This is the second post in my series where I answer some of the Fourth Chair Carryover Questions from the Nerd Lunch Podcast. See my first blog post in this series to read about what exactly that is.

This question is from Jay from the and anyone that knows Jay knows that his questions are always loooong. But it’s a good one…

“You meet a brand new significant other while perusing the gardening section at Lowes Home Improvement Center. You fall head over heels in love, start making out near the hydrangeas, then you run immediately to town hall and get your marriage license. And then you go on a honeymoon to Disney World. Once you’re checked in, a very nondescript but cataclysmic disaster occurs. Miraculously you and your new wife or husband are the only survivors. You don’t need to spring for the extra money on those Hopper passes because the ticket machines are obviously dead. Realizing you can’t do shit about any of this, you came close to being burnt to a crisp, you decide to make the best of it Griswold style. The downside is that only one ride in all the parks will work and since everywhere else is a disaster area, you should take full advantage of it. Much like Ray Stanz, all you need to do is choose. Choose wisely, because that ride may be the only form of entertainment you have for the rest of your life. Do you take into consideration your brand new wife’s favorite ride? Screw that, you probably haven’t even had the Disney conversation yet, you just got married two minutes ago. So, choose your ride in Disney World.”
~ Jay Ryan Source: Episode 129

I did have an answer straight away in my head, which eventually did become my final answer, but I first wanted to go through all the other main rides to check I wasn’t missing any gems. And, although I have been to Disneyland in California once, I’ve never been to Florida’s Disney World. I have, however, been to Disneyland Paris about 5 times, and I know it extremely well, and we took the family there for a week just a few months ago for Halloween. So I’m going to base my decision off that one. It’s about 90% the same anyway I think.

Here is my list of rides worth mentioning for this post, in reverse order.

It’s a Small World
I do love this ride, but seriously, would you want to only be able to go on this ride and nothing else for the rest of your life? I think going on this ride, just the two of us, with no-one else around except for all the maniacally happy, racial stereotype dolls, would be my kind of nightmare. My wife and I actually went on this once and it broke down and we were stuck in there for about 20 minutes. I’m still recovering. And I’m never watching Chuckie again.

Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast
This ride is extremely cool, and great for families. But I think it would get a bit repetitive. I can see myself getting really competitive with my wife and/or with myself, trying to get a new high score each time. But I reckon after a few goes you would probably reach a plateau.

I think this ride is perhaps only in DisneyLand Paris. This was actually a serious contender for me as it’s so relaxing. The car you sit in waltzes round to some lovely French music for most of the ride. Very cool. And then it’s spiced up by some nice 4D elements on screen. I just think parts of it would get a bit boring after a while.

Hyperspace Mountain
Space Mountain was always cool, but now it has Star Wars branding and you fly past big screens with Tie Fighters firing at you. A great idea. For me personally, I thought it wasn’t the best ride though, in terms of actual rollercoaster action. A part of me does want to go on it again and again but I don’t think I would choose it for this top ride list.

Crush’s Coaster
This is a reasonably new one, and I only got to go on it for the first time at Halloween last year in 2017. I have to say I loved it. It was much better than I expected. Your car spins as you go round a rollercoaster, which makes it quite disorienting and exciting, and there are some really dark bits where you have no idea where you’re going. It really does disorient you, and you feel like you don’t know what’s coming next, which makes it easier to go on again and again because it feels like it’s never the same ride.

Star Tours
Speaking of never having the same ride… In the new Star Tours you can apparently experience 96 different combinations of the video sections that they stitch together. I have to say it’s one of the best simulation rides I’ve been on. Some of the segments are amazing. The only down side for me in DisneyLand Paris is that this is one of the rides that is mostly in French. C-3PO is your host, and he only speaks French, so this does make it feel like you’re missing out on some of the entertainment. But if I’m stuck in the park for the rest of my life I guess I would have time to learn the language. It’s up there on my list for sure.

Big Thunder Mountain
I have such a soft spot in my heart for Big Thunder Mountain. In my head it’s a really old ride and it looks like it’s not a particularly rough ride. It almost looks like it’s more of a family fun ride. But when you get on it, it goes like the clappers! And some of the bits are in total darkness. And it goes on for ever. You really do get your money’s worth on this ride. Also, some rollercoasters are so smooth, and you’re so tightly strapped in that you don’t really feel as much fear or adrenalin, but, if my memory serves me correctly, you just have a bar across your lap for this one, and it’s a fairly rickety ride, and that all adds up to a high adrenalin experience that I don’t think would ever get stale.

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith
But… for all the adrenalin that you get from Big Thunder Mountain, it’s nothing compared to the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster ride. You start off getting catapulted off at a thousand miles an hour and then the whole ride from there on is just full on. It’s one of those rides where I just have a smile on my face the whole time. I don’t find that with Hyperspace Mountain for some reason. One year we were at DisneyLand Paris and it was really quiet at the end of the day and we got to go on Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster about 10 times in a row. It just got better every time. For that sheer adrenalin and joy I have to have it at no.2 on my list.

Tower of Terror
I mentioned at the start of this post that I had an answer straight away off the top of my head. This was it. I love this ride. My wife also loves this ride. It’s our go-to ride at EuroDisney. So it’s the perfect answer for this question. Firstly, the actual ride itself is just a pure injection of adrenalin. Like the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster, I just don’t just have a huge grin on my face the whole time, but I actually laugh the whole way through. Sheer joy. It’s just so well done in terms of never knowing when you’re going to drop. There’s that element of surprise, even when you know what’s coming. That gives it such longevity. But even more than that you also have the whole amazing setting of the hotel and the awesome Twilight Zone video at the start and the ghosts that you see down the corridor etc. It’s just so well done. My wife once went to EuroDisney and got to go in it again and again for about 2 hours with no queues. Very jealous. I was very sad to hear that in Disneyland California they have rebranded this ride as Guardians of the Galaxy. I think it was a licensing issue. It’s a shame, because the Twilight Zone hotel theme suited it so well, but I also wonder how long the Guardians of the Galaxy theme will last. But, in its defence, I have heard great reviews of the Guardians version, so I will reserve judgement until I try it.

But in summary, if I had to only go on one ride for entertainment in a Disney park with my wife after a cataclysmic disaster, I would choose The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Thanks for a fun one, Jay.

[All photos from DisneyLand Paris]