It's Time to Say Goodbye to Several Top Theme Park Attractions

January 4, 2016, 11:47 AM · Several popular theme park attractions are closing in early January — some for extended refurbishments, and some, permanently. So let's take a moment to say goodbye to these shows and rides, and maybe to enjoy them one last time.

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney has extended Hollywood Studios' annual holiday light show through Wednesday, giving fans a couple more chances to see this display, first brought to Disney from an Arkansas neighborhood in the 1995.

Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue
Universal Studios Florida

Beetlejuice's Graveyard Revue

The final performance of Universal's classic monster rock show plays tomorrow. (The final show, at 7pm, is reserved for annual passholders, who can pick up tickets next to Guest Services tomorrow morning at 9.) The new Fast & Furious - Supercharged attraction that is taking over the neighboring Disaster! will claim the space occupied by Beetlejuice's outdoor theater, as well.



The "Soarin' Over California" version of the show, which had been playing at Epcot since 2005, took its final flight last night. A new version of the show, "Soarin' Over the Horizon," will debut along with a third show theater when the attraction reopens sometime this summer.

Disney California Adventure


California Adventure's long-running musical stage version of the Disney animated classic closes on Sunday, after a 13-year run. The winner of the Theme Park Insider Award for world's best theme park show last year, Aladdin is closing to make way for a new stage musical based on Disney's Frozen.

Rivers of America [Tom Sawyer Island, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, Fantasmic!] and the Disneyland Railroad

Rivers of America

Disney is rerouting its Rivers of America to make room for Star Wars Land, which will take over the the space currently occupied by Big Thunder Ranch, the northern section of the River (including the Indian camp) and some backstage areas north of the park. The path of the Disneyland Railroad also will change, to follow the new route of the river. The final day is Sunday, January 10. All of these attractions are expected to reopen sometime in 2017, with Star Wars Land expected to open sometime in 2019 or 2020.

Replies (23)

January 4, 2016 at 12:06 PM · I'm curious on Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando this year. Twister is being converted, Disaster, and Beetlejuice. Seems like it may have an impact on two or three house locations!
January 4, 2016 at 1:06 PM · I assume that means the River will be drained until 2017. That seems to be a long time for that visual part of the park to be down. I don't know why, but I find it depressing to see the unfilled concrete waterways without water, like when it was drained the last time or when the WDW moat was empty.
January 4, 2016 at 1:24 PM · Soarin Over the Horizon will also be replacing Sorin over California in Disney California Adventure.
January 4, 2016 at 3:37 PM · And yet Stitch's Great Escape has managed to survive for another year.
January 4, 2016 at 3:45 PM · Two things to say about this. First, im still upset that they're replacing Aladdin with Frozen. Aladdin is one of DLR's best shows. If anything they should at least replace Aladdin with a decent show like Lion King. Second, I hope that they bring the dancing lights to DCA. It would fit perfectly on Buena Vista st.
January 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM · Lots of closures coming in 2016, but fortunately they are to make way for exciting new attractions. One correction, however...the new version of Soarin' is officially named Soarin' Around the World instead of Soarin' Over the Horizon (which was the title while in development).

To, from what I've heard the river will only be completely drained for a few months. The entire river has to be drained every so often in order to perform maintenance on the riverbed, Fantasmic equipment, and riverboat track. Once this maintenance is complete, temporary dams will be erected so that the front portion of the river can be refilled while work is performed on the back of the river. I doubt Disneyland wants a big construction wall in Frontierland any longer than absolutely necessary, and since the front part of the river won't be modified it can still be filled.

January 4, 2016 at 5:16 PM · B Goodwin, you make it sound like that's a bad thing.

On another note, why is Soarin getting a change at DCA? I can understand Epcot, but why a park that's literally called CALIFORNIA Adventure? Doesn't make any sense to me...

January 4, 2016 at 6:57 PM · The latest rumor is that the Disneyland Railroad will be down for at least two years.
January 4, 2016 at 7:09 PM · I'm also bummed that Aladdin is getting the boot for Frozen, but it really needed to change.

