What is Your Favorite Theme Park Attraction?
Okay ... Pay attention TPI kids. This is not a debate. This is not an exercise in contrast (as in which is "the best"). It's a subjective expression of preference.
In his FANTASTIC book 'How to Make Money Publishing Community News Online' Mr. Robert Niles expressed the importance of establishing a sense of COMMUNITY. Those of us who are TPI regs are certainly members of a community. I recently had the pleasure of spending face time with my TPI pal Anthony Murphy over beers at LBV Splitsville. Having acknowledged that we are a community, I have posed this question to compile a record of preference. NO DEBATES. NO CRITICISM. NO SNARK. NO HE WRITES/I REPLY BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. As themed entertainment fans, I think it would be interesting for us to go on the record. What is your favorite theme park attraction?
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
Getting things started: Mine is the 'Jungle Cruise' at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Of course my bias comes from the year I spent as a skipper -- bravely touring boatloads of guests down the world's rivers of adventure.
I could have said my faves were either 'Men In Black: Alien Attack,'Revenge of the Mummy,' or 'One Man's Dream' (three attractions that I helped create. I could also have ranked Walt Disney World's edition of 'Space Mountain' -- riding in the front seat is an extraordinary themed entertainment experience.
But my heart lies with the jungle.
The rudimentary/classic animation. The snarky give-and-take of the skipper. The attraction's standing in american pop culture.
Yeah ... if I had to pick one ... my favorite attraction is the Jungle Cruise at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
From Rob Pastor
Posted November 4, 2013 at 6:50 AM
Splash Mountain. It always puts a big smile on my face....Number two is ET. It does the same.
There are so many… Very hard to pick a true #1….
But I do love Jurassic park river adventure. The doors open, music plays and I am transported back in time…
Close second is WDW Splash Mountain and Montu in BGT.
Probably Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. Just an all time classic that has me smiling every single time.
Wait a minute! Did THC just muzzle himself in his own thread? Can it be true? Did someone hack his account? Maybe it's all the repetitive head damage from too many rough rides and bad jokes on the Jungle Cruise? Hmm??? ;>)
Anyway, my all time favorite has got to be Spiderman. Every time I go to IOA, I've got to go on Spiderman at least twice, and it never gets old.
A close second goes to the Haunted Mansion. For me, it is a timeless classic that just seems to get better every year.
My favorite is SHEIKRA in Bush Gardens, Tampa Bay. It's Pure Dynamite.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spvMFYZ-_pA
Montu at bush gardens though this is a coaster its still a attraction correct?
Subjectively? Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. My honorable mentions include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Men in Black: Alien Attack, Jaws (USF version) and Haunted Mansion (WDW version).
I would go with the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS). I feel that it represents all great parts of Disney Imagineering: Great line, story telling, and thrills.
The thing that gets me is the music playing outside while in line with misters (which create some scary fog, but also cool the guests). It really sets the stage.
The story line on this attraction comes right from the Twilight Zone. You might actually be in an episode and for awhile when I was younger, I thought it was an actual episode (spoiler: Disney completely made up this "episode").
Also, the thrill portion really still stands up. Sure, the attraction is almost pushing 20, but I find nothing creepier than the elevator crawling out of the shaft. Its particularly magical when you are on with people for the first time. That part freaks them out the most and probably one of the slowest moving portions of the entire attraction.
I think what makes an attraction great is when you mention the name of the ride, it immediatly invokes an image in your mind. A strong visual is the key.
Haunted Mansion- Ballroom Scene
Jungle Cruise-Washing Elephants
Pirates- Man in the Well
ET- ET Saying your Name
Jurassic Park- The T Rex
etc, etc, etc
I would have to say Men In Black Alien Attack. It is immersively and accurately themed with a great queue, pre-show, and loading area. The ride itself is thrilling, exciting, and entertaining regardless of how competetive you choose to be. Learning how to play the game opens an entire new element to the ride, and the challenge of reaching the top score is that dangling carrot that very few attractions have. A trip to USF for me is not complete until I hit all 9's on the scoreboard. The only drawback of the attraction is the vehicle design that has 2 rows of 3 that requires alert ride-ops to efficiently load. It's a great attribute for those who know about and are willing to ride through the single-rider line, but any vehicle design that consistantly sees vehicles dispatched with empty seats even with a considerable standby line is a distinct flaw. Also, I'm surprised there has not been more of an update to the attraction following the two sequels.
