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Robert Niles

Robert does a podcast - Top theme park dark rides

Published: February 27, 2012 at 11:34 AM

So what are the best dark rides in North America?

I'm sure that any experienced theme park fan could come up with a great list - and debate about it endlessly with other theme park fans. But if you'd like to hear four total theme park geeks go at this question in a podcast, here's your chance.

The Season Pass Podcast

Yours truly was the special guest on the most recent Season Pass podcast, counting down 10 top dark rides with Doug Barnes, Arthur Levine and Joel Bullock. You can download the podcast here or on iTunes.

I haven't surveyed Theme Park Insider readers on podcasts that I remember, so if you're a fan of podcasts, please let me know in the comments and perhaps I'll do some more of these for you. (Let me know any potential topics you'll like to hear about or guests you'd like to hear from, too.)

Replies (6)

Published: February 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I'd love to hear you on, Robert. I think you'd get along well with Mike and EB!
James Rao

Published: February 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Due to my man-crush on Mr. Niles I will definitely give this episode a listen!

Oh, and Robert, check out the podcast (don't let the name fool ya, they rarely talk about coasters). Mike and E.B. put on a really stellar show.

Jorge Arnoldson

Published: February 27, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is my favorite dark ride. Also, I like Spiderman, E.T. Adventure, and Toy Story Mania.
David L.

Published: February 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Potential Topics: Tokyo Disney Resort dark rides and Universal Studios Singapore's dark rides. This sounds really neat!
Will Chilcote

Published: February 28, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I enjoyed the show Robert. You did a nice job. I hope they invite you back.
James Rao

Published: February 29, 2012 at 12:43 AM

Finally listened. Good show. A couple dark rides I would like to mention....

1) Fire-in-the-Hole at Silver Dollar City is the original "Blazin' Fury", and just like the Dollywood attraction it is more dark ride than coaster. Fire-in-the-Hole propels riders slowly past various scenes of stalwart firemen battling a blaze set by a group of vigilantes known as the Baldknobbers. A few surprise dips and splashdown serve to provide some minor, but welcome thrills. This ride is a must do every time I visit SDC.

2) Speaking of SDC, another favorite dark ride of mine is the Flooded Mine, a Buzz Lightyear style shooter set in a flooded coal mine. I enjoy this attraction quite a bit and since there is never a line you can often ride as many times as you want without getting out of your boat.

3) Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure at Six Flags Over Texas is a POTC-style boat ride and, more importantly, a hidden treasure. This whole-family dark ride tells the story of Sheriff Bugs Bunny as he and a plethora of other Looney Toons characters try to capture Yosemite Sam after he commits a robbery. While the Gold River Adventure is definitely a Disney-on-a-budget attraction, it is very well imagined and maintained, and should not be missed by any true dark ride fan.

4) Corkscrew Hill at BGW is one of those gone, but not forgotten dark ride / simulators. This attraction was a surprise hit with the whole family back in 2008 when we visited. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, and thought the story was terrific. I hated to see it get closed down, but as I have not yet visited its replacement, I will withhold judgement on the park's decision...for now.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that the kiddie attractions that used to reside in the Volcano The Blast Coaster "mountain" at Kings Dominion, are not worth pining over. The current attraction, although the narrative and theme could be a LOT better (sadly the mountain is tragically underused), is far superior to the Smurfs, I assure you. Seems to be a little bit of revisionist history going on in this case, as I have heard several people talk about wanting Smurf Mountain back. No way. Not me. Volcano, all the way, baby!

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