Biggest disappointment from queue to actual ride?

Edited: January 22, 2014, 3:19 PM

I love a good queue before a ride, it can really get you pumped quickly and efficiently POTC(orlando), Harry Potter, Splash Mountain come to mind. But sometimes a ride can have an amazing queue but the ride itself can be just completely underwhelming, or just straight awful.

For me it was The Little Mermaid ride in Orlando. Seriously one of the best queue's ive ever walked through in my humble opinion, just the attention to detail, the music, the atmosphere etc etc. But ride is totally substandard, from the lack of ANY thrill, to the mediocre animatronics, to the bad lighting you can see the electrical and pot lights very easily. Honestly I was not just disappointed after,i was angry because what a waste of a phenomenal queue only to lead us into a conveyor belt. In 2013-2014 that is unacceptable.

Anyways I was interested to know if people agree or disagree, and if they have any other examples. Cheers.

Replies (21)

January 22, 2014, 3:27 PM

The Swiss Family attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Fantastic queue through the treehouse, but we never did find that actual ride.

Okay, I kid. I kid.

This is the danger in putting a lot of effort into a queue. You never want the end of the attraction experience to become a let-down from the beginning. Designers want you to leave on a high note. For example, I liked The Little Mermaid ride in Anaheim (where I rode it first), where there's no themed queue at all.

That said, I'm going with the Dark Knight Coaster.

Edited: January 23, 2014, 8:09 AM

For me, the original Star Tours at DHS was an attraction with a great queue paired with a mediocre ride. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the attraction, but going on a relatively bare-boned motion simulator after that immersive queue was a bit of a letdown.

January 23, 2014, 10:06 AM

Empire of The Penguin was an absolute joke! The que had cool lighting and effects. The ride itself was so disapointing.

January 23, 2014, 10:28 AM

However, Empire of the Penguin might be the winner for "best post-show relative to the ride itself."

January 23, 2014, 5:48 PM

I expect to get smashed for this, but... Harry Potter. Don't shoot please. The queue was lovely, but the ride felt extremely disappointing. I didn't really feel immersed, just kind of thrown around. A majority of the effects, like the Whomping Willow, dementors, and spiders, I felt were poorly done. The queue was an 11/10, a record setting achievement in the industry. The ride is about a 4. That discrepancy wins it for me.

January 23, 2014, 9:25 PM

I agree with Matt. Harry Potter. The queue immersed you in the world of harry potter, making you feel apart of the story and world in a way few rides do. The ride however, just jerked you around with no coherent story. I was extremely disappointed in the Harry Potter ride.

January 24, 2014, 4:06 PM

I'm joining the Harry Potter train. I absolutely loved the queue. The ride, however, was just decent, and therefore incredibly disappointing. Luckily my expectations for the Little Mermaid weren't near as high, but it still disappointed.

Edited: January 24, 2014, 6:01 PM

Well I guess I will have to get off the Harry Potter train because I love the queue and the ride. I think that there are parts of the ride that could have been better and its not a perfect ride but it is probably in my top three rides. But to each his own.

For me the most disappointing from queue to ride was the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. It has an amazing queue but the ride to me was just ok. It was to dark in places and it throws me around more than almost any ride. I feel like I am just trying to not hit the person beside me the whole ride.

January 24, 2014, 6:06 PM

I actually was going to say Harry Potter before I read the other responses.

Though Maelstrom post show is the only attraction Disney basically has given up on and just keep the doors open!

January 25, 2014, 6:44 AM

Yeah... Big letdown when hopped on forbidden journey.

January 25, 2014, 9:25 AM

I think what has happened at Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the same thing that has happened to the Yeti: The most popular ride in the park is breaking down!

IOA needs to close this ride and do some renovating and repair. So does AK at Everest, but they are all afraid it will drive people away.

January 26, 2014, 3:27 PM

Sorry, I love all of The Forbidden Journey. Although Anthony, with Avatar coming Everest may get fixed. With all of the focus on Avatar, Everest would have less attention giving a perfect opportunity to get fixed. (Sorry a bit off topic) As for disappointing rides with great queues, The Dark Knight's pre-show is scarier than the actual ride. The queue was okay, but I enjoyed the pre-show that got everyone excited to a lack-luster ride.

