Nine Disney Attractions You’ll Need a Passport to Ride
Okay, we’ve talked about attractions that remain exclusive to Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
However, those discussions cover only one-third of Disney’s global theme park empire.
So, let’s discuss the other four parks. Here are nine Disney attractions you’ll need a passport to experience.
Ant-Man & the Wasp: Nano Battle!
I have a soft spot for Hong Kong Disneyland, the plucky underdog among Disney parks.
For various reasons, this park has consistently underachieved, making it the lovable loser in Disney’s lineup.
Hilariously, this place still features some of the best attractions on the planet, which just goes to show how impressive Disney’s collective library is.
The most recent addition is Ant-Man & the Wasp: Nano Battle!
This ride walks a fine line between successor to Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and a precursor to WEBSLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure.
Structurally, Nano Battle is closer to the latter attraction, as it modernizes the scoring apparatus from Buzz Lightyear. And the Marvel theme raises the stakes.
Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
Tokyo Disneyland introduced this attraction during the pandemic. So, unless you were reading MickeyBlog at the time, you might not even know about it.
The attraction utilizes trackless technology to spin guests around the familiar sets from the film, including the dinner table during a dazzling rendition of Be Our Guest.
You’ll even dance in the ballroom as you celebrate the union between Belle and Beast.
This ride is legitimately in the conversation for best in the world. Its lack of a heightened profile is maddening.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril
At Disneyland, Indiana Jones Adventure transports guests to a real-life recreation of an Indiana Jones movie.
Disneyland Paris takes a vastly different approach with Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril. It’s a steel roller coaster set against the backdrop of Adventureland.
So, you may expect a wooden coaster experience right up until you board the ride. At that point, you’ll realize you’re on a smoother but more violent minecart adventure.
Think of a cross between Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and you’ll get the gist.
By the way, this park offers a distinct version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as well. It’s worth a look, too!
Iron Man Experience
Here’s the second attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland, the park that has worked so hard to change its identity.
Nobody disputes that the Hong Kong location had a shaky start…and by start, I mean the first decade.
Still, the most recent rides here deliver much higher quality. And Iron Man Experience proves the point.
On this attraction, you fly around China as if you were Iron Man. You’ll even encounter him occasionally throughout the ride.
Something else I dig is that the attraction works like a reverse Soarin’. You’ll start at Hong Kong Disneyland. So, the first sights are from the park.
On Soarin’, the attraction always finishes at the park you’re visiting.
With Iron Man Experience, you’ll engage in the equivalent of a video game boss fight, allowing you to participate in the action. It’s incredibly intense!
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Only one recurring theme has connected these three otherwise disparate articles. One ride concept appears on each one.
At Disneyland, you know the attraction as Radiator Springs Racers. EPCOT hosts its version, Test Track. Then, there’s Tokyo DisneySea.
This location celebrates Jules Verne’s masterwork, Journey to the Center of the Earth, by taking guests to Mount Prometheus at Mysterious Island.
Visually, this attraction was Pandora – The World of Avatar 16 years early, and it’s still achingly beautiful today.
I’ve never been to Hong Kong. So, I’ve never actually ridden Mystic Manor. However, I think it’s my most-watched ride video on YouTube…and probably by a lot.
When Imagineers plotted this park’s version of Haunted Mansion, they correctly determined that a new approach would serve the story better.
So, this one drops the horror in favor of the mystical. The humor remains firmly in place, though.
A member of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) allows his pet monkey too much access to dangerous artifacts.
The unlikely but adorable outcome is…well, just watch the ride video!
Disneyland Paris takes the opposite approach with its version of Haunted Mansion.
This attraction drops the humor entirely, focusing instead on the darker elements of the premise.
What’s the worst wedding horror story you’ve ever heard? Does it beat one where a woman falls in love, only for her (dead) father to kill her betrothed on her wedding day? Yeah, I thought not.
The story is decidedly French with all its misery, and it’s the rare Disney attraction with a female protagonist.
Will she survive the horrors committed by the Phantom, the malevolent spirit of her father? Or will she find herself trapped in the manor forever?
You really want to find out the answer to that one, don’t you? Phantom Manor features some of Disney’s best storytelling ever.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure
Before Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opened, Shanghai Disneyland claimed the title of most technologically advanced Disney ride in the world.
This park didn’t want to construct the same Pirates of the Caribbean that you can find at any Disney location.
Instead, Shanghai Disneyland married some of the ideas from the old ride with elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.
Specifically, you’ll engage in battles with powerful creatures…and these fights occur under the sea.
Yes, at one point, your ride cart will submerge, carrying you to the ocean’s depths.
The transformation is breathtaking. You’ll experience conventional parts of the attraction, including a visit with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Then, you’ll sink into a place with sharks and sea monsters. The visceral effects make this one the most intense Pirates ride by far!
Pooh’s Hunny Hunt
I obsess on this one because Magic Kingdom dropped the ball here.
When Disney foolishly chose to close Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Magic Kingdom, it lined up a replacement immediately.
However, Americans received the inferior version of that ride premise, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Don’t get me wrong. I dig that ride, but Hong Kong Disneyland hosts the better one, Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
Imagineers explore many of the same story elements in both versions. The difference comes from the execution.
Tokyo Disneyland spent big bucks (reportedly $200 million!) to create the first trackless Disney attraction.
The rider benefits mightily from this decision, as the ride cart moves in tandem with the action. So, it’s a more interactive experience.
Pay attention at the 1:40 mark of this clip:
The ride cart is bouncing in tandem with Tigger! How great is that?!
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Feature Photo: Tokyo Disney