This or That: The Great Movie Ride® vs. Ellen’s Energy Adventure

Lake Buena Vista, FL — This week, our “This or That” series will head to the Walt Disney World® Resort to examine two slow-moving, dark rides. First, we’ll take a ride on The Great Movie Ride® at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and then we’ll stroll over to Epcot® to experience Ellen’s Energy Adventure.

Located inside a replica of the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, The Great Movie Ride® features iconic scenes from classic films of the 1930’s through the early 1980’s. Guests board a “traveling theatre” which is operated by a live tour guide who also narrates throughout the experience.

The Great Movie Ride®

The Great Movie Ride®


The attraction navigates through iconic scenes from classic films such as Mary Poppins, The Public Enemy, Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tarzan the Ape Man, Fantasia, The Wizard of Oz and more. The grand finale features a three-minute film montage highlighting moments from 120+ classic films.

Next, we travel to Future World at Epcot® for a ride on Ellen’s Energy Adventure where guests explore how energy is produced and search for new energy resources. Just like in The Great Movie Ride®, guests board a “traveling theatre” vehicle; however, they are not operated by live tour guides.

Ellen's Energy Adventure

Ellen’s Energy Adventure


Ellen’s Energy Adventure features Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ with appearances by Alex Trebek, Johnny Gilbert and Jamie Lee Curtis. The attraction begins with a look at the origin of fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas and then later explores solar, wind and hydroelectric power.

So, which attraction do we prefer? The Great Movie Ride® and Ellen’s Energy Adventure offer similar experiences as they are both indoors, they both utilize similar ride vehicles and they both load and unload guests in a single boarding area. Neither attraction is restricted by height nor do the attractions exit into a gift shop.

The Great Movie Ride®

The Great Movie Ride®


The Great Movie Ride® has been around longer as it debuted with the opening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios® in 1989 while Ellen’s Energy Adventure debuted in 1996 as the replacement for the Universe of Energy attraction. Although these attractions are similar in many ways, we give the edge to The Great Movie Ride®.

The personalities of the live tour guides on The Great Movie Ride® offer guests a unique ride experience along with the lifelike movements of the Wicked Witch audio-animatronic character which adds a realistic element to the attraction. Also, the queue contains authentic costumes, props and set pieces from some of the films featured in the attraction.

The Great Movie Ride®

The Great Movie Ride®


So there you have it, we prefer The Great Movie Ride® over Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Let us know in the comments what you think about these two dark rides. Do you agree with us or would you have selected Ellen’s Energy Adventure?

If you missed our previous debate, This or That: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe vs. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, please check it out to see our thoughts on these two popular Magic Kingdom® Park quick service restaurants.

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