2010 in Review: Our Top 10 most popular theme park videos

in Disney, Entertainment, Walt Disney World

After counting down our Top 10 most popular Disney and theme park stories yesterday, today we look specifically to the video entertainment that proved to be the most viewed over the past year. A large part of covering any theme park event is capturing it on video to enable you to see a whole lot of fun as it happened.

Over the course of 2010, our videos received more than 4,500,000 total views, with more than 6,000 users subscribing to our YouTube channel. Out of our 249 available videos on YouTube, 47% of those views came from just 10 extremely popular videos. But surprisingly, unlikely our Top 10 stories for 2010, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter did not dominate the video world this year.

So now I present to you our…

Top 10 Most Popular Theme Park Videos for 2010

10. Ollivanders Wand Shop show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando

101,000+ views

Since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first opened in 2010, the line to see the Ollivanders Wand Shop experience rarely diminish under 30-45 minutes. The show changes each time it is performed, though the result is always the same – a wand chooses an excited Harry Potter fan (who likely then purchases it afterward). This video brought the world the first glimpse at the Ollivanders show, shot on the morning of the first public soft opening day of the Wizarding World. It’s one of several Potter videos that made the top 10.

9. Darth Vader and Stormtroopers dance to Michael Jackson at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2010

104,000+ views

Each year, Disney assembles the most famous characters from the Star Wars universe and has them hilariously dance to pop hits for Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars during the Hyperspace Hoopla in Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This time around, it was Darth Vader bustin’ a move to Michael Jackson tunes, (complete with one sparkly glove) that got the Internet excited. But he it turned out he wasn’t the most popular Star Wars dancer this year…

8. Boba Fett dances to Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga at Disney’s Star Wars Weekends 2010

110,000+ views

Just barely edging out Vader was Boba Fett’s Hyperspace Hoopla finale dance. While Fett may be a hugely popular Star Wars character, I think it was the inclusion of music from Lada Gaga that made his dance the most popular of the show.

(It didn’t make this Top 10 list, but you can also watch the entire Dance-Off with the Star Wars Stars 2010, which brought 64,000+ views.)

7. Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear (Lotso) meet and greet in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World

137,000+ views

Before everyone saw Toy Story 3 and found out just what kind of a bear Lotso really is, he showed up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to meet guests with a big smile on his face. He didn’t smell like strawberries, unfortunately, but did feature a plush toy tag on his rear end. Even though Toy Story 3 hadn’t come out yet, guests were happy to line up in Sunnyside Daycare to meet this big pink bear.

(You can also watch Lotso dance in his first Block Party Bash parade. It’s not a top 10 video, but it did get 32,000+ views in 2010.)

6. Flight of the Hippogriff ride POV with Hippogriff animatronic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

140,000+ views

Harry Potter holds several more spots in this top 10, including number 6, a first-look at the Buckbeak audio-animatronic figure that is part of the Flight of the Hippogriff ride, as well as a point-of-view trip around the coaster itself. While the coaster may not have been new (re-themed from the old Flying Unicorn), its Potter makeover still brought plenty of attention in 2010.

5. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey queue at the Wizarding World in Universal Orlando

194,000+ views

But the ride that grabbed everyone’s attention was (and still is) Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. During the first few soft opening days of the Wizarding World, Universal was unable to reliably run this attraction due to its state-of-the-art ride system (which now seems to be working flawlessly). But guests were still treated to a walk through Hogwarts Castle, which is home to the elaborate queue of the attraction. This video takes viewers on a walking tour through the queue and into the world of Potter and friends. It ultimately accompanied my spoiler-filled review of the attraction as well.

4. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint & Harry Potter stars open Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World

226,000+ views

What could be more popular than a walk through Hogwarts Castle? It was the nighttime grand opening moments for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that included film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, James and Oliver Phelps, and Warwick Davis. Unlike the top videos so far, this one was not our own original creation but rather a rebroadcast of Universal Orlando’s own live stream of the event that included a one-time-only fireworks show above Hogwarts Castle. It’s a sight no Potter fan wanted to miss.

