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King of the Theme Park Graveyard: Quarterfinals

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Published: May 7, 2008 at 9:02 AM

All the favorites advanced to the quarterfinal round of our tournament to determine readers' favorite defunct theme park attraction.

  • Day one, attraction descriptions and votes
  • Day two, attraction descriptions and votes

    In the second round, Back to the Future (Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood) takes on Skyway (Disneyland). Will readers prefer Back to the Future's flight-simulator chase of Biffen Tannen through time or the Skyway's gentle trip over Fantasyland and through the Matterhorn?

    Our second vote matches The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom) against the original Journey Into Imagination (Epcot). Both Disney attracts appeal to visitor's imagination, the first with creepy audio effects and the second with more typical Disney whimsy.

    It's a classic Epcot Future World showdown in our next contest, as former neighbors Horizons and World of Motion square off. Two Omnimover rides, one looking toward the future (Horizons) and the other the past (World of Motion).

    It's a battle between the great ape from Kongfrontation (Universal Studios Florida) against the giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom) in our final match-up.

    Feel free to reminisce in the comments....

  • Readers' Opinions

    From Robert Niles on May 7, 2008 at 9:15 AM
    I was going to post a comment rooting for my favorite remaining ride, but then I remembered that my endorsements have been the kiss of death in these tournaments, so I'm just gonna keep my picks quiet and defer to anyone who seems to be having his or her picks win in this thing.

    That said, I think we're looking for another day of blow-outs, before the tournament really gets interesting, with the semis tomorrow.

    From Scottland Jacobson on May 7, 2008 at 9:15 AM
    I applied my "repeat ride" methodolgy to the BTTF vs. Skyway vote. What ride would you go on multiple times at a park? Skyway wins, hands down. After one ride on BTTF, you might be a bit ill and shaken.

    And why is ExtraTERRORestial Alien Encounter still getting the votes? As everyone has said, it was a mediocre attraction at best. Voting on it as "revenge for Stitch" just doesn't make sense. Was it a good attraction...or not?

    From Chris Wilkes on May 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM
    I think dislike (or indifference) for Alien Encounter is a vocal minority... long before Stitch, the attraction going the way of the do-do was a HUGE problem for tons of people.
    As evidenced by the number of tribute sites and whatnot that the attraction has garnered over the years, it is obvious that there is a very very large faction of people that loved it dearly and thought it was not only a one of a kind experience... but an AMAZING one at that- myself included. I think the people talking about it here right now are again, a vocal minority at the moment- as the votes attest to.

    Now as for World of Motion vs. Horizons... that is probably the toughest matchup in this AND the previous tournament combined for me... Though I ultimately went for Horizons for the "choose your own ending" aspect.

    From Dan Rosenberg on May 7, 2008 at 11:44 AM
    From the results I'm seeing, it's obvious that BTTF is going to win this contest. I mean, the only ride that has a chance besides that is Kong.
    From Robert Niles on May 7, 2008 at 11:48 AM
    Hey, a lot of people thought that Spider-Man was cruising to an easy win, too....
    From Derek Potter on May 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM
    BTTF got my only vote today. It was such a groundbreaking ride at the time. There's nothing special about skyway. There was one in operation at Kings Island (and numerous other non Disney parks) years ago that was just as "special" as this one. Did every dead Disney ride get in just because it was Disney? Nominated or not, the fact that a skyride got in over attractions that had a much more significant impact on their respective park is crap. Speaking of crap, maybe I'll nominate a Disney toilet for the next tournament. It's sure to get past at least the first round right?
    From James Rao on May 7, 2008 at 1:55 PM
    BTTF is pretty much the best overall attraction in this tournament. It gets my vote today, even though I did not vote for it in the first round.

    Alien Encounter gets my vote again, mainly because I am still wanting to stick it to Disney for the Great Stitch Debacle. And also because Alien Encounter was pretty scary to a 12 year old way back when....

    I skipped Horizons/Motion this time. I am not a huge fan of either attraction and I consider both Mission:Space and Test Track to be big improvements.

    Lastly, I voted against Kong, but simply because I do not want Universal to ever second guess their building of Revenge of the Mummy.

    And, Robert, I think your links to Day One/Day Two are reversed...but then, I could just be insane like my wife always tells me I am.

    From Robert Niles on May 7, 2008 at 4:34 PM
    Fixed. Thanks.
    From Manny Barron on May 7, 2008 at 4:50 PM
    The more this tournament advances, the more I'm convinced Back to the Future will run away with the title. I'm still baffled by the fact that 25 percent of the people have picked the Skyway. Back to the Future should have no trouble getting past Alien Encounter or Imagination which are such much more inferior than BTTF and even the skyway. Kongfrontation and Horizons will be a very good match for second place, as neither will beat Doc Brown and his flying DeLorean.
    From mister johnson on May 7, 2008 at 6:57 PM
    Skyway was an authentic visceral experience...it was completely real and (especially for theme park junkies) a real-life glimpse above the Magic Kingdom. At times, it was a view to the ugly backside of a Disney park. It was awesome.

    BTTF, on the other hand, was an unpleasant, disjointed mess. Despite the fact that it was completely contrived, it was out of sync, out of focus, and unnecessarily rough.

    Boo BTTF. Yay Skyway!

    From Brandon Mendoza on May 8, 2008 at 10:05 AM
    I can agree about BTTF. As much as I love the movies, the ride was definitely not synced completely right. It was a bit ugly with the roughness, and the film and screen were degrading just like Star Tours. And the transitions between scenes was a bit clunky... Soarin has the excuse that they're not telling a story so jump cuts aren't bad. But BTTF is supposed to be a full story with us being the "stars."

    Sure, the Skyway was a dime a dozen in theme parks. But I can't say that the Skyway wasn't fun. The ride through the Matterhorn was something unique, something that can't be experienced anymore.

    I just feel that BTTF could have been done better.

    And I'm still surprised that ExtraTERRORestrial is still getting votes as I think it's missing so much (not that Stitch is significantly better from what I hear). To vote for this just to protest Stitch isn't right.

    ExtraTERRORestrial wasn't very exciting... it was unique, as it grossed you out with saliva, tongues, and breath, but not very effectively. It didn't really provide the illusion of much other than a loose alien that chomped on the maintenance guy. It was missing a lot from the visual department. I think it needed some visual cues like out of a horror movie where the actual alien shows up in your face, or right between you and another person. Better yet they should have stuck with the H.R. Geiger Aliens as they're on the Great Movie Ride.

    I'm very disappointed in which rides are winning, and for what reasons too... but I guess that's the way it goes!

    From LJ Warner on May 8, 2008 at 10:21 AM
    I didn't vote for BTTF (even though I did ride it one last time before its demise) because (having long hair) EVERY time I rode it I had hunks of hair painfully yanked out by the rivets in the seats. It didn't help to put my hair in a pony tail, braid it or do all of the above along with shoving it under my hat; I still lost hair to that ride. So my memories of BTTF are painful ones.
    From James Rao on May 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM
    ==> "And I'm still surprised that ExtraTERRORestrial is still getting votes as I think it's missing so much (not that Stitch is significantly better from what I hear). To vote for this just to protest Stitch isn't right."

    Brandon, go ride Stitch, and you will understand exactly why I am protesting/voting the way I am! =)

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