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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction final: Fantasmic! vs The Voyage

April 5, 2010, 7:57 AM · Okay, we've said just about everything there is to be said about these attractions. So, after 62 votes, it's time to pick an overall winner. Here are your 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament finalists:

Fantasmic! at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios [Best Live Show]
The Voyage at Holiday World [Best Roller Coaster]

To the comments! (Voting continues until 7pm Eastern, 4 pm Pacific today.)

I'd like to invite all our guests today to take a look around the site and consider sticking around for the great reviews, money-saving advice, discussion and tips we offer here on Theme Park Insider. Becoming a Facebook fan or following our Twitter feed provide two great ways to stay in touch with our community. Thank you for participating in this year's tournament.

Update: Congratulations to our 2010 overall champion: The Voyage, from Holiday World and The Gravity Group.

Replies (49)

April 5, 2010 at 8:33 AM · I can't wait to go ride the Voyage again. Also the Holiday World fudge is calling my name.
April 5, 2010 at 8:43 AM · My vote goes to Voyage ...Robert's article will away a few people for sure.
April 5, 2010 at 8:58 AM · The Voyage. Great ride. In a terrific park. Even though this is not my favorite coaster. It would beat out a show any time. The problem I have always had with Fantasmic. Is the Que lineing up to get into this show. There is just no crowd control. A terrific job done by the Voyage and Holiday World.
April 5, 2010 at 9:07 AM · I have definitely said all I need to say about the Voyage. And while I absolutely love Fantasmic I cannot imagine a time when I would pick a show (even an unparalleled spectacle) over a ride of the Voyage's caliber.
April 5, 2010 at 9:59 AM · Another year of the tournament getting hijacked by a flood of people who don't belong to the site. I guess there's always next year.
April 5, 2010 at 10:13 AM · Although I chose Voyage for the Best Ride, I much, much prefer Fantasmic! to most roller coasters out there. It is an absolutely amazing show, one I would gladly wait more than an hour for to see, which I cannot say about The Voyage.

Chances are, Fantasmic won't win. However, it gets my vote, hands down.

April 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM · David, I recommend you even the odds by flooding a few Disney fan sites with "calls for help." Sadly, those calls will most likely be greeted by the same malaise that greeted me the last two years of trying...

If you could get the folks at MiceAge or Allears to send one tweet or make one facebook post, Fantasmic would win in a landslide.

Good luck, I am tired of trying. If I had my way, IOA's Spider-Man would win this tournament every year until something better comes along...

April 5, 2010 at 10:26 AM · Fantasmic got my vote because my mouse stinks, and I clicked the wrong button.

*curses the computer gods*

April 5, 2010 at 10:37 AM · Let's not forget that it was Disney fans from Haunted Mansion fan sites that pushed Mansion to the Best Themed Ride title.

I should also note that several newspapers and TV stations in Indiana are pushing people to the site today, playing up the Voyage/Butler parallel. That was just serendipity. I've just accepted it.

April 5, 2010 at 10:39 AM · More fanboys coming for the Voyage....oh well....

Fantasmic and shows like it are for everybody, not just people who can make the height requirement like the Voyage.

But the contest is for fun and really doesn't hold any weight, but I will say perhaps we should make a trophy or something and send it to the winning park.

Oh well...

April 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM · Can we get separate brackets for rides and shows now? Is it obvious that this is not a fair comparison now?

Go Voyage and go Butler!

April 5, 2010 at 10:50 AM · Just remember, this Disney Fanboy voted for the Voyage as well. And I was wearing my Tinkerbell night shirt when I voted! Faced with the choice, an uber ride or an uber show, I'll take the ride. Heck, I would take Disneyland's Haunted Mansion over Fantasmic, despite it being one of the best theme park shows in existence.

Don't blame the fanboys, blame the selection committee.

April 5, 2010 at 11:06 AM · Um... y'all are the selection committee, remember?

And to the previous anonymous comment, did you happen to miss the whole tournament up until today?