From James Rao
Posted November 4, 2013 at 9:04 PM
There are so many great attractions to choose from, but the classic of all classics, in my book anyway, is Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean. No attraction transports me to another place and time like PotC does. I am getting all misty eyed just thinking about it...and now I have to go reapply my guyliner. Thanks a lot, TH!
My favorites are:
1- Phantom Manor
2- Pirates of the Caribbean
Both in Disneyland Paris.
But my best ride experience occurred last year when I was at Disneyland California. My wife was doing some shopping in Adventureland, my 3 year old son was sleeping in his stroller in a shadow with his nanny, and so, since I am not a shop guy, I took my 1 year old daughter to the Enchanted Tiki Room. I never liked this attraction before, but that day was different. My daughter loved it, she was clapping hands with the music, and suddenly, since we were at the first row, she went up and starts dancing. Everyone in the room looked to her with a smile. It was pure magic! The image of her happy face is something that I will take in my memory forever.
My favorites are (in no particular order):
- The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (IOA)
- The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror (DHS)
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (IOA)
- Revenge of the Mummy (USF)
- The Haunted Mansion (MK)
- Terminator 2:3D (USF)
- Men In Black: Alien Attack (USF)
- Spaceship Earth (Epcot)
- Transformers: The Ride (USF)
I have way too many favorites.. I can't just pick one. I guess if I had to pick one, it would be The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror.
I love Tower of Terror at DHS. It is, in my opinion, a perfect attraction. Beautifully themed, awesome thrills, and that feeling of anticipation you get right before the first drop. Man, I love it!
From Tim W
Posted November 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM
Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. It's thrilling and has exceptional theming.
1- Forbidden Journey for its technology, scenery, and Harry Potterness :P
2- Twighlight Zone Tower of Terror for its thrill, story, and nostalgia.
From Tony Duda
Posted November 6, 2013 at 11:44 PM
There are many attractions that I would run to and ride first when entering a park such as Spiderman at Islands of Adventure or Montu at Busch Gardens Tampa but favorite implies a certain emotional bond.
Because of this I say Spaceship Earth at EPCOT. SE is the last remaining early-EPCOT animatronic ride since World of Motion and Horizons went to ride heaven. There is a warm, emotional bond to SE that doesn't exist in the other thrilling rides that I run to when entering a park. Other rides are better, more thrilling, more technologically advanced but SE is still my favorite.
From N B
Posted November 7, 2013 at 4:19 AM
MIB: Alien Attack
Why? It is the one interactive ride we enjoy as a family most and always the first thing we do as soon as we toss the luggage in the room. Everyone knows they have a couple minutes to get their ____ together and we are off....
Great picks folks.... I am glad to see Montu getting some Love....
As I have said before, BGT most underrated park in Florida...
*fast 'smallprint' voice*
Well this has been fun and ... civil.
Let's re-cap the responses thus far ...
THCreative – Jungle Cruise (WDW)
Rob Pastor – Splash Mountain
Brian Emery – Jurassic River Adventure
Derek Morse – Haunted Mansion (WDW)
Tim Hillman – Amazing Adventures of Spider Man (IOA)
Marco Trevino – Sheikra
Manny Rodriguez – Montu
Andy Milito – Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey
Anthony Murphy – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS)
Russell Meyer – Men In Black: Alien Attack
James Rao – Pirates of the Caribbean (DLR)
Jack Hammond - Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS)
Flavio de Souza – Phantom Manor
Bryce McGibeny - Amazing Adventures of Spider Man (IOA)
Tim W – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS)
Ryan Pickhardt - – Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey
Tony Duda – Spaceship Earth
NB – Men In Black: Alien Attack
Kelly Muggleton – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (DHS)
From James Rao
Posted November 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM
^With the exception of that long winded J. Rao guy, and a few missing regulars, that list right there is an all star cast for a TPI meet up, folks!
