What are the most overrated theme park attractions in America?

December 9, 2009, 1:12 PM · About.com's Arthur Levine this morning offered his list of the most overrated roller coasters in America, which inspired me to respond.

First, I decided to look beyond roller coasters, and instead offer the most overrated attraction at each of the parks I've visited in the past year or so. If I've not listed a park, it's either because I haven't visited it recently, or I didn't feel like slapping the "overrated" label on anything there.

Now, to me, to be "overrated" a ride must be highly rated by many in the first place. There's no point I see in declaring reviled coasters such as "Son of Beast" overrated, as Arthur does. They're hated, as they should be. "Worst" attractions would be a different list. These are simply the attractions I consider not as good as many people say. Some of them are fine rides, otherwise.

Disney's Dinosaur

Disney's Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur
Sorry, but every time I've ridden this it's been too dark for me to see much of anything, making it a far less exciting show than it should be.

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Rock n' Roller Coaster
Nice launch, but then this ride coasts through a faux LA that reminds me of DCA's un-missed Superstar Limo.

Disney's California Adventure: Soarin' Over California
The conceit of the ride traps the camera in the air, robbing it of connecting with detail on the ground. A forgettable soundtrack doesn't help.

Disneyland: Indiana Jones Adventure
Once great, now so poorly maintained that many effects are missing and you notice your headache more than the narrative on the ride.

Dollywood: Mystery Mine
Whatever you do, don't actually keep your head back against the rest on this often slow and awkward ride. Ouch.

Kings Island: The Beast
Ditto what Arthur said. The most overrated coaster in America.

Knott's Berry Farm: Montezooma's Revenge
Another one-trick pony, undeserving of its high rating. All I can say is that it's better than its neighbor, the useless Jaguar.

SeaWorld Orlando: Journey to Atlantis
Loved it when it first opened, but it isn't holding up. Please, Blackstone, pay for the rehab this attraction desperately needs.

SeaWorld San Diego: Journey to Atlantis
At least Orlando still has the dark ride element in its version of the ride.

Six Flags Magic Mountain: Scream
Nice when it first opened, but the unforgiving and aesthetically oppressive parking lot setting has rendered this the roughest B&M coaster I've ridden.

Universal Studios Hollywood: Revenge of the Mummy
Such an abridged version of the Florida 'Mummy,' you can't ride this one without coming away disappointed, if you've ridden the east coast version.

Universal's Islands of Adventure: Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
Themeing gaps within the mountain claim the title for what's probably the best ride on this list, otherwise.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean
Again, another abridged version of an audience favorite. This time, it's the east coast fans who suffer.

* Update: If I'm listing overrated attractions today, you can pretty much guess what I'll be listing tomorrow, right? :-)

Replies (57)

December 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM · for the ones i ve ridden i mostly agree but, dinosaur is the scariest ride in disney, the last dinosaur is right in your face. Great ride!
December 9, 2009 at 1:33 PM · I really enjoyed the Rock and Roller Coaster, but think that it is a bit too short. Actually, I think that it might be my favorite ride at WDW.

Also, Journey to Atlantis is by far the best of the log flume rides in Florida (much better than Splash Mountain, Jurassic River thingy, and the one at Busch Gardens Tampa). Multiple drops and nice theming. I was just there and I don't think that it was on the top of many people's must do lists (i.e. wasn't getting as much hype as some of the other rides....certainly not Manta).

How bout the Simpsons ride? I like the Simpsons and loved the theming, but the ride was beyond ordinary. Certainly nowhere near the quality level of Spiderman.

December 9, 2009 at 2:07 PM · I agree with you on many of those choices. I do have to say my friend, that you are stoned when you call The Beast overrated. It's getting older, and maybe it's been neutered a bit with brakes and reprofiling over the years, but it delivers just fine. It's been profiled a lot in the mainstream media over the years, and lots of locals seem to have a affair with the ride. For those reasons you could say that there is a little extra unnecessary attention being shown to the ride, but overrated? no.

The most overrated ride at Kings Island? Firehawk. Flying coasters are novel rides, however this one leaves me sort of uninspired. I was uninspired when it was X Flight at Geauga Lake, and I'm pretty unmoved by it now. The line is always too long, partially because they only use one of the stations and it takes several minutes to load a train. I want it to be a better ride...I really do, but it's just not. I'm glad for Kings Island that it's found new life and is popular at their park, but unless the line is really short, I walk past without a thought.

