion over height. Accept that fact, and move on. Don't hate the playa, and all that...

"But, trust me, the dichotomy between Theme Parks and Iron Ride Parks is the spice of life...and the comments will be ablaze with supporters of both sides. It will be a hoot!

"And in the end, because every ride/attraction in this tournament is worthy of some measure of praise, it is us, the voters, who are the true winners!"

I couldn't have said it better myself. And as I said earlier today: they are both excellent but different rides. I'm happy whichever wins (even though *my* favorite ride of the two would be MF).

April 6, 2009 at 3:04 PM · FYI,

'Cause the comments are getting waaay long, I'm not approving any more anonymous comments that I feel are redundant to points made above. Nor am I allowing comments about attempts to crash/manipulate/attack/overload the system or the site. Traffic's heavy and I want to keep the site operational, okay?

April 6, 2009 at 3:04 PM · Good observation. Also, nobody is winning anything (except for the TPIer who picked the correct final four, ugh!)

In the end, it really doesn't matter, but rather we celebrate all the diverse attractions across the USA. Which reminds me, where there any international attractions? Yes, I am including Canada too!

April 6, 2009 at 3:13 PM · Millennium Force is makin a comeback! only 11% down now

let's all hope it wins!

April 6, 2009 at 3:56 PM · Wow... even with some underhandedness, Millie could not pull out the win. All's well that ends well, I guess?

Gratz to all the participant rides, and to the new champion: Universal Studios Florida - Revenge of the Mummy, Theme Park Insider's Best Ride In North America (2009).

Theme + Thrills = Champion.

It has been an interesting few weeks to say the least.

April 6, 2009 at 3:48 PM · That's not fair Millennium was making a comeback oh well maybe next year great job setting this up it was real fun can't wait till next year!
April 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM · Yep, Brandon, only 850 unanswered/ill-gotten votes and Millie would of tied this thing up. So close... ;)
April 6, 2009 at 3:56 PM · this should've ended at 9 pm (pacific time)! if it didn't end so soon, millennium would've ACTUALLY WON! but you just NEEDED to end it early!
April 6, 2009 at 3:59 PM · Sorry, kiddos. I'm all for fans flooding the site. Trust me, I love traffic!

But bots?

Nope, sorry, that's where I draw the line. The contest is for humans, not for automated agents. Once I saw what looked like a bot flood hitting the poll, that's when I decided that enough gaming is enough. Campaigning is fine. Screwing with my livelihood by trying to bring down the site is not.

It was a fun tournament; we've made a lot of new friends. There's plenty of great content elsewhere on the site, so now let's start talking about the year ahead.

April 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM · why did this close earlyyyy????????
April 6, 2009 at 4:02 PM · The site was down for me for 40 minutes. I thought something was going down!

But congrats to ROTM and the good run of MF!

Welcome CP people again!

April 6, 2009 at 4:03 PM · Congrats to the new best ride in America. "Revenge" is a dish best served cold.
April 6, 2009 at 4:08 PM · Please read the updates... please read the comments... then you'll know why the tournament is closed.
April 6, 2009 at 4:05 PM · Nice one, Raul. ;)
April 6, 2009 at 4:07 PM · 'Revenge of the Mummy' is the "2009 Theme Park Insider Best Ride in America."


April 6, 2009 at 4:14 PM · Nah, it wasn't a bot, it was just all the employees that CP has from Bowling Green putting in their two cents! LOL, yeah, I don't believe that either. Enough blabber about which is better than which and whose ride can beat up your ride, the parks up here are about to open, it's time to ride!
April 6, 2009 at 4:21 PM · Excellent comment, Tom. Now... I wanna see some trip reports on the discussion board, people!
April 6, 2009 at 4:56 PM · BTW, Todd, thanks for the props. I actually believe that stuff I wrote too! Color me naive!
April 6, 2009 at 5:05 PM · Anthony -

Behemoth, Canada's Wonderland's newest addition, lost to Montu pretty early on.