January 27, 2014, 10:23 AM

Harry Potter ride!?....seriously? I dont know guys, that ride is pretty solid, and is reviewed as such. I think Disney has a lot more rides with exceptional queues that lead to a ride that would be considered a "joke" if it weren't for the disney "magic" factor. Thats coming from a big disney fan too. But lets be real here lol.

January 27, 2014, 1:13 PM

I don't understand the posts about Harry Potter being disappointing, I really don't. I just went on it last month, and I have to say I loved the entire experience. Did it have the best story? No, the story was fluff, but it was like being in an action scene in one of the movies. I liked it for what it was.

My biggest disappointment was the Little Mermaid in Magic Kingdom. The queue is very well done, but the ride itself is kinda blah. It really did nothing for me.

January 28, 2014, 5:20 AM

My problem with HP is immersion. With other great rides, I feel immersed in the experience, like I'm really in ____. I felt like I was really in Hogwarts, but I didn't feel immersed on the ride. I wasn't flying with Harry, I was moving in an arm. I don't mean that literally, as you can clearly see that it's an arm (no real facade on the KUKAs), but the set pieces were low quality and I'm not a huge fan of using screens to make it seem like you're there.

January 28, 2014, 10:03 AM

Actually, they've been updating & refurbishing Harry Potter in the past six months, without having to shut the attraction down. The ride is now smoother, less jerky, and the screens are clearer due to projection changes. I used to get mild motion sickness on the attraction, but the last trip the ride was perfect. If someone previously had problems with the ride I would recommend they revisit the attraction. Universal did a nice job answering customer concerns with these changes.....My biggest dissapointment is Everest. It has one of the best queues around but the ride is just an average roller coaster. But I never got to experience the original Yeti, so my answer might be different if it worked.

January 29, 2014, 3:37 PM

Potter isn't for everybody... My two daughters and I have no issues with the motion, but my wife tends to get all disoriented for about 20 minutes after we get off.

As far a story goes, all you have to do is listen. Yes, it is a lot of HP to be crammed into a 4-5 minute ride but the motion effect is very convincing and the moving props are very well done.

If you are prone to motion sickness, you will NOT enjoy this ride....

This being said, I have to go with Dark Knight Coaster at SFGA. I don't really remember a lot of Disney queues other than Tower of Terror, which was amazing, just like the ride.

January 29, 2014, 4:46 PM

That reminds me. While I stick with Dark Knight Coaster as the "winner" in this, I should give a shout-out to Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea. It's the DCA version of the ride, but with the most amazing pre-show I've ever seen. Plus, it boasts a far superior queue than any other Tower of Terror -- a tour through Society of Explorers and Adventurers member Harrison Hightower's personal collection of plundered antiquities. Put that preshow together with that queue, then follow those with the DCA Tower ride, and, yeah, well, the ride's the weakest element of the three, I'm afraid.

January 31, 2014, 6:29 AM

Going off the beaten path a bit... There's an attraction at Six Flags New England called Houdini - The Great Escape. In it, a tremendous amount of time is spent setting up the mysterious story of Houdini - maybe too much considering the limited payoff.

First, there's a five minute preshow with video, lights, and sounds, then five minutes of atmospheric setup once you are seated in the ride itself, and finally the main attraction: two minutes of gently rocking back and forth while the room around you spins to make you think you are inverting.

I definitely offer props to Six Flags for their attempt at a Disney-like narrative experience, but overall I was very disappointed in Houdini - The Great Escape. There is just way too much setup for a very lame payoff.

February 3, 2014, 9:30 AM

James, that sounds exactly like Hex at Alton Towers! The queue is very good at trying to get you creeped out, set up in a big manor house set piece, curses & witches then....meh.

Edited: February 4, 2014, 9:21 PM

I actually enjoyed Houdini! It wasn't up to Disney or Universal, but for a six flags attraction it is the best dark ride they have. I would have to say it is more of an experience rather than a ride. it is a lame ride, but ride, queue, and pre show make an enjoyable experience. Definitely something that should be seen at least once.

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