Hi guys. Often when talking about dark rides, the most popular ones in the world wow riders with hugely complex ride systems, large-scale theming and breathtaking special effects. But have you ever ridden an attraction that doesn’t employ any of these things on such a grand scale, but is still just as effective, in your view? For me, one ride that comes to mind instantly when thinking of simple, but effective dark rides is Hex at Alton Towers. Technologically speaking, Hex is quite a simplistic attraction; none of the effects are particularly complex, and even the Madhouse ride system itself is relatively simple. However, the sense of drama and immersion the ride utilises during the ride portion and pre-shows, as well as a very effective use of the pre-existing Towers Ruins, make it a really enveloping, ambient and entertaining attraction, in my view; it’s my personal favourite indoor attraction in the UK. The other one I was thinking of is slightly more left-field, and one that might be controversial given that most seem to slate it, but I’d also nominate The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios Florida for this category as well, although I’d say that it creates a very different sort of vibe to Hex. I know that calling a Universal dark ride simplistic seems proposterous, but compared to some of Universal Orlando’s more recent, technologically advanced dark rides, like Spider-Man, Transformers and Forbidden Journey amongst others, the ride uses pretty simple ride hardware and technology. However, there’s one key thing that makes The Simpsons Ride shine for me, and that is its scripting. Every part of the ride is full to the brim with Simpsons gags and witty one-liners, from the Simpsons theme park highlights in the queue to the Itchy & Stratchy safety video to the various gags on the ride itself. It’s one of the only rides where something as simple as a pre-ride safety spiel has ever made me laugh, and I absolutely love how Universal Creative and the Simpsons writers managed to cram gags into every corner of the attraction; in stark contrast to Hex above, I think the ride is effective because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Overall, I’d say that The Simpsons Ride is still one of my firm favourites at Universal Orlando for this very reason, in spite of the fact that the technology is quite simplistic. But what dark rides have you ridden that you’d call simple, but effective?