Weekly Top 10: What are the Worst Theme Park Attractions?

June 22, 2015, 12:55 PM · Over the past week, we've been bringing you links to some of the top-rated attractions on the site, as we prepare for the 14th annual Theme Park Insider Awards on July 4. For a change of pace today, let's head to the other end of Theme Park Insider's reader ratings and this week's "Top" 10. These are the 10 attractions (with a minimum number of votes) with the lowest average reader ratings on the site. Consider yourself warned!

10. The Dark Knight Coaster
Six Flags Great America

The Dark Knight Coaster

The successful debut of Six Flags' Justice League rides might help fans forget about the chain's last attempt at a DC Comics-themed indoor thrill ride, a poorly-decorated Wild Mouse-style roller coaster "escape from the city," where you end up right where you started.

9. Mind Eraser
Six Flags New England

Mind Eraser

A Vekoma SLC that readers say lives up to its name... by scrambling your brain to the point where your mind can't remember why you wanted to ride this.

8. Fear Factor Live
Universal Studios Florida

Fear Factor Live

This live, in-park version of the now-cancelled reality TV show serves only to soak up some overflow crowds from USF during busy months... at least until Universal gets around to building that Ministry of Magic extension for Diagon Alley.

7. Tomorrowland Speedway
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Tomorrowland Speedway

Hot asphalt and scorching Orlando summers don't produce the most comfortable driving experience. The Speedway even has lost its appeal for young drivers since the debut of the much more rewarding Driving School down the road at Legoland Florida.

6. Astro Orbitor

Astro Orbitor

The appeal of Tomorrowland's carousel ride long has been its wonderful views from above the land. But when Disneyland moved this ride to ground level in the late 1990s, its appeal came back down to Earth, too.

5. TriceraTop Spin
Disney's Animal Kingdom

TriceraTop Spin

Let's take a ride on a flying... Triceratops? Whaaa? We know the ride's aimed at kids. But young dinosaur fans take their dino-facts seriously. Like a Triceratops, this concept just doesn't fly.

4. Ninja
Six Flags Over Georgia


Another Vekoma — this time, a custom MK-1200. But the result is the same, say our readers: Pain.

3. Europe in the Air
Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Europe in the Air

It's not that we can't enjoy a good European travelogue. But readers simply can't stand this attempt, coupled with its moving seats. Said one: "I could climb into a commercial dryer for two bucks and get the same ride experience."

2. Stitch's Great Escape
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Stitch's Great Escape

It's not happy Stitch from the end of Lilo & Stitch. It's the mean Stitch from the beginning of the film, coupled with intense in-seat effects that leave little ones screaming and big ones trying to talk their kids down for the rest of the afternoon.

1. Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies
Disney California Adventure

Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies

Imagine a bumper cars ride so slow that you won't feel the other cars bumping into you. That's the over-cautious "Tuck and Roll's," the mildest ride in the "A Bug's Land" wilderness.

Replies (38)

June 22, 2015 at 1:08 PM · Wait.. There are actual plans for a diagon alley extension? :o
June 22, 2015 at 1:13 PM · I was about to log on to say that Cedar Point's Mantis needs to be on this list...until I did a little digging and discovered it was closed last year and converted to something else for this season. Amen!
June 22, 2015 at 1:35 PM · I have never had a problem with the Tomorrowland Speedway but Stich's Great Escape needs to just go away.
June 22, 2015 at 1:38 PM · Europe In the Air also gets such bad marks because it's such an obvious ripoff of Soarin' (right down to the music that's so close to Disney's score) and took away fan favorite Corkscrew Hill. I do have to give BGW credit for at least changing up their simulator attraction (very few parks take advantage of the flexibility that the platform allows), but this most recent incarnation is indeed pretty poor.
June 22, 2015 at 2:08 PM · I like the Fear Factor Show, much better than Disaster! And Beetlejuice.
June 22, 2015 at 2:12 PM · All of the complaints I see about Stitch's Great Escape focus on how it's not kid-friendly. I'm not a kid, nor taking any young kids... and I like the mean Stitch from the beginning of the movie. :)

I'm looking forward to forming my own opinion on this one.

June 22, 2015 at 2:54 PM · Stitch's Great Escape doesn't deserve to be on this list. It's funny, suspenseful, and features some of the best practical effects I've ever seen, making it one of the best experiences in Magic Kingdom.

You know which show should've taken it's place? Country Bears Jamboree!!! It's cheesy, stupid, and the music is AWFUL!!! It's so bad, a show based on the Lone Ranger reboot would be a lot better!

Other than than that, the only attraction in the list I kinda like is TriceraTop Spin, but I'm not really gonna complain about that one since it is just another spinner that doesn't add anything new.

