Theme Park Insider's Top 10 Closed Attractions for 2016

November 5, 2015, 1:33 PM · As we approach the end of 2015, it's getting to be time to look ahead to the new year. For those of us who report on theme parks, this time of year typically means writing up some click-bait Top 10 list featuring what we think will be the best new rides next year. (Or, at least, featuring the 10 rides we think we drive the most traffic to our site.)

Here at Theme Park Insider, we believe in "plussing" whatever we do... so that means raising our 2016 preview list to the next level of sarcasm and flame bait. In that spirit, we offer our Top 10 list of the best closed attractions for 2016. (Alas, as much as we are trying to snarky here, we just couldn't bring ourselves to make this list into a 10-page slideshow. We're sarcastic — not evil.)

These are attractions at the major parks we cover that closed in 2015 or will close in early 2016. Some of them might reopen in late 2016 or beyond, but others have gone away forever. Whatever their fate, you won't be able to experience these attractions for the majority of 2016.

So, pour one out for your favorite, read 'em and weep!

10. Mark Twain Riverboat

Mark Twain Riverboat

Along with the Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes, the riverboat is heading to dry dock while Disneyland drains the Rivers of America and reroutes it to accommodate construction of Star Wars Land. The river is expected to reopen sometime in 2017.

9. Twister - Ride it Out
Universal Studios Florida

Twister - Ride it Out

The Pax is no match for Jimmy Fallon, as the Tonight Show host has evicted 1996's number-two movie for his "Race Through New York," debuting in 2017.

8. Animation Academy
Disney's Hollywood Studios

Animation Academy

Put down your pencils and book a trip to another Disney resort if you want a free drawing lesson from a Disney animator. What was left of DHS' animation pavilion has closed permanently.

7. Disaster!
Universal Studios Florida


In the words of the immortal Frank Kincaid, we are "moving on"... straight into a new version of Universal Studios Hollywood's "Fast & Furious - Supercharged," which will open on Disaster!'s old site in 2017.

6. Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue
Universal Studios Florida

Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue

Another victim of Dominic Toretto and his gang, Beetlejuice goes away at the end of the year, no matter how many times you say his name.

5. Tom Sawyer Island

Tom Sawyer Island

No water in the river means no rafts to the island. Just the thought makes this former raft driver heartbroken. #PrayForRobert

4. Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Railroad

Star Wars Land continues its rampage across Disneyland, shutting down the railroad, too.

3. Incredible Hulk Coaster
Universal's Islands of Adventure

Incredible Hulk Coaster

IOA's skyline is already missing this iconic coaster, as Universal's torn down its track for a complete rebuild. Look for the return of Hulk later in 2016.

2. Fantasmic!


Star Wars Land's greatest victim will be one of Disney's most popular shows - the original Fantasmic!, which closes for the year in January, along with the rest of the Rivers of America.

1. Aladdin
Disney California Adventure


But the top spot on our list goes to a victim not of Star Wars, but of Disney's other insatiable franchise, Frozen. DCA's long-running musical closes in January to make way for a new Frozen-themed musical that will debut later in the year.

Replies (16)

November 5, 2015 at 1:38 PM · Good list, but not Soarin' at Epcot? That's a major blow in a park already light on ride-type attractions.
November 5, 2015 at 2:08 PM · Shaaaaade. ;) No but really, those slideshows other sites do for "list" posts are the definition of evil.
November 5, 2015 at 4:27 PM · I wasn't aware of the Beetlejuice show going away. I'm pretty upset about that actually, considering I definitely won't be there before the end of this year. That along with the Horror Make-up Show were two classics I hoped would remain forever.

I sure am glad we got to see Aladdin one more time though, before that goes away. I still have not had a chance to see Disneyland's version of Fantasmic!, as every time I'm in California it's Fall, and they only run the show on weekends (which I can never dedicate to a DL day). Still hoping to get that chance someday though...