April 5, 2010 at 11:06 AM · This is lame. It is unfair to have the last vote be between a show and a ride. They dont mix, and of course the ride is going to win. I mean, seriously, has a show over won?

I think that each bracket should end in its own category. Best themes ride, best rollercoaster, best live show etc. Otherwise we are forced to vote apples to oranges.

Also, do the rides have to be in theme parks. One of the best wooden coasters I've ridden was The Boardwalk Bullet, at Kemah Boardwalk. And yes, it is themed.

I think when matching up the rides, perhaps try equitable Disney rides vs non Disney rides in the begining. If the majority of the rides ends up being Disney, then so be it.

...and why do we bother we the Sea World shows?

and question...what determines a rollercoaster from a dark ride? Like Mummy to me should fall under coaster...considering that since we are voting theme parks here, all coasters are and should be themed. Mummy is def more coaster than dark ride.And same fore Everest etc.

April 5, 2010 at 11:11 AM · I've never even heard of the Voyage until now; I'm not going to vote for some backwater ride that no one outside of Indiana, or wherever it is, has even heard of let alone rode. The WORLDWIDE appeal of Fantasmic eclipses anything else.
April 5, 2010 at 11:12 AM · I've gotta ask ... James, can I get a picture of you in your Tinkerbell nightshirt (voting for The Voyage)?

I'd post it on the HoliBlog -- honest!

Thanks, Paula (@HolidayWorld)

April 5, 2010 at 11:19 AM · This is a tough one for me as I've never been on The Voyage. A coaster is a coaster to me, unless it's heavily themed like Everest or Space Mountain. Heck even ones like Riddler's Revenge or Batman don't do much for me as they just have a queue related to the theme and that's it. I'm into visual stimulation as much as being thrown around an attraction. Sure, The Voyage is themed around the Pilgrims... but it sure doesn't really look it.

A show on the otherhand... I can go without watching Fantasmic! when I go to Disneyland/ Disney World. It's a wonderful show, but I don't like waiting around for a "good seat" as I don't LOVE the show. I like it, but not enough to burn a few extra hours waiting for it. I'll stand if I need to.

So this was a toss-up for me. I'm a Disney fan, but I'm not gonna vote for something just because it's Disney. Or vote for something just because it's not Disney. I'm just gonna click on it randomly. =T

April 5, 2010 at 11:20 AM · Robert, to answer your question,no. But I am curious as to how that would have any relevance anyway?

Incidentally, I'm a Cedar Point fanboy not a Holiday World guy. This tournament should come down to Millenium v. Maverick every year as far as I'm concerned. With Spidey and the Mummy rounding out the Final Four.

April 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM · And now we add "Tinkerbell nightshirt" to the list of infamous Theme Park Insider catch-phrases.
April 5, 2010 at 11:30 AM · Yeah. I live near Holiday World and I am tired of their SPAM campaign to get "The Voyage" as the top rated ride. I am sorry, if you want best roller coaster. It has to go to Millennium Force at Cedar Point. Best Thrill Ride is Spider-man. I am sure that if @disneyparks put out a tweet like @holidayworld is, this would be a no contest. It is not a fair contest, and Holiday World is spamming Facebook and Twitter every few hours to get votes.
April 5, 2010 at 11:33 AM · I've never been to Disneyland so I've never even heard of Fantasmic. So, I went to YouTube to look it up. All I can say is the Kentucky Derby Festival's Thunder Over Louisville fireworks show has that crap beat..... And you don't have to pay $200 to see it!
April 5, 2010 at 11:37 AM · Robert -- as a side note, thanks for your Johnny-on-the-spot tweets about the earthquake yesterday. My oldest son and his wife live in Pasadena (proud mama: he's an engineer at JPL) and it was good to quickly hear that all was well. My Tom checked in with us later in the day, but I already knew from you there was no cause for panic.
April 5, 2010 at 11:41 AM · @ David: Sure, I followed a link here from Holiday World's facebook post (for best roller coaster), but after I voted, I joined the site and signed up for the newsletter. So I wouldn't slam the process. It's good publicity for all involved, whether they need it or not.
April 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM · Is it always a show vs a ride at the end? I know we are the selection committee, but only on prescribed brackets. I mean, in reality, it seems like Fantasmic could and should have been beat out by other things to give a more balanced vote. The last few brackets have been asking us to compare apples to oranges to beef. I agree with some others in that perhaps we should end the contest at best coaster, best themed ride best show etc...

