The night I realized POV dark ride videos were a genre in and of themselves, I spent a long and lonely evening zooming through one pitch-black, neon-speckled world after another. I’m here to introduce you to that whimsical, cavernous experience.
We’ll start off with something easy on the eyes.
1. It’s a Small World, Disneyland, 1983
It’s a world of laughter—it’s a world of tears. It makes you wonder if the creators of this ride thought to themselves, “You know what’s universal? The human condition, depression and all. But, we’ll bathe the set in blue light and fill every inch with porcelain smiles. People. Will. Love it.”
2. Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney World, 1967
When I was a child, I yelled out to Father John.
“Daddy,” I cried.
His world kept turning as the lyrics went on, “There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow,” and his animatronic face disappeared into the darkness only to reappear aged. Somehow, cold. I watch this video to remember him as he once was.
3. Splash Mountain, Walt Disney World, 1992
A crowd favorite, you’ll scream out in glee as your boat descends into the briar patch.
What’s that about Song of the South? Racist leaning, you say? Sorry, it’s hard to hear over the sound of these manufactured white water rapids.
Early depiction of Splash Mountain with far too many logs.
But, let’s not limit ourselves by staying within the confines of Disney’s parks.
4. Jurassic Park, Universal Studios Hollywood, 1996
I’ve never seen Jurassic Park, so I can only imagine that this ride covers all the vital plot details. My SparkNotes, if you will.
Here’s the thing: I’ve been working on these recommendations for longer than I’d like to admit. I’ve fallen asleep to dark ride POV videos, only to blink my dry, contact-encrusted eyes open without an adequate conclusion. So, I’m putting this matter to bed with the best attempt I can offer. Behold…
5. Monster Mansion, Six Flags Over Georgia, 1981
It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — I can relate. The opening scene has me feeling like I’m paddling through a true flood. As if, the water could go up and up until it’s at your neck’s end. If you make it to the ride’s completion, there’s a real satisfying honk. You’re welcome!
This article was written by Holly Ratcliff who will sleep soundly tonight knowing you’ve shared in the POV dark-ride experience. Holly studied poetry at Texas State University. Her literary research is available through the Texas State Undergraduate Research Journal: “‘Too much water hast thou, poor Ophelia’: An Object-Oriented Reading of Hamlet.” Twitter/Instagram: @HollytheHare