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  • [Question] What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

    Over in the DCA Project Tracker thread, there's a discussion of what constitutes a dark ride. So I wanted to open it up more generally and discuss what different types of rides there are, whether you can or can't have one ride fit into two categories, etc. Here's my incomplete list:

    Dark Rides: Haunted Mansion, Alice, Peter Pan, the rest of the FL rides, Little Mermaid, Pooh, Monsters, Inc.

    Coasters: Space, BTMRR, Screamin', Matterhorn

    Flume: POTC, GRR, Splash, IASW

    Thrill: TOT, Indy, Radiator Springs Racers, Star Tours

    Interactive: BLAB, TSMM

    Carnival: Mickey's Fun Wheel, Carousel, Dumbo, Rockets

    How do you categorize the rides?

  • #2
    Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

    I believe that there are plenty of attractions that fit in two categories.

    The attractions I consider as dark rides:

    Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
    Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
    Alice in Wonderland
    Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
    Peter Pan's Flight
    Snow White's Scary Adventures
    Pinocchio's Daring Journey
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    The Haunted Mansion
    Splash Mountain
    The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
    Indiana Jones Adventure
    Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
    Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sulley To The Rescue
    The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    Toy Story Midway Mania


    Coasters:
    Space Mountain
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Matterhorn Bobsleds
    Gadget's Go Coaster
    California Screamin'
    Mulholland Madness

    Flume:
    Splash Mountain
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    Jungle Cruise
    Storybookland Canal Boats
    it's a small world
    Grizzly River Run

    Thrill:
    Splash Mountain
    Space Mountain
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Matterhorn Bobsleds
    Star Tours
    Indiana Jones Adventure
    California Screamin'
    The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
    Grizzly River Run

    Interactive:
    Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
    Toy Story Midway Mania
    Last edited by stitchon; 12-23-2008, 10:16 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

      OY reading the title of this thread gave me a headache!


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      • #4
        Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

        Originally posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
        OY reading the title of this thread gave me a headache!
        I know 12 words is complicated, but get this, sometimes I write sentences with as many as 13 words! Or maybe you didn't like the multiple /s and 'ride's.

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        • #5
          Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

          The problem is, when the phrase 'dark-ride' was coined, the technology involved to create rides like ToT, Indy, and the like didn't exist.

          There's a lot of comparison of new rides with old terms definition. In reality, the rides that the term 'dark ride' was created for are rarely even built these days.

          Also, 'thrill' and 'flume' are very generic. GRR is a water ride. Splash is a dark ride with out-door elements. Indy is a dark ride with thrills. BLAB is a dark ride involving guest interaction. See what I'm saying?

          'Dark ride' is an umbrella term. It covers almost all the genres: thrills, flumes, I know there's a flume/coaster dark ride in existence. So to try and disect what is a TRUE dark ride, we'd have to settle on the FL rides and Pooh. So how about for today's generation we'll say: Dark rides are heavily themed, immersive, HOUSED attractions.
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          • #6
            Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

            Originally posted by Mojave View Post
            I know 12 words is complicated, but get this, sometimes I write sentences with as many as 13 words! Or maybe you didn't like the multiple /s and 'ride's.
            I'll admit it was heavily overwhelming.


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            • #7
              Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

              Originally posted by dizzneeland View Post
              The problem is, when the phrase 'dark-ride' was coined, the technology involved to create rides like ToT, Indy, and the like didn't exist.

              There's a lot of comparison of new rides with old terms definition. In reality, the rides that the term 'dark ride' was created for are rarely even built these days.

              Also, 'thrill' and 'flume' are very generic. GRR is a water ride. Splash is a dark ride with out-door elements. Indy is a dark ride with thrills. BLAB is a dark ride involving guest interaction. See what I'm saying?

              'Dark ride' is an umbrella term. It covers almost all the genres: thrills, flumes, I know there's a flume/coaster dark ride in existence. So to try and disect what is a TRUE dark ride, we'd have to settle on the FL rides and Pooh. So how about for today's generation we'll say: Dark rides are heavily themed, immersive, HOUSED attractions.
              Yeah, as parks try to create new and different attractions, what we increasingly get is what I call "hybrid rides". In other words, they combine elements from different kinds of rides. Both Pirates and Splash are a combination dark ride/flume ride, although Splash is more flume and Pirates is more dark ride.

              The labels are convenient for the purposes of categorization, but they rarely fit perfectly as a description. New terms have to be created at times to describe certain kinds of rides; the term "interactive ride" was certainly unheard of in Walt's day.

              If you look at Stichon's list (post #2) he makes a good point by including some rides under two separate categories. Indy, for example, is as much a dark ride as it is a thrill ride. That's a hybrid.

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              • #8
                Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

                Originally posted by disneyfann121 View Post
                Yeah, as parks try to create new and different attractions, what we increasingly get is what I call "hybrid rides". In other words, they combine elements from different kinds of rides. Both Pirates and Splash are a combination dark ride/flume ride, although Splash is more flume and Pirates is more dark ride.

