10 Best Theme Park Rides Inspired By Movies
Films and amusement park rides have had a long-standing relationship with one another, one that goes as far back as 1955 when Disneyland first opened its doors. While some movie franchises have been based on popular rides, in most recent cases, popular rides have been themed around beloved movies.
From Star Wars to Harry Potter to Avatar, movies have inspired some of the best rides ever to grace theme parks. These attractions thrill visitors while making use of the latest technologies and transporting fans into the fantastical worlds they love.
10 Incredicoaster (Disney’s California Adventure)
Originally named California Screamin’ when Disney’s California Adventure opened in 2001 according to Mercury News, this attraction was re-themed to The Incredibles when the park created Pixar Pier. The ride’s story follows the super-powered Parr family as they try to control Jack-Jack on his worst behavior.
Starting with a powerful launch and featuring the lone inversion of the two Los Angeles-area Disney parks according to the Roller Coaster Database, Incredicoaster has been well-received for its intensity and length.
9 Jurassic World – The Ride Stuns (Universal Studios Hollywood)
Originally themed around the Jurassic Park films, this ride was updated in 2019 to include aspects of the Jurassic World franchise. Following the same basic structure as the original, riders ride through the Jurassic World park before plunging down a steep drop when an Indominous Rex attacks.
Critics such as those from The LA Times have complimented the ride’s cutting-edge technology, as well as its more extreme updates, such as an increase in the intensity of the ride’s drop and the amount of water involved.
8 Revenge Of The Mummy (Universal Studios)
This roller coaster, based on The Mummy franchise, first opened in Universal Studios Florida. Though there are three different versions of the ride now, they all follow the same basic story of escaping from Imhotep.
This attraction begins by taking riders through various scenes before unexpectedly launching into a series of twists, turns, and drops in near-total darkness. Though the ride isn’t the most extreme of the thrill rides at the Universal Studios parks, the ride’s theming and surprising elements have made it into a fan favorite.
7 Harry Potter And The Escape From Gringotts (Universal Studios Orlando)
This is the second ride based on the Harry Potter franchise to open at Universal Studios Orlando. Situated in the park’s Diagon Alley area, riders are taken on a tour of Gringotts before they must escape from franchise villain Voldemort and other Harry Potter baddies.
Combining 3D effects with a fast-paced roller coaster, this ride truly is a unique experience. Per Intamin, it has repeatedly been placed in the Top Five Dark Rides In The World by the Golden Ticket Awards in the years since it opened.
6 Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance (Disney Parks)
In this intergalactic attraction, riders find themselves onboard a Resistance ship that is suddenly captured by the nefarious First Order. With the help of Finn, Poe, and Rey, riders must escape the ship as Kylo Ren chases after them.
Lasting a massive 18 minutes long, this Star Wars-themed ride is innovative in many ways. This is the first ride to utilize Disney’s virtual queue process, according to Disney Information Station, and it combines multiple ride sequences and set pieces in order to make guests feel like they are truly in the middle of an epic battle.
5 Saw: The Ride (Thorpe Park)
Based around Lionsgate’s hit Saw franchise, this ride takes viewers on a fast-paced journey that includes many close-calls with Jigsaw’s traps. The ride includes many intense elements, including multiple inversions and a terrifyingly steep drop.
One of the few horror movie-themed theme park rides in the world, this ride has been praised for its intensity, level of theming, and interesting layout.
4 Toy Story Midway Mania (Disney Parks Worldwide)
An incredibly popular Disney ride, Toy Story: Midway Mania is an interactive 4-D attraction. In it, guests are taken to various point-based mini-games, with the goal of getting the highest overall score in the cart.
Based on Pixar’s beloved Toy Story franchise, this ride has gained popularity because of its easy and fun ride mechanics and its appeal to all ages.
3 Avatar: Flight Of Passage (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
This ride is the main event at the Pandora: The World of Avatar section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A 3D flight simulator, this attraction allows guests to board a Banshee and take flight across the world of Avatar. Throughout the adventure, fans visit massive floating rocks and the vast underwater areas of Pandora.
Ranked as the second-best new ride of 2017 by The Golden Ticket Awards, this ride has a similar ride design to Soarin’ but stands out due to its immersive ride vehicles and its long duration.
2 Dinosaur Roars (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
This exciting Animal Kingdom ride is a dark ride/simulator that transports fans back to the age of the dinosaurs. However, an asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, threatening to wipe everything out, adding an element of danger.
Originally titled Countdown to Extinction, this ride was re-themed in 2000 to promote Disney’s film Dinosaur. One of the rare rides more popular than its original film, this thrilling Disney Parks adventure has become a fan-favorite due to its impressive design and animatronics.
1 TRON Lightcycle Power Run (Shanghai Disneyland)
Themed to Disney’s TRON franchise, this roller coaster takes riders on a fast-paced ride on forward-leaning seats designed to mimic the light cycle vehicle from the franchise. Though there is currently only one version operating today, the TRON ride’s popularity has caused Disney to plan a second version as part of an expansion to Disney’s Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, per the official Disney Parks blog.
With an innovative design and impeccable theming by Disney, this has been a ride that has been heavily praised.
NEXT: 10 Disney Movies That Shockingly Don’t Have Themed Rides In Disney Parks
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About The Author
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Walker Floyd is a freelance writer with experience working in the entertainment industry in various capacities. Currently, he writes lists about various film and TV topics for Screen Rant. With a degree in Media Production from Emerson College, he has a deep passion for film and pop culture discussion. He’s also a huge music lover, and can go toe-to-toe with anyone on Brockhampton knowledge.
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