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Vote of the week: What is the worst theme park attraction in America?

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Published: January 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Props once again to the folks at Walt Disney World, for so quickly and efficiently responding to the fire at the Magic Kingdom's The Enchanted Tiki Room this week. That no one was hurt and no major damage done has allowed folks to crack many a joke about this, uh, less-than-popular version of Walt Disney's classic Tiki Room attraction:

The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management

"Just heard that the fire at Disney World's Tiki Room that Reedy Creek put out today actually started last week. No one had noticed."

"Guests were told there was no major damage to the Tiki Room, which caused 100 of them to walk immediately to City Hall and complain."

The jokes inspire me to ask a very important question for this week's vote: What is the worst theme park attraction in America?

Here are our candidates, the five major attractions which have pulled the lowest average reader scores in our Theme Park Insider ratings:

As Jeff Probst would say, "It's time to vote." If only the one with the most votes in this tally were voted off the theme park island....


Tell us, in the comments, why you voted for the one you did. And thank you, again, for reading Theme Park Insider.

Readers' Opinions

From Joshua Counsil on January 13, 2011 at 10:51 PM
Prince Caspian, hands-down. What an awful attraction in every way. It lacks any creative touch or flow, leading me to believe it was conceived by corporate.
From Anthony Murphy on January 13, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Dark Knight should win (I have been on all of these).

There are not any big positives about it vs the other attractions.

Well, maybe this and Tuck em Buggies.

Tiki Room MK and Stitch at least has decient animatronics

From Justin Kermgard on January 13, 2011 at 11:04 PM
I picked Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian because for a Disney attraction, it lacked the over elaborate theming or story that Disney is known for in their attractions. To me it is merely there to show some scenes from the film to promote it and granted I liked the film itself, I just wish that there would've been more to the attraction. I wasn't expecting Disney to do something as grand in scale as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure simply because the Narnia films aren't as popular, however, Disney could do a much better job to make guests really feel like they are actually Journeying into Narnia.
From Tim Chatlos on January 13, 2011 at 11:40 PM
Journey Into Narnia: Prince Caspian is easily the worst of the attractions listed, although to even call it an "attraction" is a bit of stretch.
From Sylvain Comeau on January 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM
I voted for Tiki Room, because I love the original at Disneyland. This one verges on desecration.

Stitch is bad, too, but it does have some great AAs -- the ONLY saving grace for this attraction.

From 76.22.77.77 on January 14, 2011 at 2:15 AM
Wow, I always wonder if I'm the only one that totally thinks the narnia "attraction" is horrible. And I also dislike stitch and the tiki room also but not nearly as much. So I now know that most everyone thinks it's bad! Is there anyone that likes any of them?
From Mike Gallagher on January 14, 2011 at 3:17 AM
Dim Knight at GAdv is the only one I've been on/experienced, so it got my vote. It isn't even simply the fact it's a lousy ride (which it is)..it was just such a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT.
From 71.74.93.98 on January 14, 2011 at 5:31 AM
I voted for Stitch because it replaced one of my favorite attractions in Alien Encounter.

My personal pick for worst would be Disaster Transport at Cedar Point. What a terrible ride. The only reason to go on it is for the air conditioning.

From 166.137.11.83 on January 14, 2011 at 6:26 AM
Don't be dissin' the Tiki Room!!! I love it even though it is not in it's best form.
From 99.155.157.99 on January 14, 2011 at 6:32 AM
Why was Its a Small World Left off? Narnia is just a plug for the movie. Pretty much everything at Dollywood sucks. If your idea of fun is having somebody throw water at you on every ride, that is the park for you.
From Rob P on January 14, 2011 at 7:12 AM
My vote went to Stitch on the basis that not only is it not very good but that it also replaced something that actually was. A double whammy imho.
From 68.91.222.180 on January 14, 2011 at 7:23 AM
The only thing worse than Prince Caspian was the Chronicles of Narnia which was in place prior. Such great movies with such a poor attraction. It just screams, "Oh, we need to do something quick." That is exactly what it feels like too...

We enjoy Stitch and the Tacky Tiki Room. Just can't be a fuddy duddy to enjoy.

