2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Best Simulator Ride?
We're down to the final five categories in the first round of the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament
. One week from today, I'll announce the brackets for the second round and beyond, when we move to head-to-head match-ups in four categories: Best Themed Ride, Best Live Show, Best Roller Coaster and Best Automated Show.
Today's category honors the five top-rated simulators that play in front of single screens. It does not include "motion-base" simulator vehicles that travel through a show building, such as Spider-Man and Indiana Jones. Those rides will have their own category next week. We've got two entries from international parks today, though one is the final installation of a now-closed attraction in the U.S.
Back to the Future - The Ride - at Universal Studios Japan
The Simpsons Ride - at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood
Soarin' Over California - at Disney California Adventure and Epcot
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue - at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios
StormRider - at Tokyo DisneySea
On Monday: We pick the best demonstration show.
Appearently I'm the only one to vote for Star Tours, so let me give my speech:
I voted Star Tours. I would have considered Soarin but at WDW needs to convert to digital film because dust and scratches ruin the illusion anymore.
I like Star Tours and think they did a good job with the reboot, but Soarin' is a classic. The Simpsons Ride and Back to the Future are solid, but they're both really rough.
Soarin' = Highly overrated
I just went to WDW over New Years and rode both Soarin and Star Tours. The new Star Tours is awesome. It is intense and fun (although I did freak out a little when they locked me in that small room with all those people). It was the best 3-D I have seen on any attraction. I voted Star Tours.
Star Tours is moving up quickly, just like how little Ani was able to go from 9 to 19 in 3 years.
Soarin gets my vote because the whole feet dangling aspect of it is a better experience than being in a shaking theater or a tilting car.
I actually went with Stormrider because the effects and theme sound really interesting and creative.
Andrew, look up on You Tube and you will see why it's amazing.
I voted for BTTF on this one, simply 'cause I still miss it so much at USF. The Simpsons is fun (and has a great gift shop), but I don't consider that building a "must ride" anymore.
Five "excellent" choices. This is perhaps the strongest category to date. Back to the Future was my favorite theme park ride when I rode it at Universal Orlando. The Simpsons was a great replacement. It's pre-show is perhaps the funniest show at any theme park. The ride is awesome. It feels more like a roller coaster than a real coaster. Soarin is a beautiful experience. Storm Rider, from Robert's discription, looks fantastic. Last May we were fortunate enough to be at Hollywood Studios the first hours of Star Tours' soft opening. We rode it three times. What an amazing ride, especially with the alternate scenes. Nearly every ride is different, which is a unique and thorougly enjoyable experience. And a fantastic entrance sets the mood. I really had difficulty choosing a winner from five "winners". I changed my mind a few times, but settled with, and this should make Dom happy, Star Tours. Can't wait till May vacation to ride it multiple times and experience many of the alternate scenes.
Only rides I have been on can get my vote. Have not been on Star Tours 2 (and, to be honest, the original Star Tours did nothing for me), so I went with Soarin'.
Soarin' has mass appeal. Anyone from 8 to 80 can ride it and have a great time. Very few "good" rides can make that claim.
Love both Star Tours and Soarin' but have to go with Soarin'. Many rides or attractions entertain or provide a thrill. However, Soarin' is the only attraction to lift my spirit.
That's a tough one. I loved BTTF when I was a kid, but the ride was showing its age. If they'd updated it, it would've made for an awesome ride.. should've done something similar to what Star Tours II did, and for that reason, Star Tours II got my vote.