                The labels are convenient for the purposes of categorization, but they rarely fit perfectly as a description. New terms have to be created at times to describe certain kinds of rides; the term "interactive ride" was certainly unheard of in Walt's day.

                If you look at Stichon's list (post #2) he makes a good point by including some rides under two separate categories. Indy, for example, is as much a dark ride as it is a thrill ride. That's a hybrid.
                This is a little off topic, but can we refrain from using buzz words like 'hybrid'?? Those type of words and text typing (I C U P) are a couple of the only pet peeves I have. Another is when I ask someone how the resturaunt they ate at was and they say it was 'chill'. I don't have another suggestion, except for maybe like a compound ride, haha, but I don't consider them 'hybrids'.
                EDIT: Here's an example of what a hybrid ride would be: Indiana Jones. And not because of the thrill element. It combined motion simulators and dark rides. Flumes were invented FOR dark rides. That's the only reason why I say that 'hybrid' isn't the correct term to use.

                Also, I'm not a big Wikipedia is the end all be all of information, but here's what they said a dark ride is:

                'A dark ride or darkride is an indoor amusement ride where riders in guided vehicles travel through specially-lit scenes that typically contain animation, sounds, music, and other special effects. The name can be misleading, since a dark ride does not have to be dark - it is simply enclosed, so it is only illuminated by artificial means. (Disney's It's a Small World is an example of a brightly-lit dark ride.) Nevertheless, most use special lighting to achieve theatrical effects. Selective use of darkness is advantageous because it helps hide the mechanisms of the ride and because it can increase the visual drama of the experience.'

                My point is that the ride vehicle(boat, omnimover) or means in which the ride vehicle travels(flume, elevator lift) is very minute to the attraction actually being considered a dark ride. Look at the different types of coasters that exist. Inverted, Stand-Up, Swinging, Spinning, Conventional, hyper, LIM, etc., they're all still coasters. They just incorporate different elements to deliver their punch. And as far as thrill rides not being dark rides, I say if you get punched with brass knuckles, you're still getting punched.
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                • #9
                  Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

                  One thing that I find interesting is how Disney says that their roller coasters are "roller coaster type rides" such as in the queue video of Space Mountain or the signs out front saying stuff about pregnancy.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

                    I like the idea of using multiple labels for attractions to give a better example of what they are and who they are for. First use an excitement level and then add all of the ride types that apply. Over time, new ride types have evolved. As a result, many rides operate in multiple categories and require multiple classifications.

                    Excitement level:
                    Extreme, Thrill, Family, Kiddie, Tot

                    Ride Type (may use more than one):
                    Dark Ride, Flume, Coaster, Flat (Carnival), Interactive, Simulator, Movie, Walk-through, Transportation, Other

                    For example:
                    • Splash Mountain - Thrill, Flume, Dark Ride
                    • Haunted Mansion - Family, Dark Ride
                    • Dumbo - Kiddy, Flat Ride (Carnival Ride)
                    • Innoventions - Family, Walk-Through
                    • Sleeping Beauty Castle - Family, Walk-Through
                    • Honey I shrunk the Audience - Family, Movie, Interactive
                    • Star Tours - Thrill, Simulator
                    • Small World - Family, Kiddie, Flume, Dark Ride
                    • Space Mountain - Thrill, Coaster, Dark Ride
                    • Gadgets Go Coaster - Kiddie, Coaster
                    • Mickey's House - Kiddie, Tot, Walk-Through
                    • Disneyland Railroad - Family, Transportation (some might add "Dark Ride" for the diorama sections)
                    • Midway Mania - Family, Dark Ride, Interactive
                    That's the way I've always done it and it seems to work pretty well. Some also add age levels (Teen, Adult, Kids, Tot, Family, etc.), but I've sort of rolled that into Excitement level for simplicity - which seems to work fine for the Disney parks.
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                    • #11
                      Re: What is a dark ride/thrill ride/coaster/flume ride/interactive ride?

                      I didn't know that "hybrid ride" was a buzz word, nor do I care. I came up with that phrase independently to describe rides which combine a number of different elements, and I think it fits. If other people use that phrase too, that's their business.

                      Secondly, I agree with most of what DustySage said, but I disagree with the characterization of Space Mountain as a dark ride. It's an indoor coaster. The difference is not just in speed and thrills, but also in the absense of sets, show scenes and characters, among other elements of a dark ride. We already had this discussion in another thread a few months back; unfortunately, I don't remember which thread. It's also no big deal, but I really don't think an indoor coaster is a dark ride, except in the sense that it is "housed". The Disneyland Railroad is also not a dark ride at all (it's no more a dark ride than the Mark Twain Riverboat).

                      Like I said, no biggie, and happy new year to everyone.

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