From Nick Dakuginow on January 14, 2011 at 7:36 AM
Journey into Narnia without a doubt for me. I couldn't believe I wasted my time in there during Extra Magic Hours one night. I read on here that it was a Simulator Ride, after the movie, I walked on thinking I was getting on a simulator ride, and there's the exit! Lol.

Stitch is bad, but after I first hated it since they took away Alien Encounter, it is what it is and it's not the worst thing ever.

I still have yet to do the Tiki Room, almost went in last week, but kept walking.

From 97.104.92.254 on January 14, 2011 at 8:53 AM
First a joke:
Disney Corporate had got together to come up with a plan to top Universal's Islands of Adventure after they torched there worst ride! lol

I voted for Stitch, probably because I have avoided Narnia, and thankfuly, for good reason!

From Scottland Jacobson on January 14, 2011 at 8:58 AM
Hey! I love Disaster Transport in all its cheese and I adore Dollywood! Mystery Mine and Thunderhead rock!

I haven't "ridden" this Narnia ride but it sounds like the ride to beat!

I voted for Stitch - just lame, lame, lame. Even my 12-year old nieces thought it was a complete joke. Bring back Alien Encounter!!

From Don Lancaster on January 14, 2011 at 9:06 AM
I can't beleive that Sounds Dangerous didn't make this list. They made an attraction out of sitting in the dark listing to headphones. By that standard, ipods should be declared an attraction.

At least Stitch and the New Management Tiki Room have decent animatronics, which is enough to entertain me in almost any attraction.

From Mark Moore on January 14, 2011 at 9:19 AM
Am I missing the point here, where is the Country Bears show at Disney MK which is truly the lamest thing I have ever seen in my life? Closely followed by the Carousel of Progress and Jungle Cruise. They might be 'classics' but that doesn't make them either good or relevant!
From 79.98.162.226 on January 14, 2011 at 9:20 AM
My vote was for Tiki.
Such a great example of how it should be done is over on the West coast!

But on reflection, there is nothing to redeem Caspian AT ALL, so I wish I'd gone for that instead of my knee-jerk ETR:UNM hatred.
Closing Caspian and making it a meet n greet would be better use of the space.

The only problem I have with Stitch is that it replaced a truly original and excellent attraction. Stitch is nowhere near as good, but for what it is it's pretty well done.

From 207.70.142.57 on January 14, 2011 at 9:29 AM
I voted for Prince Caspian, but only because Sounds Dangerous wasn't listed. This has to be one of the biggest wastes of time in any theme park in the world. Opened in 1999, I think it was due for an overhaul or replacement sometime in 2000. It's 12 minutes of your life that you will always remember as the worst time you ever spent on a theme park attraction.

BTW: I contacted Disney shortly before Voyage of the Dawn Treader came out in theaters inquiring about what the plans were for the Prince Caspian attraction and whether it would be updated for the new film. Surprisingly, I got a response, sadly, the response given was not very encouraging:
"as of now, we do not have any plans to change the current
Narnia attractions to reflect the newest movie being released".

From Rod Whitenack on January 14, 2011 at 9:31 AM
I can't believe my niece and I waited an hour and a half to experience "Stitch's Great Escape." I kept waiting for something--anything--to happen. What a waste of time. I voted for this because I've never even heard about "Journey into Narnia."
From Raymond Sydowski on January 14, 2011 at 9:48 AM
Stitch is okay, and I can't bash a ride I worked on. I know I'm biased, but them's the breaks.

I haven't been to Dark Knight, so I can't speak to it. Nor have I seen Caspian, though I have been to the Original Narnia attraction. Getting to see the WETA props was cool, so I didn't mind going. And I've never been to DCA, so I can't comment on the buggies.

The Tiki Room, however, is a complete waste of space.

