2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Radiator Springs Racers vs. Splash Mountain
Disney loves big fake rocks, doesn't it?
Blessed with the budgets that being the worldwide market leader in theme parks delivers, Disney's Imagineers don't always limit themselves to working with the land where their parks sit. They sometimes create massive new vistas -- mountains, cliffs and plateaus to provide homes for their thrill ride creations.
We're pitting two of Disney's best against each other today in the 2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Disney California Adventure's
Radiator Springs Racers and Disneyland's Splash Mountain.
Radiator Springs Racers takes visitors through the world of Pixar's Cars movies, as you ride inside one of the eponymous vehicles for a tour of Radiator Springs, followed by a high speed race around Ornament Valley. Radiator Springs Racers is the highlight of Cars Land, which was itself the centerpiece of Disney's $1 billion-plus revamp of the California Adventure park. Framed by the multi-stories tall rockwork of the Cadillac Range, Racers uses the ride system theme park fans first saw on Epcot's Test Track to create an engaging themed ride that blend character-driven storytelling with a fun touch of high-speed thrill. It's all very comforting -- one of the few major attractions where nothing "goes terribly wrong."
With the Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain down for a much-needed refurbishment until later this month, we're going today with the Disneyland version, which has looked better than its east coast sibling in recent years.
Splash Mountain debuted at Disneyland in 1989, the first of three installations of the ride around the world. (The third is at Tokyo Disneyland.) Inspired by Knott's iconic Timber Mountain Log Ride, Splash Mountain provided Disney with a place to feature its "Song of the South" characters and the Academy Award-winning song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" after Disney deep-sixed the film. Facing the Rivers of America, Splash's 50-foot drop has become one of the great photo ops in any Disney theme park, and the musical sections within the mountain have become a beloved part of a Disney theme park visit for millions.
And yet… only one of these rides is moving on to the quarterfinals of this year's tournament. Racers or Splash? If you're standing in the Disneyland Resort esplanade, to which ride do you run first?
As always, voting is open for 24 hours, and the comments await your campaigning.
Thanks for a great first week of this year's tournament. We'll continue Monday with another first-round match-up, this time of popular rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges.
I voted for Radiator Springs Racers, if only because I'm fairly confident the movie that the ride is based on isn't racist.
Having just experiencing both of these attractions last week, I had to go with Radiator Springs Racers. I don't think it's quite the homerun I was expecting (perhaps it was overhyped), but it (along with the rest of Cars Land) is quite possibly the most detailed addition to any theme park in the US since WWOHP.
Splash Mountain is probably my favorite fun Disney attraction. The ride always makes me feel happy and puts a continual smile on my face. There's so many interesting animatronics that I don't really mind when a few AA's are usually inoperative. I'm using the WDW version since I've never been on the others. The only, very minor detail, is that I've never really gotten wet on the ride, just a few light sprays. Guess you need some heavyweights on the log to get wet. I especially love the grand finale, after you're led into thinking the ride is over.Plus the queue & the attraction are beautiful.... Cars Land Radiator Springs seems to be very immersive, but I have yet to experience it. The dark ride portion looks great, but I'm not sold on the Test Track type ending. I'm not a big Test Track fan. My vote goes to Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain all the way! Great music, great pacing, and it's a classic! I'd consider Splash Mountain to be the last of the classics that WDI built. It's also my favorite ride at Disneyland.
I love Splash Mountain, in fact it is my favorite attraction at the Magic Kingdom. However, my desire to ride Radiator Springs Racers far outweighs my love of Splash Mt. If I was at Disneyland Resort today, I would make a beeline away from Splash and straight towards RSR.
If RSR loses, it will be because most people on this site haven't ride it yet. Splash Mountain is a great ride, but RSR is even better. YouTube will not give the thrill of racing against another car through that terrain. You have to ride it to get the wonderful experience. I did. I took a flight from Orlando to L.A. just to ride RSR. And it was worth the cost. For me, RSR is up there with the best rides.
+1 to James for quoting the greatest Pixar movie line, ever.
RSR is my first pick overall, not just over the mildewy, wet-clothes-making splash mountain.
Another tough choice, but I had to go with Racers. Very impressive new E Ticket, on a grand scale and considerable wow factor working for it. Plus, I've only been able to ride it 4-5 times, so it was a thrill every time. The massive wait times and rapidly disappearing fast passes are a minus, however.