December 9, 2009 at 2:12 PM · The Beast? Overrated? I honestly don't think it is. I agree with everything Derek said above.

Firehawk is, indeed, a bit overrated.

December 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM · Firehawk vs. Beast was a tough call there, but ultimately, I thought that while I'm cool with The Beast, it just doesn't elicit in me the rapturous response it gets from others. That makes it overrated, in my book.

Firehawk's too popular for what it delivers, but I suspect that the lines will diminish over time, and people will pretty much forget about it within a year or two. So I didn't feel it rated high enough to be overrated, if that makes sense.

December 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM · You're dead on with Soarin Over California!
December 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM · I loved dinosaur. I've only ridden it a couple times, but it was great. I knew that dinosaur at the end was coming but it still scared me! That was probably the funnest thing I did at Animal Kingdom, besides Expedition Everest.
December 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM · Test Track. I don't see why people wait 2 hours for this ride. The theme of a GM test facility has never excited me. I'd much rather ride slow old World of Motion. At least there were immersive details to look at.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is also overrated. The hard to shoot fixed guns and cheap painted plywood sets make it vastly inferior to MIB.

I agree with Rock and Roller Coaster. It looks so cheap, and the ride itself isn't that much fun. The preshow is painful to watch.

I think Spider-man is over-rated. It is a great ride, but it is often at the top of greatest attraction lists.. and it isn't timeless enough for that honour. It also doesn't have a lot of re-ride value for me.

December 9, 2009 at 3:07 PM · The Beast is definetly not overrated. It easily gives the best night ride over any other coaster I have ridden. Even with the trim breaks(which they do have too many of) I think it is still one of the best wooden coasters out there. I truly believe the most overrated coaster at Kings Island is Diamondback. I just don't think it gives that great of a ride, and is, dare I say, boring.
December 9, 2009 at 3:12 PM · Personally, I'd include SOARIN' at WDW. After all the hype, and even an hour wait using Fast Pass, I was extremely disappointed. We ended up at the very edge of the bottom row which was just a couple of feet above the ground and ruined the visual aspect. Then the footage changes every 5 to 10 seconds ruining the continuous flight effect. You're on a swing with air blowing in your face watching an IMAX movie. I don't understand why this is so highlu rated.
December 9, 2009 at 3:35 PM · I'll have to disagree with Beast, but maybe that's because my only other woodie experiences have been Blue Streak [which I do love for what it is] & Mean Streak at Cedar Point. I found a Beast night ride to be thrilling, with the feeling of being lost in the woods.

My vote for one of the most overrated attractions? Millennium Force. Blah. I enjoy the first drop and the speed is nice, but aside from that, meh. I feel like the ride lacks excitement & completely lacks airtime. I'll ride when lines are short, but otherwise I'll stick with Magnum.

December 9, 2009 at 3:43 PM · Great list! Nearly all of these left me wondering what anyone could see in them. With only a few exceptions, they lack a decent storyline, the essential ingredient for all but the most brainless thrill rides. An exception is Dinosaur, which has a storyline but fails to integrate it into the ride; it also has such low lighting levels and jerky motions that it's impossible to see the several million dollars worth of dinosaurs.
December 9, 2009 at 4:13 PM · FWIW, I almost selected Poseidon's Fury for IOA, but decided that it wasn't rated highly enough to be overrated. (No one seems to love it, at least not to the level that folks like Dudley.) PF's got a great effect, but persistent audio problems within the building have made it impossible for me to follow the narrative.
December 9, 2009 at 4:43 PM · My vote for overrated attraction? "Twister" at USF. After going through the real thing, it's hard to get thrilled with a few stage-effect shaking buildings and a fog-machine swirl that reminded me of a draining bathtub. "Jaws" was a close runner-up for yawn-factor unexcitement.
December 9, 2009 at 4:51 PM · I've never been to Disneyland Resort, so I can't say anything about Soarin' Over California, but I have ridden Soarin' at Epcot and love the ride. (It is my understanding that they are pretty much exactly the same except for a name change in Florida.) It's a little debatable whether it's worth waiting an hour to ride it, but I almost find it inspiring. I wouldn't say the score is forgettable... it's actually my favorite part of the ride. I do agree, though, that the cuts in between the locales take away a little bit from the "realism" of the experience. Certainly not the best ride I've been on, but I enjoy going on it when I'm at Epcot.
December 9, 2009 at 5:12 PM · Dueling Dragons ... or Dragon Challenge ... or whatever it will be called in 2021.

