Announcing the Winners of the 16th Annual Theme Park Insider Awards

Announcing the Winners of the 16th Annual Theme Park Insider Awards

July 3, 2017, 11:34 AM · Every year on the Fourth of July holiday, Theme Park Insider honors our readers’ favorite theme park hotels, restaurants, and attractions with our Theme Park Insider Awards. The winners are the locations in each category with the highest average reader rating and a minimum number of ratings overall. Attractions that opened officially to the public at major theme parks between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 were eligible in the Best New Attraction categories. Let’s get to the honors!

* Best New Attraction
Flight of Passage, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The centerpiece of Walt Disney World’s ambitious new Pandora – The World of Avatar, Flight of Passage delivers the most exhilarating simulation of flight yet developed in a theme park.

Previous winners: Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure [2016], Justice League Battle for Metropolis [2015], Banshee [2014], Mystic Manor [2013], Transformers The Ride [2012], Star Tours The Adventures Continue [2011], Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey [2010], Manta [2009], The Simpsons Ride [2008], Mystery Mine [2007], Expedition Everest [2006]

* Best New Roller Coaster
Krakatau Aqua Coaster, Volcano Bay

Okay, it’s got water, not rails, and a half-tube, not a track. But its launches, drops, and high-speed turns make Krakatau a delightful coaster experience and the best new coaster in the world this year.

Previous winners: Mako [2016], Thunderbird [2015]

* Best New Show
Mickey and the Magician, Walt Disney Studios Paris

Debuting last summer, Mickey and the Magician held off strong challenges from a pair of Magic Kingdom shows — The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History and Happily Ever After — to claim the honors with this musical production.

Previous winner: Frozen Live at the Hyperion [2016]

* Best New Theme Park
Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando Resort

Featuring one of the best visual weenies in the industry — with some wicked slides inside that 200-foot volcano — Universal Orlando’s new water theme park delights, even as fans (and Universal) get used to its innovative virtual queueing system.

Previous winners: This is our first award in this category.

* Best Counter Service Restaurant
The Three Broomsticks, Universal Studios Hollywood

The restaurant in Hollywood’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter repeats in this category, winning the award in each of its two years of operation.

Previous winners: The Three Broomsticks [2016], The Leaky Cauldron [2015], Miss Lillian’s Chicken House [2014]

* Best Table Service Restaurant
Tiffins, Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Located at the entrance to Pandora – The World of Avatar, the newest restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom has surged ahead of all competition, delivering exceptional food and service in an intriguing setting.

Previous winners: Magellan’s [2016], Monsieur Paul [2015], S.S. Columbia Dining Room [2013-2014], Bistro De Paris [2010-2012], Les Chefs de France [2009], Mythos Restaurant [2003-2008], Blue Bayou Restaurant [2002]

* Best Hotel Restaurant
Victoria & Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Simply the best restaurant on property at any theme park resort, Victoria & Albert’s is one of the top restaurants anywhere.

Previous winner: Victoria and Albert’s [2015-2016]

* Best Hotel
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Universal Orlando Resort

The stunning Portofino Bay repeats, claiming our honor for a record seventh time.

Previous winners: Universal’s Portofino Bay Hotel [2002, 2009, 2013-2016], Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel [2003-2004, 2011-2012], Disney’s Wilderness Lodge [2010], Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge [2005-2006, 2008], Disney’s Polynesian Resort [2007]

* Best Park

And here’s the upset. Knocking off six-time champion Tokyo DisneySea, the Dutch park that’s long been a favorite of themed entertainment designers finally claims the top spot in our ratings. And that’s without help from Symbolica, its ambitious new trackless dark ride that missed the June 30 cut-off for eligibility in this year’s awards by one day.

Previous winners: Tokyo DisneySea [2005, 2012-2016], Universal’s Islands of Adventure [2002-2004, 2010-2011], Disneyland [2008-2009], Busch Gardens Williamsburg [2006-2007]

Congratulations to all the winners!


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