Whether you’re a frequent Disney World traveler, or have only
visited once, there’s a good chance that you have a favorite
attraction at the theme park.
Since Disney often renovates its properties, over the years a
number of beloved rides and attractions have been removed in the
From the fan-favorite Maelstrom ride in Epcot to the classic
Studio Backlot Tour in Hollywood Studios, we wish these retired
rides and attractions could come back.
The Great Movie Ride epitomized the movie-set aesthetic of Hollywood Studios.
The ride first opened in 1989,
and was built within a replica of the famous Grauman’s Chinese
Outside the ride, tons of celebrities left signatures and handprints in a cement walkway.
The celebrity signatures were implemented to replicate a similar
walkway found outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
According to the Disney blog AllEars, everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Robin
Williams left their mark at the Florida
From start to finish, the Great Movie Ride made guests feel as though they were starring in a film.
After entering the replica theater, park visitors would wait in a
“theater lobby” filled with real props from famous films,
according to Disney blog WDW Info. Classic silent films were also
displayed on screens along the line queue.
Park visitors then took a 22-minute-long boat ride through some
of Hollywood’s most famous movie scenes.
The ride was filled with animatronics meant to represent classic movies, like “The Wizard of Oz.”
Throughout the ride, park goers viewed animatronic versions of
scenes from films such as “Casablanca,” “Fantasia,” “Alien,” and
“Singin’ in the Rain,” among others.
And there were live actors involved in the ride too. According to
Paste, each ride was “taken hostage by a cast
member playing either a 1930s gangster or a bandit from an old
Unfortunately for fans, the Great Movie Ride was closed on August 13, 2017.
In its place, Disney is creating its first-ever Mickey Mouse ride
called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway
Lights, Motors, Action! was another staple of the Hollywood Studios park.
The “extreme stunt show” was first brought to Disney World as
part of the park’s Happiest Celebration on Earth
event in 2005, according to Extinct Disney, a blog
about retired park attractions.
The show was inspired by the similar Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show
Spectacular in Disneyland Paris.
The 40-minute-long show featured high-speed car chases, motorcycle tricks, and jet-ski stunts.
Famous Disney characters also made appearances in the show,
including Herbie the Lovebug and Lightning McQueen
But to make room for new “Star Wars” and “Toy Story” attractions,
Disney chose to end the show on
April 2, 2016.
In 1996, Cinderella’s castle was decorated like a bright-pink birthday cake to celebrate the park’s 25th anniversary.
The castle was transformed on October 1, 1996,
according to Disney Everyday, a blog
dedicated to the the Florida theme park. It was covered in
pink-and-white paint that looked like icing, fake candy canes,
and 26 decorative birthday candles. The park’s birthday
celebration went on for 15 months, and the castle remained
decorated until January 31, 1998.
While Disney World won’t be celebrating another 25th
birthday, the castle would look stunning if decorated for other
Fans were sad to see the closing of Mickey’s Toontown Fair in 2011.
The smaller land was located within Magic Kingdom, and was home
to meet-and-greet areas, rides inspired by classic Disney
characters, and playgrounds, among other attractions.
The two walk-through replicas of Mickey
and Minnie’s cartoon homes were arguably the most famous part
of the land.
Mickey Mouse’s larger-than-life home was beloved by visitors of all ages.
Those who visited were able to tour Mickey’s living room,
bedroom, kitchen, and garden, among other areas.
Disney World reportedly held a party for employees at Mickey’s Toontown Fair after it officially closed.
Attractions Magazine reported that Disney held the VIP party on February 12, 2011, after
Magic Kingdom closed for the night.
During the reported event, park cast members were said to have
taken photos with Disney characters throughout Toontown.
The Studio Backlot Tour was one of the most interactive rides in Disney World.
Like the Great Movie Ride, Disney’s Studio Backlot Tour
was one of the first rides built for Hollywood Studios in 1989.
