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King of the Theme Park Graveyard: Semifinals

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Published: May 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM

Once again, all the higher seeds advanced in the tournament, as Theme Park Insider readers vote to select their favorite defunct attraction.

  • Day one, attraction descriptions and results
  • Day two, attraction descriptions and results
  • Quarterfinal results

    Today, it's the semifinals, as the top four, most nominated attractions square off.

    In the first semifinal, top seed Back to the Future faces its one-time Universal Studios Florida neighbor, Kongfrontation.

    The other semifinal is an all-Disney World affair, as The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter from the Magic Kingdom takes on Horizons, late of Epcot.

    Tell us about your favorites, in the comments.

  • Readers' Opinions

    From Danny Melillo on May 8, 2008 at 2:28 PM
    NOOOO! I wanted a Kong BttF final:(. I voted Kong.
    From Eric Malone on May 8, 2008 at 3:10 PM
    Dang, this one's gonna be close.

    Honestly, I'm a bigger BTTF fan than a Kong fan, so that was a fairly easy vote. Horizons was just so much more nostalgic than the short-lived Alien Encounter.

    From Scottland Jacobson on May 8, 2008 at 4:57 PM
    Looks like BTTF will take the grand prize. However, a little ride called Tower of Terror did beat Spidey!

    Ah...but I miss my Soap Box Racers!

    From Danny Melillo on May 8, 2008 at 5:40 PM
    I loved BttF and still do, but no way it beats Kong IMO. Kong had everything and arguably the best queue ever built. It was a ahead of it's time, just think about what it could've been if it were built now. BttF was awesome but was too rough at the end, a basic simulator, and no kick ass monkey animatronics.
    From mister johnson on May 8, 2008 at 5:55 PM
    who is placing these votes? i had much more respect for tpi's audience before this graveyard ordeal. BTTF? Alien Encounter? the best dead attractions were mediocre attractions?
    From Robert Niles on May 8, 2008 at 6:41 PM
    Perhaps we have learned that the best dead attractions are best... dead. ;-P
    From Miker Heyn on May 8, 2008 at 7:37 PM
    Wow. I almost signed up during the last tournament to post comments... but I had to this time. Let me start off by saying how HUGE of a fan I am of both Horror and retro looks toward the future. With that said, Alien Encounter vs. Horizons almost killed me. I had to go with Horizons cause as a kid going on it - it changed my world. AQll of Epcot did. AM I the only person left that loves edu-tainment?! (that and Xanadu House of the Future!) However, I think Alien Encounter is my favorite in present tense. I made a horror show w/ 4D elements because of it... The cast was AWESOME! (Tyra Banks as an alien?! Tim Curry?!) Talk about feeling like you were in a movie... wow! And might I add... I hate stitch's chili dog breath with a passion. Kongfrontation was awesome. But BTTF? I'm shocked. Is it because it just closed? Simpson's is the same ride w/ a different theme... strange!
    From Manny Barron on May 8, 2008 at 8:17 PM
    Back to the Future and Kongfrontation were by far the two best rides in this tournament and it's a shame they had to face each other off in the semi-final, instead of in the final. Sadly for Kong there was no way he was beating BTTF. In the other match up it seems Alien Encounter will move on. Before this tournament started I thought alien encounter was probably the 12th or 13th best attraction in the field and the fact that it has advanced this far is surprising. Again I believe the current Stitch attraction has something to do with it because unlike Horizons and World of Motion, which were replaced with much better attractions, alien encounter was replaced with a worst show. I'm looking forward to a blowout in the final as no bug on the loose in the dark can compare with chasing Biff through the future and the past.
    From Robert Niles on May 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM
    Here's how I rated them, from most- to least-missed:

    Alfred Hitchcock: The Art of Making Movies (Universal Studios Florida)
    Horizons (Epcot)
    Kongfrontation (Universal Studios Florida)
    Back to the Future (Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood)
    Captain EO (Epcot and Disneyland)
    Adventures Through Inner Space (Disneyland)
    World of Motion (Epcot)
    Cranium Command (Epcot)
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom)
    Journey Into Imagination (Epcot)
    America Sings (Disneyland)
    The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter (Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom)
    People Mover (Disneyland)
    Skyway (Disneyland)

    I left out Soap Box Racers and Drachen Fire, since I hadn't been on them. The only other attraction I really would have liked to see in the tournament was the Sleeping Beauty's Castle walk-through from Disneyland, which I would have placed above the People Mover.