The trouble with suspended coasters is that the sightline is impaired. The trouble with this coaster is the decision to make two of them left the designers with less space (property) to work with thus reducing the length of the ride.

And shame on you Mr. Niles for putting Rock n Rollercoaster on that list. The launch and first inversions are fantastic.

December 9, 2009 at 5:12 PM · I have to disagree about your thoughts on Soarin's soundtrack. That is one of Disney's modern classics. Just hearing it brings a smile to my safe.
December 9, 2009 at 5:23 PM · To me, the most overrated attraction is Mission: Space at Epcot. Talk about a let down. I waited in a two hour line to be able to ride it one hot night for the first time in 2006. I even rode the "extreme" version. I still don't see what the exciting part of it was. I felt like there was hardly anything to it for even a medicore ride, much less one hailed as a "thrill' ride.
December 9, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Ouch... I love Mission: Space. Our first disagreement, Amanda! ;)
December 9, 2009 at 7:05 PM · Robert, while I disagree with a few entries on your list (Dinosaur, Rip Saw Falls, Mystery Mine, and RnRC), I think you are spot on for the most part (especially POTC at WDW - what a disappointment).

Looking at the top 10 North American parks on the right of the web page, I would add a few of my own:

Jungle Cruise (a dilapidated, out of date yawner), Mad Tea Party (a common carnival spinner), Cinderella's/King Arthur's Carousel (a couple of merry-go-rounds), and Autopia (a midway cars-on-a-rail ride) all have 7/10 or 8/10 ratings. A 4/10 or 5/10 would be more fitting in every case.

Reflections of China and Impressions de France get an 8 and 9 rating respectively. Sure they are nice shows, but come on... 7/10, maybe.

The American Idol Experience gets a 7/10... I refuse to accept that a "Gong Show" copycat gets a "Commendable" rating. Chuck Barris should be collecting royalties from this ripoff.

Primeval Whirl and the entire Dino-Rama/Chester & Hester area should get a big fat 0/10. That section of this great park just blows!

As someone else said, an 8/10 for Jaws is too high, as is an 8/10 for ET. And, I am sorry to say, MIB is way overrated at a 9/10. I like all three attractions, but two 6's and an 7 would be more appropriate.

Both Journey to Atlantis and Wild Arctic are a bit overrated, and should be dropped a couple points each.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is not nearly as good at DCA as it is at DHS. Should be a 7/10. Maliboomer and King Triton's Carousel each getting a 7/10 is blasphemy. The former should be removed from the park completely and the latter should be dropped to a 4.

A 7/10 rating is too high for Doctor Doom's Fearfall (5/10, maybe), and Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges, while very good, is not a 9/10.

Haven't been in so long, it would be unfair for me to rate anything!

And two local parks:

Worlds of Fun: Bamboozler (a round-up) and the Sea Dragon (a Chance Morgan pendulum ride) are both way overrated and deserve no more than a 4/10.

SFSTL: Mr. Freeze getting a 9/10 and Superman: Tower of Power getting an 8/10 make a mockery of this prestigious website. Freeze is fun (7/10), but Superman is weak (3/10).

There you have it. Can't wait for the underrated list tomorrow!

December 9, 2009 at 7:16 PM · Jaws and the Jungle Cruise can be highly entertaining at times. I think they are liked by many because they are more personal attractions. It's like a 5min one actor theater show. We always ride Jaws during HHN and pretend along with our skipper. And we always hope for a good skipper ahead of time, and rate the perfomance of our skipper after. The Jungle Cruise has had times when they weren't too strict on following the official speil, and if you got the right skipper, it would be a hilarious ride. It's still fun to hear the official speil though, because each skipper does it in their own way. I guess it's all in what you look for.. but I'd take either of these 2 over the spin back and forth to the next blurry 3-d screen of spiderman any day.

ET is a beautiful (in a weird way) dark ride, and has one of the best themed queue areas of any ride. I'd say that it is under-rated in its class of rides.

