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A Dark Top Ten

It’s time for a Special Edition Top Ten List! Recently I was given the opportunity to appear on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast to discussion some of the best Disney dark rides from both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. You can hear the complete episode by clicking here. As it was a collective effort between myself and show hosts, I had to follow “their rules”; so I wanted to present my complete Top Ten Dark Rides to fully complete the discussion. As on the podcast, this list considers both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, only this time, it’s my  blog, my rules! Let’s get started.

Dream Girls

No mention:

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Pooh

You, Pooh, are no Country Bears Jamboree.  You, Pooh, are no Mister Toad’s Wild Ride. Good day to you.

Honorable Mention:

Peter Pan’s Flight

PeterPan

Let’s be clear…I LOVE this right, and the sensation of flying in a pirate ship over London and Neverland. I don’t love the 60-90 minute wait at Disneyland for the two minute ride, and I haven’t experienced it in Disney World with FastPass+. so I cannot rank it any higher. Yes, wait time factors into my decisions.

The Actual Top Ten:

10. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

PDJ

Only a two minute ride, much like Peter Pan, but the attraction is nearly a walk on, no more than 10-15 minutes to wait. It’s a fun retelling of the story, which is one of my favorite animated features, so it gets a place on the list.

9. Monster’s Inc Mike and Sully to the Rescue

MSTTR

A fun retelling to Monster’s Inc. located in Disney’s California Adventure, again a virtual walk-on for me. Yet I almost want to stand in a line, the queue is very cleverly designed with fun little details, I still find something new to look at each time I go through the boarding area. This is a much better use of space than the SuperStar Limo was.

8. Snow White’s Scary Adventures

SWSA

I’ll wait 30 minutes for this ride.  From the Evil Queen staring out the window to the Magic Apple sitting out front, this two minute ride is worth a short wait. Especially now that its ONLY at Disneyland. Perhaps my mindset will change after riding the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Cart.   Note to self, start saving for a research trip…

7. Alice In Wonderland

AIW

This one was a struggle, could have been higher on my list if the queue area had more to look at. Another great retelling of the story, my highlights are actually the currently-being-refurbished outdoor leaves taking guests from the first to second story. Reportedly there are enhancements being made inside the attraction currently, along with the outdoor, OSHA mandated enhancements. I look forward to see what has been changed, and how it will affect its ranking on this list.

6. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

RRCTS

Another Disneyland exclusive, this ride is not a perfect retelling of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but a fun exploration of ToonTown. Another ride with a fun queue area of the back alleys of ToonTown with lots to look at and explore. Bonus points are scored for being able to spin the car as you go through the ride, so no two rides are identical. FastPass ability also helps to raise this attraction higher on the list.

5. Haunted Mansion

tumblr_static_disneyland

The Disneyland version places Mansion high on the list, as the Disney World version had some sound issues the first (and only, so far) time I rode on it. Lengthy ride in air conditioning, and a line that is not super long anytime I wait in in. Perhaps dead men tell no tales, but if they did, this is where they would tell them.

4. The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

TLM

Possibly higher than it deserves, but typically short wait time, long ride duration and a chance to laugh at “Dole Whip” Hair. Also gets points for having a tribute to Mr. Nibbets hidden in the attraction.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean

POTC

Disneyland version. Add some drops and excitement, Disney World, and we can talk. Starting a journey by traveling past the Blue Bayou restaurant, followed by an ominous warning and two in-the-dark- drops and we’re off on wild pirate adventures. Points lost for changes made to the attractions; not the live action movie additions, but rather for the mid-1990 political correctness “revisions” that were made.

2. Mister Toad’s Wild Ride

MTWR

Again, my condolences, Disney World. Pooh Bear does not deserve to take the place of Mister Toad. Still running in Disneyland though, a motorcar leads you into Toad Hall’s library and an exciting English ride, although things don’t end up so well, taking passengers to the depths of Hell before the ride ends. Those who have not seen Wind in the Willows may get lost with the journey, but doing proper homework on Netflix enables one to see the tale before the ride begins.

Additionally, Disney has recently announced the DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, the original way both films were packaged.  Look for this release from the vault (packaged with Fun and Fancy Free) on August 12. And finally…

 1. Space Mountain

SM

The darkest of all dark ride. No black lights, no audio-animatronics. Just yourself, a rocketship, and the stars of the galaxy on the wildest dark ride in a Disney park. Perhaps considered tame by some by today’s standards, points awarded for being pitch black, and for being my first “I’m at Disney” attraction.

So, there is is.  What say you? What are you top dark ride attractions? Please share below in the comments and keep the discussion going.

My thanks again to Michelle and Jayne, the Disney Dream Girls, for letting me visit with them on the show and letting me share my opinions. It was a fun chat, hope we can do it again sometime. I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments.  You may contact me directly on Twitter @Quest4VaultDisn, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…

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3 Comments

  1. jennifer says:

    The Buzz Lightyear ride is a great dark ride and one of the few dark rides my son would ride when we took him there for his 4th birthday.

  2. Al Kipnis says:

    Wow! You picked a difficult topic with ‘land mines’ all around you. I would have a hard time trying to do this, just because I love most, if not all of the dark rides at Disneyland Resort. I think I would make room for Buzz and Toy Story, even if they aren’t dark enough.I would also wait a little longer before I left Peter Pan off the list. But the3n again, what would I cut? Toad? Maybe. Perhaps Alice or Snow White? I don’t know.

    Thanks for a fun time!

    • It truly was a challenge, and if I were to write this list again tomorrow I’m sure some changes would be made. As far as how long would I wait, that really would have to depend on circumstances. If I’m with someone who has never experienced Peter Pan, for example, but hates roller coasters, then by all means I’ll skip Space Mountain and wait for the pirate ship.
      Fortunately this is “just for fun” and by no means to be taken as “set in stone”. Except Winnie the Pooh. No place for Pooh on my lists.

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