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2012 Readers Choice Awards for Theme Parks and Water Parks

Readers Pick the Best New Rides, Coasters, Shows, Food, and Events from 2011

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OK park fans, it's time to let your voices be heard again. The annual Readers' Choice Awards showcase the best new stuff at parks -- the things that captured the attention, stoked the admiration, and outright dazzled readers like you during the past year. Parks introduced lots of popular new goodies during 2011, so it should be a spirited competition.

There are some other great online awards programs for parks, but the Readers' Choice Awards is the only one that focuses exclusively on new achievements in the previous year. Think of it as the Academy Awards or the People's Choice Awards for parks. There aren't any prizes for the winners, nor is there any boring awards ceremony -- just the bragging rights that come with getting recognized by the readers of one of the biggest networks on the Web.

To get weekly updates about the theme park awards as well as the latest news about the world of theme parks, water parks, and themed attractions, subscribe to About.com's Theme Parks Newsletter.

This is the second year that the Theme Parks site has participated in About.com's Readers Choice Awards. Do you want to know which parks got the nod for the first crop of awards? Check out last year's RCA results.

Voting is Over

About.com, 2012.
The nomination and voting phases of the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards are now over. See a complete list of the winners and runners-up, as determined by your votes.

Best New Theme Park Attraction of 2011

© Arthur Levine, 2011. Licensed to About.com.
This category includes any new ride or park attraction that debuted anywhere in the world during 2011 except a show, roller coaster, or ride in a water park (which have their own categories). The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best New Theme Park Attraction of 2011

Best New Theme Park Show of 2011

SeaWorld. Used with permission.
Vote for the best new park show that debuted anywhere in the world during 2011. A "show" is any outdoor presentation, including a parade, or indoor theater-type presentation. The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best New Theme Park Show of 2011

Best New Roller Coaster of 2011

Six Flags, 2010. Used with permission.
Vote for the best new coaster that debuted anywhere in the world during 2011. Coasters that were moved from one location to another are not eligible. The finalists are:
  • Wooden Warrior at Quassy Amusement Park.
  • Green Lantern at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
  • Cheetah Hunt at Busch Gardens Tampa.
  • Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia.
  • New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas. (Note that, while the 2011 ride shares a name and location with the original Texas Giant, it was changed substantially and therefore qualifies as a "new" roller coaster for the awards.)

Vote now for the Best New Roller Coaster of 2011

Best New Water Park Ride of 2011

Calypso Theme Waterpark Limoges Canada © Copyright 2011
Cast your vote for the best new water park ride at either outdoor or indoor water parks (including indoor water park resorts) that debuted anywhere in the world during 2011. Note that water rides in theme parks (such as shoot-the-chute or whitewater raft rides) are not eligible. The ride must be located in a water park, including water parks that are part of theme parks. The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best New Water Park Ride of 2011

Best New Park Food of 2011

© Arthur Levine, 2012. Licensed to About.com.
What will get your vote for the best new food item at a theme park or water park (including indoor water parks) that debuted anywhere in the world during 2011? It could be a snack item, a quick-service dish, or something new at a full-service restaurant. New food served anywhere at theme park or water park resorts, including on-property hotels and onsite dining/entertainment/shopping complexes would be eligible. This is a new category for the 2012 Theme Park Readers' Choice Awards. The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best New Park Food of 2011

Best Theme Park Halloween Event of 2011

Knott's Berry Farm, 2011. Used with permission.
Which park will get your vote for the best Halloween event last year? This award is not for any one attraction, but for the best overall presentation, including haunted mazes, scare zones, shows, and decorations. This is another new category for the 2012 Theme Park Readers' Choice Awards. The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best Theme Park Halloween Event of 2011

Best Theme Park Holidays Event of 2011

Silver Dollar City. Used with permission.
Which park will get your vote for the best Christmas holiday event last year? As with the Halloween award, this category is for the best overall presentation, including shows, holiday lights, festive food, special attractions, and decorations. This is yet another new category for the 2012 Theme Park Readers' Choice Awards. The finalists are:

Vote now for the Best Theme Park Christmas Holidays Event of 2011

To Ensure Fairness...

Note that users must provide an email address or log in via their Facebook or About.com accounts to vote. Votes are limited to one vote per award category per user per day, and any votes not originating from the about.com domain will be rejected. To ensure fairness, we have internal checks in place to detect fraudulent voting activity, and in some cases the poll results shown during voting may not reflect the accurate final counts used to determine winners.

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