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Robert Niles
Editor

Disney World to Close Hollywood Studios' Animation Pavilion

Published: June 29, 2015 at 3:21 PM

The Walt Disney World Resort today confirmed that it will close the Magic of Disney Animation pavilion at Disney's Hollywood Studios next month.

Magic of Disney Animation

One of the original attractions at what opened in 1989 as the Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park, the animation pavilion used to be a working production facility where visitors could watch Disney animators creating feature-length films. The Florida studio worked on Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear before Disney closed it in 2004. The original tour of the animation facility began with the short film "Back to Neverland," starring Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, who showed audiences just some of what made Disney animation so magical for audiences.

After the animation studio closed, Disney converted the facility into the current exhibition hall, which included a 10-minute animation demonstration, character meet and greets, and the Animation Academy studio, where visitors could learn how to draw a Disney character, which they could take home as a free souvenir.

Animation Academy

Last year, Disney closed the last remnants of the Studios' Backlot Tour which, along with the animation pavilion, provided much of the entertainment in the park's first years. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed earlier this year that the studios park would be getting another name change, although Disney has not yet revealed what that will be.

Disney's been sitting on a variety of plans to substantially transform the studios theme park, including designs for a Star Wars-themed land as well as proposals for a copy of the Toy Story Playland from Hong Kong Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios Paris and a copy of Disney California Adventure's Cars Land. Disney has yet to announce any major plans for the park, however.

The animation pavilion's last day will be July 12.

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Robert Niles
Editor

Weekly Top 10: The Best Themed Rides in the World

Published: June 29, 2015 at 8:19 AM

This Friday, we will announce the winners of the 14th annual Theme Park Insider Awards, honoring our readers' collective selections as the best of the theme park industry. One of the awards will be for Best Themed Ride, and your reader ratings of the attractions listed here on Theme Park Insider will determine the winner.

As of today, here are the Top 10 highest-rated themed rides (with a minimum number of votes) on Theme Park Insider. Barring any last-minute surge by another ride, one of these will be your winner. Here they are, in alphabetical order, along with a comment on each from a Theme Park Insider reader. Please help us select our winner by taking a few moments to rate any of the attractions you're experienced in the past year — just click to their listing pages and scrolling down to the rating form.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man
Universal's Islands of Adventure

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

"With the new upgraded 3D projectors the ride is even more immersive! Sometimes I can't truly make a difference between the screen and the reality! One of the best rides ever."

Droomvlucht
Efteling

Droomvlucht

"Undoubtedly the best dark ride in the park. It has been considered the best non-coaster ride in the world."

Fata Morgana
Efteling

Fata Morgana

"When a wizard suddenly appears and opens up a new gateway, this becomes a '1001 Nights'-themed showcase of special effects, including more innovation than most Disney dark rides."

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
Universal's Islands of Adventure

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

"A high tech and amazing ride that leaves you Spell-bounded, I couldn't help myself. This ride also has a queue that is better than the ride itself."

Journey to the Center of the Earth
Tokyo DisneySea

Journey to the Center of the Earth

"This ride is emotionally exciting, physically thrilling. And If I've got the chance, I could've ridden it 20 times without getting tired of it."

Mystic Manor
Hong Kong Disneyland

Mystic Manor

"Simply stunning with the practice effects and screens. It's really quite magical, while also being really cute. Mystic Manor is unbelievable, through and through."

Pirates of the Caribbean
Disneyland

Pirates of the Caribbean

"A ride on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, for those who have not had the pleasure, is quite simply worth the price of admission to the park. It is a masterpiece of animatronics, story, and song, an attraction that transcends age, gender, nationality, theme park bias, and time."

Pooh's Hunny Hunt
Tokyo Disneyland

Pooh's Hunny Hunt

"If the US parks wanted to really give us something from Tokyo, this would be the ride! It's amazing!"

Radiator Springs Racers
Disney California Adventure

Radiator Springs Racers

"This ride is absolutely stunning in every respect! The AAs are amazing, the atmosphere and theming is top notch, and the ride provides a level of thrills that will not scare away young children but will still satisfy the average roller coaster enthusiast."

Transformers: The Ride 3D
Universal Studios Hollywood

Transformers: The Ride 3D

"The ride is non-stop action from the moment it starts and it never lets up. The visuals are crisp and the vehicle synchronization is perfect. The queue area is very well done and does an excellent job of setting up the ride."

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Robert Niles
Editor

How a Walt Disney World Bar Set a New Standard for Theme Park Attractions

Published: June 28, 2015 at 3:41 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

How to Stay Safe and Comfortable at Theme Parks

Published: June 28, 2015 at 2:05 PM

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Corey Mathery
Writer

What's the Ultimate Summer Roadtrip for Amusement Park Fans?

Published: June 28, 2015 at 11:23 AM

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Robert Niles
Editor

What is the Best Disney Princess Character Meal?

Published: June 26, 2015 at 8:45 AM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Parkwide Bans on Selfie Sticks Coming to Disney Theme Parks Next Week

Published: June 25, 2015 at 9:37 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

'Fast & Furious' Drives Universal Studios Hollywood's Parking Garages to Capacity

Published: June 25, 2015 at 2:26 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Disney Makes the City of Anaheim a Billion-Dollar Offer

Published: June 25, 2015 at 1:14 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

Disney Shuts Roller Coaster over a Selfie Stick

Published: June 24, 2015 at 9:01 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

The Saddest Tweet You'll See Today

Published: June 24, 2015 at 10:53 AM

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Eric Freilich
Writer

Where to Eat: Lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

Published: June 23, 2015 at 11:07 PM

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Robert Niles
Editor

The Stars of 'Fast & Furious' Get 'Supercharged' at Universal Studios Hollywood

Published: June 23, 2015 at 5:25 PM

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