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.Tweet
This will be an interesting day!
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!
In the end I'm going to say millennium force.
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...
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!
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.
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?
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!
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.
Mummy= Ronald Regan
Consider this before you cast your vote.
12 EST, 70% Mummy
Lets see if it turns around, but Mummy does have a very nice lead!
Still pulling for MF over RotM, though!
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.
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!
Congratulations Mr. Niles!
Will there be a late rush later?
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.
Congratulations to the winner of the Best Facebo...er, I mean Best Ride in America Tournament.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Remember, every time you vote for MF the terrorist win.
Vote for ROTM, its the better attraction overall. As Stewie Griffin once said "Oh Hosana, its the lesser of two evils!"
It's called Sarcasm Tom, you should learn to enjoy it.
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
My brain hurts!!
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.
At this point, it will take about 70 unanswered MF votes to move the contest 1% closer.
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.
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!
If this is happening something needs to be done.
"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).
'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?
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!
let's all hope it wins!
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.
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.
But congrats to ROTM and the good run of MF!
Welcome CP people again!
Behemoth, Canada's Wonderland's newest addition, lost to Montu pretty early on.
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.
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!
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.
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...
Congrats to Mummy and thanks, Robert!
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.
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.
"(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.
The site crashed around 4:30 CT so something was flooding the system. I think it was bots
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
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!)
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....
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.
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.
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)
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