The Highest of Highs! - What is the pinnacle attraction of Imagineering at WDW past and present?

Assuming best condition/upkeep, what is the pinnacle attraction of Imagineering at WDW? Pick 3!

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

  • Splash Mountain

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

  • Avatar Flight of Passage

  • Dinosaur

  • Horizons

  • The Great Movie Ride

  • Journey into Imagination (original)

  • Something else not listed


Results are only viewable after voting.

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I deliberately excluded rides that originated in another park and were brought over (like Soarin', Pirates, Haunted Mansion, etc), but it was difficult to choose because there is a limit to how many options I could put in.
If you’re talking only originating wdw…it’s tower, flight of passage, safaris and “all the rest”
 

DisneyDean97

Well-Known Member
I should add an honourable design mention to Kilimanjaro. But I can’t include Everest. Nice rock work but nothing not seen elsewhere, a nice but nothing special layout, minimal show scenes, light leaks and more effects no longer working than still work.
I should have specified, Everest when it opened in 2006, when the Yeti actually worked, and credit to Disney, for having the fastest track switch at the time. For being a "thrill coaster" it's beautifully themed... and no visible ugly box like Tron and Cosmic Rewind.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
I should add an honourable design mention to Kilimanjaro. But I can’t include Everest. Nice rock work but nothing not seen elsewhere, a nice but nothing special layout, minimal show scenes, light leaks and more effects no longer working than still work.
Couldn’t agree more about Everest

It was really great for the first year or two…

Since? It’s a moderate coaster “meh”…

A really expensive coaster in a $100 mil shell
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Spaceship Earth/Flight of Pandora/pirates

I don’t understand all the love for splash in this context. It was a fan favorite to be sure, and was certainly fun. But at the end of the day, it was a flume ride. There have been flume/log rides forever, at big parks, small regional parks, ect. It’s a log ride done well, but not a huge stretch for the imagineers in creation or innovation
I think the deal with splash is it was the “total show”….its hard to find a ride with some drops and speed that also had that kinda AA presence and the songs/catchiness of it.

As far as “total package”…I think it’s right there with haunted mansion and tower
 

Animaniac93-98

Well-Known Member
In all seriousness...

Horizons
American Adventure
SSE (1994 version)
OG Journey Into Imagination
DLP Pirates (pre-2017)
Haunted Mansion (WDW 2007-2011)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (WDW and Tokyo)
Rise of the Resistance
Great Movie Ride
Tower of Terror (WDW)
Big Thunder Mountain (DLP)
Sindbad's Storybook Voyage
Mystic Manor
Kilimanjaro Safaris
Tokyo Splash Mountain
 

Mark Dunne

Well-Known Member
I think anything thats a first does it for me, and is still around after all these years, so for me, today it may not look to be technically the most amazing, but Space mountain was just mind-blowing at the time, first computer controlled indoor coaster, and still today give thrills ( and a bad back lol ) then i have to say mission space, the first time i rode orange, i came off feeling like id actually been in space, then ROTR, FOP, E.E, H.M, there are so many , good post :)
 

Poseidon Quest

Well-Known Member
A ride that people seem to forget was a masterpiece of Imagineering was the original Test Track. I think that its replacement has obscured people's memory, but that original iteration was so ridiculously clever.

People liked to complain about the queue, but in retrospect it was educational, varied, had kinetic elements and fit the theme of Epcot really well, even if it didn't more broadly speak about "transportation" as a subject. The pre-show was also one of the best, setting up expectations for what the ride would throw at you and most people would laugh off the idea of the "crash test" as a joke, even though the actors played it straight.

The ride wasted no space on the track, turning the necessary pass-over into the "incline" and "rough road" tests, where the current version fails to add any context. Distinct scenes and sensory effects are very important in good attraction design and the heat test, cold test and corrosion test (with whatever odd smell was in there) were some of the most memorable. The truck in the tunnel was an actual jumpscare, one that put you in a state of alertness and better sold the idea of the crash test for first timers because they were still processing danger.
 
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UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Most of what I'd list is either in the poll or has already been mentioned (Spaceship Earth, Kiliminjaro Safari, Haunted Mansion, Pirates, et al.).

The one that leaps out at me as an Imagineering triumph that no one has brought up, though, is the original Living Seas pavilion with the hydrolators, SeaCabs, etc. -- as a whole experience, it was as good as anything Disney has ever built.

I'm also not sure anyone has mentioned World of Motion, which belongs with all of the other original EPCOT masterpieces even if it wasn't the best of the bunch.
 

EricsBiscuit

Well-Known Member
American Adventure
This attraction is easily one of the best in the world. Exquisitely detailed, inside and out. Incredible story. Fantastic set pieces and beautiful AAs. The engineering of the stage is absolutely incredible. A technology it shares with the Rockefeller Center in NYC and old aircraft carriers. The score is also very well done. It is truly amazing.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
This attraction is easily one of the best in the world. Exquisitely detailed, inside and out. Incredible story. Fantastic set pieces and beautiful AAs. The engineering of the stage is absolutely incredible. A technology it shares with the Rockefeller Center in NYC and old aircraft carriers. The score is also very well done. It is truly amazing.
The sad thing is that I have spoken with a lot of friends that went to WDW (Epcot) over the years and there are so, so many that never have seen it. They saw the "Singers" and looked at the displays on the first floor but in some cases never even knew there was anything else or didn't think it would be worth their time. They are no longer friends! Just kidding, but I had no choice but to set them straight on a few things.
 

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