2013 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Pooh's Hunny Hunt vs. Kilimanjaro Safaris

March 12, 2013, 7:45 AM · Today on the Theme Park Insider Tournament we feature two unique and ambitious attractions that, well, were kinda tough to find a match for in this year's field. So they ended up facing each other.

Pooh's Hunny Hunt

Don't make this mistake of assuming that Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland is anything like the Pooh rides in Orlando and Anaheim. Richly detailed, the Tokyo Pooh ride features a trackless ride system that allows each trip through the 100-acre wood to become unique.

You start in the wood, where you can look up to find Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Owl floating along on a Blustery Day. From there, your hunny pots whisk you into the next room, where a bee swarm introduces Tigger for a friendly bounce around the room. (The bouncing cars and scenery get me every time I watch it.) Then things get a little trippy. As the scene melts into a star field, you drift among the Heffalumps and Woozles, where the hunny pots spin from one near miss to another before escaping to find Pooh again, blissfully enjoying a rather immense amount of honey.

Here's an on-ride video that allows you a taste of the experience:

Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom also offers a unique experience with each visit. Climb aboard a tour bus for a trip through the park's animal reserves, where you might see giraffes, crocodiles, rhinos, lions and many other African animals.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Over the years, Disney's trimmed back the storyline of this ride, which originally featured poachers killing a mother elephant while tour guides rush to save her baby. The "Little Red" storyline's gone now, replaced with a new zebra exhibit at the end of the journey. I couldn't find a video of the newest version of the ride, but here's a good video that captures much of the spirit of the attraction, including some of its "Jungle Cruise with live animals" appeal:

Again, here's the criterion for voting: If you're in a theme park with both attractions, which one would you want to go on most? Let's get to the vote.

You're welcome to campaign for your favorite, in the comments.

Tomorrow: We wrap up round one with Tower of Terror vs. Indiana Jones Adventure.

Replies (24)

March 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

I love Kilimanjaro, but I think that Pooh ride is something Disney should be encouraged to make. I am using my vote here to vote against a ride I ride every time I go to DAK and for a ride I will probably never ride cause I want Disney to move away from doing the same old thing all the time.

Plus, Tigger rocks, and bouncing with him just made me happy.

March 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Winni the pooh it is a must see.

March 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM

I would love to hear from some folks voting for Kilimanjaro Safaris on this one.

March 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Gonna agree with Tim on this vote - while I thoroughly enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris, I would love for this Pooh ride (or at least the tech behind it) to make its way to a US based park not named SeaWorld (Antarctica, anyone?). However, there is no hope as the Orlando contingent continues to hold sway. It was more fun last year when I could incite the Holiday World contingent to overrule the Orlando folks in making the Voyage the #1 roller coaster (pounding the Incredible Hulk in the process), but I am not sure how to get the Japan contingent involved...

March 12, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Although Pooh looks good… hahahaha (Get it) - I am a huge nature lover and you cannot beat the real thing…

March 12, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Another misguided vote. People wake up! Tokyo's Pooh has a ride system that should be adapted to all dark rides that still use tracks. You prefer a safari that looks like any other safari? PHH looks more fun.

P.S. Kilimanjaro Safaris vs. Jungle Cruise would have been a better match-up.

March 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

That would be a great match, but with only 16 rides in the tournament, Jungle Cruise just didn't have the ratings to make the field. And, to be honest, Safaris was one of the last attractions in. If it beats Pooh, this would be an upset as I slotted Pooh in the upper half of the bracket based on the universal acclaim it gets from people who have ridden it.

March 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

I voted for kilimanjaro because I am a safari freak. And I can trace this taste back to the first time I went to Jungle Cruise, when I was nearly 10 years old.

But Tokyo's Pooh looks fantastic! I am very curIous to ride not only Tokyo's Pooh but also the future Mistic Manor and Ratatoille which will use the same trackless technology.

March 12, 2013 at 9:54 AM

A vote against Pooh is a vote supporting Disney to remain stagnant in the US and not challenge themselves to create something new. The way the technology seamlessly blends with the storytelling in this ride is brilliant. Every theme park fan on this site should experience it. Even if you have to cancel 5 years worth of Anaheim or Orlando vacations to go to Tokyo just once, do it! You won't regret it. In the meantime, vote for Pooh today!

March 12, 2013 at 9:57 AM

^Andrew, I tried that argument when people voted for Splash over RSR. Hope you have better luck.

March 12, 2013 at 10:08 AM

You guys are complaining how we vote of what we vote for… What’s next will be redistricting to make certain votes count more… I am sorry but so of us naturalist like the real animals over animatronics. Plus AK in my favorite Disney park because of the real Animals. REAL...

March 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Am I the only one who thinks the Pooh ride reminds them of the Cat in the Hat ride at Universal?

