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Disney Parks Versus: DINOSAUR vs. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye

It’s time for another installment of Disney Parks Versus! It’s the only series of posts where attractions at Walt Disney World and Disneyland fight a grudge match to the death! Today, we’ll take a look at the Enhanced Motion Vehicle dark rides DINOSAUR (formerly Countdown to Extinction) and Indiana Jones Adventure: The Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Since both rides use the Enhanced Motion Vehicle cars, they compare up nicely. If you were to close your eyes and plug your ears, it’d be tough to tell which ride you were on. Both DINOSAUR and Indiana Jones Adventure use darkness as their ally (like Batman), both feature tight turns, speed ups, hard brakes and rough road, but one is far more effective than the other…

To be fair, I think my favorite version of this attraction was the original, Countdown to Extinction, which was one of the flagship attractions when Animal Kingdom first opened. Back then, it was different and exciting; Countdown was like the T-Rex chase from Jurassic Park brought to life! Then, Disney modified the ride to more closely mimic the already forgotten DINOSAUR movie and took the ride’s edge away – this new version of the same thing seems to be slower, quieter and brighter. The latter is probably the biggest mistake because while I appreciate that kids are afraid of the dark, there’s no bigger enemy to the realistic quality of an animatronic dinosaur than a bright light, exposing all it’s flaws. Also, DINOSAUR has the extremely annoying narrator who never stops saying the words “dino” and “iguanodon,” no matter how much you beg and I don’t remember the ride having much of a soundtrack at all.

So while DINOSAUR has it’s narrator, lighting effects and trying to cater to children handicaps to deal with, The Temple of the Forbidden Eye has the immense benefit of a soundtrack by John Williams from the Indian Jones movies. We’re talking about eye popping visuals, Harrison Ford (who, at one point, seems to be making love to a rope he’s hanging from) and one of the most memorable movie soundtracks of all time blaring in your ears. It’s certainly a winning combination – The Temple of the Forbidden Eye beats DINOSAUR with it’s whip tied behind it’s back. Admittedly, DINOSAUR isn’t exactly a formidable opponent, but that’s certainly not Dr. Jones’ fault.

I’ve heard from lots of folks that The Temple of the Forbidden Eye is their favorite ride and I can see where they’re coming from, but I’m not willing to go that far. Sure, it’s a quality experience that beats the pants off its peer, but for me, Indiana Jones Adventure is missing something I can’t put my finger on… maybe it needs more animatronic Indy… I didn’t care for the giant snake… that room that was supposed to be firing darts out of the wall was a bust for me. (By the time I figured out what was going on, we were out of the room – maybe firing some compressed air out of the walls could similar darts, or they could project darts on the far wall, add some ‘ting, ting, ting’ sounds of darts bouncing off the car… I dunno.) The bridge wasn’t rickety enough for me and I didn’t understand that the big face was trying to destroy the bridge until I read it on the good ol’ interweb. I had fun, but The Temple of the Forbidden Eye didn’t exactly capture my imagination. (Also, I read about all this stuff that is supposed to happen in the waiting area, but none of those effects seemed to be working – stepping on the diamonds on the ground is supposed to do something… maybe with those ceiling tiles? But I didn’t notice anything.)

I’d choose Indiana Jones Adventure over DINOSAUR any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but I can’t given Indy the gold medal. It’s good, but not my favorite.

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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on January 10, 2014, in Disneyland blog posts, walt disney world blog posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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