Some great dark rides are easy to find with all the media attention they get; like Spiderman at IOA, Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, and the new Tomb Raider at PKI. And wow, Twilight Zone at MGM Studios is just amazing. Other less known dark rides are great too if you happen to stumble upon them; like the Haunted House at Knobels, Blazing Fury at Dollywood. Houdini's Great Escape at Great Adventure was a pleasant surprise with no idea what to expect. So, where are the great dark rides? Esp. those less known.
Kennywood has some great old dark rides. Noah's Ark Can't be beat and The Old Mill would be awesome for a date (Too Bad I was with my brother when I rode it.) The Goldrusher is another neat dark ride they have there.
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I think Tomb Raider is greatly overrated. I especially think the minute hanging upside down at the end is pointless. I have always loved Noah's Ark but think the renovation of two years ago lessened it instead of strengthening it; that collapsing water wall at the end is hokey. Exterminator and Gold Rush are cool but it's time to retheme Old Mill. Waldameer at Erie has two great dark rides. Conneaut Lake has one good one. Camden Park (W.Va.) had one good one but I haven't been there for a few years.
I love dark rides but have come to the conclusion that all the innovative genius of the last decade has gone into coasters and spin rides and dark rides have been almost totally neglected. We ought to be about due for a decade of dark ride engineering. With all the modern technology (lasers, holograms, tubular track, hanging cars, computers, etc.) we ought to be able to create dark rides that just blow people away rather than just recycle 1940s cliches.
IMO, the best dark ride of them all is the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. I can ride and reride that one and still notice level upon level of detail. I want my future home to look much like the one at Magic Kingdom.
Tower of Terror at nearby Disney/MGM Studios (or now is it the "Disney Studios"?) runs a very close second place to HM.
Alton Towers has a rip-off version of Disney's Haunted Mansion but it is still very good for a traditional amusement park.
I think Phantom Theatre is still pretty cool no matter how crappy, I love Tomb Raider, no matter how bad everyone trashes it I think its a great ride and themed beautifully. I would say PKI has some sweet ones but not the best.
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My favs in no particuliar order are Knobles Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdoms Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, Atlantis at Sea World Florida, Exterminator and Noahs Ark at Kennywood, and don't forget about the Hersheys Chocolate Tour ride.
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Indiana Jones gets my vote. It really is the Millennium Force of dark rides. ;) I love detail in theming, and this is one of the most detailed rides I have ever seen. Just amazing, no matter how many times I go on it.
Indy's cars move on hydraulic platforms (like a simulator car mounted on a normal dark ride vehicle), so the ride moves forward, yet the rows of seats can twist forward, to the side, etc. which provides a very interesting sensation on the ride.
I have heard only good things about Spiderman, but have never had the chance to go on it myself.
So they are moving and twisting vehicles. Then really the only thing that seperates it from Spiderman really is the advanced screening(a few effects on it that Indy doesn't have.) That ride was just so awsome though, the boulder rolling on top of you, and one moment your looking at a pitch black walll, and the next moment it's this giant sculpture on the wall with all these beetles crawling everywhere and they have these little effect that make them look like they'll crawl into the car and on your. How they cpuld simulate the entire tomb as if it was one big room that your moving on and how they could simulate the car could across a unstable little suspension bridge in front oof the Forbbiden Eye was just amazing. Definentely the best dark ride after Spiderman and well worth the three hour waits thatit can rack up in Adventureland.
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