disney rides ranked

This is a banner week for the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. This Friday, Walt Disney Pictures releases the new entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Dead Men Tell No Tales; it’s the fifth film based on the classic 1967 attraction. Also Friday, at the Disney California Adventure theme park in Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, Marvel will make its presence known in the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Break Out! attraction, taking over from The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But wait, as they say: there’s more. This weekend, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World gets a whole new land, Pandora, themed to James Cameron’s Avatar. This combination of theme-park and movie-centric unveilings is the inspiration for the following, admittedly massive ranking of every single movie-inspired or movie-adjacent Disney attraction.

Get comfortable. We’re going to be here for a little while.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Ride

There are only a few more days until Disneyland opens the doors to its first Marvel attraction. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is in the same location as the theme park’s beloved Tower of Terror ride, and it’s been completely revamped from the inside out to look like a fortress that belongs to The Collector, the eccentric character played by Benicio Del Toro in the Marvel Studios films. You can learn all about the attraction right here, but a new video interview with Del Toro has surfaced that gives us our first look inside the attraction…and this thing is practically overflowing with cool props and easter eggs.

Take a peek at the Guardians of the Galaxy ride video below.
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nemo-and-friends-searider

This month, a new attraction opens at the Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort in California. Or rather, a new attraction built on the skeleton of an older attraction. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! utilizes the same building and ride engine as the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, albeit with a complete Marvel makeover. The results have been controversial amongst theme park fans, to the say the very least.

Meanwhile, across the world, another attraction makeover hasn’t received nearly as much press. The StormRider attraction at Tokyo DisneySea has become Nemo & Friends SeaRider. Utilizing the same space and ride system, this attraction takes riders under the ocean to interact with the characters from Finding Dory and Finding Nemo. Full ride video has arrived online, just in case you want to check it out and don’t think you’ll be heading to Tokyo anytime soon.
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The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle

When Universal Studios Hollywood held the grand opening of the west coast version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they did so with a spectacular show which used projection mapping to put elaborate animations on the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the time of the grand opening, I asked Universal staffers if they might expand the experience for park guests. Universal is situated close to residential neighborhoods, which prevent the park from holding fireworks shows every night like their competitor, Disneyland.

But a nighttime projection show on Hogwarts castle seems like a no-brainer. Today, Universal Studios Hollywood is officially announcing the new nighttime show, which is being called “The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle.”

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avatar flight of passage ride

Avatar 2 may be several years away, but Pandora can become fully realized soon in the Flight of Passage ride that will be open in Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar on May 27, 2017.

A few lucky fans got an early preview of the ride and have posted a full, detailed video of the experience. Get a sneak peek of what it’s like to soar through the skies of Pandora on the back of a Banshee.

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just get over it

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • How you can ride Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! early.
  • You’ll soon be able to meet Groot and Baby Groot at Disney parks.
  • The latest on Pandora: The World of Avatar.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland moves forward with its Marvel and Frozen expansions.
  • Hyperspace Mountain has officially arrived in Disneyland Paris.
  • And more!

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guardians of the galaxy ride

Jeff Goldblum‘s first official appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may be in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, but fans who stuck around for the after-credits scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may have noticed a tiny cameo by the Grandmaster, brother of Benicio del Toro‘s The Collector a character who played a key role the first Guardians of the Galaxy.

So news that Grandmaster may make an appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! theme park attraction is surprising, but not unexpected.

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Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is gearing up to open at Disney California Adventure on May 27, 2017. Now that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has hit theaters, Disneyland Resort is pushing the marketing campaign into high gear for the Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror redo. A new message has been received from Rocket Raccoon calling for our assistance in breaking the Guardians of the Galaxy out from the Collector’s fortress. Watch the new video, embedded after the jump.

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pandora

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • The uniforms of Pandora: The World of Avatar are revealed.
  • The “roles” that Pandora cast members play in the park.
  • A peek at the Avatar-themed merchandise you’ll be able to buy at the park.
  • Disney is researching how to projection map a human face.
  • Disneyland is getting with the times and offering Wi-Fi in their parks.
  • There’s a new robot named iCan wandering around Tomorrowland.
  • And more!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

avatarland animatronic

Over the weekend, Walt Disney World previewed Animal Kingdom’s Pandora: The World Of Avatar to a bunch of press. We weren’t invited, and we’ve decided to keep calling it Avatar Land because the official name is not very good (and it’s more fun to say). Anyway, we are living vicariously through the photos and videos that have come out of the event. Below, watch some of the best videos from the preview, which give us our first look at this new theme park land, the incredible animatronic Na’vi, the lush bioluminescent environment Disney Imagineers have created, the food, merchandise and more.

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