2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey vs. Carousel of Progress

March 7, 2012, 8:52 AM · The number one seed makes its tournament debut this morning in 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament.

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

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Carousel of Progress - at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Carousel of Progress

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.

Replies (78)

March 7, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Potter is my favorite ride on the planet. CoP is an outdated relic.

No contest.

March 7, 2012 at 8:58 AM · I know there are MANY Carousel of Progress lovers, but after riding it a few times, it is on my rare MUST NOT DO list. I appreciate it, but I can't handle sitting in there anymore.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a masterpiece of a ride.

March 7, 2012 at 9:01 AM · Guys i'm saying we all get together today and pull off the upset of the tournament in honor of Robert Sherman. Lets take the Carousel Of Progress all the way to the end and make it the winner!
March 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM · This is the reason 16 seeds never beat 1 seeds.
March 7, 2012 at 9:02 AM · I voted COP in honor of Robert Sherman. May he rest in peace.
March 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM · CoP in honor of Robert Sherman. Now if Disney really wants to honor him, they'll give this thing a refresh. especially the last scene.
March 7, 2012 at 9:07 AM · A vote for Carousel of Progress today is a a vote for "why Disney fans can't have nice things."

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 Go ahead and tell them that you prefer a nearly 50-year-old relic, with outdated technology and a laughably incomplete narrative, over one of the most elaborately themed and technologically engaging attractions ever designed.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.

March 7, 2012 at 9:16 AM · Brilliantly said, Robert. I don't see how voting for a now sub-par attraction over what is easily one of the greatest theme park attractions ever built honors a Disney legend like Robert Sherman. There are many ways to honor the man. Voting for COP is not one of them.
March 7, 2012 at 9:20 AM · To be fair, WDW's execs are going to default to the "keep an old relic barely going" choice over real advances regardless of this vote. The rest of Disney, maybe not, they seem to care, but WDW just doesn't get it. They fought the Star Tours update, for crying out loud. And Disco Yeti - can't forget that. I kinda feel like WDW is a Disney parks museum - I can go there once every few years to get my Peoplemover, Country Bears, CoP, Swiss Family Treehouse fix, then go back to a real Disney park that is making the effort to keep up.
March 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Robert, Disney is about classics, not new, hi-tech rides with screens.
March 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM · Dominick, do you mean like Star Tours?
March 7, 2012 at 9:26 AM · No, I mean like FJ. Star Tours was an update to the classic.
March 7, 2012 at 9:30 AM · I'd wager that Forbidden Journey's animatronic spiders, dragon, and dementors could take out the animatronic COP family in a robotic fight any day... Not to mention Journey's animatronic whomping willow that literally sends riders beyond flat on their back. The screen portions of Journey are just a part of the ride and even those moments have the rider being moved in ways that no other ride has done as you swoop over and below things and dodge around in moves that make Soarin' seem almost as antiquated as COP.
March 7, 2012 at 9:31 AM · I love the Harry Potter attraction. I would like to see the lighting inside the ride improved. The video screens seem blurry and very dim. I understand that they didn't want the transition from the video dome screens into the physical sets to have drastic lighting differences, but, some tweaking would be appreciated. The Carousel of Progress needs to be moved from it's current location since it does not fit into the theme of the land.
March 7, 2012 at 9:52 AM · In fact, here are the high-tech rides at WDW and UO

Haunted Mansion
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
(soon to be) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
(soon to be) Test Track 2.0
Mission Space
Toy Story Mania
Tower of Terror
Rockin Rollercoaster
Star Tours


Yeah, Disney has double the high-tech rides than UO.

March 7, 2012 at 9:46 AM · very well said Robert even universal has rides that could be replaced with newer themes such as e.t. And i believe they could do a lot at disney too i would like to see them update a lot of there rides even the backlot tour could be updated or re imagined.
Dom i know you say Disney has more than double the amount of high tech rides but isn't Disney like more than double the size of universal?
March 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM · "Disney is about classics, not new, hi-tech rides with screens."

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.

March 7, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Duncan, ET is never leaving Universal.

David, those are rides with screens. Only 3 and a half are high-tech (SOTMK, ST, TSM, Mission Space orange).