The tour changed a lot over its nearly 15 years in business.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the attraction originally took
hours to walk through and doubled as a working studio. At the
time, visitors were even able to get a glimpse of television
productions being filmed on the lot.
Even after being reduced to a
30-minute-long show in its later years, the Studio Backlot
Tour still gave visitors a taste of what it’s like to make action
movies. For example, four volunteers would be chosen from the audience
at the start of the tour to take part in a live special-effects
demonstration, according to Disney blog Yesterland.
During the tour, visitors would board tram cars that drove through backstage areas of the park.
During the ride’s heyday, park visitors were able to see
everything from working movie sets to the working Disney costume department as part of the Studio
In its final years, much of the back lot had been taken over by other attractions, such as the Lights, Motors, Action! stunt show.
Still, some movie props and Disney memorabilia could be seen
throughout the attraction. An authentic Herbie the Lovebug was on
display, as well as Walt Disney’s personal airplane called “The
A fan-favorite part of the Studio Backlot Tour took place at “Catastrophe Canyon,” the attraction’s last-standing film set.
At the movie set, visitors would sit in tram cars and view an imitation
movie scene play out.
During the demonstration, a fake earthquake would shake the tram
car, a tanker would explode and soak the audience, fake power
lines fell, and a fake flash flood would drench the set.
Despite wishes from fans, the ride closed permanently in
For almost 15 years, a 122-foot-tall sorcerer’s hat was the main focal point of Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.
According to AllEars, the structure was first built in 2001 as
part of Disney World’s100 Years of Magic
Celebration. It was inspired by the celestial
blue hat worn by Sorcerer Mickey in the 1940 film
Mickey’s giant sorcerer’s hat was
originally home to interactive kiosks that taught park goers
about Walt Disney’s life, but was taken over by pin-trading
stands and merchandise booths by 2003.
Disney World began to deconstruct the hat in January 2015,
and completed the job by February 2015. Like other attractions in
the park, it was removed to match the changing image of Hollywood
Epcot’s World Showcase once featured a thrilling ride called the Maelstrom.
It was located in Epcot’s Norway pavilion, and had a loyal
fan base. During the dark ride, park goers were taken on a
whimsical journey filled with trolls and Norse mythology, which
helped visitors to “seek the spirit of Norway,”
according to the Orlando Sentinel.
On October 5, 2014, the ride was closed
permanently, and has since been replaced with Frozen Ever After, an
animatronics ride based on the film “Frozen.”
The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offered a unique chance to experience the popular show in real life.
To participate in the show, visitors would audition with park
producers early in the morning, according to WDW Info. Chosen
park goers would then undergo hair and makeup transformations
before spending time with a vocal coach.
Later on in the day, participants would compete during a live
show for other park attendees, and winners were awarded passes to
cut the lines during auditions for the actual “American Idol”
But on August 30, 2014, the American Idol Experience was
permanently shut down to make room for new attractions in
Yet another esteemed attraction at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios was called The Magic of Disney Animation.
While many of the park’s attractions were fast-paced and full of
energy, the art studio provided a relaxing escape for visitors of all ages,
according to WDW Info.
At the studio, park goers could receive art tips from actual Disney animators.
The tour began in a theater filled with Mickey-shaped drawing
stations. There, a Disney animator worked alongside Mushu from
“Mulan” to teach visitors how to draw popular characters.
Real Disney animations were displayed in glass cases throughout the studio.
Depending on which Pixar movie had recently been released, Disney
World displayed original drawings and story boards from film
productions like “Monsters University.”
But the fun didn’t stop there. The art studio also held meet and
greets with characters like Baymax from “Big Hero 6.”
The attraction closed for good on
July 12, 2015.
The “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure made park guests feel as small as insects.
The playground was inspired by the 1989 film, and was beloved by
park visitors of all ages. Like many other retired attractions,
the fake movie set was located within Disney World’s Hollywood
The playground’s larger-than-life features were demolished in 2016.