April 6, 2009 at 5:06 PM · I voted for it, Josh... even though you didn't, you traitor! =)
April 6, 2009 at 5:19 PM · I didn't vote for either as
a) I think they're equally good, and
b) Neither deserves the title

In my eyes, Jaws is the best ride at Universal and Magnum XL is the best at Cedar Point. A competition between those two would be better, IMHO.

April 6, 2009 at 5:35 PM · Thanks Josh!

While I do not think that they would even have a chance to win, international attractions should be represented more. For example, Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain at DLP is a much different (and perhaps better) than its US cousins, especially Thunder Mountain!

April 6, 2009 at 5:43 PM · Whatever, I'm just ready to ride too. What a bunch of crap...ah who am I kidding? I've spent too much time on this site in the last couple of weeks to not comment on this.

If it really was a bot and not just the bunch of Cedar Point employees and fans from Bowling Green voting from the campus wireless network (which is very very possible)...than it's a shame. To think that someone would try to fix a vote that nobody makes money on and has no real bearing on anything is pretty pathetic. Now that I think of it, why would someone do that, and why wasn't it done earlier? There have been plenty of big Cedar Point matchups lately. As one pulling for Millennium Force, I'm sorry to see that it won't have the chance to complete it's comeback. It gained several points back in the last couple of hours. To those who say it wasn't going to make it...I think we were headed to a photo finish, and will never really know how this would have turned out.

I can't say I'm the happiest about how this all went down. The tournament has been great entertainment and has been the main (if only) subject here for weeks now, but the ending has all the makings of a 15 round epic boxing match that ends on a technicality or a crooked decision....or the finale of a long running TV series that cuts off the ending of the show. I wanted to see a clean winner, regardless of who it was, and I'm greatly disappointed to have spent so much time watching and participating in this tourney only to have it end like this.

All I can say to that is BOOOOOOOOOO...or perhaps that other saying that you hear from the college section of a basketball game when the ref makes a bad call. I can't help but think of the scene in "Major League-Back to the Minors", when the Minnesota Twins are taking on their AAA counterpart at home. If you've seen the movie, you know how it goes. It's late in the game and the Buzz are making a comeback, so the Twins manager decides to kill the lights at the ball park so the game can't be finished.

Here's the solution. A rematch, open only to those who are registered members of Theme Park Insider. No anonymous voters, no anonymous comments, no site linking. Just Millennium and Mummy, along with the TPI regulars and all of our newly registered friends. After all of this attention that TPI has gotten, I'm sure it wouldn't be as lopsided as some think. Just to clarify, I would have asked for the rematch if Millennium had been winning. I just want to know who the real winner is.


April 6, 2009 at 7:59 PM · Josh, I was talking about Behemoth vs Montu... but your comments are still right.

However, I do think RotM is the best attraction in a park filled with "best attractions." Universal Orlando, based on their excellent resorts, Citywalk, two fantastic theme parks, and their commitment to this tournament is fast becoming my favorite vacation destination. It is a near perfect mixture of theme and thrills, with unique shows and attractions for the entire family. If I had to vote in a "Best Theme Park In North America" tournament, Universal Orlando (the whole kit and caboodle) would get my vote. At least today it would! =)

Quick story about Jaws at USO: in 2007, my whole family was on the ride, packed into the back row of the boat like sardines, boys on the right side of the boat (nearest the action), me in the middle, and my 4 year old daughter hidden between mom and I. My boys were filled with bravado when the ride began, but by the end of the tour, they had squished up against me so hard in fear that there was room for two more people in our cramped row! That shark relentlessly jumping up at them, combined with an excellent tour guide, just scared the you-know-what out of my two BRAVE boys! I still tease them about it today! What a blast!

Derek, I am still mulling over your thoughts... not sure this tired old body is ready for another round just yet! =) I have little faith in people these days, and I think we'd see a lot of very new names very quickly (great for Robert - I guess). Maybe only registered users who have been at TPI since at least January? Although I could be talked into making a few exceptions for some of my new Cedar Point friends...

