12 Attractions I Wish I Rode Before They Died


One issue (such first world problems I know) I have when planning trips is there's always too much I want to do at once, and I always have to remind myself that these rides aren't GOING anywhere and they can always wait til next time. But actually, as much as it's true 95% of the time there is always that little voice at the back of my mind going 'BUT WHAT IF IT CLOSES!?' And whilst I haven't been spited in that way yet, since properly getting into theme parks and seeing rides that once existed there's definitely a whole bunch that I'm super sad I never got the chance to experience for myself.

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OK, so I know this is the sadist in me but I kind of just wanted to ride this to see if it really was as bad as everyone said it was. Like, surely it can't be that bad? Well, it probably was considering they actually tore the thing down, but then I absolutely LOVE Tennessee Tornado and I've always thought they looked a little similar. But those transitions, as brutal as they look I just want them in my life.

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Under Eisner, Disney took a very weird direction, and probably none weirder than the infamous SuperStar Limo. Here's a little background for those who don't know and want to do a little more research into this, but essentially this was Disney's attempt at a dark ride themed to a young hip audience. I guess the idea was for it to essentially take the piss out of itself and celebrity culture, but once it'd been watered down and gone through many, many stages of planning and readjusting the final product was just absolutely bizarre. Plus I really want to see that terrifying Whoopi Goldberg animatronic in person, I feel like grainy YouTube footage just doesn't do it justice.

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Mother. Fucking. Gremlins. Ride. How did I not know this existed?! I literally only found out about this last month and it was basically the inspiration for the entire post, but sweet lordy Jesus! OK it doesn't really DO much, it is just a standard dark ride through some scenes packed with Gremlins-style chaos and for some reason Alf is there, but it's packed with that cinema-kitsch that I adore and I'm so sad that it died when Warner Bros. decided to ditch Movie Park Germany. Part of me really hopes that there are some creepy old Gremlins animatronics gathering dust on the property somewhere.

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Yes, I know, I know. Jordan hasn't ridden Wicked Witches Haunt...OK, well I can't be 100% sure about that but I do not have any memories of this ride and watching POVs doesn't seem to trigger anything. But I really wish I'd had a chance to ride, I LOVE those dark rides clearly 'inspired' by the classic Disney dark rides and combined with an awesome ghost train system and blacklit painted  scenes it sounds like it was basically designed for me. That and I just want to see what all the fuss was about.


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I know on paper High Roller doesn't really DO much, but having experienced the white-knuckle terror of the other Stratosphere rides so I feel like that's an extra layer of fear that will elevate this run of the mill coaster onto the next level. That and it's kind of iconic, people still talk about it now and these days it takes a LOT to do something different with a coaster so it almost feels like High Roller peaked before its time to be truly appreciated in UniLad videos that your GP friends will annoyingly tag you in telling you it reminded them of you.

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Let me clear this up - I rode JAWS, both in Orlando and Japan. I'm talking about the ORIGINAL version of Jaws. You know, the one that basically never worked and almost bankrupted the Universal Studios Orlando theme park endeavour before it really even had a chance to get off of the ground. That one! It just sounds next level, and as much as I adore Jaws as most people know it, the idea of a terrifying shark animatronic clamping onto the boat and dragging you around the lake sounds like something I need to experience immediately.

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If I said my whole reason for wanting to ride this coaster was to experience THAT drop I would 100% be telling you the truth. It's another one of those iconic coaster moments that I'd absolutely love to add to my coaster enthusiast CV, and it makes me so sad that I'll never get to try it. Don't get me wrong, Verbolten is fab, but it just doesn't compare with the way that everyone who rode Big Bad Wolf goes on and on about it. It just seems like it had something special that Verbolten just cannot replace. Did I mention how much I want to experience that drop?

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I've wanted to ride this ever since playing the Blackpool Pleasure Beach scenario on RollerCoaster Tycoon. And, side note, although this isn't listed on RCDB it's definitely a cred. 100%. I'll admit, I'm kind of a terrible coaster enthusiast sometimes in that I'm not really that into the proper old vintage coasters, but for some reason Vikingar has always caught my attention. I guess because it looks like if Tidal Wave and Grand National had a strange child and I'd kind of love to experience what that was like.

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If like me you're obsessed with Beastly Kingdom, then you'll likely be aware of the Discovery River Boats ride. It only operated for just over a year but was pretty much the closest we ever got to any attraction to come from the original Beastly Kingdom concept art. Essentially it was like Animal Kingdom does Jungle Cruise, but with dragons. In fact, some parts of it were so graphic in their depiction of charred human remains that some of the scenes had to be edited to make them more family friendly! Plus, animatronic dragon, what's not to like? So sad that even this small glimpse of what Beastly Kingdom could have been was so short lived.

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When I rode Mystery River for the first time back in 2015 I absolutely loved it and came off talking about how much it reminded me of NeverEnding Story, one of my all time favourite films. Little did I know that in its original incarnation this attraction was a fully licensed NeverEnding Story attraction complete with rock biters, racing snails and Falkor! I'm so sad I never got to ride it, 10 year old me would have died and I think nostalgic 26 year old me may have loved it even more. Suffice to say Movie Park Germany didn't do too bad a job of removing the IP but keeping the magic, but imagining floating down that river with the original epic 80s soundtrack blaring is a joy I desperately want to experience.

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Any self-respecting UK theme park enthusiast is well aware of Uncle Frankenstein's, AKA John Wardley's first 'proper' attraction. Not only was it oozing with glorious campy ghost train goodness including massively over the top spooky facades and characters, it was also allegedly stacked with awesome spooky effects designed by the man himself. It's said to be the inspiration for the Haunted House at Alton Towers and if nothing else is an attraction of significance as it arguably gave Wardley the platform he needed to be able to design rides like Nemesis that we still love to this day. But mostly it's about the spookiness.


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Again with the obsession for weird and defunct attractions. For a period in the 90s, Granada Studios in Manchester decided to open its gates as an operating theme park based around tours of film sets like Coronation Street. Kind of like a very British version of Universal Studios. And for about a year they operated this mad coaster called Skytrak, which essentially looks like a one-lane Volare. Looking at the thing it can't have been pleasant to ride, but it made its way onto this list purely for the weird and exclusive factor.

Of course, there's a TON of now-defunct attractions that I wish I'd been able to ride, but if I were to list them all then we'd just be here all day and it'd quickly get super boring. So that's my top 12!

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

5 comments:

  1. Oh my, there is quite a few on there I would love to have ridden too! Superstar Limo, The Great Gremlins Adventure, Big Bad Wolf, Discovery River Boats and Skytrak would all definitely make my list!

    I don't wanna gloat but I did get to ride Wicked Witches Haunt. I genuinely miss that ride!

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  2. Original Jaws was frickin scary as hell as a kid!

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  3. I rode High Roller on the Stratosphere. Scariest part was getting in/out of the car.😉

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  4. I rode High Roller on the Stratosphere. Scariest part was getting in/out of the car.😉

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