From 75.196.13.237 on January 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM
Narnia hands down, However my biggest pet peeve is the desruction of Alien Encounter which was one of my favorite attractions at the Magic Kingdom! How is it Disney can produce R rated movies (Walt would turn in his grave!) and deem AE to scary, if it's to scary for the MK then relocate it to the Studios U'no where Narnia is.....By the way I worked at Disneyland when they were working on the storyboard for AE and it took years to figure out the sound system for AE I believe it to longer to work out the attraction then it was actually ran.
From Marc Ricketts on January 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM
If a toddler wandered into Tuck & Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies and got struck, there would probably be more damage to the vehicle than the child. It's truly pathetic. Fortunately it's gone, but without a doubt the worst theme park attraction ever was Super Star Lame-o....I mean Limo.
From 216.196.185.2 on January 14, 2011 at 11:19 AM
After going to Epcot in November, I would have to say the worst ride/attraction I have ever been on is Captian EO. When we got done with the ride I said loudly that it was a total waste of 17 minutes of my life, and everyone around agreed. Bring back "Honey I Shrunk the Audiance", or close it all together, but don't make people watch Captain EO.
From 66.188.112.59 on January 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM
Without a doubt, Prince Caspian. Talk about a barf-inducingly bad ride. I don't even mean it makes you dizzy. It just is so dull that you get off and you hurl because you realize that's about two minutes of your life, plus waiting time, that you'll never be able to refund.
From Terry O'Neal on January 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM
Having ridden four of the five, it came down to Dark Knight and Narnia. While I have said to everyone I know that Dark Knight is not worth more than a 10 minute wait, I would say that I don't think Caspian is worth anything more than a place to go to get out of the sun on a hot day. Even so, if I got to choose seeing Caspian to get out of the sun versus sitting under a big shady tree, I'd take the tree.
From Roy Aumiller on January 14, 2011 at 2:17 PM
You forgot half the so called 'attractions' in the Disney California Park.
From LG Mills on January 14, 2011 at 2:32 PM
Prince Caspian, without a doubt. It's a buzzkilljoy ride, to be frank.
From Thomas Caselli on January 14, 2011 at 3:10 PM
Mark Moore, You are missing the point. The attractions that you mentioned are good, if not great attractions.
From 97.79.161.86 on January 14, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Narnia is just awful. What a lame excuse for an attraction. It's like combining a movie commercial with the queue from TGMR. Hopefully something Disney-worthy will replace it relatively soon with all the amazing changes going on at Disney.
On another note, I can't believe people think soo poorly of Stitch. He is one of my favorite Disney characters ever. Sure I miss Alien Encounter, but I also remember walking out of that ride crying as a child, as well as all my siblings and cousins... Remember Walt created Disney for Families, not die-hard Disney adults. The ride has it's charm and it was a great use for an old attraction. At least you can sit inside and enjoy the A/C or escape the rain for a few minutes.
From Mike Gallagher on January 15, 2011 at 4:06 AM
To the anonymous poster who came up with the Disney "joke" above: Don't quit your day job, if you have one. And I thought Jeff Dunham was unfunny....
From 216.175.74.29 on January 14, 2011 at 7:26 PM
Tuck and Roll can't even be considered bumber cars. The vehicles travel at 1 mph.
From Daniel Etcheberry on January 15, 2011 at 10:37 AM
I voted "Stitch" because the over-the-shoulders restraint is uncomfortable, and when Stitch burps, the smell of stale hot dog gave me nausea.
From James Rao on January 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Narnia is not even an attraction - it is an advertisement, and a lousy one at that.

Outside of Disney, the High-Low Silos at Silver Dollar City are a tremendous waste of space. And, all those upcharge attractions at any theme/amusement park should be removed as well.

From Sylvain Comeau on January 15, 2011 at 1:36 PM
I agree that Sounds Dangerous is pretty lame. Surely they can replace it with something better, with some repeatability.

I disagree about Country Bears, Jungle Cruise and Carousel of Progress. Maybe some of the AAs should be upgraded, but all three are charming classics. I'm especialy glad that the Bears still perform at WDW long after they got banished from Disneyland.

From Eric Malone on January 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM
I personally voted for Stitch. Loved Alien Encounter so much more. Anyway, since we're talking about Sounds Dangerous, I've NEVER been able to even go on the ride. It's either closed or being refurbed when I go there for some reason, but I guess that's my fault for usually choosing to go during slow seasons.

