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Which ride has the best storytelling?

The best one should have a strong story in a few minutes.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted June 13, 2011 at 6:58 PM
I like the storytelling of the E.T. ride.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted June 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM
I too liked the story with E.T. I also think that the story line for Splash Mountain was done well.

From Thomas Crain
Posted June 13, 2011 at 7:35 PM
Expedition Everest.

You start in the ticket office, then through outdoor shrine of the Yeti. Then you head through the equipment room.

Finally, you go through the Yeti Museum and see this wonderful static documenatary on thec Yeti, both fact and fictional. You see costumes of the native tribe's Yeti ceremonies, and small footprints found in expeditions. You see the torn remains of the lost expedition and the chilling last photographs.

Finally, as you make the final turn into the loading station, you see it; the massive and un-explained footprint.

All of this of course leads to the ride.

Perfection.

From KJ Simpson
Posted June 13, 2011 at 7:37 PM
I think Indiana Jones tells a great story, starting off with the queue.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted June 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Tower of Terror. Its story begins as soon as you enter the park, escalates as you travel down Sunset Boulevard, and provides the ultimate climax: one that changes every time you ride.

From Tim W
Posted June 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion!

From Nick Markham
Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey anyone?

From Lucas Lee
Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Back to the Future. haha.

From Jorge Arnoldson
Posted June 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM
I have to agree with Nick! I also think ET is still one of the top dark rides out there, although it's twenty-one years old.

From Andy Milio
Posted June 14, 2011 at 2:50 PM
Ah, Forbidden Journey has a great story, as does E.T.!

From Formula 40
Posted June 14, 2011 at 3:16 PM
I'll say Expedition Everest. Very ambitious. Also Tower of Terror, really set the bar high for dark ride storytelling.

From Carrie Hood
Posted June 14, 2011 at 4:00 PM
I'd have to say two of my favorites are (as sated before me) Tower of Terror and Splash Mountain. Both are very detailed yet easy to follow along or pick up if one wasn't paying attention to begin with. Sticking with WDW, Jungle Cruise deserves a plug here too as well as Journey into Imagination. Now I know before you jump all over me, this version is not nearly as good as what we all had to grow up with but it still tells a pretty decent story if your paying attention.

Also I'd have to name SWO's Journey to Atlantis is worthy of a decent plug on the storytelling end.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted June 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM
Tower of Terror basically what Joshua says.

From Josh Denson
Posted June 14, 2011 at 9:46 PM
Yeah...Forbidden Journey by a mile. And by mile, I mean the distance from Orlando to Mars.

From Kurt Larson
Posted June 15, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Tower of Terror is good.

Also, I've always thought Jurassic Park The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood is fairly flawless from a story perspective.

You start out peacefully, then build the tension with an unknown problem, then reach the climax with the T-Rex and drop. Beginning, middle, end.

I think it's done very well.

From Phil Tracy
Posted June 15, 2011 at 12:29 PM
It's kind of strange to think that a rapids ride can tell a story, but the Popeye water ride does way more than I expected. The ride has good variety and is fun as well, but you get to feel like you're in a cartoon too!

From Terri Pierce
Posted June 15, 2011 at 1:33 PM
Nick, I have to disagree with you. While I love FJ and it reins #1 among dark rides and top 5 all time the story is lacking. I think the best way I have heard it described is a "highlight reel" of HP. The whole thing is that muggles can now go into the castle and fly around with Harry because of the enchanted benches... but past that and once you get on to the actual ride, the store fails.

Again, I am not bashing the ride at all, I just don't feel like the story is why people love the ride. Ride mechanics and themeing more so.

My picks would have to be Tower of Terror, Spiderman, Splash Mountain, and minus ride mechanics ET.

From TH Creative
Posted June 15, 2011 at 2:01 PM
Without question it is 'Men In Black: Alien Attack.'

From the queue designed as a World's Fair exhibit (The Universe and You) to the guests becoming a part of the story as MIB recruits, to the crashed ship of prisoners to the final score and the neurolization of the riders.

'Men In Black: Alien Attack' is BY FAR the best story of ANY theme park attraction.

From steve lee
Posted June 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM
I think TH may have a little bias, but in this case he's actually right. The only problem is sometimes they don't run the first portion (the "Universe and You" bit) if they're trying to rush people through. It's a great bit of storyline and it's pointless to skip.

I also agree with the previous poster about Popeye, although the amount of story you get to actually see can vary based on which direction you're facing.

The ride that irritates me the most with story is IOA's Jurassic Park ride. I think the ride needs an epilogue after the big drop. Even if it's just a run of the mill "oh, there you are. Thank goodness you survived!" recording it would be better than nothing.

One more to add: "Jaws."

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 15, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Tower of Terror

Heck, even the music and misting fans in line help tell the story!