December 9, 2009 at 6:19 PM · Disney....
December 9, 2009 at 7:57 PM · Well we all have our overrated attraction picks. Personally, I love Dinosaur (the one ride at Disney that can scare me) and RnC is just a fun concept that I love each time more than I ride. Soarin is fun too. Here is my picks:

MK: Peter Pan's Flight (not worth the wait)
EPCOT: Rio del Tempo (worse with Donald)/ France (I know you love it Robert, but its so BORING)
DHS: Lights, Motors, Action
AK: Conservation Station (though I love Disney's Conservation stuff)
IOA: Dudley Do Right Ripsaw Falls/Jurassic Park
USO: The Mummy (yes)
SWO: Atlantis
SFGA: Iron Wolf/Dark Knight

December 9, 2009 at 7:26 PM · THe most overrated rides at great adventure are The Darknight coaster it is a very boring ride. You are in the dark and only drop twice.

For water slides at Splish splash Li the Dr vandarks tunnel of terror it is realy not worth it you twist once and drop into a enclosed funnel and the drop is not even big!!!

December 9, 2009 at 9:14 PM · How can you say Dinosaur is overrated? I think it's underrated! That is one of the must rides every time I hit up DAK.

However...can I say that Expedition Everest is a little overrated? Especially if the Yeti is in B-show. Now it's a good ride, don't get me wrong, but I would have liked to see the ride a little longer.

Soarin is overrated for the wait that it always has, but I will def. get a fast pass for it every time.

Jungle Cruise is highly dependent on the skipper you get. That goes for the Great Movie Ride too. it's a small world, and Big Thunder Mountain (although classics) can be a little overrated too

Now dont' get me wrong i love all these rides, but yes they can be overrated at some points in time.

December 9, 2009 at 9:23 PM · are you kidding me?! you considered some of these rides over rated? you have to be joking? i almost consider not returning to this site when i read that. why? because in my mind you totally destroyed all cred. youre entitled to opinion as all are,you run the site. but really, whats not overrated to you? dinosaur? pirates, the mummy, indy, and thats not all. i dont know if i can take anything you post any more seriously
December 9, 2009 at 9:26 PM · Most Overrated...hmmmm

MK - Peter Pan's Flight (Every time I walk by i want to scream at the ppl waiting in a 2 hour line that i hope they enjoy the 2 min ride)
Epcot - Maelstrom (As being part Norwegian/Swedish I find this very boring and not very Maelstromy. I think there was one Viking)
DHS - Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular (If you've seen it once you never have to see it again...like most stunt shows)
DAK - Expedition Everest (Shock, I know. Don't get me wrong the themeing is ace. It is just a travesty how Disney has just let this thing go. I haven't been there in a while and I haven't heard anything on the effects being fixed or if the Yeti is up and running. I would gladly change my selection to It's Tough to be a Bug if everything has been fixed. But until then its just a roller coaster through some dark tunnels.)
IOA - The water ones. You know what im talking about.
USF - T-2 3d (So aged and outdated it's almost laughable)
BGW - Kind of a toughy but I would say Escape from Pompeii.
Kings Dominion - Flight of Fear (because Rebel Yell conquers all it sees)

December 9, 2009 at 9:33 PM · Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Everybody has their favorites and Mr. Niles has his opinions just like myself, Rao, TH, and everybody else. Most of his picks are true if you happen to be able to go to all the Universals and Disney Parks. Pirates at WDW is a bathtub compared to the wonderment you can find in Disneyland.

But its just opinions folks. I know that Robert loves Impressions du France, a movie that usually puts my family to sleep (that could be the tasty champaigne though). I also know he is not a big fan of the Soarin music, something I like.

I happen to like O Canada which I do not think anybody really likes.

Its an a good discussion and nobody is saying that the said attractions stink. Using my picks, I think Peter Pan's Flight is highly overrated, but a fine ride to go on. The line just kills me and makes me wonder what the draw is to make people wait hours to ride this attraction.

So everybody should relax and put down their thoughts. Underrated will be interesting.

December 9, 2009 at 10:58 PM · Everybody is entitled to his opinion, BUT I don't understand how anybody can say that any of the Disney rides or attractions are overrated.
December 9, 2009 at 11:55 PM · Dinosaur isn't overrated -- some people don't even like the ride because they keep comparing it to Indy. As for the "too dark to see anything" complaints, they puzzle me. Yes, part of the ride is in the dark, but the lights go up every time you encounter a dinosaur. And the lighting makes the AAs look that much more lifelike and realistic. One of my favorites at WDW.

