2010 Best Theme Park Attraction: Pirates of the Caribbean vs. Kilimanjaro Safaris

March 19, 2010, 7:33 AM · It's time to start day two of the 2010 Best Theme Park Attraction Tournament, with a first-round match-up from the Best Theme Ride bracket.

If you haven't been on both rides, please click through to the attraction descriptions linked below, and read the comments, before voting.

5. Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean

Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean


12. Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Please tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did.

Next up is 3. Six Flags Great Adventure's El Toro [Intamin Wooden] vs. 14. Six Flags Magic Mountain's Goliath [Giovanola Mega]

Replies (16)

March 19, 2010 at 7:35 AM · The difference is that Kilimanjaro Safari is always different
March 19, 2010 at 7:44 AM · I know Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic but Kilimanjaro Safaris is a totally unique concept that delivers time after time and as such deserves wider recognition. Looking at Animal Kingdom on Google Maps (satelite view) you realise just how brilliantly clever the Imagineers were in creating this attraction since for the 20 minutes duration of the safari you see nothing on the horizon that would be out of place on a true African safari and yet, as the satelite shows, you are actually only yards from the 'real' world. The moment when you first emerge above the 'Serengeti Plains' is a true 'wow' and then of course there are the animals. Never guaranteed, never predictable, and therefore whenever something special pops into view the sense of excitement on the jeep is as palpable as on a real safari.
Well done Disney for thinking outside the box and coming up with one of the most rewarding and re-rideable attractions in any of their parks. Straight 10 every time.
March 19, 2010 at 7:51 AM · I love both attractions, but I have to go with Pirates.

To put it simply, there's no better dark ride out there than Pirates of the Caribbean. It's proved itself time and time again to be the best of the best when it comes to an attraction that can be enjoyed by all the family.

That's not to say Kilimanjaro Safaris' is poor, far from it. But as with Soarin' and Tower of Terror yesterday two very good attractions have been put up against each other in an early round and unfortunately it has to be Kili.

Sorry Animals!

March 19, 2010 at 7:57 AM · Never been on Kilimanjaro Safaris, but Pirates gets my vote because of the whole atmosphere of the ride. Plus I am not sure I agree with the keeping of animals in so confined a space. How is that anything like a real safari? My brother went on one in South Africa, and while the fact that you see what is around (as with real animals on Kilimanjaro Safari), the animals are in their natural habitat and have the freedom of the land (for the most part, or at least it is much bigger than the ride).

Pirates is just a plain awesome ride. The themeing is wonderful! And the song is great too. It just makes me happy, even though the last time I got a little wet. 'Course, that makes it all the more real!

March 19, 2010 at 7:58 AM · I agree with Michael...the KS got a bad draw as I think it could have had a great chance of upsetting a higher seed if it wasn't one of the great Disney classics.
March 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM · Kilimanjaro Safaris is a top notch attraction, worthy of its spot in this tournament. Furthermore, were it not for the incessant chatter about Big Red and Little Red, KS would potentially be my favorite attraction at any park (sorry, Spider-Man). However, Disneyland's version of Pirates is arguably the best dark ride of all time - it cannot lose in the first round of this tournament. If you have only been on the Magic Kingdom version, you are really missing out on greatness. As Robert Niles once wrote: "MK's Pirates is the sad, abridged Cliffs Notes version of PotC." So, for those who have not experienced this ride at Disneyland, trust me, it transcends the genre. And, despite all odds, it has withstood the test of time.
March 19, 2010 at 8:12 AM · Kilimanjaro Safaris is a good attraction, but it's inconsistent. It's a rough ride and moves too quickly, and the Big Red/Little Red storyline is silly. It can't compare to Pirates, which is one of the best theme park attractions anywhere.
March 19, 2010 at 8:14 AM · I love Kilimanjaro Safaris. It really is brilliant how it's designed. I would love to see it go far in the tournament but how can I really choose this over Pirates? Pirates is in my opinion, only behind Haunted Mansion in terms of the greatest dark rides.
March 19, 2010 at 8:49 AM · what an unfortunate matchup.

The Disneyland version of Pirates is far superior to WDW's version - I think the Safaris are better than WDW's Pirates, but not as good as DL's Pirates--which helped launch an entire genre of rides. ;)

March 19, 2010 at 8:56 AM · A tough call. Even though I love Pirates of the Caribean in Cal. It does not change much. Where as Kilimmanjaro Safaris will give you a differnet look every time you are on the ride. The speal is corney but effective.
March 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM · It's too bad for Kilimanjaro Safaris that Pirates didn't beat Everest for the fourth seed in this bracket. If it had, that would have set up Safaris vs. Everest in this round, which, frankly, I think Safaris could have won. (And it would have set up Pirates vs. Curse of DarKastle, which I find to be a fascinating match-up.)
March 19, 2010 at 9:12 AM · Pirates is second only to the Haunted Mansion, so it's just not possible to vote against it. Really a shame that I have to vote against a great ride so early, but that's how it goes.
March 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM · This is the toughest because I think these two rides are so different and are the tops of their "style" of attractions.

Killmanjaro Safaris is one of the best designed and thought through attractions Disney has ever made with there literally being a different expereince each time you go. Also, they are able to create a realistic looking African Savanna and you would never know that the Animals are actually "enclosed" in areas/exibits. I think its tough to compare to POTC because KS is younger and is more of an "update" to another classic Disney Dark ride, the Jungle Cruise!

I gotta go with Pirates just because the "story" in Kilimanjaro Safaris is pretty dumb now, but is made up for with the animals.

Also, if we were comparing Kilimanjaro Safaris and WDW's POTC, then it would be no contest with Kilmanjaro winning, but DL's verson is a million times better!

March 19, 2010 at 9:24 AM · I love Kilimanjaro Safaris, but I had to go with Pirates, too. Disneyland's Pirates is totally immersive, with an amazing scope and scale, a great buildup to magnificent show scenes, thrills, AAs, and some cool effects. This ride is complete, and is also one of the longest, most satisfying E Tickets ever made. It opened over 40 years ago, and still stands the test of time; in fact, it's still one of the best theme park attractions anywhere in the world.
March 19, 2010 at 10:30 AM · Darn I missed this vote, but I was going to vote for Pirates, and it won. It was a tough decision. Kilimanjaro Safaris is always different, is an extensive ride, has a nice educational angle, and even a fairly decent storyline. However, Pirates is the quintessential dark ride and a classic. If it was Walt Disney World's Pirates the results would have been different, but the original Pirates has the visuals, grand scale, and amazing storytelling to put it over the top.
March 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM · Could have been the toughest choice yet. What a match-up.

On that note, I couldn't choose either, even though I've ridden them both. I think they're evenly matched.

Kilimanjaro's ridiculous storyline flaw is matched by Pirates' boat pile-up flaw.

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