If Disney represent the pinnacle of theme park attractions in the world, then we will all be familiar with Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida and the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California. However, over the past 15 years, there have been a few amazing Disney parks open in Asia, and as it happens, most of the world’s best theme park attractions are now based in Disney’s Asian parks (Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) rather than the famous American parks.
10. Tron LightCycle Coaster, Shanghai Disneyland. Opened in 2016. A highly-themed motor-bike rollercoaster ride that will thrill teenagers as well as adults. Especially good in the dark. A version of this is on its way to EPCOT in Orlando.
9. Jungle River Cruise, Hong Kong Disneyland. Opened in 2005. The classic Disneyland ride was updated and given a ferocious finale in the HK version that is catered more to an Asian audience.
8. Iron Man Experience, Hong Kong Disneyland. Opened late in 2016. This one hasn’t technically been open for a year yet (in full capacity), but a Marvel-themed simulator ride with a unique rider experience gets a lot of attention – and very long queues!
7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Tokyo DisneySea. Opened in 2001. At first, this “underwater submarine ride” looks pretty tame, but it is very unique and has a high attention to detail.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Shanghai Disneyland. Opened in 2016. Another revamp of a classic Disney boat ride, this attraction has been themed to the famous Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and has some awesome special effects, unlike the originals in America.
5. Pooh’s Huny Hunt, Tokyo Disneyland. Opened in 2001. Using trackless ride vehicles that seem to move around randomly and at a whim, this attraction is an extremely popular one – and has wait times regularly approaching two hours.
4. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull, Tokyo DisneySea. Opened in 2001. A great dark ride that improves on the Disneyland version in terms of special effects and has a completely new storyline – not to mention the incredibly highly-themed show building and queue area that snakes its way through a deserted Mayan temple.
3. Mystic Manor, Hong Kong Disneyland. Opened in 2014. A completely unique attraction to Hong Kong, this has similar technology to Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, but improves on it by utilising the special effects and props in a far more productive way. This is a Haunted Mansion for the Asian audience.
2. Tower of Terror, Tokyo DisneySea. Opened in 2005. Modified slightly from the American and Paris versions, this Tower of Terror is insanely highly-themed inside an incredible gothic ‘hotel’ by the waterfront. The storyline is different to the one in Orlando.
1. Journey to the Center of the Earth, Tokyo DisneySea. Opened in 2001. The king of all theme park attractions is Journey to the Center of the Earth, which is a dark ride with a high-speed finale, all set inside the iconic Mount Prometheus volcano in the middle of DisneySea. Arguably, the theming and atmosphere in the queue is even better than the ride itself, which seems to be over all too quickly.
When we do not mention Disney, and perhaps try to rate some of the rides and attractions from its competitors, such as Universal Studios, I can think of 3 incredible rides – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Revenge of the Mummy – that could easily rank in this list of Disney attractions. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, actually, would probably rank as number 2 in my list overall, though nothing can beat the intricate theming of Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo DisneySea!