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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Best 4D Movie?

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Published: February 7, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Remember the first time you saw a 4D movie? Mine was Disney's original, "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience." I knew that something was going to happen in the theater in addition to the 3D movie when I visited that first summer, but I didn't know what it would be. When it happened, well… I just started to write "I screamed like a little kid," but I don't remember ever screaming that loudly when I was a child. HISTA freaked me out, but I've gone on to enjoy many other 4D shows over the years.

Honey I Shrunk the Audience is gone now, but a field of 4D movies remains to battle for this year's title. As I noted when we voted on 3D movies last week, the line dividing 3D from 4D has grown blurry over the years. Basically, if a park labels an attraction "4D," it's eligible in this category. If the park instead calls the movie "3D," I put it in the 3D category. For other attractions with the 3D movies in stationary theaters, ones that parks didn't label 3D or 4D in either the show's name or official description, I assigned the attraction to this category if its seats jiggle or tickle you. Everything else went into 3D.

So here are your nominees in the 4D movie category. Voting is open for 24 hours.

It's Tough to Be a Bug! - at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney California Adventure

It's Tough to Be a Bug!

The Magic Lamp Theater - at Tokyo DisneySea

The Magic Lamp Theater

Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination! - at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and SeaWorld San Diego

Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!

Shrek 4-D - at Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Japan (Yes, this is the only attraction that appears at all four Universal Studios theme parks. There's also a Jurassic Park ride at all four locations, but the Orlando version is in Islands of Adventure, not USF.)

Shrek 4-D

Spellbreaker 4D - at Legoland California and Legoland Florida (Note: This show had the most votes among the 4D movies Legoland California shows in rotation, so it gets the nod for the tournament. FWIW, if you think we should start rating the movies separately in Florida as well, we can have a discussion about that.)

Spellbreaker 4D


Tomorrow: It's an Intamin roller coaster showdown as the builder's top non-accelerator coasters face off.

Readers' Opinions

From Brandon Mendoza on February 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Here's to hoping ITtBaB wins! Shrek is ok, but it's a little boring even for me, a Shrek fan!
From Andrew Carrieri on February 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM
I went with ITTTBAB because of the creativity Disney displayed in all facets of the show experience here: the theatre, effects, and movie itself are all excellent in my opinion.

I'd actually put Sesame Street second because I thought the film was pretty funny.

For whatever reason, Shrek doesn't really do much for me though the anti-Disney jokes are funny and the moving chairs are cool.

From Stuart Henny on February 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM
It was a tough call between Shrek and ITTBAB, I had to go with ITTBAB in the end, the hornet sting and the "excuse me, coming through" at the end always makes me laugh at the reactions of folks that don't know what's coming.
From Tim Odom on February 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM
I voted for It's Tough to be a Bug, mainly for the fact that nearly every time I see this, upwards of 10 kids have to be taken from the theater, crying. It seems to be too scary for the little ones...
From Joe Brown on February 7, 2012 at 11:52 AM
When did Sesame Street start at Williamsburg? We were there this summer and the 4D movie was a pirate movie starring the late, great Leslie Nielson.
From 174.107.187.21 on February 7, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I'm usually a Universal nut, but I'm so over Shrek. I still have much love for It's Tough to be a Bug...so there went my vote. :)
From Robert Niles on February 7, 2012 at 12:59 PM
My bad on BGW. Didn't realized that they'd swapped out for the Pirates show, which has had such poor ratings on TPI in the past that there's no way it gets into the tournament. (Maybe it makes it into the most-hated-attraction tournament....)
From 108.218.67.156 on February 7, 2012 at 1:04 PM
I've only seen two of these (It's Tough to Be a Bug and Shrek), and it's no contest. I wasn't a big fan of Shrek, despite the technology involved with the seats. It's an okay show, but It's Tough to Be a Bug is more enjoyable.
From James Rao on February 7, 2012 at 1:27 PM
Why isn't Mickey's PhilHarmagic part of this vote? ;p

ITTBAB is my favorite of this bunch. It illicits a wider variety of audience responses than any other 4D show I have seen. I especially love the way unsuspecting and unprepared parents are left struggling to curtail the terrified screams of their younglings! Why do parents just assume because something is Disney it is suitable for all ages? Real parents do their research ahead of time, not in the field!

Incidentally, I thought the new Sesame Street show replaced Pirates 4D at BG TAMPA a while back? Yay or nay?

From Adam O'Malley on February 7, 2012 at 1:41 PM
Spellbreaker I am certain is on at Legoland Windsor. I may be wrong though as my last trip was a while ago.
From Mike Gallagher on February 7, 2012 at 2:38 PM
Seen none, I'll pass. Looking forward to tomorrow's vote. Couple of rides I really like will/should be in that category. I'll be p.o.'d if my favorite steelie is not...and I have a hunch it won't be. Hope I'm wrong.
From Jorge Arnoldson on February 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM
You forgot to mention that Sesame Street 4D is also at Busch Gardens Tampa.
From Andrew Carrieri on February 7, 2012 at 8:17 PM
@James-you are correct but according to the attraction listings on this site, Sesame Street 4D at both Busch Gardens parks has reverted back to Pirates 4D a la Honey I Shrunk the Audience to EO. I didn't even realize this until now...I just saw Sesame Street at BGW last April and assumed it was still open.
From James Rao on February 8, 2012 at 4:22 AM
From what I can tell, SS and Pirates split time at BGT, but not at BGW where it is all Pirates all the time. Ugh.

In all honesty, probably both shows need to go, and a new high-quality adventure should be produced.

From Rob P on February 8, 2012 at 5:37 AM
The Bugs get my vote. No matter how many time we see / experience it we always enjoy it.
From Seth Kubersky on February 8, 2012 at 8:55 AM
Sesame runs at BGT and also USJ, I believe. Most uncomfortable soaking water effects I've ever suffered through in a 4d film...

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