Toy Story Mania

The two main attractions of any classic theme park (aside from food) are rides and games. Theme parks have come a long way over the years, and many parks have found a way to combine these two hallmark attractions. Most big theme parks these days have at least one interactive ride. From steering the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy to protecting a chocolate factory, these interactive experiences have become favorites of many guests.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Image: Walt Disney World

Today we are going to look at 6 of the best interactive rides in North America. But first, let’s look at a few of the honorable mentions. Walt Disney World’s Buzz Lightyear’s Spacer Ranger Spin and Cedar Fair’s Boo Blasters at Boo Hill (located at several parks) did not make the list mainly due to the blaster accuracy and the fact that blasters are mounted and not as easily aimed.

While Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland does have better aiming abilities with the blasters, the other interactive Toy Story rides edge it out of making our list. Disney’s California Adventure’s WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure is quite as accurate an experience as some of the other rides on our list, and therefore didn’t quite make the cut. Finally, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland is a Star Wars lover’s dream, however not all the positions are equally enjoyable (if you have been an engineer, you know what we mean). For this reason, it doesn’t make the top 6 list.

1. Toy Story Mania/ Toy Story Midway Mania: Disney Parks

Toy Story Mania
Image: Walt Disney World

We are including both Walt Disney World and Disney California Adventure's version of this ride in one spot because the two attractions are almost the same. This 3D attraction can be a bit of a workout but is fast-paced and fun. The close-up screens make for accurate shooting, and the theming is nostalgic to classic games in the midway of a fair. The theming is also much more engaging than simply shooting a laser at a small moving target. Changing between different themed games in each section also adds variety to the ride. Finally, who doesn’t love some competition? Be sure to rack up those points to try to claim the “Best in Vehicle” title.

2. Men in Black: Alien Attack: Universal Studios Florida

men in black alien attack
Image: Universal Studios Florida

Men in Black: Alien Attack opened back in 2000, and it is still proving thrills, fun, and laughs. This interactive ride incorporates large set pieces rather than just screens. In fact, it was the largest dark ride ever built back when it opened 22 years ago. The ride features blasters that are detached and able to be aimed in all directions. This comes in handy when the ride vehicles are zipping around so you can take aim at aliens lurking about, and when they are spinning around because of an alien counterattack. Though the spinning is not terrible if you are prone to motion sickness. Can you get more points than the players on another vehicle?

3. Reese’s Cupfusion: Hersheypark

Reeses Cupfusion
Image: Hersheypark

Reese’s Cupfusion was formerly known as Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge but was revamped and returned better than ever in 2019. This interactive dark ride boasts 6 ways to play including fixed and moving targets, both small and large targets, unlocking “easter eggs,” and cooperative group play. The overall theme takes riders on a journey to guard the Crystal Cup against a flurry of not-so-sweet candy conspirators. It includes the most targets of any gaming ride, and riders can receive a free ride photo. Would you have what it takes to make it on Reese’s Fall of Fame?


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