Star Tours is the king of simulators, not to mention the first simulator ever. The recent update helped alot. Just entering the queue and hearing the Star Tours chime makes you as giddy as can be. Up top, you see 2 Mon Calamari AAs, but when you turn, you see your glorious Starspeeder 1000 getting matinence with C-3PO and R2-D2, along with a giant screen showing Star Tours ads. Next is the security line with droid customs. WHen you enter, you see security droids and droid customs. AFter getting nifty 3D glasses called flight glasses, we watch the preshow, but something goes wrong, and leaves C-3PO as our captain. When you board, you never know where the force will take you! Star Tours is unlike any other ride and needs to win.
Soarin, which I had riden before, kind of let me down. I really liked it the first time I rode it and I think it is a great family ride. However, my main reason for being soooo dissapointed.... The screens were dirty!! I kept noticing it looked like the screen had stains or something on it and it was a serious distration from the experience.
that being said the WDW version really needs to replace Disneyland with Disney World at the end.
/Star tours 2.0 would win otherwise for the sheer variety of things to see.
I didn't find the BTTF storyline that engaging, and while I enjoyed the humor on the Simpsons Ride (which would be my 2nd choice), I think Universal could have done a bit more here-they basically just rethemed BTTF. For pure simulators though, these are two of the best ever because the screens surround you.
As for Star Tours.. I'm not really a Star Wars fan, and while I'm sure the new ride is an improvement, it still doesn't sound great to me. To be fair, there is only so much you can do with a stationary simulator like the ones in this category (not including things like Spiderman, Indy Jones at Dl, Test Track, etc.).
I can't speak for Stormrider (though everything Robert reported about DisneySea made the whole place sound fabulous!) and while Soarin' is pretty, I agree that it's vastly over-rated for the length of the wait.
Now about Star Tours..... I'm a fan of the original triology going waaaay back. I had all the action figures, the playsets, the lunch box, the sheets, the homemade R2D2 Halloween costume... Well, you get the idea. And if this vote was for "Best Simulator Queue" (Hey, Robert, there's an idea for another set of categories :-)....), then I'd probably vote for it. The detail is great and the little inspecter robots are hilarious. But the ride itself is nothing special. Big theatre simulators (as opposed to small passenger types like BTTF or Spiderman) just don't pack that much of a punch for me. And I'm also not a big fan of 3D. It works in some places (Spiderman), but it added nothing to this ride for me; it was more of a distraction. And while I like the queue, I don't want to go through it half a dozen times to see all the different versions of the ride. So, as much as I might want to, I just couldn't vote for this one.
However, I will give Dom his day and support STAR TOURS. I've always enjoyed the attraction and the recent renovations appear to be top notch (I will find out when I visit the attraction in Disneyland later this year).
And the pre-show is hilarious.
(As someone who doesn't like Star Wars, Star Tours II is excellent, I went on it five times I thought it was so fun.)
I'm gonna vote after I type this, but, for what, I'm not sure. I imagine the BTTF in Japan bears at least some similarity to the ride I enjoyed so much in Florida. I liked Star Tours a lot, but it's been a long time, and that's changed, of course. I'm a huge fan of the Simpsons but have never been on the ride.
I'll probably go with BTTF. Sorry, Dom. But I figure Star Tours will win anyway (I haven't looked at the results so far)
I was really looking forward to riding it last time I was in Orlando, having heard so many wonderful reports about it. But whilst enjoyable my over-riding impression afterwards was, 'what's the excitement about?' For me the deal breaker is the cuts between scenes. It's supposed to be simulating flight and yet it keeps jumping from location to location with no warning and no logic to it. It breaks the 4th wall and anyone involved with theatre knows that to do so is the ultimate sin - breaking all sense of suspension of disbelief. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy Soarin', but it's a deeply flawed attraction. For its innovative multi-storyline re-boot Star Tours gets my vote.
What makes this ride cool, and gave it my vote, is that it has ride vehicle effects beyond just the motion simulator. When you get hit by the storm, parts of the vehicle start breaking above your head, pipes break and shoot steam into the cab, etc. I wish they had done something similar for Star Tours, to take it beyond just "watching a movie".
I like Soarin, but I wonder if many people have rode it lately..... or atleast the side of it I rode last. The screen being stained or dirty or whatever seriously distracted me. It really made the attraction look old. Did someone throw a coke on the screen in the past on the left side or something.... or is it the film? I don't remember it being that way when I rode it the first time a year or two before..... but we did get ushered over to the opposite side's theater. Anyway, they need to address that issue..... whatever is causing that distraction caused me to pay a lot of attention to it and less attention to what else was happening.