• The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: May 08, 2024

Last Updated: May 17, 2024

The Cat in the Hat
  • Year: 1999
  • Type: Dark Ride
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: 36″
  • Ride Duration: 4min
  • For Dr.Seuss fans
  • Feels dated

The Cat in the Hat Review

“It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how”

Do you, Cat? Do you actually know how to have fun? Well, you have an attraction in Islands of Adventure with your name on it, and now it’s time to judge you. Relax, we won’t be too hard on you. Your dark ride is, after all, made for families of all ages, and we don’t expect a huge blockbuster with two-hour wait times. I am glad to say that you mostly succeed in what you are trying to do. Good job, Cat… in the hat!

Islands of Adventure Cat in the Hat queue 3.webp

This quick and charming adventure is based on the 1957 children’s book written by Dr. Seuss and attempts to condense the entire story into a four-minute ride. I am not the hugest Dr. Seuss connoisseur, but I do know you come face to face with animatronics depicting characters from the books like the Cat (and his hat), the talking fish (that apparently lives in the toilet?) and The Thing 1 and 2. 

The Good

“I know some good games we could play. I know some good tricks!” This quote is taken directly from the book, and now it’s time to see if the Cat really has some tricks up his sleeve to show us.

Let me start by saying that The Cat in the Hat is a very traditional dark ride, similar to Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, both located at Magic Kingdom. This means you won’t find anything in this attraction that will truly blow your mind, but that’s also not the main objective of a dark ride like this one. Above all else, The Cat in the Hat is really nostalgic, especially for those who grew up with Dr. Seuss's stories and know all his quotes by heart.

Islands of Adventure Cat in the Hat queue 2.webp

Speaking of quotes, the entire ride is filled with them, from the moment you step into the queue to the final moments when it’s time to wave goodbye to the Cat. This ride has a charming, vintage feel, with cartoonish animatronics that recite passages from the book and invite guests on a journey through a strange world. Let me tell you, things really get weird. I like to compare the world created by Dr. Seuss to something like Alice in Wonderland, where objects defy physics and all kinds of strange creatures may appear without notice.

The Bad

“Oh dear!” said the cat. “You do not like our game… oh dear. What a shame! What a shame! What a shame!”

Relax, Cat. I don’t think your attraction is bad, but it’s definitely dated. The main problem with The Cat in the Hat is that there have been very few updates since the ride debuted way back in 1999. The main change was that the vehicles used to spin much more, which led to motion sickness. Universal decided to tone down the spinning, and the ride is now much gentler and more kid-friendly than before.

Islands of Adventure Cat in the Hat ride.webp

I do wish the animatronics received more love. They are more than two decades old at this point and certainly look a bit dated. The entire scenes are also very small, without much going on. Take Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, for example. That’s a traditional dark ride as well, but the set pieces are much larger, with lots of action. In The Cat in the Hat, it seems that only one or two animatronics or props take center stage at any given time.

Islands of Adventure Cat in the Hat ride 2.webp

Will Kids enjoy it?

It depends. Funny enough, kids either love or hate this ride. Kids who grew up with the books will recognize the characters and find them charismatic, but I’ve also read comments online saying that some kids find the animatronics way too scary. I can relate to that, since the Dr. Seuss books present us with some rather… unusual… creatures.

It also doesn’t help that there are a lot of blinking lights and loud noises, which might scare some children. As for teenagers, there are better dark rides for them in Islands of Adventure, like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and even Jurassic Park River Adventure.

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