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2010 Best Theme Park Attraction: Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Curse of DarKastle

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Published: March 24, 2010 at 7:30 AM

It's time to tip off Round Two of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament. We'll start in the Best Themed Ride bracket.

You can click the links or pictures below for a full description of each ride, along with comments from other Theme Park Insider readers.

5. Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean
(Round One: Defeated Kilimanjaro Safaris)

Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean

vs.

13. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle
(Round One: Defeated Expedition Everest)

Busch Gardens' Curse of DarKastle


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

Would you like to know whenever we post new votes?

Next up: 2. Apollo's Chariot vs. 7. Incredible Hulk Coaster

Readers' Opinions

From Michael Owen on March 24, 2010 at 7:35 AM
A Pirates life for me...

POTC has to win this one, by far and away the best dark ride there is.

The vote may be heavily influenced by Busch if they start plugging the competition, though

From Brandon Mendoza on March 24, 2010 at 7:53 AM
Agreed! No reason Pirates shouldn't win. PotC is one of if not THE best dark rides out there. Not to mention the ridiculous spelling of DarKastle... might as well call it "Kurz of the D@rK@zzl: 1337 X-tr3m3 Edition." I'm not a fan at all of "clever" spellings of things.
From Rob P on March 24, 2010 at 8:16 AM
Hooray !
I actually got to post a vote for this one. No need though as Pirates have blown DarKastle out of the water and set sail for the next round.
From James Rao on March 24, 2010 at 8:31 AM
Busch just Tweeted themselves into the fray... Hopefully better judgment will win out.

And remember folks, this is the Disneyland version of Pirates, not that cut-rate version in Orlando.

From 68.99.163.142 on March 24, 2010 at 8:32 AM
Nice....Busch Gardens sent out a twitter request for votes. I didn't even know about this until then, and I promptly came over here and voted for POTC. Not exactly what they were expecting over at Busch.
From Joe Schwartz on March 24, 2010 at 8:40 AM
potc big time. As with most of the other posts this ride is miles ahead of DarKastle. An old favoritethat keeps entertaining.
From 24.26.14.101 on March 24, 2010 at 8:42 AM
Darkastle is a great ride, but Spiderman uses the same technology and it's superior. Disneyland's Pirates is much better than the one in Magic Kingdom, so it is the best ride of its kind.

Daniel
Tampa, Fl

From David Kirby on March 24, 2010 at 8:46 AM
I voted for DarKastle as a protest to the watered down Jack Sparrow version of Pirates. Disney needs to learn every ride does not need a direct movie tie-in.
From Tim Odom on March 24, 2010 at 8:49 AM
If I were to classify myself as a fanboy, it would be for the Busch parks. I love them, more than Disney. To me, they are what I want in a park.

However, with that said, there is no way DarKastle is a better ride than Disneyland's Pirates. None. DarKastle tries to imitate the superior Spider-Man, while Pirates is imitated over and over (and none succeed in bettering the original.) The original POTC is a legendary ride that, in my mind, all theme park fans should experience.

Pirates over DarKastle. Easy call.

From Mark Migliaccio on March 24, 2010 at 8:59 AM
I haven't been to disneyland to ride POTC there. I rode the one in Orlando, but it sounds to me like that one pales in comparison to the one in California. I wasn't extremely impressed with the one in Orlando, I do like the updated version with the projected image on the waterfall, but new jack sparrow is kind of weird to throw in there. I really enjoy the ride system of DarKastle, but that ride also used to be better. It had an some other effects like water spray and the fireplace used to be smoky or have fire effects and feel hot when you went into it.
From James Rao on March 24, 2010 at 9:02 AM
Social Media is going to win the day. Busch is heavily involved but Disney (and Disney fansites) won't budge - they are too busy counting their Mickey pins, I guess. Serves them right to lose.

Besides, DarKastle is a stellar attraction, and not undeserving of a win....

From Mark Migliaccio on March 24, 2010 at 9:07 AM
wow, comeback by Busch here.
From 79.78.37.210 on March 24, 2010 at 9:27 AM
neck and neck, it would be a shame to see pirates go out so early but I think darKastle is the superior ride.
From Robert Niles on March 24, 2010 at 9:35 AM
C'mon, Pirates fans. Don't just complain about what Busch Gardens is doing. GOTV for your favorite instead!
From Sylvain Comeau on March 24, 2010 at 9:45 AM
50/50 split, wow. I voted for Pirates, my favorite ride at Disneyland. I don't know if a ride from the late 60s can win it all, though.
From Joshua Counsil on March 24, 2010 at 9:52 AM
I just GOTV. I flooded several Disneyland and Pirates Facebook fan groups.

Pirates is simply sweet, and still holds up after all these years.

From David Kirby on March 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM
Incredible turnout so far. I'm hoping all these Busch fans come back when Apollo goes against Hulk later.
From Don Neal on March 24, 2010 at 10:11 AM
+1 for POTC! Up 2%! Hang in there ya scallywags!! ;)
From Mark Migliaccio on March 24, 2010 at 10:41 AM
wow it just flipped back to DarKastle by 2%! This is a nail biter Rob!
From Joshua Counsil on March 24, 2010 at 10:48 AM
Pirates is winning by a sizable fraction, and then, say it with me, something goes terribly wrong!
From Anthony Murphy on March 24, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Pirates is the best attraction out there, period. All others are compared to it!

