Land of the Rising Mickey - Aug 9, 2001

Land of the Rising Mickey
Page 8 of 13

Port Discovery

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It's my lucky day!  What are the odds that I would be here on the one day those bigtime scientists that hang out at the Center for Weather Control would open the place up and throw a party to celebrate their fancy new StormRider toys.  They say they're gonna to use them to knock down big storms before they cause any trouble.  Yeah - Right!  There go the scientist, playing god again.  Don't they watch the Outer Limits! - "Will it be too late before man learns the folly of trying to control that which is... yadda, yadda, yadda."    I'm not too smart, but I know better.  Why don't they?!

Now they're showing off and giving people cruises over Port Discovery for free.

But I heard they may get a chance to use their fancy new gadget sooner than they though.  Someone at the ice cream cart told me there's a really big storm is out there and it might just fall right on top of Port Discovery...   That would suck.  All this trippy, spacy music and weird spinning stuff - a bunch of nuts wearing crazy wigs - pretty girls talking about how science is finally in balance with nature...  Whatever you say, beautiful.  This party's just getting started!

I have seen some of those guys in the dark suits walking around looking pretty tense.  Oh, nevermind.  This is Japan.   That's normal.

Wow, look at all those people lined up at the Center for Weather Control building, but there's no waiting for Aquatopia... interesting.  I think the word is spreading about that storm.  Are all those nuts lining up because they want to climb on board those StormRider things for the real deal! Those scientists wouldn't take them along.. would they??  You never know with those Einsteins...


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Guests are briefed on their mission at the Center for Weather Control
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One more time!!


What a ride! It's nuts! It's relentless! And to think that before I got on it I seriously considered that the novelty may be gone and the day of the motion simulator may have passed...

It is the strong opinion of this writer that - NO! IT HASN'T!

It's one surprise after another, after another. Something doesn't go terribly wrong - everything goes terribly wrong. It starts of wild and just escalated from there...

The ride's movement is dynamic, but not as jerky at Star Tours. That's nice, but my analysis of the attractions movement went by the wayside seconds into the ride. Everything synced up properly with the action on the "vehicle's" large screen and I forgot all about the technical details.

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What happened on that screen was mesmerizing. It was a non-stop barrage of craziness, presented using special effects so realistic and creative that I have not been able to think of anything that surpasses them. They're so cool.

George Lucas and Michael Eisner need to get their act together because this attraction just pushed Star Tours down to a much lower level of embarrassing.

Another important thing I liked about the ride was my total lack of the motion sickness I've felt during and after some other motion simulators I've ridden. It's a testament to how well the visuals and the motion are synchronized. It doesn't take much of a mis-match to cause the dreaded nausea.

Tip: The scrolling LED displays at strategic locations in the preshow area offer a text version of the Cast Member's briefing, simultaneously in both English and Japanese.

Facts at a Glance

Attraction Time: Approx. 5 min. 30 sec.
Capacity: 122 persons
Vehicles 2

Backstory & Spoilers


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Although it acts as excellent eye-candy for Port Discovery, I found the ride itself to be disappointing. I guess I'm spoiled. Although it opened about a year earlier, Pooh's Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland uses a later and more advanced adaptation of Aquatopia's trackless/wireless system. The movements of the Hunny Hunt vehicles are more graceful, speedier, and more deliberate. There was also a great deal of vibration in the Aquatopia vehicles due to the grooved surface they travel on

Unfortunately, I was also disappointed by the water effects and the fact that I could easily see the bottom through the shallow water.

It's too bad. I wanted to like this attraction.

Tip: Ride this before you ride Hunny Hunt at Tokyo Disneyland. I think it's likely you'll enjoy it more than I did.

Facts at a Glance

Ride Time: Approx. 2 min. 30 sec.
Capacity: 3 passengers per vehicle
Number of Vehicles: 50