I chose Spiderman, but it was a tough choice. Robert - I'm interested in what you voted for, since you worked at Pirates.
Pirates at Disneyland is a great ride. I can do this ride a couple of times in a day. But I prefer Spidey.
BTW I think Robert voted for Pirates. He did call it the "This might be the perfect theme park ride" in his rating of the ride.
So, while I don't ride Spider-Man as excessively as I do the coasters in IOA and Universal, Spidey is always on the list, and I make sure I set aside time for this ride.
I did work at Pirates... at Disney World. And that ride pales in comparison to the DL classic. I also adore Spidey and what it has done to reinvigorate the world of attraction development.
Part of me would be depressed to bestow the title on a ride older than I am. But, let's face it, DL's PotC today is not the same ride as it was in 1967. The tech is far more advanced, the sound crisper and storyline more complex. Plus... there is no height restriction on Pirates. That should count for something. I'd love to see the best ride be one open to anyone. And Pirates is the only one standing that can offer that.
The last time we went out for my birthday, we celebrated it at the Blue Bayou, which should also reveal something about my love for this ride.
But... I worked at newspapers for over a decade, too. And so many notes that Spider-Man plays in its depiction of the news industry are pitch-perfect. The donuts on the desks on the queue kill me every single time.
The pacing. The effects. The story. It's non-stop, frenetic... and perfect. In fact, for my son's upcoming eighth birthday, he wants to go ride... Spider-Man. And I wholeheartedly agree. 'Cause I think that'd be a perfect way to spend a birthday, too.
To be honest, Spidey and Pirates are the only two rides that I've given "10"s to in ratings attractions on TPI.
I might have to sit this round out. Waaah!
But Spider-Man, well, so is he.
Spider-Man is the greatest comic book hero of all time, the greatest movie hero of all time, and the star of the greatest theme park attraction of all time.
The Amazing Spider-Man: keeping it real since 1963. Way to go, Spidey.
And in this case IT IS REAALY tough, but by a very small dregree I will go for POTC.
In a way, it's like choosing between an original screenplay movie and an adapted screenplay movie. Pirates is just ... something else. And Spidey remained faithful to the old SpiderMan puns, but with animation that blew me out of the water.
Pirates does get extra points for its all-age appeal (no height restrictions). Spidey gets points for its incredible special effects. I wish I could retract my vote, simply because Pirates has one thing that SpiderMan doesn't: age. It has been open for four times as long as SpiderMan, and STILL manages to be the fourth most popular attraction on this site.
So in the end, they're about even. Yes, they really are perfect attractions and I'd consider them, along with Tower, to be the best that theme parks have to offer.
Oh, James - you think SpiderMan is the greatest screen action hero? Better than Indy or Bond, or for politically charged roles, Atticus Finch et. al.? He was so emo in the third film. Blecch. No offense, just ... DC's movies so far reign supreme over Marvel's.
As for movie heroes, Indy had one great film (so far), Batman had a decent first attempt (except for the Prince songs) and a great reimagining with the ultimate dark crusader, Christain Bale, and Superman has been very hit or miss over the years, but is trending up. Smallville, on the very small screen of the CW, is very much a rip off of the early years of Spider-Man with all the drama and high school angst that made the Amazing Spider-Man so popular throughout the years.
I will stand Spider-Man 1 & 2 up against ANY of the hero movies just mentioned, and X-Men 1 & 2 certainly places. Marvel seems to have the most trouble with third moves (both Spidey 3 and X-Men 3 choked). And while money can be no judge, the more than one billion in combined domestic grosses made by the three Spider-Man movies completely demolishes any franchise DC has ever attempted to film (incidentally, the combined grosses of the POTC movies ARE in that 1 billion dollar range, too).
But I digress, this website is all about theme parks, and I think most of us can agree that the two greatest theme park attractions of all time are facing each other today. And like the real NCAA basketball tournament, once you get to the final four, there are no real losers, just one winner and three second place finishers.
All the attractions in the final four are uber. What we choose in these last two rounds is going to be largely determined by the iconic appeal of the attraction's star, whether it be Spider-Man, Jack Sparrow, Twilight Zone, or Indiana Jones.
Out of that bunch, all other things being equal, Spider-Man is...well....my hero! =)
Thanks for doing this Robert!
But...we have to vote. I thought "if these rides were both in the same park and I had time to only ride one of them...which would I choose?"
As I thought about it, I imagained the overall feelings that I get from each ride. Spidey makes me anxious and excited, but Pirates gives me this all encompassing other-world "zen" feeling.
Surprisingly, I went with Pirates...
The ride is the essence of this tournament. Although I enjoy theme rides and the immersion that the atmosphere brings, I am a thrill seeker, Disney or not. Spidey has all the theme elements of a world-class attraction and it also has the thrills taboot. Without a doubt...hands down winner in the finals as I see it.
That struck me as a pretty bogus, and random, reason to choose one over the other, so I am back to my previous state of decision paralysis.
James - I like your analogy of the icons representing the final four (Indy, Spidey, Capt. Jack et al.), though you forgot one of the biggies: Rod Serling, host of the Twilight Zone. And for me, he is the most iconic.
I think that Tower would get my vote out of all these attractions, and I'll tell you why. Like Scottland, I judge many of my votes on the feeling I get while riding them. Inexplicably, I get this incredible feeling when I hop into the boats on Jaws, or the trains on Everest. It just feels like I'm really going on an adventure, and the ability to capture that feeling within artificial surroundings is truly amazing.
The first time our family walked into the Tower of Terror queue, my nerves cringed with excitement of the unknown. That old Hollywood jazz music softly playing in the thorn bushes still sends shivers down my spine. The lobby took us all by surprise, as it was so realistically dilapidated. And being Twilight Zone fans, we were really taken aback with all the props from different episodes scattered about, including the glasses from my dad's favorite: Time Enough at Last (where the last man on earth saves his sanity by discovering a library, but then drops and breaks his glasses).
The cast members add to the creepiness (unless you're unlucky enough to catch them on a bad day), and the digital recreation of Rod Serling is impeccable, truly one of the most impressive and under-appreciated pre-show elements ever created. WDW Magic has a great article on how they accomplished this feat: http://www.wdwmagic.com/tower_marksilverman_interview.htm
And before the ride had even started, we were blown away. I get that feeling from very few attractions, that feeling of pure excitement and even, after all the times I've ridden, fear. No other attraction in the final four has given me that incredible feeling before I even got on the ride.
Perhaps it's that I've been on Pirates so many times I can close my eyes and vision the entire ride without missing a single scene. Maybe it's because I'm bitter about all of the changes they've made to it (first the "chasing food, not women", now to theme in the movies).
I believe, however, that what won it over was the feeling I had after riding Spidey for the first time. I went in with little knowledge of what I was getting into, having not read much into IoA, and was completely floored by the ride. I have never laughed more on a Theme Park ride, and I've been on a lot. The multiple times my brother and I rode it, we both emerged all smiles, ready for another trip. I haven't found another ride to evoke such giddiness yet, and while Pirates is nostalgic and fantastically themed, Spidey is definitely the better ride, and it alone has me wanting to visit Florida again.
Spiderman may be a great attraction, but only for people over 40" that are healthy and have good eyesight that lets them see 3D projections.