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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction: Indiana Jones Adventure vs. Toy Story Midway Mania

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Published: March 19, 2010 at 11:40 AM

We're continuing day two of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament with a first-round match-up from the Best Themed Ride bracket.

If you haven't been on both rides, please click through to the attraction descriptions linked below, and read the comments, before voting.

7. Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure

Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure

vs.

10. Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's California Adventure

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's California Adventure

Please tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did.

Next up is the Best Movie or Animated Show bracket, with 6. MuppetVision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios vs. 11. Universal Studios Florida's Shrek 4-D

Readers' Opinions

From 68.17.202.88 on March 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM
I haven't been on the Indiana Jones one, but reading through it, and after being on Toy Story Midway Mania, I don't think it honestly comes close. Toy Story Midway Mania is one the best rides out there in my opinion. The theming is amazing, as standing and waiting in a 50 minute line wasn't bad at all being able to look at all of the nostalgic toys/games in the queue. The ride itself is innovative and it was a blast to play, even after finding out I should have used more wrist than arm, my arm is still sore after four days. Great ride though, I choose Toy Story over Indy.
From Nick Dakuginow on March 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM
I haven't been on the Indy ride, but after reading through it, and after being on Toy Story Midway Mania, I don't think it even comes close. Toy Story's ride is extremely innovative and the theming is perfect. Waiting in a very long line isn't that bad with the queue being filled with nostalgic toys/games to remember. What would have been even greater was if there was some way to play with some of them while in the queue, not too sure how that would be pulled off though. After reading that I should have used more wrist than arm, since my arm is still sore four days later, that would have been a nice heads up, lol, but either way, the games were a blast to play. The draw string gun was perfect, seriously an experience not to be missed.
From Don Neal on March 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM
I love the competitive nature of TSMM. I could ride it over and over with my kids. Indy might be good for 2-3 rides but then you would be ready to move on. I could play TSMM for hours.
From Mad Hatter on March 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM
This is a no-brainer: a ground-breaking attraction that combines a motion simulator, a dark ride, special effects and animatronics into something much more than the sum of its parts versus a technology-dependent "innovation" that combines a Wii game with waiting in line.
From 205.188.116.74 on March 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM
Wow , what a tough choice. Both rides are great in their own respects but yet so different from each other. I finally went with TSMM due to the interactive aspect and the joy of each time you ride it trying to find something new to score more points than the last time. The ride never gets old.
From Tyler Stover on March 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM
This was a tough decision only because Indy so often has many effects down and non-functioning. If it was maintained well, it would carry the vote hands down. As it is, I voted for it anyway due to the great theming, intense ride, amazing queue, and innovative features. Midway Mania is good, but competitive game rides had already been done before it was introduced. Yes its quality was leaps and bounds ahead of everything else, and it is very well done, but this is the themed ride bracket, and Indy simply does a better job of immersing guests in the theme.
From Raul Araoz on March 19, 2010 at 12:10 PM
My feelings for Indy have been expressed here before. IMHO, it is the most innovative and thematically rich attraction since Pirates. Dinosaur, Spider-man and even the forthcoming Harry Potter ride, share a debt to the trailblazing path taken by the Forbidden Eye.

Toy Story is a fun ride, but it is a mere variation of Buzz Lightyear. The theming is actually quite poor and the attraction consists of nothing more than a series of video game monitors.

From Robert Niles on March 19, 2010 at 12:16 PM
Indiana Jones is in such poor shape these days that I want it to face swift elimination from fan tournaments and low online ratings, simply to give Tony Baxter the ammunition he needs to convince Bob Iger to spend the millions Baxter wants to revamp Indiana Jones with next-generation animatronic and ride effects.

Plus, Midway Mania's a fun ride. Toy Story gets my vote.

