What are the most overrated theme park attractions in America?
About.com's Arthur Levine this morning offered his list of the most overrated roller coasters in America
, which inspired me to respond.
First, I decided to look beyond roller coasters, and instead offer the most overrated attraction at each of the parks I've visited in the past year or so. If I've not listed a park, it's either because I haven't visited it recently, or I didn't feel like slapping the "overrated" label on anything there.
Now, to me, to be "overrated" a ride must be highly rated by many in the first place. There's no point I see in declaring reviled coasters such as "Son of Beast" overrated, as Arthur does. They're hated, as they should be. "Worst" attractions would be a different list. These are simply the attractions I consider not as good as many people say. Some of them are fine rides, otherwise.
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur
Sorry, but every time I've ridden this it's been too dark for me to see much of anything, making it a far less exciting show than it should be.
Disney's Hollywood Studios: Rock n' Roller Coaster
Nice launch, but then this ride coasts through a faux LA that reminds me of DCA's un-missed Superstar Limo.
Disney's California Adventure: Soarin' Over California
The conceit of the ride traps the camera in the air, robbing it of connecting with detail on the ground. A forgettable soundtrack doesn't help.
Disneyland: Indiana Jones Adventure
Once great, now so poorly maintained that many effects are missing and you notice your headache more than the narrative on the ride.
Dollywood: Mystery Mine
Whatever you do, don't actually keep your head back against the rest on this often slow and awkward ride. Ouch.
Kings Island: The Beast
Ditto what Arthur said. The most overrated coaster in America.
Knott's Berry Farm: Montezooma's Revenge
Another one-trick pony, undeserving of its high rating. All I can say is that it's better than its neighbor, the useless Jaguar.
SeaWorld Orlando: Journey to Atlantis
Loved it when it first opened, but it isn't holding up. Please, Blackstone, pay for the rehab this attraction desperately needs.
SeaWorld San Diego: Journey to Atlantis
At least Orlando still has the dark ride element in its version of the ride.
Six Flags Magic Mountain: Scream
Nice when it first opened, but the unforgiving and aesthetically oppressive parking lot setting has rendered this the roughest B&M coaster I've ridden.
Universal Studios Hollywood: Revenge of the Mummy
Such an abridged version of the Florida 'Mummy,' you can't ride this one without coming away disappointed, if you've ridden the east coast version.
Universal's Islands of Adventure: Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
Themeing gaps within the mountain claim the title for what's probably the best ride on this list, otherwise.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Again, another abridged version of an audience favorite. This time, it's the east coast fans who suffer.
* Update: If I'm listing overrated attractions today, you can pretty much guess what I'll be listing tomorrow, right? :-)
for the ones i ve ridden i mostly agree but, dinosaur is the scariest ride in disney, the last dinosaur is right in your face. Great ride!
I really enjoyed the Rock and Roller Coaster, but think that it is a bit too short. Actually, I think that it might be my favorite ride at WDW.
I agree with you on many of those choices. I do have to say my friend, that you are stoned when you call The Beast overrated. It's getting older, and maybe it's been neutered a bit with brakes and reprofiling over the years, but it delivers just fine. It's been profiled a lot in the mainstream media over the years, and lots of locals seem to have a affair with the ride. For those reasons you could say that there is a little extra unnecessary attention being shown to the ride, but overrated? no.
The Beast? Overrated? I honestly don't think it is. I agree with everything Derek said above.
Firehawk vs. Beast was a tough call there, but ultimately, I thought that while I'm cool with The Beast, it just doesn't elicit in me the rapturous response it gets from others. That makes it overrated, in my book.
You're dead on with Soarin Over California!
I loved dinosaur. I've only ridden it a couple times, but it was great. I knew that dinosaur at the end was coming but it still scared me! That was probably the funnest thing I did at Animal Kingdom, besides Expedition Everest.
Test Track. I don't see why people wait 2 hours for this ride. The theme of a GM test facility has never excited me. I'd much rather ride slow old World of Motion. At least there were immersive details to look at.
The Beast is definetly not overrated. It easily gives the best night ride over any other coaster I have ridden. Even with the trim breaks(which they do have too many of) I think it is still one of the best wooden coasters out there. I truly believe the most overrated coaster at Kings Island is Diamondback. I just don't think it gives that great of a ride, and is, dare I say, boring.
Personally, I'd include SOARIN' at WDW. After all the hype, and even an hour wait using Fast Pass, I was extremely disappointed. We ended up at the very edge of the bottom row which was just a couple of feet above the ground and ruined the visual aspect. Then the footage changes every 5 to 10 seconds ruining the continuous flight effect. You're on a swing with air blowing in your face watching an IMAX movie. I don't understand why this is so highlu rated.
I'll have to disagree with Beast, but maybe that's because my only other woodie experiences have been Blue Streak [which I do love for what it is] & Mean Streak at Cedar Point. I found a Beast night ride to be thrilling, with the feeling of being lost in the woods.
