After visiting Disneyland Resort for the first time three months ago, while having been to Walt Disney World Resort countless times, I could not help but find myself constantly comparing and contrasting all six theme parks and their corresponding attractions.
Because of this, I decided to start a new weekly series called “Disney Ride Wars” where I will upload an article every Friday that will pit a ride from Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort that are similar enough against each other and analyze their features – the queue areas, the pre-shows (if they have one), and the rides themselves. At the end of each post, I will declare which attraction is superior based on my own personal bias.
For our first Disney Ride War, we have Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure up against Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s DINOSAUR.
Indiana Jones Adventure and DINOSAUR are both enhanced motion vehicle (EMV) dark rides, meaning riders sit on a motion simulator base that exaggerates movement to make the experience more realistic. Question is, which is the better EMV?
Let’s take a look at the following factors:
Indiana Jones Adventure’s queue area immediately immerses guests into the cursed temple. The exterior and especially the interior make one feel as if he or she has exited Disneyland and entered an Indiana Jones movie. The dim, narrow hallways are thrilling, and the long queue area seems as if it is never ending. This will definitely increase a first timer’s anticipation for the ride as it did mine!
DINOSAUR’s queue area is known as The Dino Institute. In the beginning, guests take a tour of a museum featuring fossils, facts, and murals. A voiceover by Bill Nye the Science Guy is audible. After the pre-show, guests head downstairs to the loading area before they board the Time Rover.
Winner: Indiana Jones Adventure – it is incredibly immersive which makes it more exciting!
Indiana Jones Adventure’s pre-show is a collection of black and white newsreels projected on a wall in the queue area that tell the story of people’s interest in visiting an ancient temple, discovered by Dr. Indiana Jones, to gain youth, fortune, or knowledge. Some tourists, however, never returned after stepping foot into the temple.
Indiana Jones himself then returns to the temple to try to look for the tourists only to go missing as well. Could they have looked into the eyes of the idol? Guests must now enter the suspicious temple to find him, but are ordered not to look into the eyes of the idol themselves.
DINOSAUR’s pre-show features Dr. Seeker recruiting guests to time travel back to the Late Cretaceous Period to bring back an Iguanodon. The Dino Institute Director Dr. Marsh interrupts, however, stating that the coordinates Dr. Seeker wants guests to take are too close to the giant asteroid’s impact on earth and orders that they be sent to the Early Cretaceous Period instead.
Dr. Seeker locks the dangerous coordinates in front of Dr. Marsh but then unlocks them after she leaves, assuring guests their safety. “Trust me! What could go wrong?”
Winner: DINOSAUR – isn’t it obvious? Dr. Seeker is iconic! The pre-show is without a doubt more cohesive given it is shown in a traditional pre-show room where guests are almost guaranteed to catch the entire thing. Meanwhile with Indiana Jones Adventure, if the line is moving fast enough, guests might miss a good portion of the pre-show considering that it is played in the queue area.
Indiana Jones Adventure has guests board a jeep and ride through the cursed temple while finding Indiana Jones and escaping bugs, rats, snakes, mummies with poison darts, a rolling boulder, and Mara (the idol the pre-show warns guests about).
DINOSAUR has guests ride the Time Rover through the Late Cretaceous Period on a quest to bring back Dr. Seeker an Iguanodon. Complications arise, however, when a hungry Carnotaurus chases guests in the dark. Luckily, guests escape the Carnotaurus and the asteroid while making it back to the Dino Institute with the Iguanodon.
Winner: Indiana Jones Adventure. While I certainly appreciate the thrill that DINOSAUR brings to guests, I just enjoy the effects on Indiana Jones Adventure more. Crossing the unsteady bridge really made me feel like I transported into a classic action/adventure film, and I love that it is a little faster!
The Superior Attraction
Despite DINOSAUR having the better pre-show, Indiana Jones Adventure is the superior attraction.
That being said, I find DINOSAUR underrated, and it is definitely my favorite ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Both rides are very fun in their own way. Indiana Jones Adventure gives guests the ultimate Indy movie experience, while DINOSAUR does an excellent job at terrifying guests with a Carnotaurus charging after them throughout an almost pitch-black experience. Ultimately, it boils down to one’s preference.
Indiana Jones Adventure is currently closed for a lengthy refurbishment and will reopen this spring.
Tell us which ride you prefer in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week’s Disney Ride War!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.