I think Soarin' is a good ride, but it is overrated. You have to try to enjoy it for what it is, rather than get caught up in the hype and the mania. Also, I hear that the front row is by far the most fun; I was toward the middle-back, so I don't think I fully appreciated the experience.

POTC at WDW isn't overrated; it's not that highly rated in the first place. It does suffer in comparison to the magnificent Disneyland version, but at least it recreates all the major set pieces. For an abridged version, it's not a bad one at all.

Indiana Jones Adventure may be somewhat overrated, only because the ride has been placed on such a lofty pedestal. Yes, some of the effects work sporadically or not at all; there is talk of a major refurbishment in 2010. I do think that Robert underrates Indy; he said in his Disneyland trip report that he never much liked the ride. C'mon, this is a great ride, even if it's seen better days.

Finally, Robert says that Rock n' Roller "coasts" through a faux L.A. It only coasts at the end of the ride, when it's slowing down. It is a great, fast and thrilling coaster until then. I agree that the launch is the best part, though. What's not to like about 0-60 in 3 seconds?

December 10, 2009 at 1:23 AM · All incredibly subjective, but my votes (I've taken some liberties with the term "attraction"):

IOA -- Jurassic Park, just way too short, I feel that a great concept was valued engineered into mediocrity

USF -- Rip Ride Rockit, too many maneuvers in the first third and not nearly enough in the last two thirds. They got too gimmicky with this one.

USH -- Mummy, pretty terrible, what's with the awkward turntable section at the end? What a wasted opportunity

SeaWorld Orlando -- Atlantis, I'm with you Robert, the epic lack of maintenance on this one render the story incomprehensible

Disneyland -- Blue Bayou, OK its a restaurant, but the time needed for reservations combined with no wine with dinner and just mediocre food... I'm over it

DCA -- Soarin Over California, I love everything about the ride except what I feel was someone's sightline mistake-- the ride is only immersive from the top row

DHS -- RnR, but for different reasons that Robert mentioned, some of the cars are horribly jerky

Epcot -- Test Track, not only the ride itself but also the downtime makes this an easy choice

AK -- Finding Nemo the Musical, beautiful puppets and a couple catch-y songs aren't not to save the dreadful lighting and projections, and so-so scenic design (not to mention the bland exterior architecture)

WDW Resort -- Downtown Disney, still seems relatively popular but with a vacant center, the place feels really hollow. It's blow away by CityWalk at USO.

Cedar Point -- HalloWeekends, huge lines for weak mazes and just a disappointing experience

Kennywood -- Ghostwood Estate, I'll take the line as a popularity rating, and there's just no climax or ending here

December 10, 2009 at 3:48 AM · Are people confusing "overrated" with " familiarity" or " In need of re-hab " ?

I don't agree with a number of the rides mentioned on Robert's original list. I think that it's normal to become a little tired of an attraction if you've experienced it a number of times. That doesn't necessarily mean it's become hyped or overrated. It's just that you know every twist and turn and may be so familiar with it that it's become old hat to you. For the virgin rider it may still have the qualities you once recognised.For them it may still have the WOW factor that you've now ,sadly, lost.

December 10, 2009 at 6:06 AM · There is no way Tower of Terror @ DHS is not a bigger let down than Rockin Roller Coaster. And for the sheer wait, Test Track @ EPCOT is among the kings of over rated attractions.
December 10, 2009 at 7:39 AM · Anthony stated it correctly: overrated does not mean lousy! I like most of the attractions mentioned, just not as much as their overall TPI ratings would indicate.

Also, a couple have been mentioned that I want to second...

Expedition Everest with a broken Yeti is a huge choke (and yes, the Yeti is still in Dance Club/Show mode). While the attraction's star is inoperable, the coaster can only be considered overrated.

And I totally agree on Escape From Pompeii at BGW. What a waste of theming. At least IOA's shoot-the-chutes ride (Jurassic Park) has an extended opening and some compelling animatronics (when they work). Pompeii does nothing for me, and yet the decorative touches are brilliant. Just not enough was done to the ride itself to make it more than the sum of its woefully average parts.