March 7, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Dominick, so "Star Tours: The Adventures Continue" is not high tech, not even with HD video (on screens), digital 3D (on screens), improved motion simulation, and multiple combinations of adventures (shown on screens)? Wow! I never knew that primitive technology could look so good! Oh, did I mention that they use screens?
March 7, 2012 at 9:53 AM · James, they use high-tech video projectors and AAs. Did I mention there were AAs?
March 7, 2012 at 9:55 AM · There is no reason we can't have both. Classic attractions and super high tech whiz bang attractions. Now what is unacceptable is that Disney is not maintaining their classic attractions COP and Splash Mt. are two prime examples. No excuse for that, they have the money. They change high prices. Disney, keep all the attractions new and old in tip top shape!
March 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM · After all, the title of the contest is "2012 Best Attraction Tournament", not "Tributes to the Greats of the Genre". Get real. A vote for the wrong reason is a vote against the integrity of the contest & this site's integrity. It's a shame Sherman passed away, but if he would have passed away four weeks ago, would you Sherman voters still be voting for an attraction that doesn't even belong in the discussion of Best Theme Park Attraction?
March 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Dominick, I am trying to follow your reasoning here, but it's a bit contradictory. You said that Disney is about classics, not high-tech stuff, then you say that Star Tours is a classic, but it is also a high-tech attraction. Isn't it possible to be both?
March 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM · HP is indeed a great ride, but it is an 2011 spectacle, nothing more! CoP is a show that stand times! in the early days It told us about technology in the future, now it tells us about how technology symplifies our life now! It is an timeless attraction...

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...

March 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM · This Harry Potter fan voted for COP, since I haven't been on FJ. I liked Carousel of Progress, as did my family on our 1970's visits. I've never heard a bad word about FJ, and I know it will win, and thus didn't need my vote. And I will admit being influenced by the pro-Sherman TPI folks urging us to "occupy" this bracket.
March 7, 2012 at 10:06 AM · I think I'm lost in the logic of this argument. Disney is all about classic, hi-tech rides but Universal is all about hi-tech rides with screens? I think I'm missing something here...
March 7, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Okay, I prefer to avoid Dom-baiting, but there are just a few inconsistencies here that I've GOT to point out....

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.

March 7, 2012 at 10:17 AM · "Dom-baiting"...I love that!
March 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM · I love Carousel of Progress; this contest is rigged! There's no way it can win!
March 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM · You wouldn't think this would be a tough vote, but I absolutely love Carousel...but Forbidden is just amazing.
March 7, 2012 at 10:48 AM · Melanie Howe says:

First you say Star Tours is a classic and not hi-tech, but then you list it on your Disney hi-tech list?

I say:

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?

I say:

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...

I say:

Kid, get a clue. It's been recently updated, plus has old school special effects.

March 7, 2012 at 10:55 AM · What a can of worms you've opened up Robert! I suspect it's partly because of the way you've structured this year's contest that has had us voting on such strange combinations/choices but I also suspect that people on here are confusing 'best' with 'most technologically advanced'.
What's the 'best' Christmas present the young toddler gets? Is it the all-singing, all-dancing electronic toy that talks to him/her and is technologically amazing or is it the old-fashioned soft toy that the child just loves to snuggle? (Or even is it the box that the big toy came in?). 'Best' is a totally subjective judgement that is made because of all sorts of reasons - and an emotional reaction to something is just as valid as an adrenaline thrill or 'gee whiz that's amazing'...
I also think you're being a bit disingenuous saying that if COP were to win Disney would stop investing in hi-tech rides. One little vote on (admittedly the best) theme-park website isn't going to make a scrap of difference, especially since if COP of progress did win it would be in the context that has already been suggested. Disney will invest if they see the bottom line going down, (anyone here think that Avatar Land is going to be anything less than hi-tech, cutting-edge?)
Disney command such affection and loyalty precisely because they create attractions that somehow speak to people. They may not always be very cutting-edge but the number of people who return time after time to experience them speaks for itself. A vote for COP is every bit as valid today as one for HPFJ
March 7, 2012 at 10:57 AM · It's rather hard to argue with reasoning like that....(David, I agree with you 100%. I was referring to Dominick)
March 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM · I agree 100% David.
March 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM · CoP got my vote, but only because:

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.

March 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM · I voted CoP because I hate Harry Potter. Not the ride...just the franchise in general. I have no basis for this hatred, I'm just like that.

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.

March 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Even a perfectly maintained CoP is never going to match the thrills offered by "BENCH: THE RIDE", however, CoP gets my vote today just because I have grown weary with all the Harry Potter chatter. And hey, who wouldn't like to see a 16 seed beat a 1? Of course, after the 1 is out of the tournament the rest of the contest is a major joke, but it would be fun while it happened! We can worry about tomorrow tomorrow!

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....

March 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM · I'm sorry, did Dom call someone "kid?" Heh.

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...

March 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Me too, Mike. "Now is the time...." is the only song I remember as a kid and I remember being shocked when I found out "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was the "real" song.

