The Best Dark Rides
Different from indoor roller coasters, dark rides are indoor rides consisting of a vehicle traveling past animated scenes. This week I’m going to list my top three dark rides. I’m going to forgoe the ranking system (1-3) as it’s tough to compare the more tradional dark rides to the state-of-art 3D varieties of today.

Curse of Darkastle at Busch Gardens Europe
Darkastle is often compared to the Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure because it uses similar technology to take its riders on a journey. I feel Darkastle is more on par with Spider-Man than most would admit. Of course it doesn’t boast the lovable arachnid hero, but it does have a pretty cool story of a Bavarian castle frozen in time. More on Busch Gardens Europe…>>>

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Islands of Adventure
Spider-Man takes riders on an adventure in a Daily Bugle vehicle known as the Scoop. Riders join Spidey as he battles Doctor Octopus, Scream, Electro, Hydro-Man, and the Hobgoblin. Via the 3-D effects and onboard technology riders feel the heat of Doc Ock’s blasters and Hobgoblin’s exploding pumpkins. The Spider-Man ride helps to make Islands of Adventure a must visit destination. It truly is amazing.

Haunted Mansion at Knoebels Amusement Park
The Haunted Mansion at Knoebels (Elysburg, PA) is more of a traditional dark ride. It uses darkness, walls, and a tight twisting path to scare riders half to death. While I don’t know the ride time, I remember it being a pretty long and scary ride. Haunted Mansion takes many of the best aspects of Morey’s Piers dark rides and combines them. I don’t want to give too much away, but as you would expect its dark and things jump out at you. The house has quite a bit of variety from ghosts to aliens, to weird haunting lights, and the usual dark ride fare. Knoebels’ Haunted Mansion is consistently rated among the best dark rides in the country.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions on Top 3 Thursdays or dark rides? Leave ’em below. Also, visit the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts (DAFE) site for more info. Image 2 courtesy of

About The Author

Founder of My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

5 Responses

  1. The Coaster Critic

    I agree. It's definitely one of the most memorable experiences I've had at a theme park. There are even many details that you don't even notice unless you've ridden a ton of times. This wikipedia entry lists a few things I didn't notice. The phone number for the Coup Theatre is a nice touch. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Judy P in Pgh

    I rode this with my 4-year old niece. She's quite the brave kid!Oh, yeah, and Kennywood is my home park. I grew up in West Mifflin which is where Kennywood is located. I even worked in Kiddieland for 4 yours to put myself through college. Sorry guys, the the Thunderbolt will always be #1 for me. We used to ride it before the park opened with freshly greased track and no brakes!

  3. The Coaster Critic

    It's been way too long since I've ridden Thunderbolt, but I remember it being a lot of fun. I loved how it used the terrain and had an unusual layout. It used to be in my top 10. It must've been even crazier without trim brakes. A great choice for a top coaster.

  4. Judy P in Pgh jpolc

    Do you remember the Jack Rabbit with the double-dip? I took my son on it for his first time when he had just turned 2 and he loved it. Needless to say, he also spent a few of his college summers working at Kennywood. He was a french fry specialist at the Potato Patch (my all time #1 park food). He was also the top batter-maker at the funnel cake stand. Funny, but he always came home smelling a lot differently from a day in the refreshment stands than I did after lifting kids all day. I guess we were both pretty rank!!


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