Ranking Disney's Pixar-themed Attractions

July 2, 2015, 10:45 AM · With Pixar-themed attractions expected to fill a substantial portion of the space that Walt Disney World is clearing in its Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park, let's take a look at other Pixar-themed attractions around the world.

You will find at least one Pixar-themed attraction in every Disney theme park. Disney's Hollywood Studios already hosts Toy Story Midway Mania, which not only will remain in the park, it will expand, as Disney is adding an additional track for the ride in attempt to help reduce its notorious long wait times.

As fans await an announcement on what Disney will bring to DHS, what should they hope to see? What are the best Pixar-themed attractions around the world? Which ones are the worst? Theme Park Insider readers have been rating and reviewing attractions at top parks around the world, so we tallied those votes to rank Disney's Pixar attractions.

1. Cars Land
Disney California Adventure

Cars Land

Disney's best Pixar-themed development anchored the redevelopment of what might be considered DHS's sister park, the formerly-maligned Disney California Adventure in Anaheim. DCA borrowed DHS's Pan Pacific Auditorium-inspired entry gates for its refurbishment, and at one point, DHS was slated to get DCA's Cars Land in return. But those plans were shelved like Wheezy. Will they return?

2. Toy Story Midway Mania
Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure, Tokyo DisneySea

Toy Story Midway Mania

No matter where Disney installs this carnival-themed shooter ride, it draws huge crowds. But it's already in DHS.

3. Ratatouille: The Adventure
Walt Disney Studios Paris

Ratatouille: The Ride

Disneyland Paris's second gate opened this 3D dark ride to good reviews last summer, but attendance continued to drop at the struggling park, bringing into question just how badly people want to spend more time with a rat who cooks. Disneyland Paris is said to have a five-year exclusive on this ride, making it even more unlikely as a DHS expansion candidate.

4. Crush's Coaster
Walt Disney Studios Paris

Crush's Coaster

Fans endure the longest waits at the Disneyland Paris Resort to ride this relatively low-capacity indoor spinning coaster, but those who do ride almost always rave about it.

5. Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek
Tokyo Disneyland

Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek

The Tokyo Disney Resort is Disney's only resort to feature three Pixar-themed shooter rides, with this game of "flashlight tag" one of the most popular attractions in Tokyo Disneyland.

6. Buzz Lightyear
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland

Buzz Lightyear

Disney's first Pixar-themed ride is one of the few attractions to be featured at every Disney theme park resort around the world. (Trivia time: Name the others!)

7. Turtle Talk With Crush
Epcot, Disney California Adventure, Tokyo DisneySea

Turtle Talk With Crush

This interactive experience lies somewhere between show and meet and greet, but it doesn't take much space and fans generally give it good marks.

8. Finding Nemo - The Musical
Disney's Animal Kingdom

Finding Nemo - The Musical

Nemo doesn't get the love from theme park fans that Disney's Lion King and Aladdin shows get, but it still routinely fills its Disney's Animal Kingdom theater with enthusiastic crowds.

9. It's Tough to Be a Bug!
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney California Adventure

It's Tough to Be a Bug!

A 4D movie with plenty of gross-out moments, this A Bug's Life-themed show has plenty of young fans in Florida, even as it is has been on hiatus in California in favor of Ant Man previews.

10. Monsters, Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue
Disney California Adventure

Monsters, Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue

Some might be surprised to see California's version of a Monsters Inc. dark ride ranked so low, but that might be because in comparison with the ride it replaced — the epically-hated "Superstar Limo" — "Mike and Sulley to the Rescue" seems like the next coming of the Haunted Mansion.

11. Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

This animated, yet interactive, comedy show might have gotten its biggest laugh the first time a Disney fan typed its acronym on a fan forum.

12. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

This retheme of Disneyland's submarine ride is actually the largest ride in the park, due to the need to duplicate the show experience for both side of the sub. It's widely tipped for elimination, as Disneyland looks for space to accommodate new Star Wars and Marvel attractions.

13. The Seas with Nemo and Friends

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Another retheme of an aquatic attraction, but here Nemo and Friends can't measure up to the true stars of The Seas pavilion — the real sea animals within.

14. Cars Race Rally
Walt Disney Studios Paris

Cars Race Rally

If The Onion were to design a stripped-down, low-budget, spoof version of California Adventure's Cars Land, it'd have this.