But on the other hand, if it was just us registered users, neither of these two rides would have even been in the final...

April 6, 2009 at 6:01 PM · How about Mummy v. Spider-Man!? :O

Congrats to Mummy and thanks, Robert!

April 6, 2009 at 6:31 PM · I have to agree with you, Derek. I know all people are entitled to their opinions... that's what makes our country so great. But there was something different and unsettling about this year's competition to the point that I made the choice to quit participating in it. Something felt "off" about it. Again, it's not like the other attractions are going to shut down based on this contest. Last year it was soooo much fun and this year it turned into a different kind of monster. I even quit following it and only visited the site to keep up with the Discussion section.

Perhaps we will be titled cry babies and what not, which is all well and good. For me, it was strictly about the entertainment and this year it didn't feel that way.

But again, hats off to Robert for all the time and hard work he put into it.

April 6, 2009 at 7:41 PM · This site lost all credibility. I coulda swore I saw a post awhile back saying "all's fair". Oh yeah, here it is: http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200903/1121/

The fact that a the bot attack on the polls would shut down the site is absurd. The poll is located on twiigs.com, not TPI. A bot attack would target the poll directly, NOT this website!

This site has a vested interest in seeing an Orlando attraction win. "I guess since this website has become my primary job", that would be this site also is an important revenue stream to some. Thus, the tournament is just another way to promote the site on Orlando, but when that appeared to happen, everything is shut down and ends.

April 6, 2009 at 7:43 PM · James Rao said:

"(lots of words)...But on the other hand, if it was just us registered users, neither of these two rides would have even been in the final..."

Truer words were never spoken.

I confess. I cast exactly one vote this year, and it was for Thunderhead. I hated seeing it take such a beating. I ignored the rest of the tournament, certain that we'd see...well, pretty much exactly what we ended up with here.

April 6, 2009 at 7:52 PM · What? This site has a vested interest in seeing an Orlando park win? If anything, the Orlando parks get ripped a new one left or right and Disney is a usual punching bag on this site. Unless there is some secret I do not know about, it really doesn't matter who wins. They get no prize! It doesn't make me feel any different about the the rides, but makes CP people look a little nuts about losing their minds over a dumb contest.

The site crashed around 4:30 CT so something was flooding the system. I think it was bots

April 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Lost all credibility with whom? Not me. Not most of the people who post here regularly. This tournament has been under fire since CP started the Facebook Wars, so look no further than your own favorite park if you want to start casting stones. If Robert Niles said someone was trying to cheat, then, someone was trying to cheat. And if closing the polls in a blowout was Mr. Niles' best option to resolve the situation, then so be it. 'Nuff said.
April 6, 2009 at 8:04 PM · Steve, what do you mean (Lots of words)...?

HAHAHAHA! Whether intentional or not... that was too funny. I do tend to go on a bit! Best laugh I've had in a while! Thanks, Steve. =D

April 6, 2009 at 8:20 PM · As has already been said, the contest is over, Mummy won, tomorrow the Sun will rise and it will be another wonderful day in spite of the contest results. It's spring, parks are opening, and there are coasters to be ridden!

This is and will continue to be an awesome site for amusement/theme park enthusiasts. Mr. Niles, kudos on another great contest, and thank you for all your hard work.(BTW, I voted for Millennium all the way through the contest because I consider it superior to all other rides, and I'm not the least upset that Mummy won; it's an awesome ride as well!)

April 6, 2009 at 8:28 PM · WOW, again I never expected that Millennium Force could be taken out by Revenge of the Mummy. It makes me wonder why Cedar Point tells people to vote for Maverick but not Millennium Force???? Anyway, I cant believe this is comment 130 and also that over 8000 voted!
April 6, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Well, personally i don't understand how either millenium or maverick got beat but at least they have my vote.. why was this such a big deal to everyone? Relax people.. it's spring!
April 7, 2009 at 12:54 AM · I'm late putting in my comment so here it is:

I did vote for Mummy but I will give props to MF. It does look awesome but I can only vote for rides I've experienced.