Great list! Nearly all of these left me wondering what anyone could see in them. With only a few exceptions, they lack a decent storyline, the essential ingredient for all but the most brainless thrill rides. An exception is Dinosaur, which has a storyline but fails to integrate it into the ride; it also has such low lighting levels and jerky motions that it's impossible to see the several million dollars worth of dinosaurs.
FWIW, I almost selected Poseidon's Fury for IOA, but decided that it wasn't rated highly enough to be overrated. (No one seems to love it, at least not to the level that folks like Dudley.) PF's got a great effect, but persistent audio problems within the building have made it impossible for me to follow the narrative.
My vote for overrated attraction? "Twister" at USF. After going through the real thing, it's hard to get thrilled with a few stage-effect shaking buildings and a fog-machine swirl that reminded me of a draining bathtub. "Jaws" was a close runner-up for yawn-factor unexcitement.
I've never been to Disneyland Resort, so I can't say anything about Soarin' Over California, but I have ridden Soarin' at Epcot and love the ride. (It is my understanding that they are pretty much exactly the same except for a name change in Florida.) It's a little debatable whether it's worth waiting an hour to ride it, but I almost find it inspiring. I wouldn't say the score is forgettable... it's actually my favorite part of the ride. I do agree, though, that the cuts in between the locales take away a little bit from the "realism" of the experience. Certainly not the best ride I've been on, but I enjoy going on it when I'm at Epcot.
Dueling Dragons ... or Dragon Challenge ... or whatever it will be called in 2021.
I have to disagree about your thoughts on Soarin's soundtrack. That is one of Disney's modern classics. Just hearing it brings a smile to my safe.
To me, the most overrated attraction is Mission: Space at Epcot. Talk about a let down. I waited in a two hour line to be able to ride it one hot night for the first time in 2006. I even rode the "extreme" version. I still don't see what the exciting part of it was. I felt like there was hardly anything to it for even a medicore ride, much less one hailed as a "thrill' ride.
Ouch... I love Mission: Space. Our first disagreement, Amanda! ;)
Robert, while I disagree with a few entries on your list (Dinosaur, Rip Saw Falls, Mystery Mine, and RnRC), I think you are spot on for the most part (especially POTC at WDW - what a disappointment).
Jaws and the Jungle Cruise can be highly entertaining at times. I think they are liked by many because they are more personal attractions. It's like a 5min one actor theater show. We always ride Jaws during HHN and pretend along with our skipper. And we always hope for a good skipper ahead of time, and rate the perfomance of our skipper after. The Jungle Cruise has had times when they weren't too strict on following the official speil, and if you got the right skipper, it would be a hilarious ride. It's still fun to hear the official speil though, because each skipper does it in their own way. I guess it's all in what you look for.. but I'd take either of these 2 over the spin back and forth to the next blurry 3-d screen of spiderman any day.
Well we all have our overrated attraction picks. Personally, I love Dinosaur (the one ride at Disney that can scare me) and RnC is just a fun concept that I love each time more than I ride. Soarin is fun too. Here is my picks:
THe most overrated rides at great adventure are The Darknight coaster it is a very boring ride. You are in the dark and only drop twice.
How can you say Dinosaur is overrated? I think it's underrated! That is one of the must rides every time I hit up DAK.
are you kidding me?! you considered some of these rides over rated? you have to be joking? i almost consider not returning to this site when i read that. why? because in my mind you totally destroyed all cred. youre entitled to opinion as all are,you run the site. but really, whats not overrated to you? dinosaur? pirates, the mummy, indy, and thats not all. i dont know if i can take anything you post any more seriously
Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Everybody has their favorites and Mr. Niles has his opinions just like myself, Rao, TH, and everybody else. Most of his picks are true if you happen to be able to go to all the Universals and Disney Parks. Pirates at WDW is a bathtub compared to the wonderment you can find in Disneyland.
Everybody is entitled to his opinion, BUT I don't understand how anybody can say that any of the Disney rides or attractions are overrated.
Dinosaur isn't overrated -- some people don't even like the ride because they keep comparing it to Indy. As for the "too dark to see anything" complaints, they puzzle me. Yes, part of the ride is in the dark, but the lights go up every time you encounter a dinosaur. And the lighting makes the AAs look that much more lifelike and realistic. One of my favorites at WDW.
All incredibly subjective, but my votes (I've taken some liberties with the term "attraction"):
Are people confusing "overrated" with " familiarity" or " In need of re-hab " ?
There is no way Tower of Terror @ DHS is not a bigger let down than Rockin Roller Coaster. And for the sheer wait, Test Track @ EPCOT is among the kings of over rated attractions.
Anthony stated it correctly: overrated does not mean lousy! I like most of the attractions mentioned, just not as much as their overall TPI ratings would indicate.
Here are a few of my Choices -
I can only base this on parks I've been to, and being from Jacksonville, FL you can assume it will be heavy on Orlando atractions:
DHS's TOT, a big letdown?? I notice that outrageous opinion was posted anonymously. DHS's TOT is one of the best rides in America (and won the "best ride in America" tournament on this site a couple years back).
