Disneyland leads the winners in this year's Theme Park Insider Awards, selected based on cumulative reader ratings submitted to the site over the past 12 months. Disneyland earned the highest average rating for its attractions and restaurants, among ThemeParkInsider.com readers who submitted ratings for locations at multiple parks during the past year.
Our goal at ThemeParkInsider.com is to give people the best advice on finding the best value in a theme park vacation for their families. The Theme Park Insider Awards provide us the chance to say 'thank you' to the very best of the best in the theme park industry, from its millions of customers and fans.
Best Theme Park - Disneyland Park
"We are always happy when people enjoy and appreciate our product," said Mike Hyland, director of public relations for Disneyland Resort. "Thank you for honoring Disneyland as World's Best Theme Park."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three Theme Parks:
Best New Attraction - Manta, SeaWorld Orlando
This year's Best New Attraction is Manta, the new Bolliger & Mabillard flying roller coaster at SeaWorld Orlando. ThemeParkInsider.com readers gave Manta the highest average reader rating among all attractions that debuted between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009.
"We've known since the early design stages that Manta would be crowned as one of the world's top thrill rides, there's just nothing else like it," said SeaWorld spokesperson Nick Gollattscheck. "And to have Manta named Best New Attraction by readers of Theme Park Insider is quite an honor. They are our biggest fans and people who know an incredible thrill ride when they see one."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three New Attractions:
Best Theme Park Hotel - Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.
"The entire team here at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel is thrilled and delighted to receive this honor," said General Manager Paul Leclerc. "Our loyal guests mean so much to us and ensuring their satisfaction is our highest priority. Our commitment to delivering a taste of 'la dolce vita' - the sweet life - to our guests is stronger than ever."
Theme Park Insider's Top Three Theme Park Hotels:
Best Theme Park Restaurant - Les Chefs de France, Epcot.
Congratulations to all the winners and finalists... and thank you for providing us such great places to spend our vacations!Tweet
But just think about next year's Best New Attraction contest, with RRR and Harry Potter and Magic Mountain's new coaster and maybe a new Star Tours...
Porfino Bay Hotel? I would have thought the Floridian, AK Lodge, or the Contemporary not to mention the Grand Californian would have beaten it out.
I am most suprised at best Theme Park resturant. Yes, Chefs de France is an excellent one, but I wouldn't consider it the best. I do not even think its the best in Disney World (I think its neighbor Canada outdoes it and the rest of World Showcase)
Disneyland I am torn about because I personally like Magic Kingdom better, but more rides (MK), more problems with the average falling.
Good stuff! I hope the parks care and take notice!
Furthermore, in a recent best new attraction poll on this site, Prowler earned 47% of the votes besting all comers, including Manta.
So, despite all those numbers, how did Prowler lose? I mean, what else does a local fanbase have to do to rig a vote these days?
Let me guess: behind the scenes, Manta's 32 votes equates to a 9.4 rating, while Prowler's 74 votes equate to a 9.2 rating. Nice. So in other words, it would be better to have one vote for a 10 rating, than 100 votes at 9 each. By that logic, Jimmy Neutron's Brainwasher at Canada's Wonderland is better than both Prowler and Manta with its 2 votes and 10 rating.
I would be interested to see what would happen to Manta's behind the scenes rating if it had received as good a voter turnout as Prowler. Another 42 votes and it may have dropped from a 9.4 to a 9.1 rating. Why punish Prowler for getting more votes?
I guess this is not the first time something (or someone) has won the popular vote, but lost the "behind-the-scenes" vote.
Disneyland is not my personal favorite park, but it is a damn good one. I'm surprised that IOA still remains so high up in the theme park food chain. It is my least favorite Orlando park because of its poor upkeep (many rides look embarrassingly dilapidated), lack of live/theater/family entertainment, locker policy, and inefficient loading staff.
Manta is no surprise and is likely an excellent attraction.
Portofino was a big shocker, as well. Perhaps it's worth considering in the future.
