What are your favorite, 'perfect,' theme park attraction moments?
I've been waiting for Impressions de France's spotlight day
so that I could start a discussion I've been wanting to get into.
Part of the reason why I love Impressions de France so much is that it contains one of those rare, "perfect moments" for me as a theme park fan: When we see the Eiffel Tower and the theme from Saint-Saens' Organ Concerto begins. That rousing finale, culminating with the timpani blasts as the curtain closes and the host strides toward the Eiffel Tower in middle of the frame... wow, it's just a perfectly composed moment, when perfect visuals and sound come together to force an emotional reaction from its visitors.
So what are your perfect theme park moments? I'm not asking for personal moments (e.g. "the time my kid rode on a roller coaster for the first time without throwing up"), but rather elements from theme park attractions that you find perfect in composition and effect.
Here are three more "perfect moments" for me:
- On the Haunted Mansion: "There's always my way...." And, boom!
- The original IllumiNations: As the first notes of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue sound and the spotlights turn to America. (I so miss this version of the show.)
- On Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean: As you float by Old Joe on your way through the Blue Bayou, the restaurant chatter fades into gentle banjo licks, which melt into... silence. A brief, perfect moment of stillness, before the impending storm.
Chills. Every one.
Please tell us about your top theme park attraction moments, in the comments.
Three 'honorable mentions':
I'd agree, the Plane in Waterworld is by far one of the best moments in any theme park show!
1. "Disappear! Disappear!" on Maelstrom.
The old version of Terminator 2:3D at US Florida when the wall of fog literally rolled across the auditorium...
Here our mine
1. The ending of Soarin' when Sleeping Beauty's Castle comes into view with the powerful ending to the musical score
Here is the Illuminations part I mean
I agree 110% about the Main Street Electrical Parade. By far, it's the best parade ever and the music is so intrinsically tied into the show. The planning of your entire evening to snag prime seating...the anticipation of sitting curbside and waiting for it to start...the regular announcements counting down the moments...all culminate in the dousing of every street light and a few seconds of eerie silence, before the opening notes blast through the speakers. (And of course, the extra anticipation as it takes a little while after the music starts for the floats to actually make their way into view.) I only wish I was going down this summer--instead of this spring--so I could see it come back!
Interesting how pretty much everyone gave just Disney moments...I guess it shows which company is the best at making those moments.
OOOH, great topic. A few of mine (not previously mentioned. I agree with most mentioned as well):
Many of these are "first time you ride" moments.
TTA "Now approaching Space Mountain."
Being at Bucsh Gardens VA on top of The Griffion for a few minutes. There was a full moon and it was right over the James River and I had my best girl with me( my wife) The moonlight shown on the river like a lighted mirror. Of course you still have to do the 205' drop at some point.
I will give you a non Disney one: The whirling water vortex you walk through on the old Posiden's Fury at IOA.
Great topic, Robert. Perfect moments, in movies, music, literature, and even theme parks, that send shivers down your spine, are indescribably great.
Everything everyone has said!
Some great moments have been mentioned, here are a few I didnt see, and are all in my top X.
The launch on Rock'n'Roller Coaster...The best
The moment on the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman at Universal's Islands of Adventure when you get hit with the anti-gravity ray and the buildings around you fall away!
Great topic Robert!
Mine are, like most here, Disney parks biased, particularly the California properties.
I agree with what many people have said here, and rather than repeating them, I'll add some of my own.
My Top Five Moments of Theme Park Zen
1. Fantasmic!'s ending.
Disneyland....riding Matterhorn during the fireworks.
Here are the favorites from our family:
Ok heres mine:
"We're not gonna make it! WE'RE NOT GONNA MAKE IT!" Ah the end of Dinosaur, the panic, the giant carnataurous head poping out at your car, it's just awesome. As well, the starting of Soarin', when the lights go down, and you go up, it's just the most exciting thing.
The beginning of Illuminations..The host blows out the lights, the drums pound and one "rocket" is launched into the darkness.
The moment on "The Mummy" ride at Universal Orlando when you're ascending through the storm clouds and Im Ho Tep's face appears and screams, "Your soul is mine!," opening his mouth and you get sucked forward into green fog!
Hello all! Long-time lurker, first-time poster.
All of these are great, but for me it is the entrance of any park. You hear the music, smell the smells, have guidemap in hand, and just pause as the anticipation builds. That feeling that overcomes you of knowing you are about to have one of the best times ever. Those initial beginning moments of stepping through the gate are perfect.
Two, off the top of my head:
Sitting in the dark of Comet Hollow during Halloween in Hershey and hearing the roar of the Great Bear at Hersheypark.
I'd like to add that I see a perfect moment in the Mummy Ride in USH, but the ride is also damaged by a "how not to" moment.
The ending of the Mummy ride in Orlando happens right after the wild midsection when the ride comes to a fake unloading section (which looks authentic) and stops. The ride operator's voice comes over the speakers, "Thank you for riding The Mummy at Universal Orlando. Please keep all hands and arms inside the vehicle until the ride--"when suddenly she is cut off. You can see her silhouette from the control booth as she is ATTACKED by Im Ho Tep who "breaks" the control booth glass (we're showered with "glass"/aka water droplets).
The last 30 seconds of wishes.
As much as I would love for there to be one, there is no Indiana Jones ride at Walt Disney World.
Dinosaur's the same ride (same track even, I've heard) but with a different theme. (Obviously, but if they can put aliens in an Indiana Jones movie, why not dinosaurs for the next one? Heck, Harrison Ford's almost as old as the dinosaurs now.)
I consider Dinosaur to be far superior to Indiana Jones Adventure. The effects and animatronics in the latter pale in comparison.
1) Riding Test Track during EMH at Epcot and in the dark - magic!
Mine are at Cedar Point. 1)The moment that we start across the causeway and first see the coasters and towers of Cedar Point across Sandusky Bay; 2) the moment our Sky Ride car leaves the station and we are floating above the Midway, looking down and seeing the beautiful floral designs that run the length of the Midway; 3)watching my kids going from ride to ride in Camp Snoopy (and joining them on the ones that don't spin me into a nauseous state).
Sunrise over the Magic Kingdom as seen thru the mist from the roof of the Contemporary Resort.
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