12 Disneyland and Disney World attractions that have changed since you were a kid
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway replaced The Great Movie Ride.
The Great Movie Ride was the main attraction in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios and original inspiration for the park’s third theme park. The ride, which ran from 1989 through 2017, took guests on a journey through classic moments in movie history.
The new attraction takes guests to the premiere of a new Mickey and Minnie short film. When things go awry, guests are asked to step on a train to go “inside” the cartoon with Goofy.
A second version of “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” is set to open in Disneyland in 2022. The ride will appear in a new building based off of Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre.
Epcot’s Maelstrom was remodeled into a very popular “Frozen” attraction.
Maelstrom’s boat tour took guests through Norway’s history. Some fans were initially upset by its 2014 closure, arguing that Epcot is supposed to have a focus on the world showcase, not the Disney princesses.
But when “Frozen Ever After” opened in June 2016, the boat ride quickly became a park favorite with fans waiting at least five hours sometimes to board. Other than Test Track, it’s one of the most popular attractions at Epcot.
California Screamin’ is now the Incredicoaster.
The inversion coaster underwent a simple retheme in 2018 centered around the “Incredibles” family tied to the release of the film’s sequel.
The ride’s story takes place after “Incredibles 2” and serves as an anchor for Disney California Adventure’s remodeled Paradise Pier. The new Pixar Pier celebrates “Toy Story,” “Inside Out,” and “The Incredibles.”
Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure is now home to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Tower of Terror is one of Disney’s darker rides. Inspired by the “The Twlight Zone,” the attraction takes you on a spooky adventure before dropping you from a tower.
Though some fans were initially upset by the revamp, “Mission: Breakout” is a superior experience to Tower of Terror, especially for kids who may not understand and may be scared by the concept of the older attraction.
The best part of “Mission: Breakout” is that there are six different experiences you can get on the attraction. One of six different tunes will play on any given ride. You also get to view different Easter eggs depending on whether you go through the standby or FastPass queue. The “Guardians” attraction is the anchor for Disney California Adventure’s upcoming Avengers Campus themed land.
The Tower of Terror is still at Walt Disney World and Tokyo DisneySea.
Read more: A ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ ride replaced an iconic Disneyland attraction and it’s a far superior experience
Test Track replaced World of Motion in the late ’90s at Epcot.
Similar to Spaceship Earth, the General Motors’ sponsored World of Motion took guests through a history of milestones in transportation. It also attempted to show the future of travel.
GM’s partnership with Disney became more involved with Test Track which takes guests through a GM testing facility. The attraction lets you “design” your own car and then take it for a test run where you are shot down a track at about 65 mph.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disney World became a less scary Winnie the Pooh attraction.
The original version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ends by sending guests to hell. That’s not an exaggeration. Considering that was probably a bit too dark for kids who may not have been familiar with the 1966 film anymore, the Disney World version of the ride was transformed into the much more kid-friendly The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Opening in 1999, the ride takes guests through the Hundred Acre while in a car shaped like a honey jar. The ride exists at Disneyland as well, which replaced Country Bear Jamboree in 2003.
If you’re curious about Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a version of it is at Disneyland.
The Swiss Family Treehouse was re-themed after Tarzan at Disneyland.
The Swiss Family Treehouse is a giant play area for kids that can still be found at Walt Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland remodeled the attraction after the release of 1999’s “Tarzan.” It opened the same year at the California park and 2005 at HKD.
The Living Seas attraction was remodeled after the popularity of “Finding Nemo.”
The Living Seas featured Epcot’s large in-door aquarium. The attraction began with a seven-minute film on how Earth was formed before taking guests through an aquarium.
Since January 2007, the area has been home to The Seas with Nemo & Friends to bring increased popularity to the area in Epcot. Riders sit in clamshells as they go on an adventure that takes place after the first “Finding Nemo” film.
Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage was also rethemed around “Finding Nemo.”
One of Disneyland’s oldest attractions, Submarine Voyage takes guests on a submarine that goes on a journey underwater to the North Pole, to see mermaids, the lost continent of Atlantis, and a sea serpent.
After a few years, the attraction reopened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. There was consideration to theme the attraction around 2001’s “Atlantis: The Lost Empire.” Similar to the Epcot attraction, the “Finding Nemo”-themed ride has taken guests on an adventure to find Nemo after the events of the first film. The only difference is you’re sitting on a sub underwater in a Disney lagoon.
Adventure Thru Inner Space became Star Tours.
Guests were “shrunk” down to a size smaller than an atom to take a trip inside one on vehicles called Atommobiles. The attraction used the Omnimover system which is still present on the Haunted Mansion.
In 1987, the Disneyland attraction became home to Star Tours. The first version of the attraction, which ran until 2010, sent fans to the Ewok planet of Endor. The current version of the ride, Star Tours — The Adventure Continues, has been updated to accompany new “Star Wars” releases over the years. Most recently, it places riders in the middle of the final battle in “The Rise of Skywalker.”
Versions of the attraction are also at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in WDW, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland.
Superstar Limo was replaced by a “Monsters, Inc” attraction.
The short-lived Superstar Limo was originally supposed to send guests on a chase through Hollywood for celebrities as part of the paparazzi. The ride concept changed after Princess Diana’s death. Instead, the attraction opened in February 2001 as a tour to see some of Hollywood’s celebrities.
It closed less than a year later. In December 2005, it was replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! with the limos retrofitted as extended taxi cabs. The ride recreates scenes from the 2001 film as a human enters Monstropolis.
Stitch’s Great Escape replaced the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and will likely get another revamp.
As the title suggests, the original “ExtraTERRORestrial” attraction was a darker ride where guests had to survive an alien encounter. During the ride, a maintenance worker is “killed” by an alien who then stalks the crowd.
Stitch’s Great Escape opened in 2004 and ran until 2018. The prequel to “Lilo and Stitch” showed how Stitch escaped to Earth. In July 2020, Disney Parks confirmed the attraction was permanently closed.
For years, WDW News Today has reported Disney may replace the attraction with one centered around Wreck-It-Ralph.
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