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The Theme Park Tourist Awards 2013

Hogwarts Castle at night

We're thrilled to announce the results of the inaugural Theme Park Tourist awards, which celebrate the very best that theme parks all around the world have to offer.

Incredibly, we've now received nearly 15,000 ratings for rides and shows, as well as hundreds of responses to our awards survey - making this one of the most comprehensive surveys of theme park fans around. Thanks to all those who voted - and check your e-mail, as we've contacted the winner of the $50 Amazon voucher that we gave away to one lucky survey participant.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the Theme Park Tourist Awards for 2013!

Best theme park in the world: Disney's Magic Kingdom

Disney's Magic Kingdom

Runner-up: Islands of Adventure

It attracts more guests than any other theme park in the world, and it seems there's a reason for that: people love Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. With the park's New Fantasyland expansion due to be completed next year with the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster, expect its popularity to soar still further.

Best theme park attraction in the world: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Universal Creative boosted its reputation for innovation to new heights in 2010 with the debut of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Islands of Adventure. The attraction continues to draw huge crowds, although it could face competition next year from the under-construction Gringotts Bank coaster over at Universal Studios Florida.

The full top 20 attractions in the world are listed below, and you can also check out our constantly-updated top 100.

  1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
  2. Nemesis (Alton Towers)
  3. The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (Islands of Adventure)
  4. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney's Hollywood Studios
  5. Expedition Everest (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
  6. Transformers: The Ride - 3D (Universal Studios Florida)
  7. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride (Universal Studios Florida)
  8. Diamondback (Kings Island)
  9. Intimidator (Carowinds)
  10. Top Thrill Dragster (Cedar Point)
  11. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Walt Disney Studios)
  12. Dragon Challenge - Chinese Fireball (Islands of Adventure)
  13. Millennium Force (Cedar Point)
  14. Radiator Springs Racers (Disney California Adventure)
  15. Incredible Hulk Coaster (Islands of Adventure)
  16. Transformers: The Ride - 3D (Universal Studios Hollywood)
  17. El Toro (Six Flags Great Adventure)
  18. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Disneyland)
  19. Manta (SeaWorld Orlando)
  20. Intimidator 305 (Kings Dominion)

Disney may have missed out on the top award, but it still walks away with two of the sub-categories:

Best roller coaster: Nemesis (Alton Towers)
Best drop ride: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
Best dark ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
Best water ride: Splash Mountain (Disneyland)

Best new theme park attraction in the world: Transformers: The Ride - 3D at Universal Studios Florida

Transformers: The Ride

Installed at both Universal Studios Florida this year, and previously at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Studios Singapore, Transformers combines The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man's unique dark ride system with stunning computer-generated footage.

Runner-up: The Smiler (Alton Towers)

Most improved theme park in the world: Universal Studios Florida

Universal Orlando has invested hundreds of millions of pounds to improve Universal Studios Florida, wary that the popularity of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over at neighbouring Islands of Adventure might siphon off guests. This year saw the debut of Transformers: The Ride - 3D, and the park could be in line for the award again next year when it opens it own Harry Potter land, Diagon Alley.

Runner-up: Pleasurewood Hills

Best value theme park in the world: Cedar Point

Runner-up: Holiday World

With its staggeringly wide array of roller coaster and flat rides, Cedar Point offers a lot of bang for your buck. Runner-up Holiday World continues to rate highly with its free sunscreen, unlimited soft drinks and free parking.

Best theme park in the US: Disney's Magic Kingdom

Runner-up: Islands of Adventure

No surprises here, with the global rankings being reflected in the US.

Best theme park attraction in the US: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Best roller coaster: Expedition Everest (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
Best drop ride: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
Best dark ride: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (Islands of Adventure)
Best water ride: Splash Mountain (Disneyland)

Best new theme park attraction in the US: Transformers: The Ride - 3D

Runner-up: GateKeeper (Cedar Point)

Most improved theme park in the US: Universal Studios Florida

Runner-up: Disney California Adventure

Best value theme park in the US: Cedar Point

Runner-up: Holiday World

Best theme park in the UK: Alton Towers

Alton Towers

Runner-up: Thorpe Park

Alton Towers, with its world-class line-up of thrill rides and sinister gothic mansion, continues to dominate the UK theme park scene. Despite a troubled year that saw it encounter a host of problems with new coaster The Smiler, it seems most fans still rate it as the country's number one.

Best theme park attraction in the UK: Nemesis at Alton Towers

Nemesis

The mighty Nemesis has been regularly cited as the UK's best roller coaster for many years, and TPT readers rate it as the country's best overall ride, too.

Best roller coaster: Nemesis (Alton Towers)
Best drop ride: Apocalypse (Drayton Manor)
Best dark ride: Wallace & Gromit's Thrill-O-Matic (Blackpool Pleasure Beach)
Best water ride: Valhalla (Blackpool Pleasure Beach)

Best new theme park attraction in the UK: The Smiler at Alton Towers

The Smiler

It may have suffered from frequent downtime, but the record-shattering The Smiler still receives top marks from TPT's readers. Pleasurewood Hills shows that you don't necessarily need a mega-budget to create a great ride, with Hobs Pit (opened at a cost of just £500k) also ranking highly.

Runner-up: Hobs Pit (Pleasurewood Hills)

Most improved theme park in the UK: Pleasurewood Hills

Hobs Pit

Pleasurewood Hills' new management have instigated a major turnaround of the park, which at one stage looked to be drifting towards an inevitable closure. As well as a selection of new rides, the park has also greatly expanded its Pleasurewood Chills Halloween events, offering some of the best horror mazes around.

Runner-up: Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Best value theme park in the UK: Pleasurewood Hills

In the 1980s, Pleasurewood Hills boasted that it offered "your biggest day out ever". Nowadays, a day of fun at the park can be quite affordable: during its Halloween events, entry was £13.50.

Runner-up: Flamingo Land

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