According to WDW Info, the attraction once featured
30-foot tall grass, 40-foot-tall bumblebees, and a
52-foot-tall garden hose that sprayed visitors with
There were also larger-than-life cans of Play Doh and giant
rolls of film in the playground, which doubled as climbing walls
To make room for the upcoming Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, the
playground was closed on April 2, 2016.
The Mickey Mouse Revue was once a popular attraction in Magic Kingdom.
According to Fandom, Mickey Mouse
Revue was an animatronic attraction found in Magic Kingdom’s
Fantasyland section starting in 1971.
Twenty-three characters were included in the show – such as
Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, the Mad Hatter, and Baloo – who
“performed” classic Disney songs like “Whistle While You Work,”
“Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” “So This is Love,” and
Unfortunately for fans, the attraction was shuttered on September
14, 1980, according to Fandom. It was eventually transferred to
Japan for the opening of Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, but was
eventually replaced by Mickey’s Philharmagic on May 25, 2009.
When Epcot first opened in 1982, parkgoers could ride a double-decker bus around the World Showcase.
Yesterland, the buses were driven slowly through crowds of
visitors, and brought parkgoers to each pavilion in the World
It’s unclear as to when Disney stopped offering the bus service,
but those who have recently visited the area will know that it
now requires a lot of walking.
Epcot visitors could also walk through a rainbow tunnel with moving lights.
The tunnel was located in
Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion, specifically in the
ImageWorks play area above the original Journey Into
Imagination ride, according to WDW News Today.
Each person who entered the tunnel was assigned a color,
which would follow them as they walked through. WDW News Today
also reported that the spot became especially well-known after
Michael Jackson was photographed there.
Despite its popularity, the tunnel was
closed in 1998 when ImageWorks was moved to a lower level of
the building, according to WDW News Today.
The tunnel will soon be coming back to Disney World, though it
might look a little different. Today, parkgoers can visit
Journey Into Imagination with Figment, an updated version of
the classic Epcot ride. And soon, it appears that Disney may
reintroduce its famous rainbow tunnel in a nearby section.
According to sources close to the project cited by WDW News
the walkway will be included in the upcoming
Epcot Experience Center in The Odyssey, a new section that
will be built in an abandoned pavilion. More details are expected
to come in August, WDW News Today reports.
The Barnstormer was a Goofy-themed staple of Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
According to Fandom, The Barnstormer roller coaster opened on
October 1, 1996 in Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm, a section of
Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
The ride was themed like an airplane class taught by Goofy, and
riders were brought on a journey full of twists and turns
straight through a barn.
A similar ride still exists, though it’s been renamed and redecorated.
To make room for a renovation of Fantasyland, The Barnstormer was
shut down on February 12, 2011, according to
Fandom. However, that wasn’t the end of the
classic roller coaster.
The ride was renovated throughout 2011, and reopened as The
Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini in 2012. Still, The
Barnstormer looks a lot different than it once did. Goofy also no
longer acts as a flight instructor, but stars as
a circus performer riding a stunt airplane.
Cable cars once glided above the Magic Kingdom theme park.
According to Yesterland, a blog about retired Disney attractions,
the Skyway was one of the first rides built in
Disney World in 1971. It could transport travelers from
Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, and each car could hold four
But, like many other classic attractions, the original Skyway
shut down in
November 1999 “to keep the park exciting and
fresh,” Yesterland reported.
Those who want Disney World to reinstall the cable cars will soon get their wish — sort of.
Starting in fall 2019, a new cable-car attraction – theDisney World
Skyliner – will be opening in the Orlando, Florida theme
However, it won’t be the same as the original ride. Rather than
transporting parkgoers between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the
new version will bring visitors from Epcot, to the Riviera
Resort, the Caribbean Beach Resort, Hollywood Studios, the Pop
Century Resort, and the Art of Animation Resort.
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