Lets go Pirates! Show that age comes before beauty!

Please Please, remember, this is Disneyland's verson, not the inferior Magic Kingdom abridged version!

From 98.190.241.173 on March 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM
Yea! Pirates all the way... I am from Williamsburg Va. and i have ridden on Curse of DarKastle and I'm not impressed at all it makes a lot of people get sick with all the spinning in the dark for nothing. So i voted for Pirates of the Caribbean. Go Pirates!!!
From Manny Barron on March 24, 2010 at 10:57 AM
I kind of expected this to happen. Pirates is losing to an attraction that isn't as good. It still has a chance of winning but the Curse will probably continue.
From Ben Johnson on March 24, 2010 at 10:58 AM
I think many people might make the decision based on Orlando's PotC. I almost did, until I realized it was Disneyland's. I've never been on the Disneyland version, so I'll hold my vote on this one.
From Brandon Mendoza on March 24, 2010 at 11:06 AM
Welp, it looks like people want to vote the way they wanna vote... fanboys of both parks. Everyone has their own tastes I guess. I'll be sad to see PotC go down this early if it ends up that way. But whatever, ya know? It's not the end of the world, and it won't change my love for a physically there ride over a projected 3D one.
From Joshua Counsil on March 24, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Quotes from Pirates of the Caribbean:

"Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!"
"Maraud and embezzle and even hijack."
"We wants the redhead!"
"What be I offered for this winsome wench? Stout 'earted and corn-fed she be. Shift yer cargo, dearie, show 'em your larboard side..."
"No need to expose your superstructure!"

Quotes from Curse of DarKastle:

"Ah, you've come to see my castle. You'll simply die when you see it."
At the banquet hall, with head on platter:
"You'll soon be getting your just desserts, but I'm getting ahead of myself."
As he burns you:
"It's time to heat things up."

Come on, this attraction's puns make the Jungle Cruise blush.

From James Rao on March 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM
Earlier today, I Tweeted Disney (all three major feeds) and MiceChat. They won't budge. Again, getting the Mouse Army to mobilize is like trying to get a giant to notice a flea.
From JL Salaz on March 24, 2010 at 11:08 AM
If Pirates loses it would ruin my day...
From Robert Niles on March 24, 2010 at 11:10 AM
Just sayin' here, but if this vote had had a two-hour time window... Pirates would have won.
From Brandon Mendoza on March 24, 2010 at 11:12 AM
I'm calling Fanboy/ Anti-Disney on this one. Is there a penalty flag I can throw? Well, there's also the fact that a lot of people haven't been to the West Coast.
From David Kirby on March 24, 2010 at 11:20 AM
Disneyland fans usually won't go for anything that doesn't involve the trashing of the Eisner/Pressler/Harris years, trashing current management's cartoonization of the park, debating endlessly about the decline of Frontierland and Tommorowland, or discussing how the AP system has destroyed the park.
From Jacob Sundstrom on March 24, 2010 at 11:26 AM
I directed as much traffic as I could towards this poll. I thought it was only open for two hours.

May have jumped the gun on this one.

Oh, and, go Pirates. One of the greatest dark rides known to man

From vernon griffin on March 24, 2010 at 11:51 AM
I have never been to DisneyLand so I have to vote based on knowledge
From Joshua Counsil on March 24, 2010 at 12:02 PM
We've partially mobilized the mouse! Here come the Disney fanboys!

Oh, and Jacob - I've also been GOTV. I visited five different Pirates/Disney fanboy groups with at least 10,000 fans each. I see that Mr. Mendoza above was part of one of them.

From Tyler Stover on March 24, 2010 at 1:01 PM
OK, I broke my own rule and voted, having never ridden DarKastle, but I couldn't let Pirates go down because some other park's fanboys have mobilized.
From Brandon Mendoza on March 24, 2010 at 1:08 PM
About the Disney thing... could it be a cultural thing on the West Coast? Where nothing is ever good enough that many of us (us being me included as I live on the West Coast) don't say anything unless it's to complain about something? I hear only negative things about sports teams (can of worms there) and retail stores, etc. on the West Coast. Kind of a bummer if you ask me.
From 98.218.7.218 on March 24, 2010 at 1:54 PM
Been on both, and it would be a real shame if DarKastle won. If it had been POTC vs. Spider-Man, I could understand, but DarKastle is an inferior Spider-Man clone with more and more effects disappearing every year.
From James Rao on March 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM
I guess the word got out after all... biggest voter turnout so far! And honestly, DLR's POTC is the better attraction. It should win.
From Manny Barron on March 24, 2010 at 4:13 PM
Nice, pirates is close to winning!
From JL Salaz on March 24, 2010 at 4:47 PM
I believe my day is getting better...
From brett munyon on March 24, 2010 at 5:22 PM
Well DarKastle couldn't steal this win from pirates. And good thing, it would have been tragic.
From 66.45.150.20 on March 25, 2010 at 7:15 AM
I would rate this ride as LAME. This ride is okay if your 7 or younger. Otherwise it was a huge waste of money & space for a ride actually worth riding. You'll wait in line sometimes 3 hours not spending money, all excited but afterwards mad cause you just wasted all that time, and it's simply not a good ride. A ride like Pirates of the Carrabian near 40 50 years old is actually way better. Next time talk to Mallard and Bollinger for advice. Im a former ACE member and this ride simply does'nt fly.

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