Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey earned a first round bye as a result of its standing atop the Theme Park Insider reader ratings. But from here on in, Harry's got to earn his way into the next round via your votes. Standing in the way of the wizarding crew today is one Disney's classic Audio Animatronic attractions.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey - at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Carousel of Progress - at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Voting is open for 24 hours. Recruit more voters to your cause by sharing this post on Facebook and via Twitter.
Later today: We return to the Best Roller Coaster bracket, as The Voyage takes on Apollo's Chariot.
Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a masterpiece of a ride.
You want to encourage Disney bean counters to veto any attempt to build great new attractions? Go ahead and tell them that you prefer a nearly 50-year-old relic, with outdated technology and a laughably incomplete narrative, over one of the most elaborately themed and technologically engaging attractions ever designed. They'll get the message, and keep giving you exactly want you want.
Yeah, Carousel's got a nice song. But if you want to spend the rest of your life enjoying the attractions of yesterday, never seeing any attractions of tomorrow being developed, go ahead and keep voting for old Disney rides over attempts to extend what's possible in theme park entertainment. Disney's accountants would love to see you do that. Makes their jobs much, much easier.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
(soon to be) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
(soon to be) Test Track 2.0
Toy Story Mania
Tower of Terror
Yeah, Disney has double the high-tech rides than UO.
Many of Disney's newest additions are based entirely around screens.
DHS: StarTours, TSMM
Magic Kingdom: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, MILF, Philharmagic (not exactly new but still replaced a classic animatronic attraction)
EPCOT: Space Ship Earth (butchered ending with screens), Mission: Space (screens in space!), Soarin' (screens over California!), Turtle Talk/The Seas (Screens under water!), Gran Fiesta Tour (screens in Mexico!)
Even so, arguing Disney is about classics and not new technology is a pretty poor argument for a company that used to pride itself on being at the forefront of innovation and new ride technology.
David, those are rides with screens. Only 3 and a half are high-tech (SOTMK, ST, TSM, Mission Space orange).
I wonder how we judge HP in 30 years!!
That is why I voted CoP... in 3 years you must do the same vote between, HP ans Avatar world...
1. First you say Star Tours is a classic and not hi-tech, but then you list it on your Disney hi-tech list?
2. Star Tours makes Disney's hi-tech list, but the Simpson's doesn't make Universal's?
3. The Haunted Mansion is a marvelous, classic dark ride, but I can't think how it can be considered hi-tech...
Now that that's out of my system.... I completely agree with Robert about CoP vs. FJ. Carousel is a nice, nostalgic way to pass a few minutes out of the heat and has a great song (two actually -- does anyone else remember the other song that ran at WDW for a while: "Now is the time, now is the best time, now is the best time of your life..."?), but it just can't be compared to FJ. If we're really picking the best theme park attraction, there's just no question.
First you say Star Tours is a classic and not hi-tech, but then you list it on your Disney hi-tech list?
I never said Star Tours 2 wasn't high-tech
Melanie Howe says:
Star Tours makes Disney's hi-tech list, but the Simpson's doesn't make Universal's?
As much as I love Simpsons, there's really nothing high-tech about it.
Melanie Howe says:
The Haunted Mansion is a marvelous, classic dark ride, but I can't think how it can be considered hi-tech...
Kid, get a clue. It's been recently updated, plus has old school special effects.
1. I know it will lose
2. I used to work there
I just hate to see the old girl go down without a fight.
But I disagree that a vote for CoP is a vote for Disney being lazy and cheap. It's a vote for "this is a good attraction, please fix it."
A vote for Harry Potter is a vote for "Disney, please build Avatar land." Once again no basis for this. Possibly just Wednesday afternoon crabbiness.
Don't worry, Robert, FJ will win, but at least we can make it a bit more interesting than that Tom Sawyer Island debacle a few weeks ago....