December 10, 2009 at 11:41 AM · Here are a few of my Choices -
DMK - Teacups> no real theme, long wait, no thrill or fun, a run of the mill D grade carnival ride...yet always a line??
Epcot - Test Track> Does GM still test cars? Maybe not. The ride is a circle going the speedlimit, the seats are uncomfortable and it always gives me a neck ache when I'm done. Overated because some people swear it's the best ride at Epcot.
DHS - Lights, motor, action> I can learn about stunt driving on the discovery chanel, please find a better use for this large space!
DAK - Kali River Rapids> you are suppose to get wet, yet I and most of my fellow riders always seem to come off dry, a couple of drops, smoke sented air and water jets that shoot over your head don't make a great river rapid ride. The most thrilling part of the ride is keeping my balance on the ride loader.
December 10, 2009 at 1:15 PM · I can only base this on parks I've been to, and being from Jacksonville, FL you can assume it will be heavy on Orlando atractions:

Magic Kingdom: Buzz Lightyear- Always a long wait, but to me, it just can't compete with Men in Black

EPCOT: Test Track- Just really don't see what the big deal is...

Hollywood Studios: Star Tours- Not sure it's really overrated, but definitely outdated.

Animal Kingdom: Not sure anything is rated too high there. I disagree with those who say "Dinosaur", I love that ride.

USF: The Simpsons Ride- Maybe its just becuase I'm a huge Back to the Future fan, but I was not impressed with the Simpsons Ride at all.

IOA: Jurrasic Park- Its a fun ride and all, but way too short...I just feel like it could have been so much more.

December 10, 2009 at 1:39 PM · DHS's TOT, a big letdown?? I notice that outrageous opinion was posted anonymously. DHS's TOT is one of the best rides in America (and won the "best ride in America" tournament on this site a couple years back).

I'll agree that IOA's Jurassic Park is a bit short, but I loved it when I rode it last May (the AAs were working!). And that awesome T-Rex at the end gets 10/10 from me.

December 10, 2009 at 8:31 PM · I have to second Mr. Rao on his claim that Everest is overrated. Not only is this ride overrated, I personally think this is the absolute WORST roller coaster I have ever ridden. I am BTW an Orlando local- so I have ridden this overrated beast plenty of times.

I can not deny the beauty of the themeing and detail put into the attraction-- and I admit as an overall experience Everest is less than bland. However when I think of the COASTER section it's self.... it just plain and simply sucks. It is nothing but a constant build up with no real pay off. A true thrill machine leaves your adrenaline up and heart pumping. On Everest at the end I just see mindless drones cheering at a coaster that they gaze upon with rose tinted glasses.

December 10, 2009 at 8:41 PM · James, you (who hates any form of carnival ride), like CP's Wildcat? That totally unthemed, slow-loading, rickety antique carny roller coaster whose sole purpose is to hide the road and employees' dormitories from the midway? I would call it a temporary ride, but I think that it has rusted to the ground so much that it couldn't be moved if CP tried. What is this world (not to mention TPI) coming to? What's next? You secretly ride the Scrambler and enjoy it? You actually look forward to Cedar Fair food? Now please excuse me while I take my tongue out of my cheek ;+)
December 10, 2009 at 9:43 PM · I happen to feel that Dinosaur is my favorite ride at Animal Kingdom and Rock 'N Roller Coaster is my favorite ride in Walt Disney World period. I also feel Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic attraction. A more appropriate Magic Kingdom attraction to call overrated would be Swiss Family Treehouse. I haven't been to DCA to ride Soarin' Over California, but if its anything like Soarin' at Epcot, then ya might wanna tell that the the hour long line of people that the ride always has.
December 11, 2009 at 12:23 AM · Oh! I forgot to include Illuminations. Good, but definately over-rated. Half of this show is a video globe that you can't see well spinning to music. *yawn* I'd much rather watch wishes.
December 11, 2009 at 1:46 AM · Again an outrageous opinion from someone who didn't dare leave his name. Everest, the worst coaster you've ever ridden??? Mr. Anonymous, you must be some teenage adrenaline junkie. Everest is a classic coaster, thrilling and cleverly themed. I've never been on a ride in which part of the track is torn up, sending you backwards over a portion of the ride. I'll grant you that the ride is better when the Yeti is in A mode, which it was when I first rode it. But even in B mode, it's still a great ride.
December 11, 2009 at 4:13 AM · James, I try to appreciate what I can about every ride I visit, despite the fact that I prefer theme (story & decoration) + thrills over thrills alone. As for the Wildcat, there are only three coasters like it operating in the US today, so to me I appreciate the ride for its uniqueness, especially when surrounded by so many other steel monstrosities. Don't get me wrong - it is not a great coaster, just one that surprises me with what simple pleasure it is!

