Top 5 Most Wanted Dark Rides


Anybody else been whiling away these COVID times by planning a myriad of fantasy theme park trips to get themselves through the say? Yh, you're not alone. Any long time readers of this blog know I'm ALWAYS in trip planning mode but ironically that's been particularly prevalent for me since our freedom of travel has been greatly restricted. Why am I like this? Anyway, when I was piecing together my Best Dark Rides In The World blog the other month it got me thinking about all of the incredible dark rides around the world that I haven't yet been able to ride, so naturally my brain started concocting many a trip that would seek to tick these global dark ride gems off of my list. After coasters for me dark rides are a big draw to get me to visit a place - just this weekend Conor booked us a visit to the Jorvik Centre in York because he knew I'd love the dark ride (he wasn't wrong it was fab, I loved it!) and luckily for me despite visiting many theme parks around the world the innovation and development of dark rides hasn't slowed down and there are a ton of world-beating rides out there that I'm yet to experience. So let's get stuck in - this is my top five most wanted dark rides in the world!


OK starting off with a biggie, and I beg you NO SPOILERS PLEASE. I've somehow managed to stay away from most of the details surrounding what Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland in California and Disney's Hollywood Studios actually is/does and I intend to keep it that way until I manage to ride the thing for myself. We all know I'm no Star Wars fan but I do think Galaxy's Edge looks absolutely incredible and immersive, and Rise of the Resistance is obviously the crowning jewel of the long-anticipated land in terms of rides. I've heard so many people say it's the best dark ride in the world, but given people said that about Flight of Passage and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure I'm going to reserve my judgement until I get to experience the thing for myself as my tastes of what makes a ride the 'best in the world' seems to differ a lot from common opinion for some reason. 


So I'll confess I haven't seen Pacific Rim which is kind of shocking considering how much I love Guillermo del Toro and big stupid B-movie monster movies - but it's on my to watch list, please don't judge me. I found out about Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike at Trans Studio Cibubur when researching something for a blog post I was writing a year or so back, and I've kind of been obsessed with it ever since. I don't watch POVs as personally I think it ruins my enjoyment of attractions before I've had a chance to experience them for myself but I have read a pretty detailed description of what happens on this ride and *slight spoilers ahead* it basically sounds like Derren Brown's Ghost Train on crack? If it's actually pulled off in a high quality way this ride has the potential to the most ground-breaking, immersive dark ride experience in the world and as far as I'm aware there's truly nothing else like it so I'm really intrigued to get on it and see for myself!


Radiator Springs Racers opened at Disney's California Adventure literally a WEEK after I visited back in 2012 and I haven't been back to California since so still haven't had a chance to experience this attraction. I low key LOVE Test Track at EPCOT and whilst I'm not a huge fan of Cars I like it enough to enjoy it in ride form I think. Let's be real - this ride is really about that incredible Ornament Valley theming and magical forced perspective, plus the speed of the thing! I love the way Disney can take a family IP like Cars and manage to develop a ride that is equal parts high-octane thrills and family fun. 


Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi was just completing construction when Conor and I visited back in 2018 so Batman: Knight Flight is another attraction I've missed by just a few months - oh well, just gives us another reason to go back! Ever since riding Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey I've been intrigued as to how else the technology could be used. I rode Devil's Peak at Oriental Heritage in Wuhu but honestly that was a little janky and spare when it came to theming and immersion so Batman: Knight Flight looks like my best bet in seeing how else a robo-arm type system could work. Again, not a huge fan of Batman/superhero themed stuff but I'll take what I can get and honestly the reviews of this thing are pretty good (along with the rest of the park supposedly being incredible itself) so it's a ride I'm pretty excited by!


I'm mostly interested in Popcorn Revenge at Walibi Belgium because it's a ride system I've not experienced before and given Walibi's great track record with their recent investments I can't see this being anything other than excellent, if not at least something unique. That and I absolutely LOVE a cinema/Hollywood/movie theme and a shooting dark ride so this thing is right up my street! Like most of the rides on this list, I don't actually know too much about the ins and outs of what Popcorn Revenge does but everyone I know who's been on it says it's an absolutely blast and just a ton of fun and that's something I think people forget is a hugely important factor of a great dark ride alongside how impressive the tech is and how immersive the theming is. 


And a few honourable mentions...


Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway

I'm slightly bitter about Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios since I adored The Great Movie Ride but the small glimpses I've seen of this look super fun and the Mickey & Friends shorts are actually kind of hilarious. 


Madagascar: A Crate Adventure

I'm mostly intrigued by Madagascar: A Crate Adventure at Universal Studios Singapore because the show building and entrance facade are absolutely MASSIVE and I need to know what happens inside. 


Sanrio Character Boat Ride

So the whole reason I wanted to go to Sanrio Puroland in Tokyo in the first place was because of the Sanrio Character Boat Ride - a dark ride themed to Hello Kitty inviting her friends to her wedding. Like, obviously I need that in my life. And it was closed the day we went so I'm still in pursuit of that joy. 

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Plenty of dark rides on the to do list then for when COVID buggers off and we can travel more widely again! Honestly I can see this list growing too as there's always going to be new and exciting innovations in the world of dark rides and although the impact of the virus means development of these will slow down in the immediate future it's certainly not going to be gone forever so I look forward to what the future of dark ride technology looks like!


Are there any on my list you've ridden? Did you enjoy them? What are your top five most wanted dark rides? Let me know in the comments and let's have a chat!


Talk later xoxo,


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