Signature Roller-coaster

Magic: Space Mountain still has its share of scream-inducing twists and turns, but the venerable indoor ride feels a little long in the tooth compared to some of the great terror tracks around the state. Also, how about some monitors with a little mindless entertainment in the depressingly main dark waiting area?

Islands: Puny humans are blasted out of a Gamma Tube at 40 mph just a few seconds after being strapped in—and it only gets better from there. Expect everything from zero-g drops to a mist tunnel to one of the tallest cobra rolls (110 feet). Now you know how Bruce Banner feels when the rage kicks in.

Winner: Islands of Adventure

Characters

Magic: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Arial, Cinderella, Jasmine, Peter Pan, Lilo, Stitch, Buzz Lightyear, Snow White, Tigger, Pooh! There are classic Disney characters everywhere you turn; families can even dine with them at places like the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Islands: Marvel characters from Wolverine to Captain America make daily appearances—including a special meet-and-greet line for Spider-Man. But without CGI enhancements, a few of the hired guns look like they’re wearing bad Halloween costumes.

Winner: Magic Kingdom

Fast Food

Magic: Depending on where you are in the park, offerings include everything from burgers and chicken nuggets to salads and monstrous turkey legs.

Islands: Depending on where you are in the park, offerings include everything from pizza and burgers to a selection of ethic dishes.

Winner: Tie

Movie Makeover

Magic: Disney doesn’t have an entire section devoted to one movie, but it certainly could have done a bit more with its Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Adventureland. Instead of completely revamping the old “Yo Ho” pirates ride, the park threw a few animatronic Jack Sparrows in the mix, along with some creepy mermaids. Ho-hum.

Islands: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a 20-acre masterpiece, an ode to Hogwarts in all its magical splendor—with details, right down to the Butterbeer (more than 5 million have been sold), that have to be seen to be believed. The signature Forbidden Journey may be the best combination of ride/technology in the country.

Winner: Islands of Adventure, in a landslide

To continue reading, please pick up a copy of the July-August Boca Raton magazine