2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Journey to the Center of the Earth vs. Sindbad's Storybook Voyage
Written by Robert Niles
Today in the 2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament we feature two popular attractions from Tokyo DisneySea, the park that won last year's Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best theme park.
Since we're a website based in the United States, the majority of Theme Park Insider's readers haven't had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Disney Resort. And that tends to put non-US attractions at a disadvantage in contests such as this, where the highest raw vote count wins. But Tokyo DisneySea's just too good a park not to have an attraction advance in the tournament, so I've taken a little executive license by setting up a TDS vs. TDS match-up in round one. This way, hey, we know one of these rides is moving on.
If either of these rides existed at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, they'd become instant favorites with American theme park fans. Richly detailed and throughly rewarding, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Sindbad's Storybook Voyage feature two of the largest animatronic Disney's ever developed, even as each ride delivers a vastly different physical experience.
Journey to the Center of the Earth inhabits one of the most impressive facades in the world of theme parks -- the immense Mount Prometheus. You queue in an underground cavern, viewing exhibits from past explorers, while lava bubbles at your feet. Eventually, you're taken "down" to the boarding station, where you climb into mine cars that will continue your journey deep into the Earth. It's all sweet and pretty at first, but of course something goes terribly wrong. And that leads to an encounter that blends every theme park attraction design trick in the book to create a moment that will get your adrenaline pumping like few other theme park moments ever could.
Sindbad's Storybook Voyage delivers a much gentler experience, a musical boat ride through the adventures of the popular storybook character. Revamped in 2007, with the addition of a catchy new theme song, this storybook voyage rivals any theme park boat ride in the world for warmth and charm, while delivering just the right touch of adventure.
I've included our on-ride video of Sindbad's Storybook Voyage, but haven't embedded a video of Journey to the Center of the Earth, as I couldn't find one that I believe does the ride's climatic moment any justice. But do take a moment to enjoy the tune from Sindbad. It's one of my theme park favorites.
Time to vote. Which ride would you most want to experience first today, if I magically transported you to Tokyo DisneySea?
Tomorrow: Transformers: The Ride vs. Men in Black Alien Attack
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