Vote of the week: What will be the top new ride of the year at the Disneyland Resort?

May 13, 2011, 10:18 AM · On the Theme Park Insider Discussion Board, Joseph Catlett asked which new Disneyland Resort ride are you looking forward to most - the Little Mermaid dark ride at Disney California Adventure or the new version of Star Tours at Disneyland?

That question sounds like a great vote of the week to me.

So which is it? If Disney theme parks are known for any single thing, it's great animatronic dark rides. But a 3-D simulator ride with multiple, randomly selected shorelines is pretty cool, too.

Star Tours 2, under construction at Disneyland
Star Tours 2, under construction at Disneyland

Star Wars is an enduring global entertainment franchise, but the Little Mermaid is beloved, and enjoying a revival of hipster cred, as well.

The Little Mermaid building at Disney California Adventure
The Little Mermaid building at Disney California Adventure

Let's hear your pick. Even if you're not planning on visiting the Disneyland Resort anytime soon, go ahead and vote. Remember, the new Star Tours debuts at Walt Disney World this month, too, and the Little Mermaid's coming to the Magic Kingdom in a year or two, as well.

We'll be covering the opening of both these rides at the Disneyland Resort on June 2-3. As always, thanks again for reading Theme Park Insider!

Saturday update: Star Tours 2 soft-opened to the public at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida today. Please post to the comments if you were one of the ones who got in to see the ride today.

Replies (16)

May 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM · I have a feeling ST will win the poll as the fan base for Star Wars is a lot bigger than the fan base for TLM (at least here), but I voted for TLM. It's a brand new attraction, as opposed to the re-imagining of an existing one.
May 13, 2011 at 10:44 AM · Even though Im waiting for WDW versions, Im more excited for The Little Mermaid because its not a remake.
May 13, 2011 at 11:32 AM · I'll take a brand new Disney Omnimover over a simulator ride any time!
May 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Wow..dead even! 50-50!

I won't be going anytime soon, but I hate Star Wars. I did enjoy Star Tours in its original incarnation, but a revamp holds limited appeal for me. Little Mermaid is my 2nd favorite modern traditionally animated Disney film, and I like ocean themed stuff. Ariel gets my vote.

May 13, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Personally I love revamps, as I am always curious to see what kind of new life can be brought to tired old attractions; sometimes they disappoint, sometimes they impress, but that's half the fun I think. Having not been to WDW in about 17 years, as soon as I heard about the film-inspired refit of POTC, curiosity took hold and I had to book a trip to check it (and the host of other attractions I had missed) out.

That being said, I voted SW not because of it being a revamp, but because Disney has always maintained minimal thrill rides in comparison to their armada of omnimover/tracked darkrides... another "ride in moving seat - look at animated dolls" type ride just doesn't get me excited. Had they brought some kind of groundbreaking new tech or experience to TLM, then maybe... but from what I have heard, its pretty much just another cookie-cutter dark ride based on an OLD Disney film.

It at least feels like they are injecting some innovation into SW (digital 3D, non-linear ride experiences).

May 13, 2011 at 3:58 PM · I'm not a fan of 3D normally, but it works in theme parks. However, I'd like to know if they'll incorporate the glasses into the story... a "why are we wearing glasses?" in this Star Wars Universe kind of question.

I voted for Little Mermaid, but I feel like Star Tours will win due to America's obsession with technology. I prefer the music and vivid imagery of the Little Mermaid despite being a huge Star Wars Geek. I knock off a few more points for being associated with the painful "movies" called Episode I-III.

While I can see that some people would call Little Mermaid "just another dark ride", that's like calling Splash Mountain "just another Flume Ride". Every attraction is based on something including innovative ones like Soarin, or Tower of Terror.

May 13, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Star Tours is a rehash of the same thing. Sure, there's new locales and it's a different ride every time (well, it repeats every 54 times), but it's still a Star Wars motion simulator. Don't get me wrong, I love Star Wars, but I don't appreciate invoking the prequels. *shudder*

The Little Mermaid is an entirely new ride (and a princess to boot!), so I see it having a bigger impact than a new version of an old ride.

May 13, 2011 at 4:39 PM · TIE!
May 13, 2011 at 5:07 PM · I thought at first, impossible to choose! However, after some thought it seems the Star Wars ride has been in my head a lot recently since I've been looking forward to going to Disneyland in June. Don't get me wrong, I love The Little Mermaid, the music, and dark rides. But to tell you the truth I almost forgot about the new ride. So I guess it's thrill rides for me!
May 13, 2011 at 6:03 PM · SW merits multiple rides with its 54 combos so that was the tie-breaker. Dont get me wrong im still excited for TLM and i'll be sure to check both out in june.
May 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM · Even though I like Star Wars better than TLM, I'd rather go on a classic dark ride than a motion simulator any day. I'll probably ride the new Star Tours once or twice, but TLM will get a ride every visit. Disney is famous for its immersive dark rides, and it's great to see they're doing a new one.
May 14, 2011 at 12:58 AM · Star Tours provides a unique and evolutionary experience, providing a nostalgic blast from the past for those who grew up on Star Wars as well as going state-of-the-art with the varied content of the new attraction. Riders are rewarded for repeat visits with the possibility of seeing scenes they haven't seen on prior rides.

The Little Mermaid, while it is a big, luxurious dark ride, is really just a people-eater that doesn't really provide anything beyond a synopsis of the well-known movie. To the best of my knowledge, there isn't anything about it that is truly innovative.

As much as I love The Little Mermaid, and I do, I have to give the very clear advantage to Star Tours.

May 14, 2011 at 3:02 AM · Tough choice, but I voted for Star Tours, because this new version will have much more re-rideability. With 54 different ride combinations, people will want to get on it again and again (if they can hack the horrific wait times) to experience all of them.
May 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM · I am loving the overdue remake of Star Tours-de-Force, but
I am even more excited about the new dark ride that has never been seen before. And yes, I have to agree with James Rao, I really like great motion simulators, but they will never take the place of "train" rides using Ominimover type equipment.

My understanding is that the joint project between Disneyland and WDW imagineering is that this Little Mermaid ride is different from the previous project at Tokyo Disneyland.

Does anyone know about this?

May 15, 2011 at 3:57 AM · While I did vote for star tours, I am excited for both. But if I had to choose one [or at least one to do first] it would be star tours. Disney hasn't done a lot of behind the scenes things for it so I know very little about what it contains, at least visually. But little mermaid has about 7 videos on the Disney parks blog, all showing the interior of the ride. So I feel like I've already seen most of that ride.
That being said, I think a lot of you are underestimating little mermaid as 'just a dark ride'. sure, it doesn't pack thrills. But it's not all still characters and flat boards like some other dark rides I can think of. It's MUCH more animated and lively. And it has tons of details packed into it.
May 18, 2011 at 3:23 AM · Definately Star Tours! I mean, I love the little Mermaid (it drawing with Aladdin as my FAV disney movie) but I just find Omnimover rides at disney extremely boring...

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