While it's still just a rumor, the Mummy ride at USH might be next to retire.

January 4, 2016 at 7:43 PM · Can't wait for the year 2034 for Disney to replace these attractions. Not a single shovel in the ground, and they announced Star Wars 4 months ago. By that logic, this is going to be another 'Avatar' type dibacle.
January 5, 2016 at 12:40 AM · I'm still pissed that Frozen is booting out Aladdin, the best stage show I've ever seen in any theme park. If Frozen is not an exceptional show, it will be a huge disappointment, since it replaced something consistently amazing and popular.
January 5, 2016 at 12:44 AM · To add a little news here, a preview for Disney's new movie Zootopia will replace the Good Dinosaur preview at One Man's Dream at Hollywood Studios.

That reminds me, whatever happened to the Captain EO spot and the Pixar films they were working on? Any action over there?

January 5, 2016 at 1:55 AM · 2019 or 2020 for Star Wars Land? Give me a break ...
January 5, 2016 at 3:34 AM · *Fist bumps B Goodwin*
January 5, 2016 at 4:48 AM ·

Disney's actually said they'll start breaking ground for Star Wars this year.

January 5, 2016 at 12:26 PM · I got excited when I saw the headline about S'norin closing....just a shame they're reopening it.

It really is little more than a Cinema 180 clone from the 70s....just with seats that wobble a bit, a fan and the occasional squirt of air freshener.

Having ridden both versions, I was massively disappointing with both.

The first was the most disappointing though, after reading all the hype I thought it must be something pretty decent. What a massive let down it was. Cannot believe some people wait up to 180 minutes for it.

January 5, 2016 at 1:06 PM · There will be no temporary dams. The river and related attractions will be closed for one-year.

Aladdin had a great run. However, it's time to move on. Shows shouldn't last forever and should be refreshed periodically. Since no one has seen the Frozen show then no one knows if it will be better than its predecessor.

January 5, 2016 at 3:44 PM · I agree with another post. Let Stitch Go!!!
January 5, 2016 at 3:50 PM · I believe it will be quite costly to Disney to close so much of Disneyland. Anyone who purchases a season pass, as they will not be discounted, should have a mental exam. So much of the Park will be debilitated its not funny. And I am not speaking about the visual issues. 4 years is a long time to be out of the theme park loop, Disneyland, and if the Star Wars adventures are not spectacular the wait would not have been worth it.

This will be very interesting. Disney doesn't give away anything! Not even old fingernail clippings.

January 5, 2016 at 5:52 PM · Heres to hoping Pat returns for the Soarin' pre-show video. And to all the Soarin' haters, thank you for staying out of the already long line. It's much appreciated.
January 5, 2016 at 6:36 PM · First off things have been happening behind the scenes at the DLR. New replacement buildings are well under-construction next to the parking structure, so even though there has been no official ground breaking, shovels are in the ground. Second, the construction will affect only a portion of park so to say that Disneyland is going to be out of theme park loop is a tab melodramatic. Both Space Mountain and BTMR were down for two years during their rehabs so two years for DLRR and ROA to be down does not seem unreasonable. And 4 years for Star Wars Land seems right too.
January 6, 2016 at 9:40 AM · So DLR shuts down most of the park and jacks up the prices.. I know they want to make their money back, but you pay more more for less? Build the new Star Wars land then when you have something new to show off you raise the prices. Then at least it makes sense why the prices went up. BTW they shouldn't raises the prices for years because it is already too much and a total rip off. They are making their resorts for the super rich and celebrities. (Shame on you Disney..ruining my kids fun)
January 8, 2016 at 12:54 AM · Oh jeesh. Once again they are not shutting down most of the park. Let's see what will be open during the Star Wars construction- almost all of Fatasyland including the Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, Subs, Buzz, and I could go on. As for the costs. Yes it's expensive, but not outrageously so when you start to compare it to other, less diverse entertainment. However, I can understand if you think Disney park do not provide enough value for your money. Of course, your kids do not need Disney or any theme park to have fun.

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