Among theme park enthusiasts, professionals and fans alike, an ongoing debate concerns Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure versus Universals' Islands of Adventure and The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman. Which is truly superior and state of the art? (At least this is the debate until Harry Potter's attraction opens featuring the use of the kuka arm technology!)
Both attractions are absolutely stunning! Indy's wow factor begins at its magnificent entrance, whereas Spiderman's cardboard building belies the incredible journey within. Once on board the vehicles, however, things even out pretty well- and the choice of superiority is mostly based on which fictional character and story seems to reasonate best with the rider.
Disney has let the effects inside Indy default to a poor state, and the advertised endless possible combinations of show has gone by the wayside. Islands of Adventure is also in a poor state. Universal has let the entire park become faded and full of broken effects- although I am hoping things get a quick refreshing before Harry Potter makes his debut.
In many ways, Potter's presence is a restart of the park just as California Adventure 2.0 gives the Disney suits one last chance to convince us that the second gate in Anaheim is worth the money that could be spent to go to its older sibling. Both companies get one last chance to do it right.
I'll say this much: should "Potterland" deserve its accolades and the entire park gets in full working order, I could be passing by another day at a Disney park for one at Islands of Adventure. Disney's Animal Kingdom needs something new to pull me in, and the Disney's Hollywood Studios just need help with some fresh shows to replace the old and new attractions beyond the ones currently there. In this household, Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are still bread and butter for each visit.
Now, should Indy eventually make his way to Florida in a new adventure, I'd just have to give up Harry and his wizards to see it!
(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company and Universal Creative, respectively.)