Wow. If you voted for Splash Mountain either you've never seen Carsland and ridden RSR or simply don't like Cars as a movie.
Racers looks great, better than Splash even. But the latter is THE quintessential Disney ride. Catchy music, impressive story telling, thrilling resolve and above all, charm that speaks Disney. No trip is complete missing out on Splash.
RSR for sure!
This one was tough. I haven't experience RSR, but I have experienced WDW's Splash Mountain. I ultimately went with Splash Mountain. Don't get me wrong, I do think that RSR looks like one of the best rides of the century, but Splash Mountain is just a timeless classic. The show scenes are just as rich in detail, it appears to be a much longer ride and the catchy songs and characters are just classic Disney elements. You can't leave MK or DL without humming "How do ya' do?" or "Zippa-dee-doo-dah!".
Going with RSR one this one. I've been on Splash but not RSR, but from what I've seen on You Tube, RSR looks alot better.
This one's hard. I've been on both rides and they are both really good, but they both have their flaws. RSR is one of the most elaborate rides at the Disneyland Resort and certainly is popular with the public, but the ride is very tempermental, is based on a property I don't particularly care for, and the big race at the end feels a bit slow to me (it's still fun, but I've always thought it felt more like a joyride than an actual race). Splash Mountain, on the other hand, is a classic Disney attraction, possibly the most iconic one the company has come up with, and it is certainly one of the best flume rides out there, but the attraction is based on a movie few have seen or have knowledge of and the ride has the worst interruption of story of any Disney attraction I know of.
This was a no brainer- Radiator Springs Racers vs. Disneyland's Splash Mountain? RSR for the Win! Now if it had been RSR vs. Tokyo's Splash Mountain, that would be a tough decision!
I've been lucky enough to ride Radiator Springs Racers a half dozen times, and enjoy the ride a lot, but I don't think the dark ride portion incorporating the world of the Cars movies really works with the thrill aspect of the ride. In a lot of ways, I think the elaborate theming of the Cars Land area is more interesting than the signature ride there.
Uh oh......this is too close, come on RSR, lol! Gotta beat that Brer rabbit!
I think people are going to pick RSP because its NEW.
You know, it cracks me up how the Disney community often reacts. We piss and moan that Disney never does anything new, and then when the company spends $200M on what is largely considered the best new attraction of 2012, and an instant classic, those same complainers turn out in force to support a circa 1980's flume ride. Yeah, I love Splash Mountain too, but why should Disney ever build anything new if people are willing to latch on to the classics of the past and never let go?
James: Any ride that doesn't exist in Orlando seems to have troubles pulling in big numbers on TPI's polls. Probably has something to do with the demographic's of this site. I would guess that the vast majority of readers live east of the Mississippi River. I too, am sometimes a little reluctant to vote for an attraction I didn't ride if the opposing ride is one that I did ride and is of excellent quality. Transformers also did not pull in huge numbers, but will probably do better next year after its Orlando opening. I don't think its' necessarily a bias against non Orlando areas, it's probably more of a "YouTube videos and such don't give you a true ride experience". Just an opinion, but I think that's what happens in these cases. You really can't experience an attraction's merits until you have actually experienced the attraction. I narrowly voted for Transformers because it was pitted against an attraction, that I liked, but did not consider it in the same tier. If Transformers were pitted against Spiderman, I would vote for Spiderman since they are the same level and I've only experienced Spiderman so far. This thought kind of rambled on, but I imagine that is what is happening.
I don't disagree, Rob, but you of all people should be in agreement with my previous post. You have been calling for Disney to move forward with "new stuff" for over a year now. If we want new, then we better vote for new.
James: I agree with your two posts. It's just that sometimes an attraction doesn't measure up with the hype surrounding it. One example is the original Test Track. I read so many good things about it. But it was real blah to me personally when I first rode it. I felt like I was sitting in a dingy car shop waiting for a car repair. My main point, and I guess I didn't make it well enough, is that Radiator Springs Racer would have done much better if it was already open in Orlando and more readers had experienced it. I would have probably voted for Radiator on what I've read & seen on videos if it wasn't pitted against what I consider the most enjoyable, though surely not most thrilling, Disney attraction. In a tie type situation, my vote goes to the one I've actually experienced.