Also, why did Rot Mummy get placed in themed rides and not coasters? Afterall since there are theme parks, all the coasters have themes. I say, and I'm sure a lot agree, that the important aspect of Mummy is not the short dark ride bits but rather the coaster element. So why not place it with Everest, and space mountain.

And on that note, while Ceder Points coasters do rock, they really do lack in theming, Like MF...great ride, but yeah, just a name, no themes.

And why is it coasters vs dark rides where all other thrill rides AND slow dark rides are together? I would think placing thrill rides in with coasters, then vs dark rides might yield a more fair contest. Afterall, are not coasters thrill rides, and should they not be themed since people take themes into serious account.

And last note, honestly, why did you pick DL Mansion over WDW? You picked the more ridden and more recent/better version of many rides except Mansion.

Ok second to last note. Why not include coasters like The Boardwalk Bullet at the Kemah Boardwalk. It is a park, and it has themed rides, even with animatronics. The Bullet is a unique coaster because it is a knot, and crosses itself more than any other ride in the world. So, why not have the only coaster servicing the Houston area, roughly five million people? I'd say it should be included even though Kemah Boardwalk doesn't have a national name even as big as Holiday World. I would think this blog covered all notable coasters.

April 5, 2010 at 11:42 AM · LOL Paula, you got me. One thing you will find about my posts, I tend toward exaggeration and (sometimes) humor. My daughter is the one with the Tinkerbell night shirt... I did however have my Mickey Mouse pocket watch, which I almost always carry with me -- unless I am riding the Voyage, of course!
April 5, 2010 at 11:59 AM · BOOOOO! Should be Fantasmic!!!
April 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM · They Voyage is a BEAST!!!!
April 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM · ^^You really need to ride the Voyage, Tim! ;)
April 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM · First off to the poster who said they have never heard of the Voyage or HW. If you are a true follower of any theme park or coaster you would know something about the park and the ride. The two have been featured on T.V. and this site forever. If anyone knows anything about coasters they have kept up with the rankings of the various rides. I dare anyone who is a fan of coasters not to know about Holiday World. They may not have been to the park yet but a true coaster/park fan knows about the Raven, The Voyage and The Legend. The park also is known as an innovator for park hospitality. It's one thing to have a favorite it's another to claim ignorance.
As far as spam, I choose to follow HW on twitter and facebook, it's a choice not a requirment. Take your name off the listing if you don't want to hear from them.
April 5, 2010 at 12:37 PM · To the anonymous poster regarding The Voyage being a "backwater ride". The Voyage is no backwater ride. Just because you are uninformed doesn't mean you have to live in Indiana to know what it is. Plenty of people outside of the state have helped to make this a top rated coaster in the world.
April 5, 2010 at 1:17 PM · The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is the best!
April 5, 2010 at 1:20 PM · There is mention of themed coasters - why does any coaster really need a comic theme in the first place? To me, it's not necessary and isn't going to change how I rate a coaster - on the elements in the coaster itself (hills, airtime, duration, speed, lateral events [being swung to the left or right due to turns and coaster momentum], inversions, twists, head-chopping/feet-chopping effects, etc.). The only thing I need is some landscaping (grass, flowers, water) because looking at a parking lot can detract from a coaster's effect, especially flying coasters. I don't like them much because they are uncomfortable, but looking down at dry dirt, black top or concrete doesn't do much for me. However, seeing a good landscape might make a bad ride better, even if I have no desire to ride it again. At least then I'd have something positive to say about the coaster.

I chose Voyage because it's simply the best of the two choices offered to me to vote on, but that's my opinion, and that's what this contest comes down, an opinion poll.

