Based on your Theme Park Insider readers' ratings, here are the nominees, in alphabetical order:
Boo Blasters on Boo Hill - at Kings Dominion
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. Other versions include Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast at Disneyland Paris and the original, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Gobbler Getaway - at Holiday World
Men in Black Alien Attack - at Universal Studios Florida
Toy Story Midway Mania - at Disney California Adventure and at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Yeah, I know I've been asking you to campaign in the comments, but I'm sure everyone would also love to hear your tips, strategy and found easter eggs from each of these rides. (I also want to take a moment to apologize for the lack of good on-ride pictures to post today. I suspect that too many of you are too busy shooting targets to shoot photos?)
Tomorrow: We're voting for the Best Wooden Roller Coaster
Those who tout the queue of 'Toy Story Mania' must admit that the interactivity of the office doors, the animation of the Wormy guys and the Twins, the re-creation of the Immigration Room from the film (complete with pre-show film on the Egg-A-Tron) far surpasses one Mr. Potato Head. What's more, the transition into the TSM queue is not explained (How did we all suddenly shrink?) whereas the storyline of guests becoming MIB recruits is air tight.
As for the attraction itself, MIBAA is untouchable in this category. The massive dimensional sets depicting New York, the varied ride experience (both because of the individual track and multiple endings) make each visit unique. The star power (and actual presence) of Will Smith is substantially greater than voiceovers from Tom Hanks and company. The ability to target other vehicles makes it a more enhanced competition.
And then there are the audio-animatronic figures. MIBAA contains the most ambitious use of AA figures in theme park history. This includes the Big Bug -- one of the largest audio animatronic ever constructed.
If Disney's 'Haunted Mansion' is to be regarded as the Godfather of dark rides, the same title should be bestowed upon 'Men In Black: Alien Attack.'
TSM is very simple, shoot repeatedly to beat your friend beside you (and maybe those on the other side of your car.) But, you both have the same shots at everything.
I like everything about MiB except for the cars. I like these 'shooter' rides to be against my friends/family, not against complete strangers (and, for whatever reason, I think I am competing against those in my car, so competing against complete strangers has no apeal to me.)
Buzz, with the smaller car, you just go against the person next to you. Who you can mess up by spinning the car for you. Which is why I like it, the fact that you can completely screw up the person sitting next to you.
As for tips, I got none. I generally suck at these, I have no aim.
My REAL choice would be Kennywood's Ghostwood Estate.
Now, I'll steal a page from Dom's book and say that tomorrow's vote is the most important one in the tournament to me, although I have problems with the classifications set forth in Robert's introductory post before the tournament started.
It's a bit out of date now that Disney's changed up one of the games, but here's my blog post on Cracking the Easter Eggs on Disney's Toy Story Midway Mania.
Star Tours 2
5. Boo Blasters - the name alone knocks this former Scooby Doo attraction out of contention.
4. Gobbler Getaway - unique idea, but cheap looking Sally Corp theatrics can't compete with the likes of Disney and Universal.
3. Buzz Lightyear - a monumental success in its day, this must visit attraction still offers great fun for the entire family.
2. Men In Black - certainly the best looking of these five contenders, and could easily be number one, except for...
1. Toy Story Midway Mania - ...the most addictive shooter on the list. I can ride the others and walk away satisfied, but TSMM grabs the rider and doesn't let go. I could not get enough of this masterpiece during my 2010 visit. A tremendous achievement that balances outstanding whole-family fun with wonderful interactive elements. Further, it is the only ride in the bunch that can easily be updated to keep it fresh as the years go by.
Honorable mention goes to the Flooded Mine at Silver Dollar City. A one-of-a-kind shooter on a modest budget that my family never fails to visit when we go to the park.
I literally feel as if I've stepped into the movie with MIB. I really enjoy playing TSM but nothing is explained and it just seems as if Disney came up with the technology and coupled it with their top-selling brand. Not a bad technique, but it doesn't make it an immersive experience like MIB.
I Respond: You are really hoping they add Johnny Depp to the attraction, aren't you?
As of this writing, MIB is up by (estimating) 11
I Respond: Um ...how great you "just did even though I DID hit a damn thing…"? What does that even mean?
And for the record, you have now thrown your lot in with Dominick in your dislike of the Will Smith ending. Just saying...
As far as the Sally Corp. rides listed here, I like the traditional spookhouse aspect of Boo Blasters (I've only experienced the one at Kings Island), but it's really just a quickie rehab of Scooby Doo. The last couple of times I rode Gobbler Getaway, it had features that weren't working and seems to need some TLC.
Beast better win tomorrow, or else!
We rely on readers to help spread the word about worthy attractions outside the Central Florida and SoCal markets, whether that be regional parks across the US, or parks in other countries. So if you've been on a great ride in one of those parks, be sure not only to rate and review it on the site (if it is listed), but also to submit a discussion thread about it, to get other readers excited about it and wanting to talk. You might also help draw out some lurkers who've been thinking the same thing, but haven't taken the initiative to write.
That's how we've gotten behind rides like The Voyage at Holiday World - it's not because I knew anything about them (at least, initially). It's because a few individuals took a moment to bring them to the community's attention.
I have no doubt that there are some great rides around the world that didn't make it into the tournament simply because too few people submitted ratings for them for me to be able to consider them for the field. The best way to address that, though, is to get more readers submitting ratings for more parks and rides listed on the site.
And while I've maintained a "cut off" for including parks in the listings, that's simply because I got sick of looking at a bunch of listed parks that had no ratings submitted for them. I know that the popular parks (from Disney, Universal and SeaWorld), will get rated on the site. For anything else, it's up to readers to make a case, and to drum enough interest in the discussion board that I feel comfortable in knowing that if I add that park to the listings, it won't be ignored.
First: MIB rules!
Now that that's out of the way..... My husband and I are both fairly high scorers on MIB. He can almost always get 500,000 or near abouts, and my personal best is just over 300,000 without pushing the "red button".
1. The best side to ride, by far, is the right hand side as you load (which becomes the left side in the ride). It's POSSIBLE to get the suit on the other side, but it's a lot harder. All the advice below will be based on a view from the left side of the attraction.
2. Shoot the heck out of the initial test sequence. You can rack up 20,000-30,000 points here fairly easily.
3. Going through the first street scene after the crash, look for aliens in doorways and windows -- particularly upper windows -- and shoot them as many times as you can.
4. Look for the eyeballs in the trees above the aliens playing chess. Lots of points here.
5. After you go through the "alien detection" sequence, look for eyes in the movie posters on the opposite wall behind the other car. I THINK these are actually worth more points then trying to hit the other car to make it spin.
6. In the last street scene before the big bug, look for eyes again. In parking meters, mail boxes, and especially the big set up on the left hand wall just before you turn the corner towards the big guy.
These are most of our go-to places for points. I think someone on here mentioned that there are a few warts you can aim at on the big bug at the end, but I tried it the last time I was there and it didn't seem to do anything. It also means NOT pushing the red button and I try never to do that :-)
Oh and MIB is kicking Dom's butt all over the site.
Also..... this is not the Oscars (it's a lot more fun)..... don't take it so seriously..... Live and let live....
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