The top stories of the year in theme parks: 2013

December 24, 2013, 1:48 PM · In our continuing effort to provide entertainment for people stuck online during this Christmas week, we present the top dozen most-read stories from the past year on Presented in chronological order, they provide a look back at some of the biggest news and controversies of the year. Plus, pretty much anything we posted with the words "Harry Potter." Hey, we know what you like. ;^)

Universal's Diagon Alley
Theme Park Insider's photo of the year: Our first look from inside Diagon Alley under construction at Universal Studios Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Looking for video to watch? Here are a couple of our most popular new videos of the year, along with their corresponding reviews and features:

On-ride of SeaWorld Orlando's Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin

And Six Flags Magic Mountain's Full Throttle

But the ride of the year wasn't one of those — it was Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor, winner of the 2013 Theme Park Insider Award as the world's Best New Theme Park Attraction.

What was your favorite highlight from the past year in theme parks?

Replies (4)

December 25, 2013 at 7:21 PM · I think one of the big stories of 2013 is how HUGE this site is becoming. In a very short time, TPI has really stepped up as the leader in theme park news. I see TPI being quoted all the time by newspapers and TV and magazines and everything. I also think the quality of writing on this site has just become incredible lately. Robert remains the best at what he does, but the new columnists lately have been just awesome. And the wonderful food reviews we got this year from Amanda Jenkins were just delicious. I am just so grateful for this resource and so happy to see this site growing and really becoming a true digital magazine for theme park fans. Keep up the great work in 2014!
December 25, 2013 at 8:58 PM · Ah, thanks. (What's the emoticon for blushing?)
December 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM · Honored to make the list!

Of course, the big stories I felt were the Disney and Universal stepping up their game with New Fantasyland, Harry Potter, and Avatar. I feel that we are entering into a new golden age!

December 27, 2013 at 2:10 PM · Thanks Annette! That was a sweet compliment. It has been a very interesting year for theme parks. It makes me even more anxious to see what is in store for us when plans become more defined.

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