Butterbeers are on Mr. Niles!
^ and that newbie Jack Hammond who's name was strangely left off the list.
It's fine really, I really shouldn't be drinking butterbeer anyway, last time I did there were... issues.
Ok. I'll say it. My name is Jack, and I'm a butteralcoholic.
Normally I avoid these threads out of ad nauseam. However, if we promise to make this a one and done deal, I will submit my vote to Splash Mountain at WDW.
From N B
Posted November 8, 2013 at 12:39 AM
I think this a great thread... no one is bashing anyone else's opinions. MIB is not the "best" ride, IMO, just my favorite because it holds a special place and is our first stop every year.
I am glad everyone is keeping it civil.
Apologies to Mr. Hammond. Thank you Mr. Niles for the "edit" function.
Simpsons at USF, Transformers at USF, Mummy at USF, Spider-Man at IOA, and Rip Rocket at USF. As you can tell, I'm at big universal fan.
Mr. Rao said: "^With the exception of that long winded J. Rao guy, and a few missing regulars, that list right there is an all star cast for a TPI meet up, folks!
Butterbeers are on Mr. Niles"
I guess that's the closest we'll come to alcohol, since at least ONE person on that list is underage (Manny.) Whatever happened to Dominick D?
Should I vote and join the meet-up? Hmmmm. I don't know that I have a favorite theme park "attraction." My favorite RIDE, of course, is El Toro. I'm not the Disney/Universal veteran that many here are. My all-time favorite is long gone..20K LUTS. So currently, it'd probably be a slight nod to Pirates over Haunted Mansion. Orlando only...no real memories of the DL versions. My favorite attraction that I get to enjoy regularly is probably watching the ladies at my local parks :)
From AJ Hummel
Posted November 8, 2013 at 11:16 AM
I've known this was here, but somehow I forgot to post in it. Anyway...
I don't really have one favorite theme park attraction as I don't like to compare completely different ride types against each other. Also, my favorite rides are roller coasters (with Bizarro (SFNE) and El Toro (SFGAdv) topping my list), but those aren't really full attractions. Therefore, as dark rides are my favorite type of non-coaster ride, I'll pick my favorite dark ride, Indiana Jones Adventure, as my choice for this discussion (Pirates of the Caribbean is a really close runner up).
I could dig some more butterbeer...
Great post, TH! Sorry I'm a bit late to the party!
I have lots of favs, but the two rides closest to perfection in my eyes are USF's Revenge of the Mummy and WDW's Haunted Mansion. I like the spooky stuff :-). If I have to pick only one, it has to be the Mummy, solely due to the addition a of a coaster to the dark ride. No trip to USF is complete without multiple rides on it.
From Jay R.
Posted November 8, 2013 at 2:56 PM
This is too hard for me, so I'm not going to select any attraction, but I just wanted to be in the thread.
MIB is for me the ride I do the most often and enjoy it immensely
But for favorite ride I would have to go Haunted Mansion (at night)
Honorable Mention: Living with the Land
I love a lot of rides, and there is a lot more I have not seen.
Favorite- Spider Man (IOA)
Harry Potter (IOA)
Splash Mountain (MK)
OMG...this is so hard...but for my love of it's queue...my absolute favorite...the ride, everything about it...E.T. Adventure!
Second: Revenge of the Mummy
Gotta represent for my favorite (which any long-time reader probably could have guessed):
Tom Sawyer Island
(Though "anything at DisneySea" would be a close second.)
Wait a minute, who bought all this Butterbeer again?
Darn! I had $5 on Impressions de France. Oh well, such is a short-sighted life.
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