I too am impressed with Popeye and its pretty coherient story.

From Manny Barron
Posted June 15, 2011 at 10:33 PM
This is easy. Indiana Jones Adventure. The queue is a story in itself. Also the old Back to the Future ride as well(still running in Japan). Go in as time travel volunteers, but since Biff shows up you end up racing through time crashing into a Texaco sign and getting eaten by a dinosaur, before saving the entire universe and the space time continuum!!!

From Donna McKay
Posted June 16, 2011 at 9:43 AM
Tower of Terror or Haunted Mansion. The story always starts as soon as you meet the very first cast member and they decide to single you out as the "victim" of their humour :)

From Rod Whitenack
Posted June 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM
I actually think Universal's "Cat in the Hat" ride does an amazing job of bringing the entire children's book to life in a dizzying, funhouse type of way.

From Terri Pierce
Posted June 16, 2011 at 11:19 AM
Rod I agree. I always take people I go with on that ride and they always have a HUGE smile on their face because their childhood story just played out before their eyes.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 16, 2011 at 9:20 PM
I always thought that Alien Encounter had a good story. Very underrated and moralistic (giant evil corporation)

From Robert Niles
Posted June 16, 2011 at 11:00 PM
I'd be okay with Everest on the list if Disney hadn't added the dance club sequence where the attacking Yeti used to be. ;^)

From Ashleigh Noad
Posted June 19, 2011 at 7:14 AM
^ I completely agree. The story on EE is just ruined now in my opinion, that is the biggest selling point of the attraction. It is similar to how when Tiffany the T-rex is down on JPRA, it ruins the finale of the ride and thus the whole point of the ride, sure, you still have your big typical log flume ending, but the story suddenly doesn't make sense or ends on an anti-climax. At least Universal have the sense to fix it, even though I am aware that fixing Disco Yeti would cost Disney a lot more money than it does to fix Tiffany.

Maybe after Animal Kingdom's disappointing attendance report, Disney will spare the dollars to fix EE.

I agree with Joshua and Carrie on Tower of Terror. The storytelling on that is simply immense! The basic premise of a 'haunted elevator' is pretty evident just by looking at the attraction, it is fantastically themed.

THCreative, I completely forgot about MIB! I agree with everything you said. When you have time to experience the elevator, walk around MIB and watch all the videos in the ques - it is absolutely awesome.

From Adam Dodds
Posted June 20, 2011 at 9:39 AM
FJ has the most illogical story of them all. Flying benches is okay, but we happen to be at Hogwarts during a quiditch match, a loose dragon, and demontors at the same time while avoiding the whomping willow and some how go from outside bridge, to evil lair that looks like its the chamber of secrets to the quiditch field. It's just seems like a bunch of movie clips squished together. There are rides that have a much better beginning, middle and end. You never really reach the goal in FJ, which is the quiditch match, you end up back in the castle where you were trying to leave which means the riders kinda fail in the story of the ride.

From Tony Duda
Posted June 20, 2011 at 10:53 AM
FJ is not flying benches, you are on a broomstick following Harry. The walls between the seats mostly blocks your view of the other 3 riders and the protruding bar is the broomstick. We have to use our imagination on rides. We know it's only make believe.

From Terri Pierce
Posted June 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM
Tony, Muggles cannot fly on brooms. They have cast a spell on the benches so that the muggles can go on the journey through the castle with Harry. Thus, "enchanted benches". Your imagination is needed when putting the story together through the highlight reel.

From Tony Duda
Posted June 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM
I've never read a Harry Potter book, only saw the movies. Maybe I'm out of my area of expertise but all the original advertisements show the riders flying on broomsticks behind Harry.

From Michael Owen
Posted June 21, 2011 at 3:11 PM
Tower of Terror, hands down. There's lots of attractions in theme parks around the world where the story is comprehensive enough for the rider to fully understand it, but there's few which are good enough to fully immerse you in it - Tower of Terror is one of those few.

The Hollywood Studios version starts, as has been mentioned, when you enter the park. You walk up Hollywood Boulevard, take a right onto Sunset and there it is, formidably looming at the end of the street.

The garden area of the queue is fantastic, and it just gets better as you go on through the lobby, library and boiler room.

Oh, and after all that there's a world-class, faster-than-gravity drop which changes every time, along with the cool corridor scene and, admittedly dated fifth dimension.

Add to that the music and, of course, the 'Bellhops' and it's easily one of the best executed attractions in the world.

From Terri Pierce
Posted June 21, 2011 at 6:44 PM
Tony you're correct. But those kids had acceptance letters into Hogwarts, they weren't muggles.

I only tease. Who's to say who's right or wrong? Only the ride creator could say with certainty and who's to say you can't use your imagination and take it how you want it? No one.

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