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... :-)

March 7, 2012 at 11:42 AM · I can't agree that Disney is about "classics" and not "high tech" when you have World of Color (high definition water screens), the entire new Fantasyland at WDW (high tech interactive everything), Winnie the Pooh @ Tokyo Disney (trackless!!!), the new attractions in HK Disney (tons of innovations), and the upcoming Carsland. Heck, I'll even include stuff like Turtle Talk with Crush, Tower of Terror, and Soarin. Breaking it down to the basics, every attraction is an update on previous ideas, but with new technology including Star Tours.

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.

March 7, 2012 at 11:48 AM · I'm a hugh fan of CoP having seen the original at the '64-'65 Worlds Fair. But, last month I rode HPFJ and was blown away. Being blown away trumps sentiment.
March 7, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Melanie, I was half-tempted to say something about the "kid" comment, but something told me that, if you wanted to respond to him and put him in his place about that condescending comment, you could do so without any help from anyone.
March 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM · I voted for CoP not out of spite, or to encourage Disney's Imagineers to be lazy, but simply because it's an attraction I actually enjoy. I found HPFJ to be the most overrated ride I've ever experienced. (The Voyage is a close second.) The ride vehicles were too close to the screens for my eyes to focus, and the ride's movement was way too intense. (And I'm a thrill-ride junkie!) I left feeling disoriented and nauseated. I really don't see why everyone rates this ride so highly. The queue is awesome; the ride itself, not so much. (Oh, and Mike and Melanie, I was also a "Now is the Time" kid! I still miss that song!)
March 7, 2012 at 12:27 PM · I'd vote for anything over Potter. Today it's Carousel of Progress.
March 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM · I got a chuckle at that Melanie.
March 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM · I'm surprised that the voting isn't more lop-sided than this. Carousel of Progress is a good attraction, but really can't compare to the thrilling ride experience on the cutting edge FJ. I think some people just voted for Carousel because they've never experienced the Potter ride.
March 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Sigh. This is making me long for the simpler days of TSI vs. Haunted Mansion.
March 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM · I think what we are seeing here with the voting is what I like to call the Yankee effect. Even though I am not a Yankee fan (I am a Cardinals fan) everyone that is not a Yankees fan hates them with a passion and wants to see any other team beat them. That I believe is what is going on with FJ today. Some people hate Harry Potter and everything it stands for and even though they know that FJ is the best (or at least top 3) ride out there right now they what to see it go down.
March 7, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Bring on the coasters!!!!!!!!!
March 7, 2012 at 12:58 PM · Go Voyage!!!

Uh, are Mike and I a bit too early to the party?

March 7, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Agreed Brent. Or in Basketball Terms, maybe the Laker effect. Or Red Wing effect. All-Blacks effect. Man-U effect. etc. etc. etc. I get what you're puttin down!

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.

March 7, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Someone's favorite ride doesn't have to be the best, most high tech ride. Someone's favorite ride can be whatever a person likes. I voted for CoP. I have never been to any Universal park and I have never had any interest in Harry Potter.
March 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM · My vote goes to fj because is one of the best theme park attractions ever and the hight tech is one of the best
March 7, 2012 at 2:25 PM · This is my problem with this match up is that: COP is a show it's even in its introduction "the longest running show" in America, its in guinness book of world records as the most performances of a show.

It's not a ride...that being said I voted for Harry Potter despite it being just a reworked failed Von Helsing ride

March 7, 2012 at 2:47 PM · I would love to see Carousel of Progress beeing incorperatid with Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. These two make a wonderfull and charming museum experiance.
That said my my vote goes to the most awesome attraction at the moment, HP.
March 7, 2012 at 2:51 PM · yea your are right cop is a show not a ride. why is it even in this section
March 7, 2012 at 3:56 PM · Poor Robert, this whole tournament must be one never-ending migraine for you. In the first round, 95% of the comments are "Why isn't this ride in it?" In the second round, it primarily changes to "These attractions are completely different and can't be compared!" I'm excited for what the 3rd round of comments will bring!
March 7, 2012 at 4:12 PM · @Brent Mooney So the Yankees are like Manchester United? I will understand a few more US sports references on all the US television shows I watch.

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.

March 7, 2012 at 4:28 PM · The reason why COP is a ride is because you move through the actual performance.
March 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM · CoP a better attraction than Forbidden Journey? Give me a break!

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.

March 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM · Tim: Well said!!!
March 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM · @Tim I wish you were right about the industry paying attention, but I am not so sure. I have been harping on the pathetic state of Everest's Yeti in this annual tournament for as long as I can remember, and he's only gotten worse! Neither of these companies give a hoot about what "we" think, because the Disney, Universal, and Potter Fanboys and girls will keep going to the parks no matter what happens. We are the exception not the rule, so why not have a little fun along the way?

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.

