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Rank the Classic-Style DL Dark Rides

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
  1. Mr. Toad
  2. Alice
  3. Peter Pan
  4. Roger Rabbit
  5. Snow White
  6. Pinocchio
  7. Pooh
But Snow White in Tokyo beats them all IMO. Pooh's Hunny Hunt is in another league altogether, so it's hard to compare.
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
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The best examples of these dark rides work because they have one simple concept and they stick to it. The Witch is after you, you're flying to Neverland, you can't safely drive the car etc. The rides are too short to elaborate on any particular character or plot details, so it's more about finding that one key emotion and using the props and effects to highlight that.

It's why I think Pinocchio doesn't work so well. The individual scenes only work together if you know the plot of the movie. You see all the villains, but they only appear once or twice each so their segments feel totally unrelated and haphazard. There's no build up, it just all happens very quickly and then you're back in Pinocchio's house. The last scene is the best with all the reproductions of the clocks etc, but you whip though the room so it's hard to appreciate it.

Snow White has the strongest concept. Snow White herself and her relation to the dwarfs is immaterial to the ride. You start with the Witch, keep running away from her and you always know she's lurking just behind you. That's why it works, even if you don't know the movie. Compare this to Monstro's brief cameo where Gepetto is just standing there next to him, oblivious to his existence. Why is the whale even there? Because it's from the movie and it should be? It's a kind of disservice when you think of how much of the movie is about the build up of Monstro, and then getting out of him etc.
 

mandstaft

Well-Known Member
Peter Pan's Flight, then ...
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Alice In Wonderland
  • Snow White's Scary Adventures
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
  • Winnie The Pooh
 

choco choco

Well-Known Member
The Flight over London has always been the heart of the ride, and it was pretty severely tarnished in its 2015 rehab and has yet to recover. There's a line between keeping a ride sparkling and making it plastic, and unfortunately I think they've crossed that line. It's an old-school ride that thrives on old-school Black Magic, and in trying to add new layers though tech I think they've actually managed to flatten the experience.
I still can't believe the Imagineers looked at the new mat for the flight over London and thought it was acceptable. Scale's all wrong, and it's overlit now to where the ship in front noticeably passes a shadow over the city that is incongruous with the whole scene. If I had any power over Disneyland, this really would be the first thing I would change; forcing it to revert back to the classic version.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I still can't believe the Imagineers looked at the new mat for the flight over London and thought it was acceptable. Scale's all wrong, and it's overlit now to where the ship in front noticeably passes a shadow over the city that is incongruous with the whole scene. If I had any power over Disneyland, this really would be the first thing I would change; forcing it to revert back to the classic version.
Thank you. Most people seem to be fine with it for whatever reason. It ruined the whole scene for me.
 
I don't really have a ranking, but Peter Pan's Flight is second to none in my opinion. I will always remember the first time my Dad took me to Disneyland and I rode Peter Pan. Flying through the stars, over London, and past the Island is just the essence of Disneyland. If you could put Disneyland in a bottle, it would be that.

Side note, I do think that part of the magic of Disneyland is that everyone has their own, unique experiences. Thus everyone will have their own favorite rides, and that's the beauty of it. Sure, if you go to Magic Mountain you'll still have your favorite coaster, but it's not necessarily tied to a memory or experience. At Disneyland, I think every adult will tell you that the first ride they went on will remain special because it's tied to so much more than just the ride itself.
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
What's interesting to me is that lack of popularity for the Bears is the frequent reason cited for their removal- which makes sense, but Pooh has never been popular either.
I assume you mean the ride's popularity. At one point in the 90s, Pooh merchandise outsold Mickey.

EDIT: Nevermind. Looks like someone already alluded to this fact in the thread.
 
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Rich T

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Do you think the ride itself would be better received had it somehow supplemented CBJ instead of replacing it? Genuinely curious.
Absolutely. If, say, they had smartly kept one theater of CBJ and cleverly fit Pooh into the available space, there'd be no issue at all, besides maybe folks occasionally saying, "well, it could be improved..." In all honesty, my dislike for the Pooh ride stems almost entirely from the destruction of CBJ (coupled with the loss of Toad at WDW). It was a bad tradeoff: The ride does not use the space well.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Do you think the ride itself would be better received had it somehow supplemented CBJ instead of replacing it? Genuinely curious.
The ride has a few issues.

It removed a Marc Davis designed E Ticket- a show that artistically was far better in just about every way.

It added Winnie The Pooh- an England based character into Critter Country, a romanticized depiction of the backwoods and bayous of the American south. Would have fit far better in Fantasyland, a land that's a grab bag of Disney's interpretation of European fairytales.

And the ride is incredibly mediocre. It takes up far more space than the charming and timeless Fantasyland dark rides. Pooh relies on cardboard cut outs and low budget static figures to tell it's story- it offers no kind of compelling effect or illusion in an era of Tokyo's Pooh Hunny Hunt and even Disneyland's Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin. As you said- Pooh outsold Mickey Mouse for a bit. The character was deserving of a far more ambitious dark ride, especially when considering the amount of space it takes up.

Would it be better received by the general public had it supplemented CBJ? Maybe a little bit when it opened- it'd be regarded as a low budget Pressler era project, but since nothing would have been lost, it wouldn't be heartbreaking. Now? No- it's still unpopular, low budget, and forgotten- in a generation that never experienced the Bear Band. Pooh wasn't popular when it opened, and hasn't gained popular since.
 
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