From Tyler Stover on March 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM
Maybe Indy's queue should be split off as a separate entity for voting. Reward it for immersing the guest in the environment and punish the ride for its poor shape.
From Manny Barron on March 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM
I agree with some of the posters above. Toy Story is fun but it really is just a Wii game with movement and effects, I still love it though. Indiana Jones is great, innovative, and so much fun but I agree it does need a lengthy refurbishment. It's been 15 years since it opened and some work on it can really do wonders for the ride. Despite that it still gets my vote.
From Joshua Counsil on March 19, 2010 at 1:05 PM
Toy Story all the way.

I would go into detail, but Mr. Niles summarized my thoughts exactly. The ride is very inconsistent - I've never witnessed everything working properly.

From Anthony Murphy on March 19, 2010 at 1:17 PM
I gave it to Indy because Dinosaur is not in the running!

Still, a good ride after all these years.

Very hard choice since Toy Story Mania is great! Still, Toy Story Mania is just a bunch of screens and uses the same techology as Pirates game at Disneyquest.

From Brandon Mendoza on March 19, 2010 at 1:18 PM
I would have to agree that Indy needs a massive refurbishing. I've been lucky the past 2 times that it hasn't broken down, but there are so many effects that are missing or wonky now after years of use.

I still choose Indy over Toy Story. As much as I love the Toy Story world and characters, I can't vote for a glorified Wii game. That doesn't mean I didn't buy Toy Story Midway Mania for my own Wii, but 15 years down the road, I won't be wanting to go to Disneyland/ DCA to play a videogame.

But, there is something about Toy Story's special effects still working... I just feel that Toy Story could have been more immersive in themeing. Yes, it's in 3D, and yes there are physical effects like wind and water, but not once did I feel like I was really in the world of Pixar's Toy Story... instead I'm shooting at giant screens in front of me.

While I don't think that Indy should go very far considering the poor shape it's in, I'll always choose Indy over Toy Story whenever I visit.

From Mike Saperstein on March 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM
I like Indy, but Midway Mania takes this hands down IMO.

To the person above who compares Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear: IMO the improvements made between Buzz Lightyear and Midway Mania are gargantuan (and I am a Game Developer by trade). I like Buzz Lightyear too, and think the visuals and idea behind that attraction are good, but the execution in Midway Mania was just so much better in comparison:

- Better control on the shooters
- The visceral nature of the 3D
- The clear user feedback on where your shots go and what targets you hit, and ow many points you get for each
- No distracting second-controller (spinning the car in Buzz)

It has a HUGE extra heaping of fun factor on top of what you get on Buzz.

Additionally, it's the type of game anyone can play and enjoy the first time they try it (my 3 year old loved it, as does my 40+ year-old wife) and yet hardcores can try to figure out details, strategies, and tricks to compete for ridiculous high scores.

Theme-park-ride-as-game seems to be a new concept, and this is easily the best one I've tried so far. As such, I'd argue it's as groundbreaking as Indy, just in a different way.

From Joshua Counsil on March 19, 2010 at 3:13 PM
If Midway Mania is a glorified Wii game, then Indiana Jones is a glorified train wreck through a House of Wax.
From Brandon Mendoza on March 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM
@ Joshua: Touche! Again, I agree that Indy needs a lot of new effects and a massive refurb... especially the AA's. And I'd like to check out Dinosaur, but it wasn't open yet last time I was there in '97!

Maybe I wouldn't be so hard on Toy Story if it would actually go through more areas where you can't tell the difference between what's on screen and what's physically in front of you. Or some vehicular effects like some "off-roading" during the army men scene.

I just feel like more could have been done to the Attraction, similar to what I've been told about Monsters Inc. in Japan, and MIB in Florida. I appreciate where this type of attraction is going, but I don't like where it is right now when it comes to Toy Story.

From Sylvain Comeau on March 20, 2010 at 7:31 AM
I missed this vote, but would have picked Indy. The last time I rode it (May '08) it was in pretty good shape. Hopefully I won't be disappointed when I ride it again next May. I love TSMM, but Indy (when in good shape) is as awesome as Disneyland's Pirates.

But pitting TSMM against Indy is comparing apples to oranges. Robert, did you see my suggestion about making a separate category for interactive attractions? Would you consider that for next year?

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