I've been a big fan of Indy for a long time.....so the fact that I think Racers gives it a run for its money really says something! I can't really pick a favorite between the two yet. Indy has more thrill and peril; Racers has more charm and beauty. Indy has more impressive environments; Racers has more impressive animatronics. Indy brings back memories of a film franchise I love; Racers gives me surprisingly warm feelings toward a film franchise that I don't love. Both do an amazing job of immersing you in a different world from the moment you enter the queue, and both deliver strong emotional journeys that I find myself wanting to experience again and again.
So for me its a tie right now but we'll see what happens as time passes!
For years, people complained about Disney rides always having the "we're doing fine, oh no! something went horribly wrong, but we narrowly escape!" storyline. RSR is a refreshing break from that.
The rock formations are indeed impressive but in my opinion don't convey a great queue, there has to be variety. In Big Thunder for instance they have other items besides the rock formations to get your attention such as the town of rainbow ridge, numerous props, and large water fixtures. In Indy they have elements such as the falling ceiling, rope pulling, artwork, story, and even a fake language embedded in the walls. Every one of the queues I mentioned previously execute these things to an extent, RSR has little much to offer other than the rocks.
RSR has just as many things as Big Thunder in the regular queue. You have the rockwork and landscaping of course then you have the radiator spring water feature with attached water tank, you have the water fill up station right across from that, then the queue meanders through three buildings each offering numerous props and settings, and finally watching the cars load and go in the Comfy Caverns Motor Court loading area. IMO RSR has more to it's queue then Big Thunder and Big Thunder is my favorite attraction at DL. And Space...most overrated attraction at the resort and the queue is dank and bland. It's about as impressive as the queue for Soarin...cold and blank metal walls well, at least Soarin has the museum aspect going for it.
As far as between these two attractions...RSR wins out for me but I've never really had Indy as a top attraction. There is just something so heartwarming and fun about RSR. From the beautiful rockwork and landscaping outside, the more than impressive set of AA's and set pieces inside, to the side-by-side race where you can cheer and look at the people next to you racing all put together with a great musical track throughout...it's just great. The storyline, which goes away from the "everything went wrong" aspect, really creates a feel good and fun story. Everybody on the ride and getting off the ride just looks like they had a good time and had fun. It's contagious. RSR is the #1 ride at the resort for me and if I were to make a top 5, Indy would probably be #3. I'd have: 1. RSR, 2. Big Thunder, 3. Indy/ToT tie, 4. Haunted Mansion, 5. TSMM/Star Tours tie.
Ok, so now I know I'm not the only one that teared up on RSR! Cars is one of my favorite movies so when I saw all the animatronics and stuff I really got emotional. That being said, I don't think RSR compares to Indy in the thrill factor, but comes close as a dark ride. I actually think RSR is better compared to Splash Mountain because it's mostly dark ride with short thrills.
I like the fact that Lightning McQueen and Maynard decided to allow their exact likenesses to be used in Radiator Springs Racers, unlike Harrison Ford that has an Indy figure that looks more like one of the living dead. I call the figure, "Witch Doctor Jones".
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I find RSR more enjoyable than Indy. I do appreciate Indy for what it is, especially having walked the track and seen everything up close, but I'm usually not excited to ride it. RSR is just as well themed and actually gets me excited in a way I haven't been by a Disney ride in years. I'm very close to declaring RSR my favorite ride in the resort.
THe sound in the show building felt muddled to me, and it was always a struggle to figure out what the characters were saying. By using sound coming from the characters, and not in the vehicles, they have a huge echo problem in those small spaces, and all of those echos, especially in the last scene, left everyone in my car, on both trips, asking what was being said.
In addition you can clearly see and hear Mater from the Sheriff scene talking to the car in front of you. This, in my opinion, ruins the illusion that he is rolling around the corner t talk to you. Here I think the ride could benefit from adding some bushes and turing down the audio from Mater which supporting his lines with in vehicle audio.
Indy has the same echo problem in the last scene, but there is no other dialogue being spoken close by so it's not too much of a problem there.
"You see- Everybody's got a laughin' place, trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it."