I'm wondering if at least some of the negativity directed at this attraction has to do with that fact that it is not a passive experience. Much of what you get out of the Flying Tires seems to depend on what you put into it. I remember some comments here when Midway Mania opened where some simply sat and crossed their arms- rode the ride without playing the game and declared it disappointing.
I find the idea of a ride vehicle that requires experimentation and practice to be really alluring (yes long-long lines may sour that, but it seems many of you visit frequently and could certainly spare a few long waits.) I think the idea of the beach balls is not to distract from a boring attraction- I think it's a novel and unfortunately necessary form of bait- to encourage guests to lean and move around, hopefully helping them get the gist of how this unique system operates. It may be the case that the vehicles or air system needs work, but many new rides do- besides, it hasn't even officially opened yet. I haven't been on this myself so I'm only giving my observations, but I think if you want to make a Disneyland ride comparison, I wouldn't go with Rocket Rods- I think this is more like the canoes (yes super-expensive canoes) they're not for everyone, the capacity is low, but many will find their efforts rewarded. Those who aren't going to bother rowing can't really complain about the lack of speed.
Thanks to everyone for all the great coverage not just this weekend, but over the past few years.