I have to second Mr. Rao on his claim that Everest is overrated. Not only is this ride overrated, I personally think this is the absolute WORST roller coaster I have ever ridden. I am BTW an Orlando local- so I have ridden this overrated beast plenty of times.
James, you (who hates any form of carnival ride), like CP's Wildcat? That totally unthemed, slow-loading, rickety antique carny roller coaster whose sole purpose is to hide the road and employees' dormitories from the midway? I would call it a temporary ride, but I think that it has rusted to the ground so much that it couldn't be moved if CP tried. What is this world (not to mention TPI) coming to? What's next? You secretly ride the Scrambler and enjoy it? You actually look forward to Cedar Fair food? Now please excuse me while I take my tongue out of my cheek ;+)
I happen to feel that Dinosaur is my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom and Rock 'N Roller Coaster is my favorite ride in Walt Disney World period. I also feel Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic attraction. A more appropriate Magic Kingdom attraction to call overrated would be Swiss Family Treehouse. I haven't been to DCA to ride Soarin' Over California, but if its anything like Soarin' at Epcot, then ya might wanna tell that the the hour long line of people that the ride always has.
Oh! I forgot to include Illuminations. Good, but definately over-rated. Half of this show is a video globe that you can't see well spinning to music. *yawn* I'd much rather watch wishes.
Again an outrageous opinion from someone who didn't dare leave his name. Everest, the worst coaster you've ever ridden??? Mr. Anonymous, you must be some teenage adrenaline junkie. Everest is a classic coaster, thrilling and cleverly themed. I've never been on a ride in which part of the track is torn up, sending you backwards over a portion of the ride. I'll grant you that the ride is better when the Yeti is in A mode, which it was when I first rode it. But even in B mode, it's still a great ride.
James, I try to appreciate what I can about every ride I visit, despite the fact that I prefer theme (story & decoration) + thrills over thrills alone. As for the Wildcat, there are only three coasters like it operating in the US today, so to me I appreciate the ride for its uniqueness, especially when surrounded by so many other steel monstrosities. Don't get me wrong - it is not a great coaster, just one that surprises me with what simple pleasure it is!
I am the anonymous poster who feels Everest is overrated- and I stick to it. Sylvain I hardly think that my critique of the ride is 'outrageous'- and you really need to move past this anonymous poster issue you have. I am a theme park employee and I do not even feel comfortable registering under a pseudonym-- so I am not going to. So anyway... you have never ridden a coaster that has (fake ) torn up track-- well I have never ridden a coaster that has 3 (YES 3!) lift hills that ruin the pace of the ride!
That bird is there to grab your attention long enough while the track changes behind you.
I only have two rides to mention since I only have two different parks under my belt.
I never felt that the lift hills "ruined the pace" of the ride. I don't think that a coaster has to have a relentless pace (The Incredible Hulk has a relentless pace, and I come off that ride feeling like the big green guy just punched me in the head). Everest is a themed coaster, and as such, you have the thrills intersperced with the storyline of being chased by the yeti during the ride. To me, it is a perfect balance of themes and thrills, when the yeti is in A mode. When in B mode, it is less than perfect, but still a great coaster. Anonymous poster, your opinion is in a tiny, tiny minority, but hey, that's cool. It means you won't be in front of me in line.
Someone also mentioned Cedar Fair food sucks. F*ckin' right it sucks. Strange thing, even though they acquired Paramount Parks, the food at KD is still as good as it was before, though I don't know if it's because maybe most of the places there are completely independent of CF and they're just renting space in the park and the deals transferred over?
I liked when Everest gave me the bird. ;)
The most overrated theme park attraction, at least in the Magic Kingdom, has to be the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - and it's not just the gas fumes you smell on queue. I think a lot of people bend the "can't stop there" rules just to take a photo of their families driving their cars - oooof!
It's the tallest.
Finally! Someone who agrees with me on these! Dinosaur is okay, but really freaked me out. POtC in Florida is TOTALLY overrated. Disneyland's is better, period. I can see where Rock & Roller Coaster is going. I like it, but it's so short. Soarin' is good, but not THE BEST as some say.
Disney's Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur
I gotta give some love to Journey to Atlantis at SWF. While it is not the most perfectly themed ride in Orlando, and the sea horse story line has fallen off the way side-- it is in fact still a fun ride. The themeing is not TERRIBLE either- and I fail to see why so many theme park junkies are put off by the Beetlejuice music... what is the big deal? I can not agree that JTA is overrated at all- simply because it really isn't rated that high to begin with.
For me, the most "overrated" ride at parks I've been to is Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster. Hugely long line, breaks down too often, and when you do get on, you are up so quick you can't tell how high you are, and you come down so fast there isn't time to appreciate the height, and then it's done before you really get to do anything. It needs another 3 hills, and remove the twist going down so you can just see the ground and get scared.
Right there with you on Beast.
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