We Disney Fans love to make comparisons and argue for our favorites. Is Pirates of the Caribbean better in Orlando or Anaheim? Would you rather visit Disneyland Paris or Tokyo Disneyland? Snack on a Dole Whip or a Mickey Bar?
All of these favorites tell you a bit about somebody’s personality. Like it or not, when you’re chatting with somebody new, there’s always some conversational shorthand as you try to understand who they are. Baby boomer music fans have their standby too: Who’s your favorite Beatle? And they know that John fans tend to be political and moody, Paul fans romantic and kind-hearted, George fans esoteric, and Ringo fans off-beat. Or if you’re a little closer to the fringe, maybe you’ll ask who their favorite Ramone is . . . and you know you gotta watch your back around anybody who tells you it’s DeeDee.
So, what Disney question could best serve as an instant personality quiz? We’ll do best if we consider an attraction where there’s not a clear winner for best version, but where differences do exist. All versions have superb themeing and story, including an excellent queue, thrilling air time, and good visuals throughout the attraction. So, if I want to figure out where you’re coming from, I might just ask you, “Which is your favorite version of the Tower of Terror?” And here’s how I’d interpret the answers.
a) Orlando: Disney-MGM Studios
The Disney-MGM Studios version of the Tower of Terror has a randomizer built into the attraction, so you never really get the same ride twice. It’s certainly the most exhilarating and disorienting experience of the Towers. However, it’s a bit like a blind date. Will this be an exciting, pleasantly surprising experience? Or will you be checking your watch, wondering if there’s any way to duck out politely?
If you tell me this is your favorite version, I know you’d rather have that thrill of surprise, even if it means sometimes you have a less-than-stellar experience. And I’ll wonder how that plays out in your day-to-day life. Do you bail out of perfectly good situations (job, marriage), just for the novelty’s sake? Or are you ambitious in your professional life, moving up the job ladder to keep getting that thrill of newness? Do you make room for growth and change in your relationships?
b) Anaheim: Disney’s California Adventure
The Disney’s California Adventure version of the Tower of Terror has an excellent drop sequence and a nifty little effect where you watch yourself disappear in a haunted mirror. The drop sequence is always great, but it’s also always predictable. (We just went up? Okay, now we’re gonna go down. We just went down? You know the rest.)
If you tell me this is your favorite version, I know that you’re willing to sacrifice surprise and spontaneity in favor of predictable excellence. You’re probably the marrying type – if you find the right person, you’ll gladly give up the thrill and novelty that come from playing the field. You probably don’t like to change jobs all that often. But since you’re a Tower of Terror fan in the first place, you may still be a thrill seeker. That job and that spouse? Neither one of them can afford to be boring. They’d quickly lose your interest.
c) Tokyo: Tokyo Disneyland
Now, I’ve been to Disneyland Tokyo, but I haven’t been on their Tower of Terror . . . and I’ll confess I don’t even know whether it was open yet when I visited that park. I was touring the park alone with my then-five-year-old son, who has never been much of a thrill ride fan (even now at the ripe old age of 11, I can’t even get him on Big Thunder).
So if you tell me your favorite is Tokyo, I’m gonna be tempted to bluff, because I’m not quite suave enough to surreptitiously google it while you’re telling me it’s the best. So instead, I’ll ask if you’ve been to the park, or researched this version online. And this will be a clue as to whether you’re a compulsive Disney attractions researcher, a passionate traveler, or both (like, oh, yours truly). I won’t yet have much of a clue to who you are, but at least I’m on the trail.
d) Paris: Coming to Walt Disney Studios Park
As of this writing, the Disneyland Paris version of Tower of Terror hasn’t opened yet. So if you tell me this is your favorite you’re either an insider, precocious, or bluffing. My money’s on the latter.
So tell me, did you take the quiz? Does my unscientific, pop psychology hold up? Drop me an email, let me know whether I’m onto something here . . . or whether this is, yet again, just another of my excuses to ramble on about Disney.
(Oh, and for those of you keeping score at home? My answers to the questions above: POTC Anaheim, Tokyo, Mickey Bar, John, Joey, and Disney’s California Adventure.)