My Top 10 Dead Disney Attractions
I have been feeling some nostalgia for Walt Disney World recently, as I have not visited since before the pandemic. I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane with some of the attractions that no longer exist. This is my personal ranking of the top 10 dead attractions at Walt Disney World. I focused only on WDW since that is the park I have been to the most.
1. The Great Movie Ride
The Great Movie Ride opened in 1989 and was built within the replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Studios. It was a 22-minute-long ride through some of Hollywood’s most famous movie scenes. It featured live actors who interacted with the audience. I felt like it really tied together the Hollywood theme of the park. The combination of the length of the ride, the theming, the uniqueness, and the interactivity makes The Great Movie Ride my number one dead Disney attraction. The attraction closed in 2017 and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad took its place. I have not been on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad yet but it has some big shoes to fill in my opinion.
2. Studio Backlot Tour
The Studio Backlot Tour opened in Hollywood Studios in 1989. When it first opened, it doubled as a working studio. In later years, it was a 30 minute show that gave visitors a glimpse into the making of action movies. The attraction closed in 2014.
3. Ellen’s Energy Adventure
When I talk to other Disney nerds, hardly anyone remembers Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride in Epcot. It ranks as one of my favorite places for a mid-park nap, but it was also really fun and quirky. Not only was Ellen DeGeneres in it, but Bill Nye (The Science Guy), Alex Trebek, and Jamie Lee Curtis also made appearances. It was quite the cast. The attraction footprint was huge, very slow, and was always empty, so it makes sense that it closed, but sad nonetheless. Ellen’s Energy Adventure was in Epcot from 1996 to 2017.
4. Mickey’s Toontown
Land located in Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Toontown housed walk-through replicas of Mickey and Minnie’s cartoon homes, character meet-and-greets, and places for kids to run around. The giant cartoon houses were so much fun to explore as a kid. As one of the oldest attractions on this list, Mickey’s Toontown was open from 1988 to 2011.
Maelstrom was a dark ride attraction in Epcot. For a while, it was one of the few good rides in the World Showcase (in my opinion). I was surprised to find out that Maelstrom opened in 1988. I do not remember it feeling that old, but I am sure it would seem very dated now. It was replaced in 2014 by Frozen Ever After, which is definitely more popular.
6. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience was a 4D show at Epcot based on the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids movie franchise. The attraction opened in 1994 and was fun for a wide range of audiences. It was replaced by Caption EO in 2010.
7. Light, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show was a car stunt show at Hollywood Studios. Open from 2005 to 2016, the show featured car stunts, pyrotechnics, and physcial stuntworks.
8. The Magic of Disney Animation
The Magic of Disney Animation was an attraction at Hollywood Studios where a Disney animator would show guests how the characters in Disney animated films were chosen and designed. Visitors could also learn to draw Disney characters during the interactive experience. The attraction was open from 1989 to 2015.
9. Stitch’s Great Escape
Stitch’s Great Escape was an attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. It opened in 2004 but the space has housed several different attractions before and after it. I always thought it was a little creepy and weird, and not that fun. It ranks low on my list. It closed in 2018.
10. The American Idol Experience
The American Idol Experience was an interactive attraction in Hollywood Studios. Based on the television show, audience members were invited to audition in front of fellow park-goers who would vote for their favorite singers. The attraction opened in 2009 and closed in 2015.
I found it interesting that most of these Dead Disney attractions were in Hollywood Studios. This is not surprising since Hollywood Studios has undergone some of the most drastic changes of any of the WDW parks, including new lands like Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land.
This list only includes Walt Disney World attractions, but I know many people share the same nostalgia for dead attractions at Disneyland. If you could bring back any one Disney attraction, what would it be?