In this category, like yesterday's vote for Best Themed Roller Coaster, we're looking for a winner that represents the best blend of thrills with theming and storytelling. The winner - in any category - should be an engaging ride that keeps you thinking about the experience long after you've exited, and wanting to ride again. If you get off a particular ride thinking "meh," or "was something broken?," or "I think I'm broken," pick another contestant. (Update: To clarify, in this category, we're including any boat or water coaster ride with a major, soaking drop and where the boats don't spin - those go into the Best Rapids Ride category.)
Here are your nominees. You can click the links for descriptions and readers' reviews of each version of each ride.
Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls - At Universal's Islands of Adventure
Journey to Atlantis - At SeaWorld Orlando. If you're really a fan, you can vote on behalf the version at SeaWorld San Diego, if you'd like. But let's just all pretend that the shoot-the-chutes at SeaWorld San Antonio has a different name, okay?
Jurassic Park The Ride/River Adventure - Your top-rated version is Jurassic Park - The Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, but the more-often-rated version is at Jurassic Park River Adventure Universal's Islands of Adventure. There's also a version at Universal Studios Japan. (The Jurassic Park ride in Singapore is a rapids-style ride, and competing in that category instead.)
Splash Mountain - Your top-rated version is at Tokyo Disneyland, and your most-rated version is at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The original version of the ride stands at Disneyland.
Timber Mountain Log Ride - At Knott's Berry Farm
Tomorrow: Which is the best version of Disney's Tower of Terror?
Robert, maybe we should do a "WORST ATTRACTION" tournament in the future. Imagine the vitriol that would spew in THAT one!
Ripsaw Falls: 8/10 (Loved seeing some of my childhood favorite cartoon characters on this ride. The anticipation buildup and drop are both good. I love the exploding shack/boards effect out front. However, theming and details are rather inconsistent in both quality and quantity throughout the attraction.)
Jurassic Park: 7/10 (Some very poor quality animatronics, but the climax is very exciting and the majority of the ride is well themed.)
Journey to Atlantis: 5/10 (Don’t get me wrong, the building is nice, the drops thrilling and the theming passable. But, the dialogue and special effects in this attraction are so terribly cheesy that they give me second-hand embarrassment)
Timber Mountain: Haven’t been on this one in ages, so it doesn’t seem fair to grade it. Even if I were to ride it again someday soon, the nostalgia factor would definitely influence my experience and, thus, my score… my vote wouldn’t be impartial either way, haha.
I’m going to have to go with Splash Mountain.
Dudley was better before the lap bars and this lost it points for me.
So, Splash gets my vote, fair and square, despite the fact that the WDW version has quite a few ups and downs pertaining to proper upkeep....
Incidentally, Ripsaw Falls (the #2 flume imho) is a more thrilling ride than Splash, but Splash rules in theming and narrative immersion - which makes it the more complete attraction.
Dudley has the best flume hill with the fast drop and the double hill thrill.
Jurassic park is awesome and an all-around great ride, excellent final drop..
And Seal World Orlando - Atlantis has a nice smooth ride, good hill and theming …
JP gets my vote but it is so close between all of them..
I like Dudley Doo Right, except for the fact that I got completed soaked at the end while sitting still. That wasn't fun, especially in 60-degree weather. Jurassic Park is a fun ride, though I wish there was more to it. Journey to Atlantis has a similar feeling. The coaster part at the end is a fun surprise, but it also is far too short.
There weren't enough other legit nominees for "best water coaster" or "best themed shoot-the-chutes" categories, so Journey to Atlantis and Jurassic Park got folded into "best flume ride," which seemed to me the closest fits.
(There also will be "best rapids ride" and "best boat ride" competitions later in the first round.)
Generally only the parks with lots O ca$h can pull off "transcendence"!
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