March 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM · I voted for Carousel of Progress. Although I'm a fan of Harry Potter, I feel COP is a classic attraction that I agree needs some TLC and a nice update on the last scene, but I still make sure I try and ride this attraction everytime I visit Magic Kingdom.
March 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM · Now, taking Tim's side, is it also possible that Disney could read all this CoP love and realize the attraction deserves to be properly maintained? So voting for CoP could lead to positive change... Just saying, there's always another way to spin things in a battle of opinions.
March 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Here's the deal, as I see it.

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.

March 7, 2012 at 7:05 PM · The only message I am trying to send is that CoP is a beloved classic that deserves some amount of respect. I don't mind it losing this vote, in fact it should lose, but it does not need to be embarrassed. Everyone likes a good game, not a HM vs TSI slaughter.

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.

March 7, 2012 at 8:47 PM · My daughter calls it the "Carousel of Boredom".
March 7, 2012 at 9:43 PM · I don't usually vote when I haven't been on either ride, but in this case I did...for Harry Potter. Why? One, I don't think Carousel of Progress looks nearly as good as Forbidden Journey, as it is old and outdated, and two...Carousel of Progress is not a ride, IT IS A SHOW! I know what criteria was used to determine which bracket an attraction was placed into, but I would think if the attraction page on this website calls it an "animatronic show" it would be in the show bracket and if it is called a "simulator" it would be in the ride bracket (hence why I don't agree with Soarin's placement either). I guess it is partly annoyance, but I really don't want to see an average show that (in my opinion) is wrongly placed beat out what is widely considered one of the best dark rides of all time.
March 7, 2012 at 9:53 PM · James Rao, well said!
March 8, 2012 at 7:42 AM · Whenever anybody says classic and Disney in the same sentence (especially Dominick), I just cringe because I equate it to whenever somebody says, "It's the principle of the thing!" I've lived long enough to know that whenever somebody throws out that phrase, they are just trying to justify an utterly irrational behavior or opinion. My Dad used it all of the time - especially when he was flat out wrong, and I always wanted to ask what principle he was referring to but I valued the avoidance of pain on my rear end much more so I never said it.

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?

March 8, 2012 at 7:56 AM · 70 comments. Who knew CoP could generate such fierce debate? Well played.
March 8, 2012 at 8:05 AM · While I have not been on Forbidden Journey, and have been on (if that is what you can call it) the Carousel of Progress, I voted for FJ. Normally, that goes against my principles, as I do not vote for attractions I have not been on. But, COP is, well, really bad. Bad enough for me to say they should replace it. It exists to give people an AC break (or, on rainy days, some time to dry off.)

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.

/rant on
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.
/rant off

March 8, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Great.... More Dominick and the "rides with screens" rant. He is like a corrupted MP3 (or broken record for the 40 somethings). While we are at it, let's discuss Family Guy, a Nintendo Land at UO instead of a HP expansion at Jaws and South Park.

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....

March 8, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Tim, most theme park fans understand what makes CoP so special, therefore the word "classic" is used to summarize those known qualities in one overarching word. Do we really need to spell it out every time?

And folks, FJ won handily. The outcome was never in doubt. What did you want, a shut out?

March 8, 2012 at 4:46 PM · James, I've been riding CoP (Disneyland and MK) since I was 10 years old. That's over 40 years of riding it, and I ride it every time I go to the park. Two reasons why:
1. It usually has a shorter wait time than most rides in the park, and
2. I can sit down in the air conditioning and catch a break in a fairly relaxed atmosphere.

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."

March 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM · I don't disagree at all with your Tomorrowland assessment. Go check out some of my responses to those all too frequent "what would you like to see Disney do next" threads and you'll see me soundly thumping Tomorrowland (and Adventureland) left and right.

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.

March 9, 2012 at 7:16 AM · James, when I consider the points you made about how CoP has impacted the development of the modern immersive theme park ride, I guess it does deserve the "classic" moniker. Unfortunately, I let my overall general disgust with the state of Tomorrowland and the Magic Kingdom keep me from holding an objective view of CoP. I just wish that the Disney brass would remember that progress means moving forward and not being stuck in place.

Maybe one day they'll move it to the old peoples theme park - I mean Epcot, and update it.

March 9, 2012 at 9:07 PM · Tim, how about this: CoP should be renamed to something like Walt Disney's A Century of Progress then WDI can redo the final scene to showcase events of the year 1990 - 2000, while keeping all the other scenes intact (of course, these scenes should be overhauled and refurbed as well). By making this change, the show will be preserved but improved. Furthermore, CoP should be moved to Downtown Disney or (if it fits) Mainstreet, USA. The attraction should never be destroyed, but I totally agree with you that it does not fit in Tomorrowland anymore.

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!!!

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