With the news that Soarin Over California is making a return to California Adventure this summer, it got me thinking about other attractions that have had massive amendments to them.
Soarin was one of the first attractions that got me hooked on Disney. Wonderful theming, a ride that fitted into the land and once on the ride just something spectacular awaited you. For me it was one of the landmark attractions of California Adventure (this was pre-Cars Land, but I still stand by it). When the news that we were getting a new version I was kind of on the fence. Once I saw that new version, that changed and I was sad. To then see they were returning to the original version for a limited time, I did wonder how limited this would be, only to see this extended for the entire summer period.
Now Soarin is the only ride that has been ‘upgraded’. And I am going to talk about a couple here that I would include as my favourites. Starting with some scurvy naves out on the seas of the Caribbean
With the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, it was only a matter of time before that success would filter into the attraction. In 2006 that change began to filter out. Jack Sparrow (that’s CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow) was featured multiple times in the attraction, making a slight amendment to the story so that involved the worst pirate you have ever heard of, as well as his old rival, Hector Barbosa.
Now these aren’t the only changes that have set sail, over the last few years some amendments have been made so make the ride more friendly to the modern age.
I never had a massive problem with movie franchise creeping in during my informative Disney years, before I became what I think the term being used these days is a ‘stan’. But in recent times it has become more apparent that those changes probably don’t need to be there.
With the other changes, I am not a fan, as it is telling a story of another time. I have no issue with the introduction of Redd (see picture above) but that scene now feels hollow. My preference would have been to add Redd to the end of the story and that she was playing the pirates in the auction scene rather than what they did with it (this was the original plan before the ride actually opened)
The second ride attraction that I feel would benefit from returning to it’s original form is Space Mountain at Disneyland Paris. Currently in the third iteration, Space Mountain, despite being the actual best version of the ride across all parks, suffers from being forced to be something it isn’t.
Mission 2, although a lower standard to the original version, was slightly better than it’s current guise. With it’s style being very much a Jules Verne/Steampunk design, currentlythe special Star Wars themed version from Disneyland has been shoe horned in to the Paris version when it really has no reason to be there (except for the fact Star Tours is about 100 metres away) Most of the attraction hasn’t really been changed, and that is my major issue with the overlay. It is cheap and looks temporary. The ride it’s self doesn’t feel much different to Disneyland’s version, but the queue feels so out of place, that it all needs to go or be done much better.
I have no preference as to which version returns, though I know most people would say the original version, but if it is easier to put Mission 2 back in I will take it.
Now these are just a few, and I am sure I could write a lot more than this but for now these will. Look out for a possible sequel to this article (in true Disney style)