SeaWorld, Ice Breaker coaster voted top honors – Orlando Sentinel

SeaWorld Orlando and its new Ice Breaker roller coaster came out on top in two categories of the latest 10Best Awards for 2022.

SeaWorld was voted best theme park in North America, while sister park Busch Gardens Tampa Bay finished fifth. No other Florida attractions made the top 10 of the poll. A panel of experts and 10Best editors picks 20 nominees in each category, and then winners are determined by popular online vote.

Ice Breaker, which opened earlier this year, was tabbed as best new theme park attraction, edging out Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster at Peppa Pig Theme Park, which debuted in Winter Haven in February. Iron Gwazi of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay was seventh; Jurassic World VelociCoaster at Universal’s Islands of Adventure finished ninth. (In a weird quirk, VelociCoaster was No. 1 as best new attraction in last year’s poll.)

Islands of Adventure’s Confisco Grille topped the best theme-park restaurant category, followed by Yak and Yeti at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Other Central Florida finishers include Mythos at IOA (fifth place), Leaky Caldron at Universal Studios (eighth) and Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant (ninth).

Mako, a thrill ride at SeaWorld Orlando, was second in the best roller coaster category, trailing only El Toro of Six Flags Great Adventure. VelociCoaster was eighth, and Iron Gwazi was ninth.

Florida hotels dominated the best theme-park hotel chart but didn’t take the top spot, which went to Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa. Legoland Hotel in Winter Haven was third. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resorts landed in fourth, followed by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in fifth. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort was seventh, with Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort rounding out the top 10.

“Celtic Fyre: Live Irish Step Dancing,” a show at Busch Gardens Williamsburg topped the list of theme park entertainment for 2022. Florida acts in the top 10 included “Turn It Up!” at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Bourne Stuntacular at Universal Studios, “Harmonious” at Epcot, “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom, “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King” at Animal Kingdom and Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle at Islands of Adventure.

The 10Best.com website covers the travel industry and is a product of USA Today. It asks for votes on a wide variety of travel topics, including best helicopter tour, best public square, best meal prep kit subscription, best free museum and best coastal small town.

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