And thank you Melanie, for bringing up the OTHER C.O.P theme song, and the only one I know. I remember my family singing that in the car on our way home from MK in the mid 70's, and it's stayed with me lo these many years since...
As for Dom's "kid" comment, yeah, I got a big chuckle out of that, especially since I have a sneaking suspicion I may be old enough to be his mother... :-)
Slightly off topic, I still can't believe that no one, not ONE person even thought of a plan to repair and/or maintain the Yeti BEFORE everything was installed. That's like building a car with a hood that can't be opened.
Uh, are Mike and I a bit too early to the party?
I'm not a die hard HP fan (I enjoyed the films) and I'm a Disney fan as much as the next "fanatic", but I'm not gonna say that I'll choose the Disney attraction over any non-Disney attraction.
That being said, it's just like the anti-Disney people that hate anything Disney. I'm just not a fan of brand loyalty.
It's not a ride...that being said I voted for Harry Potter despite it being just a reworked failed Von Helsing ride
I love the way the competition is set up this year, as I love a good underdog story. However, most of the votes against Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey seem to be out of spite! I don't think people understand the phenomenon behind the ride and therefore immediately dismiss it. That's bullying behaviour, not a nice underdog story. Despite being a park that brings in ridiculous amounts of money, anything in Universal is an underdog compared to Disney.
There's people on this site pretending that a vote for Carousel of Progress is a vote for 'sticking it to the man'. Which, to be honest, is just hilarious. If you want to annoy Universal, stop commenting on their rides, don't spend your money there and pretend that Disney World is the only theme park in the world.
I miss the good ol' days on this site when the Disney "Kool-Aid drinkers" knew well enough to keep their nonsense to themselves or face the wrath of the Baxter. Things got a little uncivil on occasion back then, but that was good because we needed a break from the nauseating nonsense being put forth by all of the Disney lemmings. Now, I see that silliness creeping back out.
Robert was spot on in his analysis. Want mediocrity in your Disney park? Then go ahead and keep voting and thinking like you do. That why the Japanese get awesome parks like Tokyo DisneySea and we get half-day parks like the old California Adventure and Animal Kingdom. Anybody who has been to TDS and has half a brain can tell that Disney went El Cheapo on the American consumer at the same time they were raking in billions.
People in the industry actually look at this site. I for one think it affects to a certain degree the financial decisions that they make with respect to investment in the parks. Applauding mediocrity means that you will only get more mediocrity.
FJ will and should win, but CoP deserves the respect it is getting, despite its current condition. To call an attraction that has stood for almost 50 years "mediocre" is like calling Shakespeare a "hack." You may not like his style, but you can't question his contribution to the literary world. Similarly, CoP's standing in the Theme Park Hall of Fame is secure.
Do you really think FJ will still be a keeper 50 years from now? Heck, knowing Universal's track record it won't even be in existence in ten years! And honestly, most people won't remember Harry Potter in 50 years, let alone care about a ride baring his moniker. Shoot, I know I won't remember, cause I'll be dead and my ashes floating in the waters of DLR's Pirates of the Caribbean, which will definitely be in existence 50 years from now!
Let's not pretend we are doing anything more important than having a little fun.
Vote for the attractions you like better. That's it. If you like Carousel of Progress better than Harry Potter, then vote for it.
What you shouldn't do is vote for an attraction you don't like as much as its opponent because __________. That just doesn't work. Parks see hourly attendance counts, online ratings and fan tournaments on a single variable scale: how much do people like this? Big numbers = lots of love.
How that works is that attractions which win fan tournaments are considered the ones fans like. So they don't need any extra attention from the park. They're the ones that are in good shape. The ones that lose the tournaments, get bad online ratings and poor hourly visit counts - those are the ones that need to be refurbished, or replaced. Why? Because people don't like them as much anymore.
If you want to honor the Shermans, go buy their music. (Not download it for free, buy it.) Disney watches sales figures. They see Sherman Bros. music moving, trust me, you'll hear more of it.
