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Vote of the week: Favorite theme park travel movie?

By Robert Niles
Published: December 12, 2008 at 12:02 PM
This week's vote is inspired by my trip this week to Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Inspired by world's fairs, Epcot offers pavilions and attractions themed to countries around the world. Travel's always been a popular theme for amusement attractions. Way back in the day, Disneyland offered its pioneering CircleVision film, "America the Beautiful," which was followed at other Disney theme parks by other CircleVision travelogues, including "American Journeys" and "The Timekeeper."

Bringing impressive travel films to a unique presentation environment, such as the CircleVision theater, was a logical next step for Disney, given its history with non-fiction film-making, such as its "True Life Adventure" series.

These days, it seems that movie attractions are losing their popularity. If you see a movie attraction in a theme park, it's more like to be a 4-D film than CircleVision, and the subject cartoon characters instead of the world around us. Yet Epcot holds out, offering four unique movie travelogues for us old-school theme park fans.

  • Impressions de France
  • O Canada!
  • Reflections of China
  • Soarin'

    (Okay, for the record, let's note that Soarin' is a dupe of Soarin' Over California from Disney's California Adventure, so Epcot's not the only place you can see any of these four.)

    But which is your favorite? For this vote, let's focus just on the film itself, and ignore whatever advantage Soarin' might have from its gentle ride element.

    I've got some strong feelings on this one, which I will reveal and discuss in my Tuesday Park Visit column next week. But I wanted to set up that piece by hearing from you. Talk in the comments, please, about your favorite from among these films (or the old ones that no longer run).

    Readers' Opinions

    From Ben James on December 12, 2008 at 12:09 PM
    I'm excited that I got the first vote in the poll.

    That aside, I don't feel Soarin is a travel film per say. But, it does a damn good job at making California look like a wonderful place to visit.


    SHOCKER!
    I didn't ride this attraction in WDW when I went in 2006. I rode this attraction in 2008 when I went to DL for the first time.

    From Mike Duchock on December 12, 2008 at 12:54 PM
    I'm not surprised that Soarin' is winning in a landslide. I consider it a ride more than a travel film like the other choices.

    Without doubt my choice is Impressions de France, mainly for the soul stirring score. It's my favorite track on my Walt Disney World CD.

    From Tim W on December 12, 2008 at 12:54 PM
    No brainer, soarin all the way!
    From Raul Araoz on December 12, 2008 at 1:14 PM
    Good to see the poll on Epcot films. I thought I'd never see it after suggesting a version of it a couple months back. This choice is easy. Soarin' is the most overrated Disney attraction. Impressions de France is the only film I have to see every trip. It beats the Circlevision films both in score and in footage and in the fact it has seats. I never understood why the Circlevision films can't have a sort of swiveling stool to sit on.
    From Anthony Murphy on December 13, 2008 at 8:06 AM
    Tough one!

    I go with China's because it is so exotic to me and I love that poet angle. It honestly makes me want to go to China Every Time!


    I actually like all of them, but we forgot Norway! I don't think that one will win though! People leave as if you would be kidnapped if you stay by the one eyed "You are not ze first to pass this way" man. Sorry, not enough sleep!

    And I agree, Soarin is more of a ride, but I guess it fits due to showing the wonders of CA in film form.

    From Amanda Jenkins on December 13, 2008 at 11:13 AM
    LOL, when I read the title, I first thought we were voting on movies so I was ready to vote for National Lampoon's Vacation. Wally World here we come. Then I actually read what we were voting on. Had to go with Soarin', especially after thinking of the hard trip Clark took to get to California.
    From TH Creative on December 13, 2008 at 3:54 PM
    Not sure I regard 'Soarin'' as a travel film.

    My fave is still 'Impressions de France' -- if only because of its sound track.

    From Alan Puscus on December 13, 2008 at 7:13 PM
    Amanda, I thought the same thing!
    "Who's the Moosest moose we know....."

    I go with Soarin' as well.
    Real tomato ketchup Eddie?

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