I'm glad Chefs won as I was more satisfied with my meal there than at Mythos. Both are good, but Scott Joseph's reviews of the other top restaurants indicate that theme parks have a ways to go in the dining department.
Just a thought! However, its totally fair game!
Also, it's nice to see that every winner this year acknowledged the website.
We're movin' on up in the world, Robert.
EDIT: Les Chefs didn't acknowledge their award. Where's the love?
The rules are clear that the awards are based on average reader ratings. While those are rounded to the nearest whole number on the listing pages, we use the real number for the awards. Manta's rating is around a 9.4. Manta's is closer to an 8.6.
Honesty is very important to me as a publisher. It's my credibility. I bring it with everything I do on this site. I'm sorry if you are upset that your favorite ride didn't win, James, but I would appreciate it if you didn't publicly accuse me of lying.
But if that's the way you feel, I'm sorry and we'll miss you.
Portofino Bay Hotel is a great resort. I've stayed there plenty of times.. but I can't believe Les Chefs won over Mythos. I personally haven't tried it but I haven't heard many good things about it at all.
And Manta is a great ride.. It might not be one I do too often (it's slightly nauseating) but Sea World did a great job.
The editor has always been clear to explain rules as easy to understand as humanly possible.
That being said, it might make more sense to post those fractionals in the ratings, or round down to avoid these discrepancies.
Anyway, in 100 years it won't matter, so gratz to Manta. I am sure it is a very deserving ride.
Disneyland is my favorite park. You won't see any complaints from me. I will correct something Anthony said though. Disneyland has 62 listings compared to 45 for the Magic Kingdom. So, Disneyland would actually have the greater chance of having poor attractions to bring down its' rating. The fact that it still succeeded is proof of the quality of attractions there.
Universal's hotels are just as great as the ones on Disney property. Haven't stayed at the Portofino but the Royal Pacific is comparable to the Polynesian. I am also surprised at the lack of love for the Grand Californian.
The three restaurants listed are not my favorites. IMHO, I feel that guests tend to correlate price with quality. This is why the most expensive restaurants at the parks tend to get higher ratings. Chefs de France is a decent eatery, but it is not as good as Mexico, Japan or Canada. Same goes for Mythos. When I am in IOA, I always eat at the Confisco Grille. Great food for half the price. Sharks is the best of these three and is superior to the Coral Reef in Epcot.
Congratulations to the winners and an early Congratulations to Harry Potter. Winner of best new attraction in 2010. ;)
In no way am I saying that there was trickery behind the winners. I think Robert has to deal with this every single year. I would say my big suprise was Porfino winning over everything else. Sure its a nice resort, but the best? Same with France which, I like, but not first on my list!
I would like to see the parks acknowledge their "famous award". Disney probably won't bring it out though!
What makes Disneyland so great? Not saying they didn't deserve to win, but isn't this second year in a row? I like Disneyland, but two years in a row? Must have that Mythos magic :)
"Front of the line"
Don't discount that benefit's effect upon people's ratings.
Gratz to Worlds of Fun, Prowler, and the local fan base for their nail-bitingly close, second place finish! It is hard to topple one of the Orlando juggernauts, but Prowler came real close!
Have a great 4th of July, everyone!
I haven't been on Manta yet, but look forward to giving it a whirl on my next Orlando trip. I really enjoyed last year's winner The Simpsons (and the runner up, Toy Story Mania) when I went to Orlando in May.
I haven't been to Busch Gardens, but I want to make a comment on IOA. Spider-Man is a world class attraction, no question. Jurassic Park Adventure and Duelling Dragons are excellent. My problem is with The Incredible Hulk.
While it is an awesome coaster, I think it needs to be refurbished. It's the only coaster I've ever ridden that gives me a headache, and makes me feel like I might pass out on the ride. This happened on both my trips to IOA, and I finally figured out why. The coaster rattles relentlessly on its track, shaking your head throughout the ride. I think they should refurbish it to make it smoother. Anybody else have the same experience?
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