June 22, 2015 at 2:55 PM · Mind Eraser at SFNE is deservedly on this list. It's unquestionably one of the worst coasters I ever had the displeasure to ride. I've ridden some headbangers but this one is equally - and brutally - rough on the head, neck and shoulders. Couldn't wait for the ride to end.

As to the Dark Knight, I've ridden only the one at Six Flags Great Adventure and actually found it rather entertaining. I have always hated wild mouse rides but liked this one b/c there was just enough illumination to brace myself for the hairpin turns but not enough to make me feel as if the car was about to go off the track, and I really enjoyed dropping in the dark. I'm the only one I know who likes this ride so that makes me an anomaly but sobeit.

June 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM · The whole Dino-Land/parking lot fair/fun on hot asphalt concept - terrible. It always feels like 200 degrees in that area - misery.
June 22, 2015 at 4:13 PM · There are rumors that Shanghai version of Astro Orbitor will have jetpack instead of Rockets. This gives a new hope to Orlando's version.
June 22, 2015 at 4:18 PM · Anything at Six Flags, Cedar Point, King's Island, or Knott's. Imo
June 22, 2015 at 5:26 PM · Oh this is easy...Enchanted tales with Belle. Lets have guests wear cardboard cutouts and reenact the story cause we're too cheap to build an actual ride!
June 22, 2015 at 5:35 PM · Europe in the Air was such a step backward from Corkscrew Hill. Sure, Corkscrew was getting tired, and EITA had potential but the execution was phoned in.

Maybe this particular simulator has the opposite of the Star Trek movie curse, every even-numbered theme is a bust. Questor was a hit, King Arthur's Challenge was lame, Corkscrew Hill was a hit, Europe in the Air is lame.

June 22, 2015 at 6:08 PM · "Let's have guests wear cardboard cut outs and reenact the story because we're too lazy to build new rides!"

If Disney is too lazy to build new rides, then explain why they opened The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, an actual ride, alongside Enchanted Tales, then a year later open Seven Dwarves Mine Train, another actual ride, and are currently building a new Frozen ride scheduled to open next year?

Hey, you can hate on Enchanted Tales all you want, that's your own opinion, but don't be saying that Disney doesn't have the ambition to build new rides when they clearly do.

June 22, 2015 at 6:49 PM · I'm so glad it no longer exists, but for me the worst theme park attraction ever was "Sounds Dangerous" starring Drew Carey, at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I was in awe at how lame that was, and mad at the same time, given the price of tickets at Disney.
June 22, 2015 at 7:44 PM · Is that Mind Eraser the same coaster that was at Geauga Lake before it shut down? Anyone know?
June 22, 2015 at 8:22 PM · Disagree with intense rides on the list, but I understand their inclusion. I wholeheartedly disagree with the suggestion of Country Bear Jamboree. While one member of our family does not care for it, the rest of us love it. The speedway is good but I understand the point about the heat. It can be tough in the line. Am a little surprised E.T. Did not make the cut. To my real point: Stitch. Should be number one. Why? Yes, it does terrify very young ones and older kids hate it. My personal reason is that it replaced one of the most entertaining theme park attraction ever made, the ExtraTERRORestrial Encounter. I am sure it was axed due to its scary nature and probably ran kids out of the park in tears. I wish it was still there but with tons of warnings and maybe an age limit, but maybe that should have done something other than just put Stitch in it. For me, Stitch marks the downward trend with Disney and the theme parks. Not sure they have put in an innovative E-Ticket other than Toy Story since Stitch came in. I am optimistic for the future, though.
June 22, 2015 at 8:42 PM · Wow, Blake, aren't you painting with a rather large brush?
June 22, 2015 at 9:08 PM · Country Bear Jamboree is one of the all time classics.
June 23, 2015 at 1:32 AM · Country Bears are embarrassingly bad. Pooh should have replaced the bears instead of Toad at MK, what a shame.
The whole of Dino Land should be steamrolled as it just screams cheap.
Autopia and Speedway are the worst for being smelly, boring (no story), and little agency in the car's movement (being on a track). Legoland shows how to do this ride right.
June 23, 2015 at 4:01 AM · I think Twister at Universal studios orlando should possibly be on this list. its very outdated any ideas for a replacement??
June 23, 2015 at 7:06 AM · All of you commenting about Dinoland USA I hope know the backstory behind the land. Yes it is "cheap" but if you know why Disney designed it that way it may surprise you. The rides may not be that great and I once absolutely hated that part of the park but once I did a little digging, I've learned to appreciate it more. (Notice I said appreciate not love)

Europe in the Air is easily my least favorite. It is the only simulator that I have ever got motion sickness on and I never get motion sickness. Wish they would bring back a renovated corkscrew hill. They should redo the annimation like universal did in Spider Man.