I have been to Disneyland, Disney World, Holiday World, Cedar Point and several other parks in various locations throughout the country.

As far as Millennium Force (MF) goes, the ride is boring! All it has to put to it is one big lift hill and one little one, nothing much more than that. Steel Force (Dorney Park) and Nitro (Six Flags Great Adventure), while having a shorter first drop, have many more elements to them than MF. If there were a couple more hills, twists and turns, and some bunny hills in the coaster's run, MF might actually be exciting.

I do agree that it's not really fair to put two different types of attractions against each other. How do you compare apples to bananas? I may not see shows like fantasmic, but it doesn't mean they aren't good in their own right.

Whether it's a themed attraction, show, roller coaster, or dark ride each has different elements within themselves that may make one stand out over the others in its grouping. I would rather see a bracket based on the elements found in attractions/shows/coasters and see which element is the most popular and then rate each item based on the strength of the most popular element in each item.

April 5, 2010 at 1:27 PM · BTW, if we are going to call out the Voyage as some backwater ride, why not call out the poster that called Fantasmic crappy?

Yeah, here be fanboys all over again!

So it was CP last year, HW this year. Its the Circle of Life!

Disney Rocks! (They also really don't seem to care!)

BTW, it looks like Disney is too busy celebrating their resturants getting top votes in Orlando Magazine! Like there is such a competition!

April 5, 2010 at 1:31 PM · I don't see the point in trying to rally the Disney fans on MiceAge. If it didn't work for Haunted Mansion it sure ain't working for Fantasmic! And people, it's the final vote. For my own sanity, can we PLEEEEEEEASE not question the format of the tournament at this stage? I'm still trying to cope with the HM's defeat and am sobbing Grim Grinning Ghosts to myself while chomping down a Monte Cristo and another round of "Why is this ride vs. show" sure ain't making the pain go away.

And based on this tournament, I've come to the conclusion that not much happens in Indiana. Or maybe that's just the entire midwest ;)

April 5, 2010 at 1:44 PM · As a proud Midwesterner, don't make me change my vote ;)

I guess everybody should try out the Voyage! Make sure to come to Great America afterwards!

April 5, 2010 at 1:56 PM · I know Voyage will win, so I'm voting for the underdog. I like it better anyway.
April 5, 2010 at 2:31 PM · Anthony, CP was heavily involved last year, but it was Universal Fanboys that won the day for Revenge of the Mummy.
April 5, 2010 at 2:50 PM · I don't understand the general negativity running throughout a lot of these comments, whether it's toward HW or Disney. I love both parks and have been to Disney more than HW, although I live close to HW. I have also enjoyed going to King's Island, which is a couple hours away from me. We have just lost our local Six Flags amusement park and I know many people are mourning the loss of it. I enjoy theme parks in general and would go to them all if I could afford it (and had the time!). My kids love HW and Disney and look forward to going to HW every year. They beg to go back to Disney but that is a trip that requires a lot of saving and planning, and cannot be done every year like HW. I don't see why we all can't respect the competition without bashing it (or a region of the country), whether our personal favorite is represented here, or winning, or not.
April 5, 2010 at 3:07 PM · I always wonder how people throw a fit when parks advertise this contest. How does that make it unfair if ALL parks can advertise it in the same way? Everybody knows Disney has the exact same ability to post this contest on Facebook and Twitter. Also, who is to say that everybody who found out about the contest through Holiday World actually voted for the Voyage?? You can be a fan of the park without it actually being your favorite park.

Lastly, I had to respond to the comment above which claimed the Voyage is some "backwater ride that no one outside of Indiana, or wherever it is, has even heard of let alone rode." This person should actually google the Voyage and see all of the recognition this ride had gotten -- WORLD wide. It has been featured on the Travel channel and among coaster magazines. There are international people who come to Holiday World just for the Voyage. I guess this is just a plea for people to consider what they post and post logically. Don't be sore losers because your attraction lost. Yes, this is apples to oranges - but they are both ATTRACTIONS (you know, apples to apples) as the title of the voting bracket this time around explains. Please be good losers if what you think should win doesn't. Not everybody's favorite is the same.

