Theme Park Insider readers can rate and review attractions at the world's top parks, and, based on those ratings, here are our readers' choices for the Top 10 movie-based attractions in the world today. Remember that you can click on these attraction names to submit your rating of these shows, too!
SeaWorld plussed its sea turtle exhibit with what it promoted as the world's first 360-degree, domed, 3D movie.
9. Reflections of China
This 13-minute, CircleVision 360 movie plays in a theater housed in a re-creation of Beijing's historic Temple of Heaven. We follow Li Bai, an ancient Chinese poet, as he leads us through a visually spectacular, on-screen tour of Chinese landmarks and historical sites, from the Great Wall of China to Beijing's Forbidden City.
8. MuppetVision 3D
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Kermit and Miss Piggy take you on a video tour of Muppet Labs, for a demonstration of their new filmmaking technique, MuppetVision 3D. But of course, something goes terribly wrong, and chaos ensues, with in-theater effects adding to the mayhem you should expect from any Muppet production.
7. It's Tough to Be a Bug!
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney California Adventure
Located under the park's iconic Tree of Life, this 4D film featuring characters from A Bug's Life actually premiered before that Pixar animated movie. The show includes all the typical 3D/4D gags, including objects seemingly flying from the screen, creepy-crawlies on your seat, and even a fragrant stinkbug.
6. Terminator 2: 3-D
Universal Studios Florida
You're welcomed on to a tour of Cyberdyne Systems (from James Cameron's Terminator movies), but since this is a theme park attraction, you shouldn't be surprised when something goes “terribly wrong.” Soon, you're traveling through time with John Connor and the Terminator as you try to save the world from Skynet. The show blends live actors, a 3D movie, and in-theater special effects, including explosions.
Walt Disney Studios Paris
Martin Short and France's Julie Delphy star in this charming montage of scenes inspired by classic Hollywood films. The characters literally "break the fourth wall" on occasion, bringing the action off the screen and into the theater.
4. Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
Disney's Hollywood Studios
The pre-show of this movie is as much the attraction as the film itself, featuring a museum of Disney artifacts, including Walt's office from the real Disney Studios. The centerpiece of the attraction remains the filmed biography of Walt, exploring his journey to Hollywood and life at the studio, including Walt talking about the creation of Mickey Mouse.
3. Mickey's PhilharMagic
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland
Even though the title is "Mickey's" PhilharMagic, Donald Duck is the star of this 12-minute 3D movie where we fly through a medley of famous songs and from top Disney animated films. This was the first time that Disney created computer-animated versions of many of its classic characters, including Mickey and Donald.
2. Soarin' Over California
Disney California Adventure, Epcot
Board one of three massive "hang gliders" for a flight around the state of California. You'll "fly" around the Golden State, breezing along above river rafters, orange groves, golf courses, national parks, and even an aircraft carrier. For the finale, you'll skim above a downtown Los Angeles freeway on your way to a fireworks display at Disneyland, making this the only theme park attraction whose climax is a scene from... another theme park.
1. Impressions de France
Playing on a 200-degree screen in a sit-down theater at the back of the pavilion, Impressions de France was directed by Rick Harper and produced by Harper and Academy Award nominee Bob Rogers. The movie depicts a series of visual impressions from France, enlivened by Buddy Baker's arrangement of French classical music.
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On a side note - is there still an empty building in the Japan area of Epcot? I recall reading somewhere that at the back of the showcase a building was built to house a rollercoaster, but the idea was tossed later on. I believe it was later used for storage. It would be nice if Disney were to reconsider using the building for a ride of some sort.
It is possible that they may be updated to something making more use of the respective companies IP, I guess only time will tell.
Kind of like how the Contemporary is a modular hotel, and Disney is able to remove rooms to remodel them one at a time.
But it's still a great movie. I don't watch it often, but perhaps every other year.
PhilharMagic desperately needs upgrading.
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