I found this a difficult vote and I probably didn't give Stormrider its due - but having rode the rest - I reluctantly went with Star Tours 2. Soarin' (Epcot version) used to be an amazing ride and it could be again. But I've got to wonder if anyone up the chain at Disney has ridden it lately. I think they'd be embarrassed to see how bad the picture is. Either the screen is damaged or the film or the lens - but whatever the source, it is a MAJOR distraction. (I went with a friend for his visit in December and raved about Soarin'. I just bit my tongue afterwards as I felt Disney had let me down in terms of upkeep.) That and the queue is arguable the worst in Disney history. As to BTTF and Simpsons, I love the concept of being in a small group but with a huge screen. I prefer the BTTF version over the Simpsons overlay and find the Simpsons to be too aggressive. (And I'm a coaster nut.) I kind of feel the individual theater concept (Star Tours 2) had been superseded by Imax type screens - and even with the addition of 3D, it doesn't have the same scope. I understand the six units running in DHS and the ability to only run as many as you need probably helps throughput, but I don't think they would have made that decision if they were starting from scratch today. But since they so nailed it with the queue and the new digital film and randomization (both of which helps immeasurably) these were enough to make it my top choice here. Just understand that even as top choice, it isn't a complete must-do for me at WDW.
I picked the Simpsons. Even though I am a bigger Star Wars nerd, Simpsons (even without 3D) makes me feel more like I am actually there doing those things.
If TPIs have made Mr. Rao and TH happy in this tournament, they can make me happy! I have a feeling this is gonna be like MIB vs TSM and MILF vs PF.
There's something wrong with the voting system. BTTF isn't winning.
Okay, where's Elvira? I demand a recount. Those..I mean that..is the most fun simulator I've been on, although obviously, the technology has left it behind.
I'm amazed that Soarin' is doing so well.
For those who haven't ridden Stormrider -
I gotta go with Storm Rider, though I'm perfectly fine with Star Tours winning. However, Soarin'? Really? Soarin' is an amazing ride with hardly a theme(at least in Florida). The line is the equivalent of an indoor Six Flags queue. I love the ride, but all of the others offer better rounded experiences. Storm Rider, with its phenomenal exterior(better than ALL of the other attractions in this vote) and great interior effects(so I've heard) put this a head above Star Tours and all the others.
Back to the Future!!! It's nice to know somewhere in this world Doc Brown is still sending time travel volunteers to catch Biff. This ride is great and I really miss it. My favorite ride of all-time.
StormRider is one that begins to blur the line between simulator and 4D movie, with its in-theater effects. I wish that WDI would find an excuse to bring it, or a ride very similar to it, to the US.
COME ON STAR TOURS! I WANT YOU TO WIN! If it doesn't win, I'll be posting NOOOOOOOO in every single post (excluding TPA submissions, unless it's Star Wars).
I figured this would be a toss-up between Star Tours and Soarin', and it looks like I was right. The others didn't really stand a chance. While I like the Simpsons and I liked Back to the Future, neither is iconic or compelling. Storm Rider was out of the picture doe to the small number of voters who have had the chance to ride it. Between the two, I went with Star Tours due to the new variety to the experience what with the 2.0 technology. If they came up with a similarly plussed Soarin', it would be the hands-down winner, and would probably score points for awesomest ride EVAR...
Robert, if Disney were to finally scrap the Imagination theme, which seems an odd fit for Future World to begin with, they could easily retheme the building to one about climate and weather. While there may be some overlap in concept with the neighboring Land pavilion, Disney could easily market this as a plus. This would give them the opportunity to either swap out the existing ride for StormRider, or shoehorn it into the location now used for EO. The existing ride could then be a trip through various intense weather conditions, such as tornados and floods. It could actually be a pretty interesting ride.
Well, Star Tours 2 isnt gonna win. Better start getting the NOOOOs out.
I never did go on The Simpsons Ride because it has got the same ridesystem as Back to the Future who is to rough for me but had a full story that I liked and included the video in the line perfectly in the whole storie.
Don't give up Dom, It's so close. I voted Star Tours!
It's all your fault. Get ready, because I'm gonna have Nooo or some kind of video in every one of my posts, starting now.
The Darth Vader Nooooo video sums it up nicely..... lol.
Someone, please get Randall a consulting gig with Imagineering. Make the weather pavilion happen!
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.