(Your comment about it being rusted to the ground was hilarious, btw...and probably true!)

And no, scramblers and Cedar Fair food flat out suck. Sadly. ;)

As for Everest, Anonymous Poster, don't misunderstand: if the Yeti were operating in A-mode, I would give the coaster highest praise. I absolutely love the thing. But until the attraction is brought back to the level of quality it was when I first rode it back in 2007, my Yeti protest must continue!


December 11, 2009 at 7:43 AM · I am the anonymous poster who feels Everest is overrated- and I stick to it. Sylvain I hardly think that my critique of the ride is 'outrageous'- and you really need to move past this anonymous poster issue you have. I am a theme park employee and I do not even feel comfortable registering under a pseudonym-- so I am not going to. So anyway... you have never ridden a coaster that has (fake ) torn up track-- well I have never ridden a coaster that has 3 (YES 3!) lift hills that ruin the pace of the ride!

Mr. Rao I was simply agreeing with you that the ride is overrated- you clearly stated that if the Yeti worked the ride would be great in your eyes. I on the other hand don't care if it ever moves again-- that will not change the layout and track of the coaster. The Yeti will add to the experience (which as a whole I already admitted is 'less than bland')- but I refer to the actual coaster... which is blah!

Does anyone else remember that silly bird on a stick that used to appear a the top of lift hill #3 (where the fake track is broken)? What was that thing?! At first I thought Disney had wised up and removed it. Now with this yeti being broken for years issue, I wonder if that bird is just broken too- and maybe someday they will fix it!

December 11, 2009 at 9:29 AM · That bird is there to grab your attention long enough while the track changes behind you.
December 11, 2009 at 12:19 PM · I only have two rides to mention since I only have two different parks under my belt.

Cedar Point: The Mantis. Oh yeah, I'm gonna get speared on a pike for this one. It's fun, no doubt. But I spend more time fighting off black-out and trying to keep my shoulders from cramping from the way the g-forces play at you than I do fully enjoying the ride. The +G-forces at several moments are just a notch too high. Fun ride and I always hit it up, but it's not as great as it is made out to be.

King's Dominion: Rebel Yell. Yeah I'm gonna get speared on a pike for this, too, but the Rebel Yell is, again, fun as hell, but not THAT great. C'mon, you mean to tell me it's more fun than the Grizzly? PLEASE. The airtime on the Rebel Yell and the turns and length of the ride overall doesn't compare to the Grizzly. It's got good historical and time value but...

December 11, 2009 at 12:20 PM · I never felt that the lift hills "ruined the pace" of the ride. I don't think that a coaster has to have a relentless pace (The Incredible Hulk has a relentless pace, and I come off that ride feeling like the big green guy just punched me in the head). Everest is a themed coaster, and as such, you have the thrills intersperced with the storyline of being chased by the yeti during the ride. To me, it is a perfect balance of themes and thrills, when the yeti is in A mode. When in B mode, it is less than perfect, but still a great coaster. Anonymous poster, your opinion is in a tiny, tiny minority, but hey, that's cool. It means you won't be in front of me in line.
December 11, 2009 at 12:21 PM · Someone also mentioned Cedar Fair food sucks. F*ckin' right it sucks. Strange thing, even though they acquired Paramount Parks, the food at KD is still as good as it was before, though I don't know if it's because maybe most of the places there are completely independent of CF and they're just renting space in the park and the deals transferred over?
December 11, 2009 at 12:41 PM · I liked when Everest gave me the bird. ;)
December 11, 2009 at 3:07 PM · The most overrated theme park attraction, at least in the Magic Kingdom, has to be the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway - and it's not just the gas fumes you smell on queue. I think a lot of people bend the "can't stop there" rules just to take a photo of their families driving their cars - oooof!
December 11, 2009 at 3:42 PM · It's the tallest.
It's the fastest, at least until Ring Racer is running steady.
It's got the longest line in the park.
It's an attraction people come from all over to be able to say they rode it.

It's Kingda Ka.

It's, at best, the fifth or sixth best ride in the park.

The record holder, over-rated? In my eyes, yes. KK gives you a great adrenaline rush, I'll grant that. And I'd never turn down a chance to ride it if the line is a half-hour or less..especially at night. But when I get off KK, I simply don't feel like I've had much of a "RIDE." Give me El Toro or Nitro any day.


