Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ride Matchup #2 Gran Fiesta Tour vs. Maelstorm

Although it's not really march anymore and this tournament can't really be called the March/April Madness Bracket I still want to continue my first ride review tournament at because I think it could be a lot of fun! So without further ado here is the second matchup on what I'm going to call the Februrary/March/April 2011/2012 Madness tournament. (Catchy name isn't it? haha)

Gran Fiesta Tour Review 
  1. Visual Theming - Gran Fiesta Tour is well regaled with interesting backgrounds representative of Mexican cities (especially the volcano scene) intermixed with video screens showing the actions of the three caballeros.  That being said some of the scenes at the end of the ride become repetitive and the queue is very short and therefore only has limited theming elements. Score 7.75 out of 10
  2. Audio Theming - The voices of the three caballeros (Panchito, Jose, and Donald Duck) and music played throughout the ride are well themed but somewhat basic. Also the frantic pace of the characters and some songs does not really match the pace of the slow-moving boats. Score 7 out of 10
  3. Story-Telling - The basis for the story of this ride is that the three caballeros have a show to perform but they can't find Donald so they rapidly search throughout Mexico for him. The storyline is simple but it works and is interesting. The main problem is once again the pacing of the story. Score 7.5 out of 10
  4. Popularity - The very short queue line of Gran Fiesta Tour is a testament to the low number of guests who ride this attraction. There is never a line of more than minutes but this can be somewhat excused when you consider the ride's location (In the back of an indoor pavillion in the World Showcase) Score 6.75 out of 10
  5. Age Range - Although this slow boat ride is not the most exciting ride it's nature allows it to appeal to all ages. Making this a good ride for families to take a short brake on after a long day in EPCOT and the World Showcase Score 8.5 out of 10
  6. Lasting Appeal - It is hard to tell what the lasting appeal of Gran Fiesta Tour is and will be. It has been open for only 4 years now but throughout that time the size of the crowds coming to this ride, although admittedly small, have remained constant. It seems likely that this trend will continue and Gran Fiesta Tour will have the same appeal it has always had Score 7 out of 10
  7. Intangibles - Gran Fiesta Tour is certainly more of a interesting compliment to the Mexico pavilion than a headline attraction. Still it provides good family fun with its simple charm and theming Score 7.75 out of 10
    1. Visual Theming - The maelstrom is well themed throughout all its aspects; its queue, ride, and post show. The ride portion is themed in the same manner as pirates of the caribbean as both rides are the same type (although POTC is much longer and more impressive).  Although some parts of the ride and show are outdated, the overall presentation is good. Score 7.75 out of 10
    2. Audio Theming - Maelstorm's soundtrack begins with a viking telling you a tale of the lore and legend of Norway as your boat ascends toward the ride and from this point on the sounds of Maelstorm never fail to disappoint as the rides soundtrack makes you feel as if you are really in Norway and immersed in the country's history and legend. Score 8.75 out of 10
    3. Story-Telling - As you board your boat on the Maelstorm you are instantly aware of the message that is trying to be conveyed by this ride as a giant mural of Norway's culture adorns the entrance wall. The ride goes on to carry out its story using unique characters (such as trolls and vikings) and methods making it interesting the entire way. Score 8 out of 10
    4. Popularity - The Maelstorm is the only fastpass attraction in EPCOT's world showcase pavillion  and generally has moderately sized lines which can reach up to 45 minutes or more but this may be in part due to the fact that it is one of the few rides located in the area rather than its overall popularity. Score 7.75 out of 10
    5. Age Range - This ride is generally calm throughout but does feature a couple small drops and high speed areas. Also there is one part of the ride where your boat travels backwards and although all these elements are relatively mild they may turn some people off to the ride. Finally, while the movie following the ride is optional and very good and appeals to many adults it may bore some young children. Score 8 out of 10
    6. Lasting Appeal - Because Maelstorm is one of the few rides in the world showcase pavillion it draws many visitors who are looking for a change of pace from the shopping and dining of the pavilions and until a new ride is built in the area Maelstorm is like to retain it's popularity because of its location. Score 7.75 out of 10
    7. Intangibles - The inclusion of parts such as a giant, very cool mural and an interesting movie before and after the ride help make Maelstorm a exciting part of the Norway pavillion and a solid ride overall. Score 8 out of 10
    Final Scores
    Gran Fiesta Tour - 7.5 out of 10
    Maelstorm - 8 out 10

    Winner - Maelstorm is the winner of our battle of world showcase attraction because although Gran Fiesta Tour appeals to wide range of people, Maelstorm is overall a more exciting ride which draws bigger crowds for good reason.

    I hope to continue with the rest of the matchups on the bracket in near future and eventually crown a winner. But in the mean time tell me what you think of the tournament and individual ride rankings in the comments!

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