November 5, 2015 at 7:07 PM · I don't care how much of an empty park DHS is, or how awesome Kong is gonna be, I'm not gonna consider renewing my Universal AP until Hulk opens back up. While Spider-Man and Forbidden Journey take the cake as the best rides in the park, an IOA without Hulk is an IOA that's not worth visiting.
November 5, 2015 at 10:44 PM · I'm still very disappointed about the closure of Aladdin. I understand all the reasoning behind the decision, but it's going to be very difficult to create a Frozen show of the same quality. Fortunately, many of the other closures are only temporary or are attractions that generally don't get that great of reviews, so while 2016 may be a poor year to visit destination parks the future should make up for it.
November 5, 2015 at 11:28 PM · Closing Aladdin is a terrible, blatantly profit-driven decision, and a disservice to all the guests who pack the theatre to see it, year in and year out. I would have no problem if the show was unpopular, but it's not. Disney knows better than anyone what a popular, beloved crowd pleaser Aladdin is, and they just closed the show anyway. No one besides 12 year old girls is clamoring for a Frozen replacement; does Disney think that no one else goes to their parks??
Shame on them for putting their latest would-be animation franchise ahead of what the guests actually want.
November 5, 2015 at 11:29 PM · As for Hulk, it's been desperately in need of a refurb for years. Bring it back when it doesn't give me a splitting headache anymore.
November 6, 2015 at 12:42 AM · For me, it is the Rivers of America attractions that I will miss the most until they reopen. I still think Star Wars land belongs in DCA or a third gate and it's a shame that the lenght of the river will be shortened just to make way for the home of the Jedi.
November 6, 2015 at 4:46 AM · Does it count if it's coming back? Only if it is a new ride experience. If you get a new credit for Rugaroo can you get a new credit for 2016 Hulk?
November 6, 2015 at 6:30 AM · You absolutely get credit for the new Hulk since it will be a completely different track (likely different course).

On the non-Cali-Florida side, Shockwave at Kings Dominion, one of the world's first stand-up coasters, took its last rides earlier this season and will get a lame Huss Giant Frisbee in its place.

Also, Six Flags New England is converting Bizarro back into Superman: The Ride. While they're not changing the course, SF is billing it as a new experience that was even better than the original, which was ranked as the world's best steel coaster for a number of years.

I think the Soarin's closure at EPCOT will be relatively limited. Disney's being ultra conservative with the timeline, but I think it will only be down for a couple of months. For those complaining, consider how long the lines are with both theaters operating and how much longer the lines would be if the attraction is running at half capacity. I think taking everything down until the new projection system is installed on both original theaters and the new theater is online and ready to debut the new film is a good choice. Allowing the attraction to limp along for a couple of months (potentially slowing the transition) is a good move by Disney. Ultimately, I don't think it will take as long as Disney is anticipating.

November 6, 2015 at 8:07 AM · Never have I been so grateful to have seen a closing attraction - pass me my lamp maybe I'll be able to save you Aladdin!
It was an amazing show, so so glad I got to see it twice last year.

Genuinely sad to see Beetlejuice close too. My family and I have enjoyed this show for many years. I may or may not want to be The Bride... (I do - goals) Enjoyed it one last time this year with a lingering last look over my shoulder as I left. Fortunately did achieve my goal of BJ 'hitting' on me this time.
Farewell my favourites, farewell.

November 6, 2015 at 9:54 AM · The number of closures at Disneyland means raising prices is totally unjustified. Disney isn't doing a single thing to make up for it, besides a meet and great, so people should be skipping Disneyland next year. Also Disney should of announced Jungle Cruise would be closed most of next year when the raised the price of season passes. I hope attendance finally goes down so Disney has no choice but to freeze prices until after Star Wars Land opens. At the very least they should freeze existing pass members rates a year as a thank you.
November 6, 2015 at 10:41 AM · 2016 should be a "take a break" year from Disneyland, but I doubt it since Star Wars will be on everyone's mind and this will translate to Star Wars events. The park will be crowded like never before.
November 6, 2015 at 12:49 PM · Re: Randy Keith

Disneyland? Losing attendance because a relatively small amount of decent attractions are gonna be closed? Haha, you're pretty funny!

November 8, 2015 at 8:17 AM · Disney really needs to relocate Aladdin to DHS. Beauty and the Beast is in dire need of a replacement.
November 11, 2015 at 11:32 PM · Beetlejuice closing and not moving into the fear factor stage just further fuels speculation that Fear Factor Live will become WWOHP phase 3: Ministry of Magic

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