December 11, 2009 at 4:33 PM · Finally! Someone who agrees with me on these! Dinosaur is okay, but really freaked me out. POtC in Florida is TOTALLY overrated. Disneyland's is better, period. I can see where Rock & Roller Coaster is going. I like it, but it's so short. Soarin' is good, but not THE BEST as some say.
December 11, 2009 at 5:21 PM · Disney's Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur

Some horror/thriller movies capitalize too heavily on darkness to the point where you cannot understand what's going on. In a real-life environment, however, I find the dark element adds to it. If the dinosaurs were in brighter lighting, they might lose their effect (like Jurassic Park River Adventure at Islands of Adventure). The immobile pterodactyl is an embarrassment, but I consider it one of the most genuinely thrilling rides out there.

Disney's Hollywood Studios: Rock n' Roller Coaster

Could be Disney's most overrated attraction. It's a one-trick pony. Once the launch is over, it loses all momentum.

Disney's California Adventure: Soarin' Over California

I've never understood your disdain for this attraction, Robert. It especially hits home since it's my mother's favorite theme park attraction, one of the few "thrilling" rides she can withstand. Sure, the soundtrack is forgettable, but how many of them are memorable? Maybe the classics from X. Atencio and the Sherman brothers, but really, is theme park music ever that great? It's a mellow yet thrilling ride with beautiful visuals (and scents). What's not to like?

Frankly, California Screamin' is far more overrated, in my books. Even my easily-thrilled father (age 59) thought this was a yawn.

Disneyland: Indiana Jones Adventure

Never understood the hype for this one. Tosses you around a lot, but the visuals are pretty dull.

SeaWorld Orlando: Journey to Atlantis

Wow, that's a poor ride. Weak thrills, weak theme, and, for some inexplicable reason, Danny Elfman's Beetlejuice score plays throughout the climax. Still, at least it's not Wild Arctic.

Universal Studios Hollywood: Revenge of the Mummy

Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the Hollywood version more than the Orlando one. I'd give this to Jurassic Park, which badly needs a refurbishment. The Mummy in Orlando is highly overrated - some great effects, but they're ruined by some tacky strobe light/glow paint props.

Universal's Islands of Adventure: Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls

Talk about dilapidated. All the puns in the world couldn't save this attraction. At least the drop is genuinely thrilling.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean

Abridged? Sure. Overrated? Hardly. Give this to Big Blunder Mountain Failroad. That third lift hill should, typically, prepare someone for the ultimate climax. Nay-nay. The drop is so puny that you barely get any momentum. If riding in the front seat, you reach the bottom of the hill before the back of the train has ascended the previous one.

I could give this to many Magic Kingdom rides, though. Peter Pan (the damn sails on your flying ship block the view). Dumbo (come on, kids, really?).

One more I gotta throw on there...

Epcot: Test Track.

As overrated as GM cars once were. 60 mph? The I-4 travels faster (and is more exciting).

December 11, 2009 at 8:05 PM · I gotta give some love to Journey to Atlantis at SWF. While it is not the most perfectly themed ride in Orlando, and the sea horse story line has fallen off the way side-- it is in fact still a fun ride. The themeing is not TERRIBLE either- and I fail to see why so many theme park junkies are put off by the Beetlejuice music... what is the big deal? I can not agree that JTA is overrated at all- simply because it really isn't rated that high to begin with.

When compared to its rival rides in Orlando the majority of riders would rank JTA below both Splash and Dudley. And within SWF JTA would easily be ranked below Manta and Kraken. So it seems to me to be rated exactly where it should be.

Sure SeaWorld did not (and could not) spend 100 mil on a single attraction like Disney. However they still produced a fun, and unique ride (how many other true water coasters are there in the US anyway?)!

December 12, 2009 at 6:53 PM · For me, the most "overrated" ride at parks I've been to is Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster. Hugely long line, breaks down too often, and when you do get on, you are up so quick you can't tell how high you are, and you come down so fast there isn't time to appreciate the height, and then it's done before you really get to do anything. It needs another 3 hills, and remove the twist going down so you can just see the ground and get scared.
December 14, 2009 at 12:03 AM ·,

If you're at Disney for Cedar Point-esque thrills, I think you've missed the point.

Disney is a family park, not a thrill park. If you want the maximum thrills, I'll get you a map to beautiful Sandusky, Ohio.

December 14, 2009 at 4:00 PM · Right there with you on Beast.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive