Many of us become emotionally attached to the attractions and experiences at Disney World. These are attractions that we may have experienced since we were children and have enjoyed with our own children and family. There are memories and magic created to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, some of our beloved attractions make their way to the chopping block to pave the way for new experiences and innovation. As Walt said (and you see on the Imagineering signs), “Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” I fully support the future of Disney as I have supported the past, but sometimes we still have a hard time letting go (no matter what Elsa says)! Here at the 9 attractions and/or experiences that I miss the most since they have been retired:
9. Double-Decker Epcot Character Bus:
I used to love seeing the double-decker bus with the characters on it. The bus would stop and characters would get off for meet and greets. It was a lot of fun and gave the opportunity for the random character sighting and wave as they drive through the parks. Even if I am not meeting or interacting with the characters, I still like to see them around and not hidden inside buildings!
8. Snow Whites Scary Adventures:
This attraction was in “old” Fantasyland and closed in 2012 to make room for all the changes associated with New Fantasyland. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was put in, and we LOVE that, but I always really enjoyed this ride, too. It was actually a little scary at points. (OK, well maybe not scary, but I still liked it!) Thankfully, Disney saved the creepy, Evil Queen from the attraction and placed it at the end of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train so we can reminisce!
7. Retired Parades:
There have been many parades that have been retired over the years. The ones I am the saddest about are Main Street Electrical Parade (only at Disneyland) and Spectromagic. I LOVED the music, and fortunately still have the soundtrack music to listen to with a box of tissues. Two others that we miss, are the Jammin’ Jungle Parade from Animal Kingdom (and even more so, the Jingle Jungle Parade!) and the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
6. Push, the Talking Trash Can:
Push was a beloved citizen of Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom. He was retired in 2014, which I am still upset about. He would interact with guests and became a fan favorite in Tomorrowland. Guest loved to take pictures with Push to confuse family and friends back home who would wonder why on earth you’d take a picture with a trash can! Trash cans are awesome!
5. Ellen’s Energy Adventure:
Not the only attraction to close on August 13, 2017 (see below!), Ellen’s Energy Adventure located in the Universe of Energy closed its doors in Epcot’s Future World. We will miss Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye’s quick witted and informative conversations about energy while enjoying the film presentations and slow-moving dark ride through audio-animatronic sets. What’s the come? A Guardians of the Galaxy-themed attraction!
OK, this one is a pretty upsetting one for a lot of people. There are many fans that were upset by the closure of Maelstrom to make room for our favorite royalty from Arendelle. This attraction closed in 2014, and the wounds are still fresh for some. I do want to go on the record saying that while I am saddened over the loss of Maelstrom and loved it dearly, I am also excited for what is now in its place! Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too by getting to keep both? I guess Disney magic only extends so far. I take comfort in another quote from Walt, “When we go into that new project, we believe in it all the way. We have confidence in our ability to do it right.” Well, I have confidence in them, too!
3. The Great Movie Ride:
Still making our hearts sink, The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios made its last trip through the movies August 13, 2017. This attraction was actually the last operating attraction from Hollywood Studios’ opening day in 1989. With numerous audio-animatronics, theatrical sets, a few live actors, and much more – this attraction took guests through iconic scenes from twelve classic films throughout motion picture history. While we miss The Great Movie Ride, we are big fans of the attraction that now resides in its’ place, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
2. Alien Encounter:
I am actually more upset about Alien Encounter being gone than Maelstrom. In this case, while I feel confident that we will have a really fun and awesome attraction replacing Maelstrom, that didn’t happen with Alien Encounter. It’s replacement, Stitch’s Great Escape, is my number 1 “to be missed” attraction in all of Disney World. Not because I don’t like the characters, but because it really just isn’t even remotely as good as Alien Encounter was. Alien Encounter closed in 2003 to be changed over to the current Stitch attraction, it seems because some thought Alien Encounter may have been too scary for young kids. I remember LOVING it as a young kid!
1. Riding Shotgun on the Monorail:
How many remember riding in the front car with the monorail pilot? As a huge fan of Disney transportation, especially the monorail, that experience was always a real treat. The vantage point from that spot is amazing and it was never allowed to be crowded with people. We used to wait an extra rotation in order to ride in the front because we loved it so much! This was discontinued in 2009 after 2 monorails collided. This was changed due to safety to prevent any potential from riding in front.
These aren’t the only and won’t be the last attractions that leave our last, so my advice is to enjoy each attraction like it may be the last time. Take in every detail and truly enjoy the experience. Even if you feel pretty confident the attraction isn’t going anywhere, it’s better to live in the moment at Disney and take it all in!