Ride VS Ride – The original vs the replacement.

May 2, 2024, 8:52 AM

We have seen many attractions/rides change and or be replaced over the years.

And of course, with changing Technology often the new ride is better, but not always….

Let’s discuss when the Original was better than the Replacement.

I will give one example – many love the Original Kong vs the New Skull Island.


Replies (14)

May 2, 2024, 11:16 AM

Kong for sure. Journey Into Imagination as well. I also miss the version of Spaceship Earth with the Jeremy Irons narration. It had a much more interesting descent.

May 2, 2024, 12:47 PM

The correct answer here is Disneyland Paris' Space Mountain. What used to be a tribute to the works of Jules Vern--complete with incredible brass-punk theming and design, a flight to the moon, and grand orchestral fanfare--is now smushed with generic Star Wars theming on the inside.

In fact, Discoveryland in general at DLP has lost the plot with the inclusion of Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Edited: May 2, 2024, 2:15 PM

I will nominate two that were bad enough that Disney either brought back the original or hedged by retaining the original during limited times:

- Tropical Serenade over The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management
- Impressions de France over the Beauty and the Beast singalong

Edited: May 3, 2024, 6:44 AM

Although I like the character Stitch I have to say that the original "ExtraTerrorestrial Alien Encounter" attraction was , in my opinion, better than the revised version "Stitch's Great Escape"

Edited: May 3, 2024, 10:14 AM

Alien Encounter is a great call Rob P, though I would go back even further and say Mission to Mars was even better.

I love the Simpsons IP and all, but I really miss Back to the Future: The Ride. Universal did a decent job trying to make the attraction work with the Simpsons, but that ride system was so perfectly meshed with the BTTF IP and the cool DeLorean vehicles guests got to ride in.

Away from Disney and Universal, the simulator attraction at BGW has gone through some serious ups and downs over the years. It started as an attraction called "Questor", which was an amazingly themed romp through a fantastical world. The ride switch to King Arthur's Challenge, which tried (and failed miserably) to integrate 3-D onto the motion base for the first time was a debacle, because the 3-D never worked right (used cross-polarizer technology instead of the newer prismatic technology used for Star Tours). That lasted one whole season before BGW closed and then converted the attraction to Corkscrew Hill, an incredible sensory experience that removed the "box" from around the motion base and projected on a massive screen in what essentially turned the simulator into a movie studio-like soundstage. Corkscrew Hill anchored the new Ireland area of the park for nearly a decade before BGW tried to copy Disney's Soarin' with Europe in the Air. The new movie was so derivative of Soarin', and some of the scenes haphazardly shot (on high frame rate cameras that made the images look fake) that it didn't take long for BGW to start working on a replacement. They eventually took another leap in technology (like they tried with King Arthur's Challenge and eventually succeeded with Corkscrew Hill) by using VR in launching Battle for Eire, but after its first season, the pandemic hit and pretty much killed any chance for VR headsets to be viable technology in a regional theme park. The attraction is now sitting idle, but there's little doubt that guests would fill the queue if the park brought back Corkscrew Hill.

May 3, 2024, 2:33 PM

So many mentioned but I miss Living With the Land with actual human guide.

Edited: May 3, 2024, 4:40 PM

Some that come to mind in Southern California...

-Wacky Soap Box Racers @ Knott's Berry Farm was much better than its replacement, Windjammer Surf Racers (however, the current Xcelerator is better than either). Kingdom of the Dinosaurs at the same park was also better than either of the dark rides that replaced it.
-Soarin' Over California is arguably better than Soarin' Around the World.
-Aladdin remains the best show that has ever performed in the Hyperion Theater.
-California Screamin' > Incredicoaster easily.
-A lot of USH's late 2000s/early 2010s attractions were downgrades in my opinion. Back to the Future, Shrek 4D, and Terminator 2: 3D were all better than their replacements in my opinion (Simpsons Ride, Dreamworks Theater, and Minion Mayhem, respectively).
-Splash Mountain (too soon?)

May 5, 2024, 3:21 PM

Have to agree on Back to the Future, man I miss that one.

