2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Journey to the Center of the Earth vs. Sindbad's Storybook Voyage

March 6, 2013, 1:34 PM · Today in the 2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament we feature two popular attractions from Tokyo DisneySea, the park that won last year's Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best theme park.

Since we're a website based in the United States, the majority of Theme Park Insider's readers haven't had the opportunity to visit the Tokyo Disney Resort. And that tends to put non-US attractions at a disadvantage in contests such as this, where the highest raw vote count wins. But Tokyo DisneySea's just too good a park not to have an attraction advance in the tournament, so I've taken a little executive license by setting up a TDS vs. TDS match-up in round one. This way, hey, we know one of these rides is moving on.

If either of these rides existed at Walt Disney World or Disneyland, they'd become instant favorites with American theme park fans. Richly detailed and throughly rewarding, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Sindbad's Storybook Voyage feature two of the largest animatronic Disney's ever developed, even as each ride delivers a vastly different physical experience.

Mount Prometheus

Journey to the Center of the Earth inhabits one of the most impressive facades in the world of theme parks -- the immense Mount Prometheus. You queue in an underground cavern, viewing exhibits from past explorers, while lava bubbles at your feet. Eventually, you're taken "down" to the boarding station, where you climb into mine cars that will continue your journey deep into the Earth. It's all sweet and pretty at first, but of course something goes terribly wrong. And that leads to an encounter that blends every theme park attraction design trick in the book to create a moment that will get your adrenaline pumping like few other theme park moments ever could.

Sindbad's Storybook Voyage

Sindbad's Storybook Voyage delivers a much gentler experience, a musical boat ride through the adventures of the popular storybook character. Revamped in 2007, with the addition of a catchy new theme song, this storybook voyage rivals any theme park boat ride in the world for warmth and charm, while delivering just the right touch of adventure.

I've included our on-ride video of Sindbad's Storybook Voyage, but haven't embedded a video of Journey to the Center of the Earth, as I couldn't find one that I believe does the ride's climatic moment any justice. But do take a moment to enjoy the tune from Sindbad. It's one of my theme park favorites.

Time to vote. Which ride would you most want to experience first today, if I magically transported you to Tokyo DisneySea?

If you've had the good fortune to visit Tokyo DisneySea, please share your experience in the comments, while I imagine eating a Gyoza Dog again.

Tomorrow: Transformers: The Ride vs. Men in Black Alien Attack

Replies (11)

March 6, 2013 at 2:44 PM · Haven't been on either, but based on the videos I've seen, I think Journey will win even though they both look intriguing to me!
March 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM · They're both great rides but Sinbad is more family friendly which is always important. Whenever I need a good TDS memory, I play the Sinbad CD in my car. And it is much easier to eat Strawberry Popcorn on Sinbad than on Journey so it gets my vote!
March 6, 2013 at 3:40 PM · I'm predicting this round will be a blowout for Journey. While both are on my must ride list when I eventually get a chance to visit Tokyo Disney, this is basically an elaborate alternately themed Small World versus what almost everyone who's been on it names as the best theme park attraction in the world. Against almost any other Disney attraction, Sinbad would probably have a decent chance, but against Journey I doubt it can win.
March 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM · A day where I haven't been on either, bt JTTCOTE gets my vote.
March 6, 2013 at 3:55 PM · Robert, check this video

Maybe still doesn't give justice to the climax, but it gives a pretty good idea of the high speed and airtime.

March 6, 2013 at 4:21 PM · I've got nothing. I am just sulking because I will never be able to visit these two terrific attractions.
March 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Journey to the Center of the Earth's combination of Test Track's ride system with an intriguing theme has always sounded awesome to me. Sinbad sounds like a good boat ride, but it doesn't really excite me. So, voted for Journey...
March 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM · Journey!
March 6, 2013 at 7:10 PM · I just don't think Sinbad can compete with a ride that is located in an active volcano...

However, I haven't been on either, but I have seen videos of each multiple times. I can't wait until the day that I can visit Tokyo DisneySea!

March 6, 2013 at 10:01 PM · Sindbad's Storybook Voyage is a new classic. It is encouraging to know that WDI can still create a wonderful flume-based attraction, featuring actual original music and not just something from an existing property! Sindbad might not be as thrilling as Journey but it should be recognized for the significant accomplishment that it is.
March 7, 2013 at 6:02 AM · Living part of the year in Japan allows me plenty of chances to go so I feel like I can vote on this one. I am voting for Journey of course. Sinbad is a nice family ride, which is really important as my kids are 3 and 4 but it also is not based on a Disney property, which for my family, is a negative. While Journey isnt either its just a more impressive ride that ITS A SMALL WORLD sinbad style

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