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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Best Theme Park Show Final - Soarin' Over California vs. Fantasmic!

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Published: March 30, 2012 at 6:00 AM

It's Championship Friday in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament, and we're going to start with the final in the Best Theme Park Show bracket.

We're got an all-Disney final for you, as Soarin' Over California takes on Fantasmic!, a defending Best Show tournament champion. Which is your pick as the winner?

Soarin' Over California - at Disney California Adventure, and at Epcot as Soarin'

Soarin' Over California

Fantasmic! - at Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Tokyo DisneySea

Fantasmic!

Voting is open for 24 hours. If you'd like to rally support for your favorite, please link to this post on Facebook and Twitter and encourage your friends and followers to vote.


Next up: Holiday World's The Voyage and Universal Orlando's Incredible Hulk Coaster battle for the title of Best Roller Coaster

Readers' Opinions

From Rob Pastor on March 30, 2012 at 6:05 AM
This one is simple. Fantasmic is the Best Theme Park Show. Soarin is a good ride, but not much of a show.
From Denis Del Bianco on March 30, 2012 at 6:15 AM
Agree with Rob. BEST SHOW. People get emotional before during and after the show. And Soarin is not a Show.
From Mark Hollamon on March 30, 2012 at 6:55 AM
While I am not all goo goo eyed over either attraction, I voted Fantasmic due to the present condition of Epcot's version of Soarin'. The film quality is very poor and is in real need of service.

I was so unimpressed with Soarin' the last time I visited Epcot (about 2 weeks ago) that I took the time to stop by guest services to give them my opinion on the issue and the cast member who assisted me was well aware of the issue and made the statement off the record that they receive comments like that regarding Soarin' on a regular basis.

Please fix this Epcot! One of your few "E" ticket rides is a black eye on the park! That's not what you want your customers to remember, is it? Think about how your customers feel when they either nab a fastpass at noon for a 5PM ride time or the poor person who actually waits in the two hour line to have this type of an interaction. Not good!

From Tim Odom on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 AM
Soarin' is good, really good when the film quality is there. Hearing that it is starting to show some wear saddens me, since I remember seeing it at DCA around 2001 and loving it. It does not sound as though they went with digital projectors, which is a shame. Regardless, I like Soarin'.

But, it is no where near Fantasmic!. I mean, Soarin' is a nice movie, Fantasmic! has a dragon. That, for me, wins. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Tasty, tasty icing.

From robert morris on March 30, 2012 at 7:13 AM
I think everyone has beaten the Soarin isn't a show into the ground by now.

At least as the vote goes I don't have to explain to my kids how a ride won best Show.

That being said in the first round Shamu Rocks could/should have been counted as a "end of the night show"

As the only shows I could see beating Fantasmic and its scope are Philarmagic (by splitting Disney votes) and Shamu (as it's the basis for an entire concept of theme parks)

Otherwise this catergory seems academic going forward in years

From Jay R. on March 30, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Gotta go with Fantasmic
From Brandon Mendoza on March 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM
I love them both, but no contest... Fantasmic! wins in my book. Live actors and dancers, a brief storyline that is carried through the whole show, and action along with some very heart felt scenes! Soarin may be a great relaxing flying experience, but the jump cuts make it rough... not sure how transitions would work, but it's definitely missing from that attraction!
From Sylvain Comeau on March 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM
Soarin' never really belonged in the "best show" category, so this result makes sense. The Disneyland version of Fantasmic is the best, by the way, at least when Murphy isn't living up to his name.
From AJ Hummel on March 30, 2012 at 11:13 AM
As a show, Fantasmic is better. As an attraction, however, I prefer riding Soarin'. Even though I really like Fantasmic, I'll invest more time to ride Soarin' than to watch Fantasmic, so I voted for Soarin'.
From Mark Fairleigh on March 30, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Even though I trust all the positive reviews regarding Fantasmic!, I've yet to see it for myself. So I'll have to go with Soarin'. The last time I rode it, it wasn't in the best of shape, but it's still a thrill. If it were a horrible experience, I'd have voted the other way sight unseen.
From Mark Kausch on March 30, 2012 at 4:09 PM
Really? Some people are voting for Fantasmic because Soarin' isn't a show? Or am I reading too much into the comments?

For years Soarin' was the best - or almost the best, depending on my mood - thing going at DCA. But I think Fantasmic is the best thing at DL hands down.

At least today.

From Tony Duda on March 30, 2012 at 6:37 PM
Of course Soarin' is a show, the most overrated 8 minute IMAX show ever.
From Rob Pastor on March 30, 2012 at 8:56 PM
Doesn't look like there is much interest in this contest. Not a whole lot of votes in comparison to the other two championships....Good night, the party's over...

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