15. Toy Story Playland
Hong Kong Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios Paris

Toy Story Playland

If Disney claims that these two collections of basic carnival rides with Toy Story-decor are popular, it would only be because they were installed in mostly empty parks where fans were desperate for anything to do. Perhaps that's Disney's strategy with Hollywood Studios? Clear out the park and leave much of it shuttered for so long that fans will be happy when anything new appears.

16. A Bug's Land
Disney California Adventure

Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies

Home to our readers' choice as the worst major theme park attraction in the world, Disney's least-loved Pixar-themed land stands next to its most beloved, illustrating the cliche "if at first you don't succeed, try again."

Based on our readers' ratings, if Disney chooses to duplicate an existing Pixar-themed attraction at DHS, it would show its Walt Disney World fans the most love by bringing over Cars Land, or if not that, perhaps Crush's Coaster or Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek. Disney would be showing its Florida visitors a big middle Mickey finger, instead, by choosing to build another Cars Race Rally, Toy Story Playland, or A Bug's Land in the park.

What do you think?

Replies (26)

July 2, 2015 at 11:33 AM · DHS needs to address the lack of kids rides in the park. A Toy Story Playland will take care of this. Certainly, A Bug's Land will be equally suitable.

DHS needs a Cars Land to give the park another E-Ticket attraction. Since they are shedding the studios conceit, there is no fear that Cars Land will be a pale imitation with cheap facades. It could have the full rockwork.

So what might hold off on Cars Land is the rumored Star Wars Land. How elaborate will this new land be?

Ratatouille should go into Epcot as the World Showcase section has few attractions, which should not be a problem in timing as there is so much work, they won't get to it until 10 years later.

July 2, 2015 at 11:32 AM · Ratatouille: The Adventure id oversold. It's the attempt of Disney to put a screen based ride in their park like Universal does perfectly and don't succeed.

I hope Disney show they are realy creative and WDW is a worldclass destination by showing us something new that is on quality and theming to match Carsland.

July 2, 2015 at 12:10 PM · Here is my guess to your trivia question:

Railroad - although Tokyo isn't a grand circle trip
it's A Small World
Fantasyland Carousel - named for different characters park to park
Tea Cups
Space Mountain - different names in some parks
Tomorrowland Spinner - Astro Orbiter, etc
Buzz Lightyear shooter

The trivia question sites "Ride" so I'm not including spectaculars, parades and attractions that are not ridden.

July 2, 2015 at 12:57 PM · I haven't experienced most of the top ranked rides since I've only been to WDW and DLR (Mid-DCA refurbishment) but I have to disagree with Laugh Floor being ranked so low. I've always gotten a lot of belly laughs from that show.
July 2, 2015 at 1:00 PM · Nemo at EPCOT deserves to be higher on this list.
July 2, 2015 at 1:48 PM · I don't think DHS should duplicate Carsland, instead it should create another similarly themed immersive land.

Plus there are a few films (Wall-e, Up, incredibles, etc.) that have yet to be fully realized in attractions.

July 2, 2015 at 2:06 PM · Rob gets the trivia question.

I'd say that the top two and the bottom three are the real outliers here, and that the 11 in the middle are pretty close together in terms of perceived quality. The bottom three are the only real dogs here -- I'd gladly go on any of these other attractions.

Personally, among the 11 in the middle, I'd rank the Nemo musical higher and the Bug 4D show lower.