I understand, Rob, I do. But the question Robert Niles asked was: "Racers or Splash? If you're standing in the Disneyland Resort esplanade, to which ride do you run first?" I seriously doubt 52% of those voting are running to Splash first.
James: You've made a strong point.
As Pat Benatar once said, "It's a little too little it's a little too late...."
I have to wonder if there's something to be said about voting for or against a ride you haven't been on. On the one hand, Radiator Springs Racers is not available in Orlando, and lost to Splash Mountain. On the other hand, Transformers is not available in Orlando, but beat Men In Black.
Robert, we need a recount! And ONLY allow voters who have ridden the ride. RSR is too good to be eliminated so quickly.
I feel conflicted now for voting Splash Mountain based on pure classicness. Not that my one vote would have really mattered among the other 600 something votes, but its obvious that RSR is a better, stronger and more technologically advanced attraction than Disney's famous late-80's log flume.
I kind of disagree with the theory of voting for which ride would you ride first if given the choice....
To James's post. Despite DCA's addtional 3 million attendees due to CarsLand, Disneyland park still drew in more visitors(for the year) by a long shot. Despite DCA's attempt to create new adventures, you shouldn't ever underestimate the power of a classic. Perhaps RSR will become a classic in time, but the key words there are "in time". Splash Mountain has been thrilling guests since 1989, so you figure 14 years of satisfying guests isn't going to beat out a brand new attraction? Maybe in a best New Ride category, but not in overall best attraction.
@Justin I am not in any way saying Splash Mountain is not a great attraction, but you have to go back and look at the question that was being asked in this particular poll: "Which would you run to first?"
Justin said "...Splash Mountain has been thrilling guests since 1989, so you figure 14 years of satisfying guests isn't going to beat out a brand new attraction?"
The majority of voters for Transformers were those who were excited it was coming to Orlando. It RSR was coming to Orlando, I'm sure it would have been the same way.
I prefer the splash mountain theme, for my was hard to vote for RSR. I voted for RSR.
I think you should only vote on which ride you would go on first if you've been on both rides already. Naturally, everyone would choose the new one. Let's say we're back in 2011 when the Little Mermaid opened to the public. Between that and Splash Mountain, which would you run to first (and then vote on)? I'm sure everyone here would say that they'd head for Mermaid, but that by no means makes it a better ride than Splash. So I too disagree with the 1st ride basis unless the attraction has been open for a few years and you've already been on it.
@James Rao- this time I think you're wrong.
I am sure Mr. Niles will be thrilled to find out his writing is irrelevant. As is my opinion apparently, being as I am "wrong".
The tournament should be divided into two editions: East Coast and West Coast. That way Pirates (Disneyland) and RSR would still be in the tournament.
The tournament is fine, it is some of the voting I question. Regardless, the whole thing just became a lot less interesting without DCA's $200M juggernaut. I really dont want to see another Haunted Mansion / Forbidden Journey final. Oh well, go Orlando!?
The first ride premise is flawed...
In all fairness to Mr. Niles, whose writing I do not find to be irrelevant, I am pretty sure the evaluation between the two rides is supposed to be done in a vacuum, not in relation to crowd patterns at the park.
RSR didn't even make it pass the first round......against DL's s Splash Mountain! :-(
James......I do see your point. The question is what would you run to first if you were standing in between the entrances to both parks, so I totally get your point of running to RSR because it is the new thing and you're right that is the question, but the overall competition(tournament) is for the best ride overall. So this question becomes a double edged sword. You would think to choose RSR as the ride you would run to first, but would you put RSR above Splash Mountain in a match against other attractions in the competition? I would still pick Splash. RSR is a wonderful attraction, and I do like that Disney chose Cars as the theme and not another Princess theme like whats going on at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, but still.....to the question, yes I too would run to RSR first.....but wouldn't pick it as a better ride/attraction overall.
Makes sense. I would go to RSR because I expect it is the better attraction AND it is newer as well. Gotta think I will prefer that "new ride" smell especially on a Cars based attraction. Will definitely find out when I visit DLR later this year. Regardless, your opinion is just as valid as mine, if not more so according to some.
I like both, but for me even if Splash has a bigger "thrill", RSR I think overall it's a better attraction.
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