Random question, perhaps...but something that fascinates me. How important are themed vehicles to you as part of Disneyland/DCA attractions?
A breakdown of the different types of vehicles in use may be in order:
Attraction vehicles where they are themed fully to attractions: The boats in pirates come to mind, as you are boarding initially a vehicle to take you through a swamp, and they look currently appropriately "weathered". The Peter Pan pirate ships also apply, and of course the Big Thunder trains, and Space Mountain rockets, and Mr. Toad's motorcars, and the Matterhorn bobsleds and submarines for Nemo, the service elevator in Tower of Terror.
Attraction vehicles that are neutral, or merely exist to take you through a attraction without being specific to theme: Haunted Mansion's Doombuggies spring to mind, and the Small World boats...you get the feeling these just exist in order to bring you through the show, and that's about it. I'd also include in this category, Soarin over California. It gets called or at least referenced as a "hang glider" type thing, but it's really just there for riding in, not the look of it.
Attraction vehicles that have theming, but are not specific to what you actually experience: Alice's caterpillars and the wooden carts in Pinocchio and Snow White are the primary examples here. They are themed, but in no way really are neccesary or pivitol to the attraction.
Vehicles that are the attraction solely in and of themselves: And here, I mean rides that primarily are around for the ride itself...no real scenery. This covers a lot of ground....the teacups, Dumbo, the Astro-Orbitor, the bumper cars over in DCA, and I'd argue, California Screamin, which is mostly a unthemed roller coaster.
Your thoughts? How is the balance of all these different types, and is it even important overall? Which kinds do you favor?