When criticizing Disney theme parks in any form or fashion, it pays to have a thick skin. After all, even the most unpopular rides and attractions still have thousands of rabid fans for whom that experience is their favorite. Nonetheless, arguments can be made against the existence of many Disney rides and attractions that even the most fervent defender has to acknowledge, even if it’s just with “yeah, but I still like it.” So in the hopes that you can accept that this criticism is made from a place of true Disney fanatic love, here are seven Disney World experiences that are lacking that usual Disney magic:
7. Journey Into Imagination With Figment
Disney made a huge mistake when they renovated this attraction in 1999, a mistake they tried to remedy a mere two years later. But while fan favorite Figment the dragon was able to be re-introduced to the attraction, both the Dreamfinder and the charm of the original are unfortunately nowhere to be found.
6. Triceratops Spin
Okay look, this ride just doesn’t make any sense. Dumbo the Flying Elephant makes sense – he flies! Likewise, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin makes sense – magic carpets fly! But why in the world are these dinosaurs flying? If it were Pterodactyl Spin, I’d understand. But I’m pretty sure that Triceratops never got airborne. And okay, if I’m being honest I also have to admit that I’d prefer to see a dinosaur-themed carousel in its place. Same space, same appeal to kids, more capacity, and you can always make it a double decker carousel if you miss the view from the top of Triceratops Spin. Disney, are you listening?
5. Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Every once in a while, someone will post online about something interesting that happened at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. But the vast majority of time there’s really nothing to see here. The Affection Section – Disney’s petting zoo – is a favorite of young kids, but I tend to avoid the type of attractions that I can see in my own hometown for less than $5 per person. I understand that this is technically backstage area, but it seems like Disney could do so much more than this.
4. Tomorrowland Speedway
The biggest arguments against the Tomorrowland Speedway are based on what the ride is not, as opposed to what it is. Why hasn’t this ride been themed to the Cars movies at this point? While it would still leave the ride with a lot to be desired, that one change would be a relatively easy upgrade to make. And Cars: Tomorrowland Speedway would be far more fun and relevant to the park. Imagine being able to drive Lightning McQueen, Mater, Doc, Sally, or Luigi around the track! But it could be so much more than even that. By making the vehicles electric/solar powered, it would improve the poor air quality around the ride and deliver a good message as well. But as it stands now, an exhaust-spewing, 5 mph rail-guided ride around a track is pretty lackluster.
3. Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable
Some of the world footage in this show is truly spectacular. But in the end, the problem with this show is very simple. I go to Disney World to have a good time and feel good, and this show just makes me feel bad about myself and guilty for simply being born. I promise to recycle! And not to build any huge hydroelectric dams! Can I please go now?
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2. Stitch’s Great Escape
This attraction was created to capitalize on the popularity of the Stitch character with children, which is ironic because it could be the least kid-friendly experience at the Disney Resort. With a significant portion of the attraction taking place in the dark, sudden loud noises, water being “spit” at the audience, and a gross chili dog smell being belched at them, it’s surprising Disney didn’t realize in advance how terrifying this attraction could be to kids. Between emotionally scarred children, angry parents, and Disney fans who preferred the Alien Encounter attraction that Stitch’s Great Escape replaced, it’s surprising to find anyone who actually likes this one.
1. Incredibles Super Dance Party
The Incredibles Super Dance Party is a sad experiment that leaves all other lackluster experiences behind. Disney has amazing characters in The Incredibles family, and The Incredibles is still considered by many people to be the best Pixar movie ever made. They deserve better than this indignity that Disney seemed to throw together just to take advantage of their popularity. Watching these great characters “jump up and get down” was just appalling. The Incredibles deserve a stand-up roller coaster at the very least, if not a fully interactive, 3-D adventure ride. It seems the only people truly enjoying this “street party” are either under six years old, or their parents watching them.
Considering that any list of criticisms of Disney World will have a list of defenders that is just as long, there are undoubtedly a lot of people who are upset that one of their favorites appears on this list. If one of your favorites appears here, make your case for Disney keeping it around forever. Or let us know which Disney attractions would make your list of the most lackluster?
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