June 23, 2015 at 7:15 AM · The only thing fun about Tomorrowland Speedway is getting high from the gas fumes. Such a prime piece of real estate for a mini land. When will DIsney stop being lazy???
June 23, 2015 at 9:41 AM · @ Bobbie Butterfield: i also like the dark knight coaster. Before justice league at SFOT, the dark knight coaster used to be my favorite SF ride
June 23, 2015 at 10:55 AM · Stitch's Great Escape is without a doubt the worst attraction at any Disney park anywhere in the world (its only competition is the Armageddon attraction at Walt Disney Studios Paris).

It's insulting, stupid, foul, and the result of an utter lack of imagination when turning one failed attraction (Alien Encounter) into something that the Imagineers hoped would be family friendly. And instead they produced a turd, which is literally what it smells like when Stitch burps his chili breath on you.

June 23, 2015 at 1:39 PM · I'm surprised nobody has said Swiss Family Robinson Tree house.
Also does kings Dominion still have that horrible attraction called "The Treasure Cave"?
June 23, 2015 at 1:44 PM · A great list. Some thoughts:

(1) HOW can Disney continue to operate those stinky gas-powered cars? Isn't it mean to be highway of the future? Electric cars would be zippier, cheaper in the long run, would save us all the fumes AND would fit with the rides' concept? A no-brainer, imo.

(2) Let's be real: Bugsland is crap. Not just the bumper-cars-that-don't-bump, but also the Teacup rip-off YOU CAN'T SPIN, or the "chewtrain" that goes nowhere fast. I get it that these rides are hold-overs from DCA's early days, but good lord, in a park that has almost nothing for little kids (even the lame "jumping jellyfish" have a height requirement), Bugsland is an insult. They should bomb the whole thing and start over (with broader branding, too--make it "Pixar Land" or something).

(3) The Matterhorn is an old favorite (with a great new creature), but it should be on this list because no one over six feet can ride without getting spinal bifeda. Disneyland costs way too much money for a rollercoaster that isn't up to Country Fair comfort standards.

June 23, 2015 at 3:40 PM · @JamesKoehl I'm just kidding. I love all of the theme parks I just named and think they have the best rides in the world
June 23, 2015 at 5:07 PM · Uh, ok. I guess you can see how that would be a little bit confusing. I'm a Cedar Point guy and even I admit that they have some lame ones. They do have some really great ones also.
June 23, 2015 at 7:49 PM · Maverick has got to be my favorite roller coaster right now!
June 23, 2015 at 10:48 PM · The Men in Black ride at Universal Orlando needs to go as well!
June 24, 2015 at 7:12 AM · MIB is one of the best shooters with a great queue. Arguable one of the best rides at any park much less discussed on this list
June 24, 2015 at 9:05 AM · Ah Stitch's Great Escape, I really lamented it taking away the incredible thrill that was Alien Encounter, it was one for the grown ups and should have stayed that way, a quick extreme escape :)
June 24, 2015 at 12:18 PM · Must.... defend....Disney....at any cost. In case you didn't notice, I am a Disney zombie with no brain of my own.
June 24, 2015 at 2:51 PM · Whoever said "Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse," I think you mean TARZAN'S treehouse, which ruined the attraction's original concept in a cynical update. Not only did it delete the wonders of the ingenious contraptions made by the Swiss family, but the treehouse is largely inconsequential to the Tarzan movie (it's where they find baby Tarzan, that's it).

Plus, whoever decided to include those lame statutes of cartoon Tarzan & co. were on crack. As with the people mover and the hyper-lame Nemo Submarine Voyage, the Tarzan Treehouse needs to be restored to its former glory or it needs to GO.

June 25, 2015 at 9:49 AM · The Dark Knight coaster shouldn't be here, there are tons of other wild mouse coasters that are worse than it. It's only here because of its expectations.
June 26, 2015 at 7:59 PM · How are there no sad formerly corporate funded Epcot rides or shows on this list?

Ellen's Energy Adventure without enough energy to make make any dinosaur move more then a few inches and Journey into your Imagination with the new devil figment that loves destroying stuff like his classic ride and farting on people should be 2 and 3.

Circle of Life in the Land should be #1 for being so hypocritical. It's a movie about not destroying wetlands for development and profit in a theme park built on drained wetlands run by a company that turns wetlands into timeshares and hotels for huge profits. DVC should be the sponsor.

June 27, 2015 at 7:51 AM · E.T and Twister at universal should be on the list.
along with Space Mountain and Aerosmith from the Disney in paris.

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