Lastly, just for kicks, I want it to be known that I have never heard of Fantasmic! even if it is world renowned. I don't doubt it's great, just don't have the ability to go to Disney parks enough to explore the entire park. (Another perk, in my opinion, for Holiday World in general -- I can visit every year even during the slow economy!)

April 5, 2010 at 3:28 PM · It's always like this Melinda, don't let it get you down. We are all very passionate about our favorites - and while I have been pulling for the Voyage for the past few contests, my favorite attraction (Spider-Man) was defeated weeks ago, darnit!! See, even I am still bitter!

Just remember, in 100 years none of this will matter anyway! ;)

April 5, 2010 at 3:44 PM · To the poster who said something like "no one outside Indiana has ever rode or heard of Voyage anyway."

I'm in New Jersey, close to half a continent away from Indiana. I heard of Voyage because I stay informed about things I'm interested in and like...e.g, roller coasters and theme parks. I knew of "backwater" Holiday World before they built Voyage. My favorite coaster, El Toro here in Jersey, didn't go far in the tournament. I'm not sure my #2, Ravine Flyer II, was in the tourney. I had 50 rides on Voyage over two days on my sole visit in '07, and I'll treasure that experience forever, especially if I never get there again...hate to think I won't but one never knows.

April 5, 2010 at 3:48 PM · Excuse me, but I find I must interject: "ever ridden," not "ever rode."

Thank you. I feel better.

Carry on.


April 5, 2010 at 3:53 PM · Regarding the fanboy comments, I am a fan of almost every facebook page Disney has, and I only found out about this contest last Thursday through the HW fan page. I wish I had heard about it sooner so I could have voted in the earlier rounds. I have lots of rides (and other attractions) that I enjoy that have nothing to do with HW.
April 5, 2010 at 4:47 PM · Hey, Paula! I was an English major (you want fries with that?) But I've never been 100% sure of the usage of "rode" vs. "ridden." I used "rode" because that was the form chosen by the original, albeit anonymous, poster...I paraphrased his/her/its actual statement, but not that particular word.
April 5, 2010 at 5:21 PM · Congratulations to The Voyage and its loyal fans.

Although I think Fantasmic is infinitely better, that is my opinion. I enjoy it because my whole family, and all my friends, can. I enjoy it because it is the perfect nightcap to an extraordinary day. I enjoy its music and effects. I love how rowdy an audience of thousands gets when evil conquers good; the women might as well be throwing their bras at Mickey. To me, it is the epitome of a classic attraction.

Also, are we such a spoiled society that we are arguing over which is the better multi-million dollar attraction? Should we not just be happy we have these things in the first place?


Naw, screw that.

April 5, 2010 at 6:22 PM · I have to give a hats off to Paula Werne and her crew. Yes they might use twitter and Facebook to promote their purpose, but why not. No other theme park that I have seen has cherished their followers and kept them in the loop as much as Holiday World has through these social networking sites. I say to them, thank you for letting us be a part of their family!!
April 5, 2010 at 8:12 PM · Another year, another fun tournament. Thank you, Robert, for giving us the great venue to discuss, debate, and yes, even argue about some of the world's greatest theme park attractions. I appreciate your time, effort, and patience.

Now, time for bed. See you in a few dayzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

April 5, 2010 at 10:29 PM · Attraction...Ride, can we really compare? I think the results of the brackets are the true winners.

As for the Butler Duke game...Butler held their own and I applaud them for a great game.

April 6, 2010 at 9:02 AM · Congrats to The Voyage! And I'm with James on thanking Robert for allowing everyone to discuss and debate anything and everything theme park related.

I won't get back into what was debated about what can be learned from who, and why whatever attraction is better (but I'm still disappointed that Disneyland's Haunted Mansion went further than Pirates... DL's HM pales in comparison to the MK's version... and I'm disappointed that Water World got kicked out so soon, but whatever, it's all fun!) But congratulations again to The Voyage and its fans!

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