3. Inside the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

237,000+ views

But at number 3, even more popular than the Wizarding World’s opening night festivities was a first look inside the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey attraction long before it ever opened to the public. This short behind-the-scenes video, again, was shot by Universal Orlando, but we were happy to bring it to our viewing audience as anticipation was high to see what the new ride would be all about. The video emerged more than two months before the ride opened.

Outside of the Top 10, here are links to other extremely popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter videos, including many more first-looks:

  • Dragon Challenge roller coaster queue at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Moaning Myrtle haunts restrooms in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
  • Detailed tour of Hogsmeade Village shops, windows & more in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Walk through Hogsmeade Village at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Warwick Davis conducts Hogwarts Frog Choir at Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening event
  • John Williams conducts orchestra at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Hogwarts frog choir sings at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Beauxbatons girls and Durmstrang guys perform at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • 2. World of Color world premiere full show at the Disney California Adventure theme park

    264,000+ views

    While the Wizarding World may have brought the most total video views in 2010, one single Harry Potter video was not watched enough to make it to the top 2 spots. Instead, the number 2 position is held by the unveiling of Disney’s amazing World of Color nighttime water show at the Disney California Adventure theme park. This video was one of the first online to provide viewers with a look at the entire show, shot from a tripod, and mixing Disney’s source audio with ambient sounds from the crowd and massive water fountains. Moreover, this video was shot during the first official showing of World of Color at its celebrity-filled premiere. It was an incredible night to commemorate the opening of an incredible show that will continue to capture the attention of guests in years to come.

    (Not part of the Top 10 videos but worth mentioning from the World of Color event are two other popular videos: World of Color opening ceremony featuring celebrities conversing with Mickey Mouse at 61,000+ views and blue carpet celebrity arrivals within the theme park at 23,000+ views.)

    1. Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas sing “Make a Wave” live in Epcot at Walt Disney World

    639,000+ views

    As we hit number 1 on our popular video countdown for 2010, don’t underestimate the power of “tween” Disney fans. With more views than Harry Potter, World of Color, and dancing Star Wars stars, the top spot is held by the world premiere performance of the song “Make a Wave” by Disney stars Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas at Epcot. The performance took place on a stage in front of the Fountain of Nations and Spaceship Earth to cap off a special two-day media event for the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” promotion. The new song was part of Disney’s “Friends for Change” and was featured in the Disneynature film OCEANS and helped to benefit environmental conservation projects. But the crowd in attendance was not what you’d expect out of a Jonas/Lovato concert. Instead it was a select group of invited media, Disney executives and employees, and charity volunteers. The core group of screaming girls were not invited, producing thousands of amusing (and jealous) comments about the audience on YouTube.

    The night also featured Radio Disney DJ Ernie D who introduced Disney Channel stars Demi Lovato, Joe Jonas, Adam Hicks, Daniel Curtis Lee, Alyson Stoner, Roshon Fegan on stage (42,000+ views) and chef Robert Irvine from Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible” cooking for volunteers.

    It was a mega-event that only Disney could assemble and the star power of Lovato and Jonas made this video our most-watched in 2010.


    In 2010 we had the opportunity to bring the world its first in-depth video walk around the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a chance to meet with Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear, watch the full amazing new Disney nighttime show World of Color, and see a few Star Wars characters show off their dance skills. But beyond these top 10 videos, we shot, edited, and upload hundreds more for your viewing enjoyment, all of which can be seen on our Videos page or directly on our YouTube channel. We hope our videos were able to bring a taste of theme park fun to you. No matter if you watched them on your phone or in your home, we try to capture the excitement on video for your enjoyment any time, anywhere, and will continue to have a great time doing it in the future.

    Subscribe to our YouTube channel and video podcast to make sure you receive all of our newest videos as they are released in 2011 and beyond.

    Happy New Year!

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