July 2, 2015 at 3:31 PM · What was the trivia question?
July 2, 2015 at 6:23 PM · Robert, what do you think the odds actually are of getting something as immersive and high quality (not to mention expensive) as carsland? I'm a Florida native and I feel lately like I have to apologize to people about how little is being done with the parks. I visited DLR last month and was blown away by carsland.
July 2, 2015 at 6:53 PM · I'd love to see Crush's Coaster be built, with TWO tracks!
July 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM · Mr. Niles you use strong language here towards disney, but in this case I feel it is completely warranted. Shutting down half of their smallest park with no impending replacement on the way is really an insult to disney world fans and shows a big lack of creativity at disney world.
July 2, 2015 at 8:22 PM · You guys talk like having no new rides automatically makes for a bad park. Guess what? I'm a Florida native, too! I go to WDW all the time, and it's still great! It's wonderful! And why are you saying Disney doesn't build new rides when they clearly do! Frozen!!! Next year!!! NEXT FREAKIN YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has Universal really brainwashed you guys that much?!
July 2, 2015 at 8:35 PM · I agree that the Ratatouille ride should go into Epcot. It will just be a few more years. Radiator Springs Racers is a great ride, but if they can't do all the rock work it would loose a lot. WDW is on a swamp...I'm not sure they really can do that there. I think they would be better off devoting more money to Star Wars for an immersive land. They do need to add more for little kids. I seriously doubt that they will add Bugs land type rides for little kids to the Star Wars section. I assume the ride age range for a Star Wars section will be similar to what is in the Wizarding World rides. Monsters, Inc: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue is a really nice dark ride. It's not a thrill ride, but it has a nice feel of depth when you get to the door room section. I really like the sushi place scene. It may be overlooked/ underrated because it is in an out of the way spot, in a non-cohesively themed area, but I think it would fit in well in a Pixar area of DHS. Bugs Land has cute scenery. It's Tough to Be A Bug is also a part of this land and that was ranked as #9 so the whole land isn't all that bad. The Chew Chew train is really cute and I think a good example of a ride for very young children. The Flick Flyers ride is ok. It's better than standard carnival rides. The ladybugs one is terrible. I think the smaller the tea cup style ride is the more my stomach revolts. I love the Mad Tea party and never have felt ill on it, but the ladybug ride should be removed.... I haven't been on the pill bug ride, but I don't like bumper cars. If they just pulled out the last 2 rides and replaced them with a themed playground I think the land would be fine for kids under 8, and maybe some older kids that are not into thrill rides or are too short to ride them. It's Tough to Be A Bug is already in Animal Kingdom though so they would have to alter things if they added this, but I seriously doubt this would be their choice of things to add. If you look at what Pixar properties are being used to sell Yoghurt, oranges, kids educational workbooks etc, it's all Cars and Toy Story. Maybe they'll add whatever ride they are replacing the Flying Tires ride with. Midway Mania is really fun, but I think one or 2 "shooting" rides in one section is enough. I really don't like the Buzz Lightyear ride. I don't know if they would move a ride from the Magic Kingdom, but I would prefer that they just closed it if they retheme Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. The Crush one sounds fun. If they build that one they should probably make 3 tracks. :)
Does anyone else wonder why the Jellyfish ride at DCA is not themed to Finding Nemo? They actually have a scene in the movie jumping around jellyfish...If they were going to add some low space, cloned, simple rides, they could put a Nemo themed version of that in there which is a better ride than Flick's Flyers or the ladybug and pillbug rides. Little kids also love carousels and they don't take up much room. They could make a Pixar one with characters from all the movies to link all the properties together. I'm hoping they add a nice ride/themed area for Inside Out to Epcot.
July 2, 2015 at 9:39 PM · Interesting how Turtle Talk is the highest ranked on these rankings of the four Nemo attractions. Personally I really enjoy the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland and would rank it higher than something like Laugh Floor. But in reality nothing comes close to Carsland.

As for the foreign Pixar offerings the three main ones, ranked 3-5 all seem cool. All the talk is on DHS though and the speculation is fun, but I agree with lots of people here. We need to know whats coming to the park! Afterall a place called Pixar Place needs more than just one representative.

Inside Out is also a huge commercial and critical success. Add that to the list of possibilities.

July 2, 2015 at 10:06 PM · I won't miss the subs at DL (watching a video screen underwater feels ridiculous), but I'll miss the lagoon's serene beauty when Star Wars and Marvel take over Tomorrowland.

While Tuck and Roll's bumper cars are anemic, I can think of a lot worse rides at Disney such as that pathetic looking Cars flat ride at Paris Disney Studios. Toy Story Land would be nice if it were actually fun with interesting rides. I went to HKDL and the Toy Story rides were so boring (even for kids), though the theming was great. Guests should be able to play more in Toy Story Land so it needs more interactive and exploratory areas like at DL's Toontown or Goofy's Paint House at TDL.

July 3, 2015 at 9:59 AM · No love for the Monsters Inc, eh?

The interesting thing is that many of the Pixar attractions, though slighly different, use elements that are the same, especially for Finding Nemo.

July 3, 2015 at 10:23 AM · I doubt they will clone all of Cars Land at DHS. RSR would be plenty.