    From Olivier Sanguy on May 9, 2008 at 5:52 AM
    I am not surprised that BTTF got a good score (the winner?): it has just been terminated recently for the Simpsons so nostalgia is at full throttle.
    I am glad that Horizons is among the 4 top but I'd like that he makes the final, although it seems that he is behind Alien Encounter...
    Horizons is special for me because it is the best optimistic vision for the future (circa eighties) transformed in a ride. Also, as I am a space buff (see my blog - in French sorry), Horizons contains almost the most inspiring views of what could be a spacefaring civilization, especially at the end. However, it is interesting to note that Alien Encounter is for the moment winning: it is an attraction where critics toward big corporations (even if it is an alien one...) and fear of technical malfunctions are used as the storyline, so more in phase with our cynic world. Horizons was first degree, almost naive, and definitely rooted in a "big bright future" approach that seems outdated today (however, it is its charm).
    By the way, two thumbs up for Robert Niles who was kind enough to write that this tournament was inspired by a comment I did previously. Working in the press/media arena, I can tell that it is not always done. So, again, two thumbs up for Robert! However, the idea was just skin deep and making it a reality is to Robert Niles entire credit!
    From Michael Smith on May 9, 2008 at 6:16 AM
    Alien Encounters is hands down the best attraction in the graveyard, better than most existing attractions. It has NOTHING to do with Stitch. Alien Encounters was one of the few attractions dead or current that had theming so believable that people totally thought it was real. I loved going on this atraction just to watch people run out of the doors a few minutes into it! (I heard one woman sware that the alien took her earring!)The only thing wrong with this ride was that it was in the Magic Kingdom and parents just did not read or did not believe the many huge warning signs.

    BTTF was great if you are a huge fan of the movie, but as Randy Jackson would say it was 'just arright for me.' Actually I hated the ride the last time I rode it, and ws happy to see it put down. I just wish there was something besides another lame simulator opening in its space.

    From Chris Walton on May 9, 2008 at 6:37 AM
    Back to the Future beating Kongfrontation!? Both excellent rides, but I give Kong the edge...

    Perhaps people forgot how great a ride Kong was...

    From David Renteria on May 9, 2008 at 8:15 AM
    To me, a ride with animatronics and real sets will always beat any simulator/movie based ride.
    From Bradley Robertson on May 9, 2008 at 8:55 AM
    Looks like I am going to got the BTTF vs Alien Encounter final I had hoped for. The only problem is now I'll have to figure out which one to vote for!
    From Anthony Murphy on May 9, 2008 at 9:17 AM
    I must be one of the few people actually happy with the results. Yes, it was a tough vote, but I felt more of a connection with BTTF. Maybe because it closed not too long ago, but I felt that it was more memorable. Still, I was sad to see Kong go! In regards to the other race, my family never really liked Horizons that much. I am not sure why, but I think we felt that it was out of place with Spaceship Earth there and it didn't give any addition to the park (there are areas of agroculture, energy, medical, etc). Alien Encounter showed you that Disney could really scare you and can make a new story with NO Disney Characters. I actually miss that attraction alot. The current version is no good. Bring back the scary Alien!
    From Joshua Counsil on May 9, 2008 at 1:13 PM
    I agree, Robert. I'm actually still bitter that the ever-irritating Shrek replaced Hitchcock. Those lame pneumatic chairs in Shrek take away whatever dignity the show had left after its repetitive jokes.

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