Exciting! Thrilling! Rides I have never been on because I’m a thrill ride chicken! It’s time for the results of Ask It!
Last week, we asked you:
Which Walt Disney World mountain provides the best experience?
Yes, the question was left vague on what “experience” meant to each person. For some, it was an overall impression–from the queue to the ride itself and everything in between. For others, it was all about the ride and how thrilling that ride can be. It was close the end, two rides were neck and neck but one finally got moving along to the win of our not-so-scientific poll. Here’s the results.
Space Mountain (227 votes – 10%)
For more than a decade, when you talked about the ultimate thrill ride at Walt Disney World, Space Mountain was king. Even now, the idea of a roller coaster in the dark has quite a bit of novelty. I remember some friends coming off of it and saying it was the fastest ride they had ever been on. When I pointed out that it hits a whopping 28 mph, slower than almost any other roller coaster at Walt Disney World (with only the Barnstormer coming in slightly slower), they were shocked. The effects inside the ride are great at tricking your brain into thinking it is a lot more extreme than it really is. But in the end, its unique quality of being in the dark means that it doesn’t have quite the overall experience that some other rides do.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (371 votes – 16%)
Hang on to them hats and glasses! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is another well-loved classic at Walt Disney World, and a must-do for many people. From a roller coaster standpoint, there’s nothing too unique about the ride system, but it has something that your typical roller coaster doesn’t have–an immersive story. I’m not sure I want to give Disney too many more ideas about taking rides and making them into movies, but the story of Tumbleweed’s boom and bust would make a better western-themed movie than The Lone Ranger, right? And, if nothing more, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has the interesting distinction of being able to help people pass kidney stones. On Dave Barry’s honor, I’m not making that up.
Expedition Everest (826 votes – 35.8%)
Expedition Everest was in a virtual tie with Splash Mountain for most of week. There’s no question that this provides bigger thrills than Splash Mountain’s (and fewer audio animatronics — sorry Disco Yeti!), but where Expedition Everest draws a lot of love is for its high level of detail and unique ride surprises. Even if you opt to skip the ride itself, wandering through the queue still provides a lot to look at and take in. The unique experience of a roller coaster going forward, coming to a stop, and then going backwards is something incredibly unique in its field. From thrills to immersive experience, it is no surprise that Expedition Everest has a variety of fans.
Splash Mountain (885 votes – 38.3%)
The winner for this week’s Ask It is Splash Mountain. Song of the South, on which the ride is based, may be doomed to stay in the Disney vault for all eternity, but that doesn’t stop the ride from being a prominent feature at Walt Disney World and in a lot of their marketing materials. No surprise, because this ride has a lot going for it. Yes, it has only one major drop, but it’s thrilling enough that it is a decent payoff for thrill-seekers, but still approachable enough that young kids can take it on, and once it is done, it’s done. But where it succeeds best is the ride itself. Catchy music and an abundance of audio animatronics make this the classic dark ride that we all know and love. And in the summer, having the water effects makes for a great way to cool down. In the end, it’s just a good mix of fun for all ages, and as a whole package deal, is one of Disney’s best attractions.
And that’s it for this week’s Ask It. What do you think is your criteria for “best experience” when it comes to an attraction? Let us know in the comments.