The tournament returns

December 23, 2011, 9:01 AM · The Theme Park Insider 'Best Attraction' Tournament is coming back!

In response to popular demand, I'm bringing back our ride tournament, and making some widely requested changes to help ensure that everyone who wants to gets a chance to participate. The biggest change is that we'll be having just one vote per day, with the polls open for a full 24 hours each time. That means we're going to back up the start of the tournament from its traditional March tip-off, to make room for all the votes.

So the 2012 tournament will begin on… January 4. (What a way to start the New Year!)

The Voyage at Holiday World
Our most recent ride tournament champion was The Voyage at Indiana's Holiday World.

Hey, we've got a lot of attractions participating in this year's tournament - I've slotted 140 rides and shows into this year's bracket. So many that we're not going to start with traditional head-to-head match-ups in the first round.

Tweaking an idea from the roller coaster bracket from two years ago, I've selected up to five top-rated examples in various categories of rides and shows, and we'll be voting on which one of those attractions will represent that ride or show category in head-to-head matches with other attractions, starting in round two.

Categories in round one will include: best shoot-'em-up ride, best single-screen simulator ride, best themed coaster, best flume ride, best boat ride, best animal exhibit, best playground, best 3D movie, best animatronic show, best nighttime spectacular, best wooden coaster, best B&M Mega/Giga, and more. I'll post the round one line-ups on Jan. 3.

Once round one is completed, I'll be publishing a match-up bracket based on the number of votes cast in each first-round poll. (Most votes gets top seed, and on down from there.) The attractions will be competing in four classes: Best Themed Ride, Best Live Show, Best Automated Show and Best Roller Coaster. The winners will be crowned the final week in March.

Voting will be open to anyone, though we'll be limiting each reader to one vote per poll. Just like with our votes of the week, you won't need to register to vote. There won't be any preview posts, as we've done in the past, either. We'll detail the contestants and ask you to vote in the same post.

I hope you'll have as much fun voting in and following this tournament as I've had putting it together over the past few weeks. And the best part? When the tournament is complete, the 2012 theme park season will be here!

Replies (5)

December 23, 2011 at 9:10 AM · Sounds good, Robert. I hope to participate as much as possible, given my low level of interest in certain types of attractions and my lack of recent experiences at Disney/Universal.
December 23, 2011 at 10:21 AM · Thanks, Robert. I found the Special Event version last year to be WAY too short and VERY underwhelming. I loved the attraction tournys from years past. On a side note, would it have killed you to cut 12 attractions(maybe playgrounds, as you have that listed as a category) and make a 128 ride field. Then, you could easily do a true bracket(just 1 more round before the traditional field of 64)?
December 23, 2011 at 11:05 AM · CHARGED UP!!! LET'S DO THIS!!!
December 23, 2011 at 11:46 AM · Thank you Robert for all the work you put into this every year and the fresh approach you keep bringing to it. Since I'm still on a high from returning to work just this Tuesday after 8 days at WDW and 1 at Seaworld Orlando - this will certainly help me get through the bleak winter months ahead.
December 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM · I think I can start predicting:

Best Shoot em' up: Definatly TSM
Best Single Screen Simulator: Definatly Star Tours 2
Best Themed Coaster: Most likely USF's Mummy
Best Flume Ride: Most Likely Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain
Best Boat Ride: Most Likely Disneyland's POTC
Best Animal Exhibit: Anything at Animal Kingdom
Best Playground: Most Likely Curious George
Best 3D Movie: Definatly Phillarmagic
Best Anamatronic Show: American Adventure or Carousel of Progress:
Best Nighttime Spectacular: Fantasmic or Illuminations
Best Wooden Coaster: Definatly The Voage

Again, just my predictions.

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