Must Do and Won't Do
So far we've given you our background and our love of food, music, and movies. The one "big" aspect of Disney we haven't touched on yet is the parks themselves. In discussing what we would write about this week, several ideas were tossed about. How best to share our love of the parks? There is so much to discuss, to argue over, to dissect. We decided, as we did with the other topics, to start broadly.
Thus, here are our respective lists (with, as always, brief explanations) of both our absolute favorite attraction in each of the four parks, and the attraction we don't want to go near again unless Mickey himself drags us onto them.
Agree with us? Disagree? Discuss in the comments!
Favorite: This is a hard question for any true Disney fan as there are SO many great attractions here. After thinking about it, and changing my mind a half dozen times, I finally settled on the Haunted Mansion.
First, I love the soundtrack, and if we ever do a column on favorite park music, there's no doubt Grim Grinning Ghosts will be on my list. Second, even now, twenty five years after I first rode it, I'm amazed by the special effects and level of detail. Third, like any great Disney attraction, the story is key " and The Haunted Mansion has a doozy. If you've never done any digging to find out what the story is, I suggest you do " and look beyond the Eddie Murphy movie!
Stitch's Great whatever it is replaced the terrifying Alien Encounter! Burp smell in your face? A less scary version of a truly scary attraction? No thank you!
Favorite: This is a toss-up for me amongst three attractions for me. I eliminated Soarin', because it's not original to Disney World, and it doesn't have the sense of "classic" to me. I didn't pick Mission: Space, because I got stuck in the capsule once and, well, I'm kind of claustrophobic. Still, it's a great ride and would probably have been number one if that hadn't happened.
So, I picked Spaceship Earth as my favorite. We ride it a couple of times every trip. I love the animatronics, I love the music (though I miss Tomorrow's Child), I love that it's a relaxing ride, and I love knowing that I'm INSIDE an icon!
Small side story: Caitie and I were on our honeymoon and looking to get our picture taken from World Showcase in front of Spaceship Earth with the Photo Pass. The cast member we asked told us to "stand in front of the golf ball." He then did a double take and said, "Golf ball? Did I just say that? Geez, I could get fired!"
Least Favorite: It pains me to say this, but I have to pick Journey Into Imagination. This used to be my favorite ride. It's a shadow of its former self now, and not even Eric Idle is able to save it. Please, Imagineers, if you're reading this, make fixing this a top priority!
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Favorite: Hands down, my favorite attraction in any park: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I love that it's different every time, and I
still get nervous when we go into that dark shaft, even though I know I'm about to have a blast.
Small Side Story: I remember going on this with my family, and my stepfather's keycard flying out of his pocket at the top of an upshot " and the card HANGING in space before falling down again!
Least Favorite: Again, unfortunately, I have to pick a former favorite " the Backlot Tour. If you've been on it recently, you don't need any more explanation. There's almost nothing there worth seeing any more " all I can think was how cool the idea of going through a working studio used to be. What a shame they let it fall into such disrepair!
Favorite: Total toss-up for me between the obvious (Expedition Everest) and Finding Nemo: The Musical. I'm going to pick Finding
Nemo for two reasons: one, I don't have any other shows on the list, and two, it's a full blown musical spectacular, what's NOT to love? Just try getting "In the BIG BLUE WORLD" out of your head!
Least Favorite: Dinosaur. The bane of my Disney World experience. Look, I'll admit, the thing can still scare me " I'm not a fan of animals threatening to chomp me to pieces, even if they are just animatronic (right?) That's not the reason I can't stand the ride. I would take being scared if it wasn't for the fact that the ride is not designed for tall people! My knees get so banged around that I got actual bruises last time I rode it! I need my legs for walking, and Dinosaur is just plain anti-ambulatory!
Favorite: I too have changed my mind about ten times while typing this! There are so many amazing attractions here that it is very difficult to choose just one. I will have to go with Splash Mountain.
Every time I go on this, I am so impressed with how much story there is. It could have easily been a short two minute ride with a drop at the end, but it isn't. The story is great and the music is MY favorite music in the park. Not just "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" but all of it.
Least Favorite:I have to go with Magic Carpets of Aladdin. This ride was SUCH a missed opportunity. It is just a slightly different Dumbo, which is the very least they could do with the story. Why not have a dark ride where you are flying through the streets and watching the scenes? Or a roller coaster? Or a simulator ride? Since this is so lame in comparison to what could have been, it is my least favorite and you couldn't get me on it!
Favorite:Jason's reason for not saying Soarin' is just silly - unless he left it alone so I could say it! I think Soarin' is an amazing ride on all levels. The smell of oranges. the golf ball shooting at your head. The feeling of flying that is better than any other flying attraction I have ridden...but even some people who are scared of heights can handle it. I always hope to sit on the top for this one, but no matter where you sit, it is a great attraction.
Least Favorite: My least favorite is Mission: Space. It isn't because it is scary or we got stuck once, it is just that I have been on it three times and I was just bored. I didn't think it was as great and thrilling as everyone else. I know I must be missing something, but I just don't want to waste precious Disney time with this ride.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Favorite: This is a tough choice too. If I had ridden it one more time, Toy Story Midway Mania would probably win...but we only rode it once, so it can't be yet. I am going to go with...Tower of Terror! Yep, we agree on this one. This is another one of those perfect Disney rides. The theming is fantastic and the story works with the ride so well! The cast members definitely add to this ride. They always have that deadpan delivery that adds so much!
Least Favorite: I will go with the video part of the Animation Academy. This is one of those attractions that would be great if they updated it a little more. They change out the featured movie, but should Mushu still be in it? Those jokes don't change and aren't really funny the second or third time, unlike other movies that still hold up. We always go to it because we like seeing what they are working on next, but the video makes me want to skip it.
Favorite: My favorite is Expedition Everest! That is the best roller coaster in the parks and I love roller coasters! Add that to a great story and it being so different from any other coaster in the world, and you have a ride that I will do multiple times each visit! If only the Yeti was in full working order...
Least Favorite: I probably would have gone with something else, but we are watching a Disney special on Netflix and as they are talking about this ride, I started thinking about all this! So, my least favorite at AK is Kali River Rapids. It is not that it is a bad ride, but it isn't anything special. My local theme park has a ride just like it that is both longer and wetter. There isn't enough to Disney-fy this ride or a good enough story added. It is just so short that it is never worth the wait for something I can ride at Great Adventure 30 minutes away.
Let us know if you agree or disagree with us in the comments (though if you try to argue for Dinosaur as a good ride, Jason might have to bite your head off).