Theme Park Insider readers have voted, and now I am honored to announce the winners. Based on your nominations and final-round votes, here are the winners of the annual Theme Park Insider Awards.
Two new rides stood above all others in our first-round vote this year. Our finalist was Iron Gwazi, the RMC coaster from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, but our 2022 Theme Park Insider Award winner is...
Guardians of the Galaxy - Cosmic Rewind at Walt Disney World's Epcot.
Epcot's first roller coaster is not just a fun coaster ride. It's a complete attraction experience, starting the moment you enter Epcot's "Wonders of Xandar" pavilion, inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Throw in some nifty pro-show tricks and a varying on-ride soundtrack, and Cosmic Rewind pushed enough buttons to capture our award.
Our finalists for best year-end holiday event were Busch Gardens Tampa Bay's Christmas Town, Holidays at Universal Orlando, Knott's Merry Farm, SeaWorld Orlando's Christmas Celebration and Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas. But your choice as the winner for Best Holiday Event was...
Holidays at the Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland celebrated not just Christmas but a diverse collection of year-end traditions with its Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure and classic attraction overlays, including this year's 25th anniversary of It's a Small World Holiday. The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort has become Southern California's leading holiday tradition, and a winner with our readers.
You nominated Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa, Knott's Scary Farm, and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in this category. But your winner, once again, was...
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida.
Universal Orlando's hard-ticket Halloween event continues to set the creative and business standard for after-hours parties in the theme park industry. It's been a hit for 30 years now and continues to remain our readers' favorite place to enjoy fear.
The Insider of the Year Award honors someone in the themed entertainment industry whose body of work merits this individual honor, in a year when their work drew special attention. Theme Park Insider's 2022 Insider of the Year is...
Bob Weis, former Global Ambassador and former President of Walt Disney Imagineering.
Bob retired from The Walt Disney Company at the end of 2022, but he's far from done working as a creator. While we thank Bob for his amazing work on projects from Tokyo to Shanghai and beyond, we can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
Ten finalists topped your nominations in this category this year, and your winner for Best Hotel is, once again and for the sixth time...
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World offers several Deluxe properties, but Animal Kingdom Lodge stands out for its immersive setting among the wildlife of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, along with its outstanding on-site dining and service.
Another full field of 10 finalists competed for the Best Restaurant honor in a tough year for the dining industry. This year's winner is...
Blue Bayou Restaurant at Disneyland.
The Blue Bayou won our initial award in this category, way back in 2002. Twenty years later, it's back on top, testifying to the enduring appeal of the iconic setting and menu at this restaurant on the banks of Disney's original Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Based on your nominations, our finalists in this category included The Bourne Stuntacular from Universal Studios Florida, Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Universal Orlando's Horror Makeup Show, and WaterWorld at Universal Studios Hollywood. And the winner for Best Show is...
Fantasmic! at Disneyland.
Fantasmic! celebrated its 30th anniversary on the Rivers of America at Disneyland last summer. While the show has changed over the years, it remains an all-time favorite with theme park fans.
This year, Theme Park Insider readers' finalists in this categories were Carowinds' Fury 325, Island of Adventure's Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Kings Dominion's Intimidator 305, Dollywood's Lightning Rod, SeaWorld Orlando's Mako, and Maverick and Steel Vengeance from Cedar Point. And the winner for Best Roller Coaster, for the second year in a row, is...
Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure.
With outstanding coaster elements, engaging theming, and wonderful decoration from the queue through the ride itself, VelociCoaster wins raves both from devoted roller coaster enthusiasts and casual theme park fans, making a winning combination for everyone, including our readers.
Ten top attractions moved on from the nomination round to our finals this year. And, once again, our readers' choice for Best Attraction was...
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Rise of the Resistance has won each year since its 2019 debut at Walt Disney World, wowing fans with incredible placemaking and engaging storytelling across multiple ride systems.
Theme Park Insider readers favored the world's most popular theme parks in this year's nominations. Which makes sense - people end up going to the top parks so often because they are top parks. But in the final-round vote, three parks stood above the rest of the finalists: Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure, the original Disneyland in California, and our winner:
Tokyo DisneySea at the Tokyo Disney Resort.
A great theme park isn't just the sum of its parts. A great park delivers immersive theming, stunning decoration and outstanding customer service throughout, in addition to world-class attractions and entertainment. The best of the best is also a great value, too, as the reasonably-priced Tokyo Disney Resort parks continue to do. Winning our Best Theme Park honor for the seventh time, Tokyo DisneySea proved again this year that it delivers for theme parks fans around the world.
Thank you to the thousands of Theme Park Insider readers who participated in this year's awards process, from submitting nominations to voting in our final-round polls. It continues to be my honor and pleasure to bring you theme park news and coverage throughout the year. Thank you for being part of Theme Park Insider.
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