Frankly, I don't think they can figure out something useful to actually go where Sounds Dangerous is, so I guess better to keep it and make use of the space.

From 84.56.104.148 on January 15, 2011 at 3:37 PM
Replace something with a character greating area? No thanks. If you ask me, the character greating areas are the worst attraction. Never liked them, not even as a small child.
From TheAmericanMedley ♫ on January 15, 2011 at 5:10 PM
I've never been on Stitch because I heard it was awful. Under New Management is without a doubt bad.
From Amianne Moore on January 15, 2011 at 9:54 PM
Hands down, it has to be Narnia- Prince Caspian. I wish that space could be used for a dark ride or something else for the younger crowd.....Hollywood Studios could stand some ride type attractions to keep the little ones interested and the pressure off of Toy Story as the only really little kid friendly ride in the park.

I actually like The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management better than the old one, although I am certain I am in the minority. I didn't grow up with the old one, and I really like Zazu and Iago. Stitch is not my favorite attraction, but it's definitely not the worst. I have not had the pleasure(?) of experiencing the other 2 mentioned nominees.

From southie chick on January 16, 2011 at 10:49 AM
Wish you had a write-in spot - I'd add my vote for Sounds Dangerous too. I didn't even get to try it the first time I went to the park since it was "closed for repairs" (& it seems to be a LOT of the time)so I made it a priority on my next visit since it was open that day. Listening to Drew Carey in the dark - & getting sprayed by water ....... don't see the appeal of that - what a waste of time!
Had to vote for Stich 'cause of both the burp smell & water spray (don't know why Disney has to add that to almost all of their shows). Prince Caspian is an advertisement for the movie - nothing else. I don't even consider that an "attraction" - it's more like a movie preview. Sea World does a MUCH better job with their Polar Express "attraction" - too bad Disney didn't take the time/money to do as well as Sea World did.
From Jose Vazquez on January 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM
The poor, clueless visitors to Hollywood Studios always fall victim to the timeshare presentation they call: Prince Caspian. They seal visitors in a cave and force them to watch scenes from a film already shown in theaters. You think itd be a preshow, but nope its the ride entirely. A serious trap for those that are trying to use their time wisely at the park.
From 86.155.96.95 on January 17, 2011 at 6:49 AM
Just has to be Caspian. Thrown into stark relief by the whole "Potter " experience and based in a park in which breathtaking rides and attractions abound, this has to be one of the most disappointing park experiences I have had. I've been on rides before I didn't like them but my kids did, but with this even my youngest saw through the frippery immediately. "Was that IT?" they asked, incredulously as we left...
From 68.14.165.31 on January 17, 2011 at 10:07 AM
Never been on any of them... voted for Dark Knight because it wasn't Disney and I'm a Disney fan... now realized I should have voted for Narnia.
From Emily G on January 17, 2011 at 1:52 PM
Definitley Stitch, I can't believe this short and silly show replaced the brilliantly creepy alien attraction
From Mike Gallagher on January 17, 2011 at 5:07 PM
Anonymous poster above: I'm glad you had such a good reason for voting the way you did. Dark Knight is indeed a piece of !@#$, but at least it's a piece of !@#$ I can personally vouch against.
From 75.119.242.193 on January 17, 2011 at 7:19 PM
Stitch's Great Escape is an epic fail alright, but it gets serious competition from Carousel of Progress. That show is so lame. It's so badly written and unfunny. Which is dumb because it's just robots moving to a recording ... they could easily hire a decent sitcom writer to dash off something that more or less fits into the timing. Something with at least a tiny bit of wit and sparkle. Right now it's embarrassing to watch. The song is bad too. Not one of the Sherman Bros' best and not worth keeping. If they're not going to update it then they should use the space for another Omnimover ride, ferinstance going with the Tomorrowland theme and recycling the best elements out of defunct rides like Horizons and whatever used to be in Buzz Lightyear. Maybe they could make the TTA do a couple of extra loops around the space and add more futuristic cityscapes and stuff, only really cool with miniature moving monorails and flying spaceships etc.

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