The Ultimate Disney Parks Attraction Bracket -- The Big Finale
My friends, it’s come down to this. We started the Ultimate Disney Parks Attraction bracket roughly eighteen years ago (don’t fact-check me on that one), and we have finally arrived at the big finish. The Top Two! Only one more thunderdome for anyone to enter or exit!
I noted as much in yesterday’s post, but I’m perfectly comfortable with how the Final Four shaped up, and similarly with how the Top Two currently stands. Now, the flip side is that there are arguably no big surprises here, unless you count which attractions didn’t make it to the end. (I am fairly sure that if I was still doing this on Twitter, which continues its slow descent into death on a daily basis, Muppet*Vision 3D would’ve gotten to at least the Final Four.)
But now it’s time to think through one last vote. Let’s go!
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(1) Pirates of the Caribbean (DL) vs. (3) Tower of Terror: On one hand, I seeded Pirates of the Caribbean — the Disneyland original — as a number-one seed. And by the way, if we want to talk about surprises, I am genuinely a bit shocked that only one of the number-one seeds got to the end. If you’d told me that at the start, I would’ve guessed that this was the surviving top seed, but I also would’ve been as shocked then as I am now.
And yet, because of how things have shaken out…I would vote for the Tower of Terror here. For me, it comes down to one thing and one thing only: Johnny “I am definitely a super-cool person who has never done anything untoward with women, ahem ahem” Depp. Obviously, I appreciate why Captain Jack Sparrow is in the attraction now where he was not originally. It’s perhaps easy to forget now that when it opened in 2003, the first Pirates of the Caribbean was a massive, four-quadrant hit, even if the fourth and fifth entries a decade or so later suggested that we all wanted to pretend these movies never happened.
But while I get why the character was installed in a few places in the attraction (and why Disney is likely not going to remove him anytime soon), it’s become more distracting to have movie characters, especially those like Davy Jones and Blackbeard, in the attraction. One of my favorite effects in any Disneyland attraction comes in a particularly dark and spooky part of Pirates, right before your boat enters the massive area in which Spanish soldiers fire upon a ship helmed by Captain Barbossa (also of the movies). But before you enter that area, you see a skeleton who transitions into a shocked pirate right in front of your eyes. (It is, I believe, a mirror effect of some kind.) It’s an amazing gag…undercut by the recording of Geoffrey Rush only a few seconds later.
The Tower of Terror remains thematically, atmospherically whole. We’re getting to the point where these quibbles can weigh my preference one way or the other, and the same could be true for you. Anyway. I say vote for Rod Serling.
But it’s not my call. It’s yours. What do you think?
Pirates of the Caribbean (DL)
Tower of Terror