I'd love to see the Ratatouille ride, Crush's Coaster and Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek at WDW. Ratatouille is an exclusive for five years, but after the DHS expansion, they could start building it at Epcot! Or am I dreaming a bit too much?

July 3, 2015 at 11:03 AM · Bugs Land is an absolute abomination, which is particularly galling because DCA has so few rides for little kids. Other than the flying food containers, my kids would rather skip the whole thing. They should delete it from the park and start over.

Monsters, Inc. dark ride isn't much better. The "animatronic" characters are really just semi-mobile statues, and the theme of the ride is ripped off from Roger Rabbit (which, in turn, is ripped off from Mr. Toads). From the minute the ride starts, it's obvious it's a rush job, something more akin to Six Flags quality than Disney. It, too, is ready for replacement.

Given Frozen's entry at Epcot, it's an easy bet to think Ratatouille can be far behind. It would be nice if they could think of a way to change EPCOT's "purpose" to accommodate more family-friendly, character-based rides.

July 3, 2015 at 11:18 AM · From the attractions I've been on in this list, I pretty much rank them in the exact same order. The only exception is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, which I'd rank between Buzz Lightyear and Turtle Talk.

As for DHS, I really don't want them to simply drop in a copy of Cars Land in and call it a day. I'd rather see a Pixar expansion containing rides that don't exist in the United States and/or completely original rides. An upgraded copy of Crush's Coaster with double the capacity would be a good choice, as would a clone of Ride and Go Seek. These could be complemented by a Cars attraction and/or something based on another of Pixar's unrepresented films (Incredibles or Inside Out would be great choices). Don't put Ratatouille in DHS...it would fit the France pavilion at Epcot better.

July 3, 2015 at 1:08 PM · The top four are great! There is a huge drop off after that. Monsters in Japan is popular but I thought it was a lousy boring ride. Ratatouille and Crush are great! They are the most popular attractions in Paris. When I visited in the Spring of this year they each had 45 minute wait times while everything at Disneyland was less than 15 minutes.
July 3, 2015 at 2:27 PM · I think that Disney shouldn't put any effort, money and time in development of attractions for Pixar Place. Just brings replicas from other parks in order to have it in place as soon as possible and focus the resources and time in developing a fantastic Star Wars Land.
July 3, 2015 at 3:52 PM · We need incredibles ride and a monstropolis immersive themed land at DHS and at Epcot make a brain pavilion or something themed to inside out.
July 3, 2015 at 10:16 PM · Re: the trivia contest, don't all five existing Disney 'castle parks' have a version of the Jungle Cruise?

I know that Hong Kong's is a little different, but it's along the lines of Paris' Discovery Mountain (= Space Mountain), isn't it?

July 4, 2015 at 2:33 PM · Don't forget that Monsters Inc was a retheming of super star limo...one of DCAs original terrible rides, and as such, a huge improvement. I think most people who visited DCA in 2001 will agree. I actually enjoy it better than the Tokyo interactive version. I felt the flashlights distracted me from all the cool details in the ride.
Also, I dont see how you can have Radiator Springs Racers without Cars Land. The 2 kind of go hand in hand. Cars Land is lame without the Racers and is as much a part of the Racers attraction as is the actual ride.
July 6, 2015 at 11:50 AM · I think a Pixar land should be divided into two parts. One is Toy Story Land, where you can fit all the rides for the little ones. The rest can be thrill rides. First off, obviously, Radiator Springs Racers!!! Then I also have an idea for a WALL-E ride. The queue could take place on Wall-E's post-apocalyptic Earth where there are several WALL-E AAs roaming around as well as several videos (just like in the movie) to illustrate the story for the guests. Then you can have a pre-show where WALL-E meets EVE and gets blasted into space. The ride itself takes you through the ship which starts off calm until AUTO takes over. The ride then becomes a thrilling chase to try to bring the ship back to Earth while also trying to avoid AUTO. Up can be a motion simulator inside Carl's house where he's trying to get to Paradise Falls but "something goes terribly wrong". Think a dangerous version of Soarin, but not in a hanglider. And guests get a different view out the window depending on where they sit in the house. Then there can be two shows: an Incredibles stunt show and a new Animation Studio where you learn how to make computer-animated characters instead of hand-drawn ones. I do hope they relocate the hand-drawn ones somewhere else, though.
July 8, 2015 at 3:45 PM · Hubert - Hong Kong does have a version of The Jungle Cruise, but Paris does not.

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