March 12, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I think the only way to make this completely fair is for Disney to tear out the cheap, knock-off, abridged version of Pooh it has in the Magic Kingdom and replace it with Tokyo's far superior version so that Walt Disney World fans can compare the two for themselves, without having to give up a few Disney World trips to save the cash for a visit to Japan.

But there's so much in that paragraph that's never gonna happen, isn't there?

March 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Since such a small minority of TPI readers have experienced, or will ever experience, the international theme parks, perhaps it would be best to have a seperate contest for international attractions instead of including them in the yearly best contests. They're handicapped from the beginning when they are pitted against attractions that people have actually experienced and judged according to the real ride. YouTube videos are a guide but that's about their only real worth. Repeat rides on an attraction are the best judge of the attraction's merits in relation to the likes & dislikes of the individual rider.

March 12, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Two completely different ride experiences, but I voted for Pooh's Hunny Hunt. It looks like such a phenomenonal attraction that it's too hard not to vote for it.

March 12, 2013 at 11:44 AM

As good as Safaris is, Hunny Hunt looks ALOT better.

March 12, 2013 at 1:48 PM

A vote for Pooh is a vote for...
-Really cool Tech
-immersive environments
-really detailed queues
-Rich themes
-pure epicness
-new innovative rides
-Consistently unique rides
-a cool storyline

AKA, why would anyone vote for Kilimanjaro over Pooh?

March 12, 2013 at 1:48 PM

My logic for Safari is many fold:

It may be the most repeatable ride at any park for obvious reason

It also may be the most expensive attraction to maintain in the world

While I think family dark rides in the U.S.A. are becoming a lost art and would love Pooh to be here

It's hard to think of venturing to DAK without doing the Safari granted not many options

March 12, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Wow, an awful lot of people have chosen a bus ride through a drive through safari over an innovative attraction with groundbreaking technology. Imagine how many people would vote for an attraction that COMBINED the two rides. I'm casting my write-in ballot for that attraction:

The Jungle Cruise!

March 12, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Though, I can see why the Safaris are winning. There are a lot of animal lovers out there (including myself) and this attraction really brings you up close and personal with them. It really feels like you're in Africa, and I don't feel like the animals are contained and hating their lives. It's the one "zoo" where I don't feel bad for the animals, and the Safaris captures that "wild" feeling perfectly.

Still, I am happy with my choice of Pooh's Hunny Hunt.

March 12, 2013 at 3:50 PM

I've never been on either, and while both appear to be excellent rides I voted for Kilimanjaro Safaris. Here's why:

Pooh's Hunny Hunt looks like an outstanding attraction. It is highly detailed and features one of the most advanced ride systems in any theme park attraction. However, as I have no interest in Winnie the Pooh at all, I could see it being the type of attraction that I ride once, say "that was really neat but it was also kind of boring," and never ride it again due to the lines common at Tokyo Disney (I've seen pictures showing a 150 minute wait for this attraction on a normal summer day).

Kilimanjaro Safaris, on the other hand, is Disney's version of an animal safari. It may not be very high tech, and it may not have an immersive storyline, but the attraction features live animals and is sure to vary each time you ride. I doubt I'd wait in line to do this multiple times in one day, but I'd probably be likely to ride it every visit just to see what animals are out and about.

Since Kilimanjaro Safaris is likely a ride I'd do more than once, while Pooh would probably be a one time attraction, I have to vote for Kilimanjaro Safaris. However, it's always possible that I could end up being impressed by Pooh, and if a ride were built using the same ride system but with a theme I cared about, I would almost certainly vote for that instead of Kilimanjaro Safaris.

March 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Althouh Pooh is an excellent attraction I voted for safari for 1 reason : Walt Disney!
It was Walt's original intent to have an attraction like this at Disneylands grand opening back in 1955. Jungle cruise was supposed to be just like this ride except of course with a boat instead of a truck.
Animal preservation and education was something that was near and dear to the mans heart, that's why he pioneered nature documentaries and made the feature animation of Bambi. Unfortunately, Walt lacked the resources to use live animals in his park. It is touching to me that 43 years after Disneyland was built, the Disney Co finally made one of the Walts dreams come true, who spent his whole life making ours come true!

March 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM

There is a serious problem with this kind of vote: namely, most people haven't had a chance to go to Tokyo and experience Hunny Hunt themselves. Yet, they will still vote in this poll, based on ride videos and the like. Once and for all, you have not experienced the ride if you've only watched ride videos.

I like Kilimanjaro Safaris, but have never ridden the Pooh ride. Therefore, I abstain from voting.

March 13, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Saddened again that the non-Florida attraction gets shafted again. The Trackless Tech needs to come to FL/CA!

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