What's the Best Theme Park in America?

The theme park fan site Theme Park Insider has named Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando as the Best Theme Park for 2010. Runners up are Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

The site determines its award winners based on reader ratings submitted over the past 12 months.

Universal's Islands of Adventure gets top mention with "runaway enthusiasm" for its new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, Robert Niles, the site's founder and editor, says on his blog.

Not suprisingly, winner for Best New Attraction is the Harry Potter ride, followed by runners-up Disney California Adventure's World of Color and the tall Intimidator coaster at Carowinds in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey dominated in 2010, winning the Best New Attraction honor by a wide margin," Niles writes.

"Not only does Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey enjoy the highest reader rating on ThemeParkInsider.com of any attraction that debuted in the past 12 months, it currently boasts the highest reader rating of 'all' attractions listed on the Website," he adds. "Simply put, our readers say that not only is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey clearly the best new theme park ride of the year, it's the best theme park ride in America. "

In its 9th annual awards, the website also named Bistro de Paris at Walt Disney World's Epcot in Orlando as the Best Theme Park Restaurant, followed by Les Chefs de France at Epcot and Mythos Restaurant at Universal's Islands of Adventure.

"Year after year, the restaurant award is the most closely contested of all the Theme Park Insider Awards, and 2010 provided no exception," says Niles. He says Bistro de Paris wins praise for "great food and great service. "This is the first year winning the Best Theme Park Restaurant honor for Bistro de Paris, which edges out last year's winner, Les Chef de France, as well as the 2003-2008 winner, Mythos," Niles says.

Theme Park Insider named as Best Theme Park Hotel, Disney's Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World. Runners-up were Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney's Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World.

"A runner-up last year, Disney's Wilderness Lodge in 2010 wins the Best Theme Park Hotel honor for this first time," Niles says. He says the property gets raves for its level of service and repeat visits from the site's readers.

Photo, Samuel Justice, flickr
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