May 6, 2024, 9:40 AM

Going to put forth a very, very unpopular opinion: The Texas Giant versus the New Texas Giant. The original beat you all to hell and I loved it. I love rough wooden coasters, and I don’t care if I get a slipped disc in the process.

June 11, 2024, 11:38 AM

Gotta throw the original Test Track in here. I personally prefer the original to the retheme, but I have a feeling that this 2nd retheme may take the cake. Excited to see it!

Edited: June 11, 2024, 12:48 PM

I like Gatekeeper and definitely agree with the decision to make the front gate more iconic and opening up the beach by replacing Disaster Transport and Space Spiral with it...however it was a shame that they got rid of something that they needed (a big indoor somewhat family-friendly coaster and another large scale family ride) with something they didn't need (another giant roller coaster). I think their next addition after that should have been an indoor coaster somewhere else in the park that could have filled the gap. I have no doubt the maintenance/operations cost of a (somewhat) dark ride and giant building that needs to be air conditioned is the main factor why they don't do this, but it should still be their next addition IMO. There needs to be at least one big ride for people to go on in bad weather (I realize DT would close during storms because of building leaks but my point stands lol). Also I really liked DT I thought it was a great ride for that park that sadly fell into disrepair.

This isn't a ride but I was saying for years that "Illuminations Reflections of Earth," while a great show, was woefully outdated and needed to be replaced with something more modern. Much to my horror when it finally was replaced the show they put it in its place was atrocious. A textbook example of business people making creative decisions and ruining everything in the process (and this is coming from an MBA).

I had the good fortune of seeing Alien Encounter while it was operating but can see why they made the decision to change it. The decision I don't agree with is having it be SBNO for almost a decade now, considering its the company's flagship park and in such a prime spot, that is a crime and is really indicative of apathy from a big corporation.

Regarding Russels comment I rode Europe in the Air exactly once and remember the GP around me saying "that was a blatant ripoff of Soarin" once the ride was over lol. I'm all for a flying theater around Europe, but that was so bad.

I think its a shame that Dorney Park took out a classic, really good Schwarzkopf looper and ended up putting in a relocated Vekoma suspended boomerang, which ended up SBNO much of the time and removed just a few years later. I think Laser had "reached the end of its lifespan" so was removed with no replacement at first, but there are ways to keep these really old classic coasters operating if you are willing to put the money in it (see: Loch Ness Monster, Whizzer). Maybe Laser wasn't worth spending that kind of money to them but they could have picked a better replacement.
EDIT: Turns out Laser was sold to a foreign park where it is still operating, so not sure why they got rid of it. Maybe they just wanted the money lol.

I know a lot of people will say replacing Sky Whirl with DejaVu was a travesty, but to me replacing DejaVu with Buccaneer Battle (once again, another ride that already went SBNO and the park said they are removing it), was a travesty for me personally. But I had a very close relationship with DejaVu as I was there from day one babysitting that thing for years lol. It was just a shame to see it operating so well that year (2007) but just happened to be closed when Mark Shapiro visited the park, and he basically said enough of this thing get it out of here...and off to Silverwood it went. Many years later I went to Silverwood and it was closed for "weather" (real reason: staffing and cheapness) so even after going all the way to Idaho to ride it I didn't get to ride it again. I have ridden the one at SFMM many times and also got to ride the one in Spain though.

June 14, 2024, 6:44 PM

By far the obvious one is Alien Encounter v any form of Stitch although AE was not the original park attraction

The Living Seas v Nemo

Horizons v Mission:Space although technically it is a different building

And I'll probably be the only one to say this but as I am not a Star Wars fan, I much preferred Light, Motors, Action! Real people doing real stunts.

June 14, 2024, 7:15 PM

Alien Encounter was one of my all time favorite attractions. Maybe out of place for MK, but, hey, they are making a fifth gate!

Edited: June 20, 2024, 12:25 AM

It is such a crime that Alien Encounter has been SBNO for almost a decade now. It was one of my all-time favorite attractions and I think it was truly out of place for MK. I guess they have to make room for a fifth gate now!


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