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What are the world's most underrated attractions?

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Published: July 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Monday Top 10: This week we give some attention to attractions that haven't gotten much from Theme Park Insider readers. These are attractions that have earned a high average reader rating from those few who have visited them, but just haven't been rated that often by Theme Park Insiders. For the most part, that's because these rides and walk-through are found at parks in non-English-speaking parts of Europe and Asia. But you'll find a couple of selections this week from American parks that don't crack the top 20 for annual attendance, too. If you've experienced some of these attractions, please follow the links and submit your own rating and review!

10. Tom Sawyer Island
Tokyo Disneyland

The TSI rafts

Sure, we have Tom Sawyer Islands at the Magic Kingdoms in the United States, but neither Disneyland's nor Walt Disney World's are as well developed and maintained as Tokyo's.

9. Tower of Terror
Tokyo DisneySea

Tower of Terror Tokyo

You'll notice no "Twilight Zone" preceding this Tower of Terror. There's no Rod Sterling to be found here, either just the engaging Harrison Hightower, the Shiriki Utundu idol, and the most amazing preshow in the theme park business.

8. Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Hong Kong Disneyland

Overshadowed by its neighbor Mystic Manor, Big Grizzly Mountain's helping make Hong Kong a "bucket list" stop for Disney and theme park fans, too.

7. Fata Morgana
Efteling

This ride through 1,001 Arabian Nights is the first of three on our list from the Dutch park Efteling.

6. Shambhala
Port Aventura

This Bolliger & Mabillard Mega is the second coaster on our list.

5. Pooh's Hunny Hunt
Tokyo Disneyland

Disney's first "trackless" dark ride blows away the Pooh-themed dark rides in Florida and California.

4. Miniland USA
Legoland Florida

The Sound of Plastic

For those who love to obsess over detail, Miniland provides the highlight to any Legoland visit.

3. Marvel Cave
Silver Dollar City

Entering the cave

James Rao introduced us to Marvel Cave a few years ago. No theme park recreation, this is an actual cave to explore.

2. Sprookjesbos
Efteling

Tom Thumb

"The Fairy Tale Forest" is a theme park masterpiece by industry legend Anton Pieck.

1. Droomvlucht
Efteling

This "Dreamflight" isn't some defunct Delta Airlines commercial from Disney World. It's a mind-tripping throwback to old-school dark rides. (*Updated with a newer video, from the comments.)

What's your favorite theme park attraction that rarely gets mentioned? Please tell us in the comments!

Readers' Opinions

From robert morris on July 21, 2014 at 1:37 PM
For me it is the Horror Make Up Show at USF

Maybe the blandest description for any attraction in any major theme park.

Did not visit it for the first six months we had annual passes, after my family went once we were hooked and visit almost once a week ever since.

From Sylvain Comeau on July 21, 2014 at 2:44 PM
I love the pirate themed Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland. Lots of fun, lots of things to explore, and not that popular.
From 31.151.15.226 on July 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM
Nice to see our Dutch beloved 'Dreamflight' on this list, it truly is one of the most beautiful traditional dark rides out there. But the video you're showing is an older version, just last year the attraction had a big makeover and especially from 1/2 of the ride there are some new effects like the new Star tunnel connecting the fairy garden with the planet room and in the final scene a new seining troll was added, besides that everything was refurbished, new flowers lighting and so on.. you can find a video of the newer version here: http://youtu.be/nEs78tuoX3I
From James Rao on July 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM
In addition to the excellent Marvel Cave, Silver Dollar City has several underrated attractions such as Grandfather's Mansion (a walkthru mystery house with slanted floors, mirrored walls, and other effects), the Flooded Mine (a Disney-on-a-budget boat ride/shooter), and Fire in the Hole (a dark ride/coaster hybrid). Oh, and there's deservedly high rated Outlaw Run too, so why aren't you planning a visit today?

Oddly enough, another one of my favorite underrated attractions is at a Six Flags park. It is Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure at Six Flags Over Texas. Sure it is a bit dilapidated because Six Flags is a terrible company, but this slow moving boat ride still delights. In the hands of a company that took care of its attractions, Yosemite Sam and the Gold River Adventure would be a real treasure.

From Robert Niles on July 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM
Updated with the newer Dreamflight video.
From 184.88.69.148 on July 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM
How about the most overrated rides ?
From Robert Niles on July 21, 2014 at 4:10 PM
Have patience....
From 67.80.10.235 on July 21, 2014 at 4:43 PM
Carousel of Progress! Torture for my hubby & kids but I can't stay away!!
From Anthony Murphy on July 21, 2014 at 4:56 PM
One of my favorite (keeping with the mostly Foreign Parks) is DLP's Alice's Curious Labyrinth. It is both fun and slightly challenging. I also enjoy a good caucus race!
From Nick McKaig on July 21, 2014 at 7:18 PM
Yes, I would also like to see a list of the most overrated attractions (in your humble opinion)!
From Scott Lathlean on July 21, 2014 at 7:22 PM
Just returned from Tokyo Disney Resort, and was hoping to see Sinbad's Storybook Voyage on this list. Other than the obvious Journey to the Center of the Earth, and the Tokyo version of Tower of Terror, Sinbad's was the one attraction that has really stuck with me since returning home. I blame that catchy tune! It surprised me how much I enjoyed that ride (and the < 5 min wait!)
From James Trexen on July 21, 2014 at 8:33 PM
I'm gonna cheat a little bit here and say the Magic Kingdom monorail at night. There is no better feeling than the one you get as you pass the entrance plaza and look down an illuminated Main Street full of people. One of the truly perfect theme park moments.
From Anon Mouse on July 22, 2014 at 7:36 AM
In general, meet and greets are underrated. Some say they are not attractions. I think they add a lot of value to the trip.
From Brian Emery on July 22, 2014 at 7:45 AM
With all of the Twitter haters of The new Escape from Gringots ride, you might have to add that ride to this list....

Fools, they are all Fools and Muggles...
(Expecto Patronum)

From 75.151.69.253 on July 22, 2014 at 2:47 PM
Easy: Universal Hollywood House of Horrors. I think it is so good that it is worth a trip for JUST. THAT. ATTRACTION. Of course, if you hate to be scared or don't like haunted house rides, then you would not like it, but, if you do, it is beyond awesome. They really, really should put this in Orlando.
From 71.194.255.2 on July 22, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Another vote here for Sinbad's Storybook Voyage at DisneySEA.
From Michael Hudson on July 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM
Houdini's Great Escape is a quite odd and unexpected ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Probably the most themed ride in the park and the illusion is quite cool even if you understand what's going on. Not to mention, great family ride.

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