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The 10 Most Blatant Knock-Offs of Disney Theme Park Attractions

5. Alice Ride (Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK)

Alice Ride

If any park has a right to rip-off Disney creations, it's Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The park's classic River Caves ride, for example, pre-dates Pirates of the Caribbean and is often held up as one of the inspirations for Disney's classic boat ride.

It's only fair, then, that Disney returned the favor by allowing its long-time partner Arrow Development to build the Alice Ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach under license. It opened three years after Disneyland's own Alice in Wonderland ride, and was built on a fraction of the budget (around £50,000).

The Alice Ride is a dark ride through scenes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Guests are seated in Cheshire Cat-themed carriages, some of which contain models of characters from the books. The interior scenes are lit up by ultraviolet lights, resulting in vividly colourful settings. They are populated by animatronic recreations of popular characters from the books, such as the White Rabbit and, of course, Alice herself.

While it's not a par with Disney’s own Alice in Wonderland ride (it has an unmistakeably cheesy “British seaside” feel to it), the Alic Ride is still better than most family dark rides in the UK. Kids will enjoy the colourful scenes, and even all-adult groups will find the psychedelic theming amusing.

4. Eurosat (Europa Park, Germany)

Eurosat

Image: Christina

Here's another ride that manages to rip-off two Disney attractions in one. And, once again, one of those two attractions is Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Eurosat is housed inside a geodesic sphere that is undeniably similar to the landmark at Walt Disney World's second theme park.

The ride itself is an indoor roller coaster themed around space travel, similar in style to Space Mountain. However, it features longer trains (with 8 cars per train), as well as a spiral lift hill. A techno soundtrack accompanies riders on the coaster, which was built by Europa Park's owner Mack Rides.

The ride experience falls somewhere in-between the "wild-mouse"-style Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions of the ride, and Disneyland Paris' more intense take on the concept.

3. It's a Small World (Suzhou Amusement Land, China)

One of the most-copied Disney rides of all time is It's a Small World, which took the New York's World Fair by storm in 1964 and has since been installed at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Perhaps the most intruiging and hilarious copycat is this one at Suzhou Amusement Land in China.

As usual, the amazing folks over at Theme Park Review have tracked down the ride and caught it on video. Our favorite features? The zombie-like dolls and the soundtrack, which somehow manages to be even creepier than the Disney original.

2. Global Village (Everland, South Korea)

Global Village

Image: Everland

It sounds like a rip-off of Epcot's World Showcase, but in fact Global Village is another It's a Small World clone. Being housed at one of South Korea's top theme parks, Everland, it is however a much better attempt than the Chinese versions.

The official description of the ride could almost have been lifted straight from a Disneyland guidebook: "Take a journey to the world in a small boat! An exhibition of dolls dressed in folk clothes from 18 countries around the world welcomes you with songs. Enjoy the distinct features and atmosphere of each country and lively facial expressions and gestures of countless dolls."

1. The Black Hole (Alton Towers, UK)

Black Hole

Image: Mark Hooper, Flickr

Alton Towers marketed 1984's new addition, The Black Hole, as the UK's equivalent of Space Mountain at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which it would resemble both in its space travel theme and its enclosed location. The reality was somewhat less spectacular. Disney’s Space Mountain had been a custom "wild mouse"-style coaster packed with high-tech special effects, built at a cost of $15-20 million in 1975. The Black Hole, meanwhile, was an off-the-shelf Jet Star II model designed by Anton Schwarzkopf, identical to existing coasters at several other parks (the first was built in 1974).

The trains were pulled up a spiralling lift hill towards a model of a spaceman, before plunging down the 27 foot first drop. They then raced through a series of short drops, tight corners and helices before hitting the final brake run. What would have been a relatively tame roller coaster mutated in the pitch black surroundings to become something much more menacing, with guests unable to anticipate the twists and turns. The only lighting came from the few stars and nebulae that comprised the “special effects”.

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There are 6 comments.

Don't forget the othe Europa Park knock-offs such as...
- African Queen (Original: Mark Twain Riverboat)
- Dschungel-Floßfahrt (Original: Jungle Cruise)
- EP-Express (Original: Disney Monorail)
- Geisterschloss (Original: Haunted Mansion)
- Piccolo Mondo (Original: Small World - although different theming)
- Piraten in Batavia (Original: Pirates of the Caribbean)
- Schweizer Bobbahn (Original: Matterhorn Bobsleds)
- Silverstone-Piste (Original: Autopia)

Repeat after me Nick - I must not mock the Blackhole, I must not mock the Blackhole! ;-)

Some of these are valid choices, but are you saying any Space-themed dark coaster is a Space Mountain rip-off? And any Mine Train is a rip off of BTM? Does that mean any Log Flume is a rip off of Splash Mountain?

Also, as Disney licensed Alice In Wonderland to BPB, that automatically makes it NOT a rip-off in my book.

There was the now defunct because of money issues & was shuttered in 1998 & was demolished to make way for a mall, GO USA FUN PARK!! The rides name was Chaos & it is almost an total copy of disney worlds space moutain ride. :-D

You're wrong on the video of the Soarin' ripoff; the music isn't ripped from Independence Day-it's from Jurassic Park!

Talk about knock-off's ... are you familiar with Tivoli Gardens (www.Tivoli.dk), the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world. This is where Walt got his idea for Disneyland. Many of the original rides and buildings for Disneyland and WDW were "borrowed" from Tivoli ... including the Crystal Palace (Glass Room, at Tivoli).

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