But if you just want to see Carousel of Progress repaired or improved, don't vote for it in an online tournament. Stop by Guest Services next time you're in the park and tell them, instead. Start a "Disney needs to fix Carousel of Progress" thread or webpage. Those methods will get your point across, instead of sending the opposite message - that you think CoP is just fine the way it is - that a vote in its favor would.
Again, if you love CoP just the way it is, vote for it. I've no problems with that. It's just when people want to send a message and do something that I know that the parks will interpret the opposite way - that's what frustrates me.
I didn't hear anyone complaining when several people answered Robert's pleas to vote for TSI, so we shouldn't get all preachy now.
So, from my point of view if you want to say, "I just prefer the ride because of _____," and you provide a halfway intelligent reason, I can respect that. However if you just say "It is a classic" and leave it at that, then that puts you in the irrational category. At least make an attempt to codify your feelings.
And, I'm the same age as the CoP. Does that make me a classic too or just a beat up old attraction that spends most of the time going in circles and breaking down far too often?
Sorry, I know it is a classic, but it just did not work for me at all. Just judging what I have seen of FJ (the queue) against the entirity of COP, I can easily say FJ is miles ahead.
In my eyes, we should encourage Disney to push ahead with technology. Improving Star Tours was a start, not the goal, they need to do more. There was a time when Disney was at the bleeding edge of theme park technology, and that time has long since passed (at least for their American parks.) They need to regain their edge, and doing something like Dueling Dumbos will not do it. Maybe Avatar-land will be where they flex their creative muscles, maybe the Seven Dwarves coaster will be it, I don't know. I just want that feeling of wonder to come back, that sense of awe that Disney used to give. I want Disney to be Disney again, to be a place of pure magic. As I see it, right now it is a really big outside museum. And that breaks my heart.
Please don't forget the obligatory 4096 x 3072 ultra super mega giga tera peta size YouTube clips with an ostrich on stairs or JJJ from Spider-Man that screw up the HTML tables and cells....
And folks, FJ won handily. The outcome was never in doubt. What did you want, a shut out?
Nowhere in my reasoning for riding it did I say it was entertaining because I don't think that it is. So, I guess that the entertainment value is lost on me, and if I were one to use the term freely, I would hardly call it a classic.
And to be honest, there's a deeper issue here. With the exception of Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear, Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom is mostly an embarrassing hog wallow. I'm an engineer who loves science fiction, and I can find so little to like there. So, I guess I bristle whenever I see someone giving Disney a pass when they call a mediocre ride like CoP a "classic."
However, I am not sure what the overall state of Tomorrowland has to do with CoP being a good attraction or not. But, hey, I am not trying to change your mind.
I like CoP. In fact, I love it. It already has huge sentimental value for me, and the first time I visited it was only eight years ago. The romantic in me just cannot dismiss the fact that Walt himself had a huge hand in the design of this attraction, so much so that it still bears his moniker: Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress.
With this one awesome show, Walt illustrated to the world why narrative, immersion, and animatronics are so important to the theme park business. In fact, he raised the bar so high that without this one theater-in-the-round experience NONE of the other brilliant animatronic attractions we theme park fans love would have ever come to fruition. To me, a vote for CoP was a vote for Walt's vision of a perfect theme park future, realized in one, singular attraction back in 1964.
So you can understand why I bristle a little when people try to dismiss this classic as anything so mundane as a themed air conditoner.
Regardless, CoP needs a change of venue and it needs a major overhaul. I know that. We all do. And if I had thought for a second FJ was going to lose this contest I would not have voted for CoP.
Maybe one day they'll move it to the old peoples theme park - I mean Epcot, and update it.
With the extra space from CoP's removal and the dead area nearby, Mission: Space can be moved into Tomorrowland from Epcot, and Horizons can be rebuilt in its original location!!!
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.