Interestingly the formula for this worked out like this -

MF = Thrills

Mummy = Thrills + Theming

That's pretty much a masterpieceful combination. So obviously I went with Mummy.

Looking back, I think this tournament has been a fantastic event that has grabbed readers interest. Sure there's been questions and contraversy ranging from small issues to bigger ones (Should Dueling Dragons enter the next tournament as one ride? Should only registered voters be allowed to vote in future tournaments?)

Do I think the best ride won? No. Spidey should have got to the final and then beaten Mummy or any other Islands of Adventure attraction.

However, I'm note gonna throw the toys out the pram because my favourite ride didn't win. The great thing about this tournament is we have a great mixture of voters who have many different opinions. Some of us are theme park employees, theme park fans, carnival fans, dark ride enthusiasts, Disney lovers, Busch lovers, coaster junkies, flat ride fanatics and Jake Rivers.

But the great thing is we are all united by our common interest in theme/amusement parks. This tournament has been a good event to discover different points of view and to campaign for favourite rides. It's an awesome thing to see so many passionite theme park fans. Sure, I've not been too happy with the bias Cedar Point voters (not ALL of the CP fans are before you jumnp on my post! lol) but then each to his/her own.

Robert this has been a very enjoyable tournament and thanks for setting it up.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go and rate Splash Mountain as 0....

April 7, 2009 at 6:00 AM · Well your night seemed as exciting as mine.
I only wish I was with you guys until the last minute and didn't have to Log off at 5.40pm :(

It looks like MP was catching up towards the end, although possibly by some underhand voting.
The Cedar Point Facebook page had some interesting comments on it, with ways to enter multiple votes. Whether this worked or not I don't know.
Universals Facebook page comtained none of these comments and the comment about CP's staff voting after work also applied to Universals, which closed at 9pm Eastern yesterday.

Either way, it was fun, and over 8k votes was fantastic.

I'm ready for 2010 and I'm going for RRR

Congrats to the Mummy, maybe next year MF.
Kudos to all who voted, welcome to all the new registrants.

April 7, 2009 at 7:39 AM · Congrats to Mummy!

Unfortunately, I couldn't vote for either. I've only been to the Hollywood version of the Mummy, and am greatly disappointed in the ending as it's very anti-climactic. If the Florida version is drastically different, then I'd say that I need to check it out. But if the only big difference is the faux unloading bay, then I'll pass. It's a decent coaster (USH one anyway), with cheezy neon skeletons, and a terrible "that's it?" ending.

And I've never been on MF, so that wouldn't be right for me to vote for it.

April 7, 2009 at 9:34 AM · Robert, Thank you for explaining everything in Update 4 for us. I appreciate hearing the process that was taken.
April 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM · Brandon, what's the ending in Hollywood? Florida's just stops and has a quick video bit with Fraser complaining about not having his coffee. It's pretty weak (note to Universal: the "dude just wants his coffee" gag died out in 1991 with Hudson Hawk).
April 8, 2009 at 5:48 AM · Hey guys! I just wanted to say congrats to ROTM! It's truly a great ride. I am looking forward to my 2010 Universal trip (HP LAND OPENING!!) and riding ROTM a few more times.

Please don't judge all of us CP fans by the ones who were trying to cheat. I voted fairly and squarely once although I do have two different work computers and 3 computers at home and probably could have voted 5 times if I had wanted to. I don't understand why people would want to cheat on something like this. It's just a fun contest not something life shattering important, but I guess I am trying apply logic to people who don't use it on a regular basis. I gotta stop doing that!

Robert, thanks for another great contest and I look forward to next years!!!

RIDE ON!! (Stole that from CP)

April 9, 2009 at 9:27 PM · hmmm, i just wanted to say as a student at BGSU that we all aren't terrible people. gratz RotM!

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