Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

WDW's Forgotten Attractions.. A Paper!

Walt Disney World: College paper time, who wants to help with some input about how they feel about past WDW attractions?

From Carrie Hood
Posted November 30, 2010 at 10:49 AM
Okay Folks, Here's my deal.

I'm working on a rather large research paper for my College Comp class. So what do I pick but "Past, Present and Future of Disney World Resort" with a main focus on past attractions and who we will be unable to share them with our future kids.

Now here's what I need.
-A few good quotes with your permission about how you feel in regard to this matter. What would YOU have liked to share with your kids that's gone now and why you feel that way.
-Who knows why Wonders of Life closed?! World of Motion? Anyone know anything? (Other then loosing sponsorship, is there anything deeper that google isn't telling me?)
-If you have to focus on one lost attraction at a WDW park, what would it be and why? (I've already focused on 20k Leagues and Horizons)

Thank you in advance again!

From Tim Chatlos
Posted November 30, 2010 at 2:46 PM
Quite the interesting topic for a research paper!

If you haven't come across it already, there is a great site for Walt Disney World past attractions called Martin's Videos by Martin Smith:

His site features tribute videos to many former WDW attractions, including histories, ride/building layouts, and rare footage. You can (and will, if you love WDW) spend hours watching through the absolutely amazing stuff he's put together here.

Another good site, Widen Your World, appears to be on a temporary hiatus until January. There are a few articles there now, but when fully available it's one of the better WDW history sites.

Horizons has perhaps the strongest following of all the extinct WDW attractions. Many felt it embodied the boundless optimism for the future, how technology would improve all aspects of our family life, that was represented in the original EPCOT Center than any attraction built before or since.

Good luck with the paper!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 3, 2010 at 5:24 PM
I saw this a couple of days ago and wanted to respond!

I am very resistant to change when it comes to Disney replacing attractions. Probably the one attraction I miss the most is Cranium Command at EPCOT. It was, in my opinion, the perfect EPCOT attraction with a blend of entertainment and education. It also was pretty funny!

However, I think the changes that upset me the most have to do with Disney bending to pressure due to fads and quick fixes. The Tiki Room Journey to Imagination and Stitch's Great Escape are three that come to mind where the old attraction was better!

From Amanda Jenkins
Posted December 4, 2010 at 10:27 AM
I agree with Anthony. One attraction that I hated to see updated was Spaceship Earth. I didn't mind the extra scenes (such as the Civil War newspaper bit), but I detest the computer screen within the vehicle. I miss the end when "your time traveling machine" is going backwards and you heard all the voices and saw the multicolored lines moving the information along.

I think what makes me so sad when we lose those rides or pieces of them, is that we can never share them those who have never been to Walt Disney World. I have tried to explain how it once was to my sons and husband, and they truly can not picture it. When I speak of the Wonders of Life, Mr. Toad, etc. they just patiently listen. But as I have is always difficult to truly do justice to the telling of those rides that were "magical" unless the auidence are able to experience it personally.

From Nick Markham
Posted December 5, 2010 at 4:29 PM
As much as we hate it, a ride or attraction is not able to last forever. As for Mr. Toad, why don't you go and visit Disneyland? That is a great park and still has Mr. Toad.

From TH Creative
Posted December 7, 2010 at 7:50 PM
A Walt Disney World "Video Holy Grail" would be footage with audio of the original Candlelight Processional that was performed in Town Square at the Magic Kingdom.

Mr. Niles, did you ever see the Magic Kingdom performance?

From Orrin Carstarphen
Posted December 8, 2010 at 5:14 PM
They may have a Mr. Toad ride in Disneyland but it is not the same ride as Disney World's version. I also wish they had kept 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This ride is really the only thing I can remember about my first ever trip back in 1975. Some rides should be "untouchable".

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 8, 2010 at 9:08 PM
20.000 had a ton of structural problems including not being wheelchair accessable, and leaking underneath into the utlidoors. I went on the Nemo one at DL over the summer. It didn't impress me! Maybe I was too tall!

As for some of Disney's rides, I do not miss as much because the one that comes afterwards was an improvement.

Attractions that I really do not miss as much!

World of Motion
Tom Saywer's Island (at Disneyland)
Kitchen Kaberet (though I do miss Food Rocks)

From Carrie Hood
Posted December 8, 2010 at 11:32 PM
Kitchen Cabaret! Now there's one I haven't thought of in a dozen years! Now I'll have to go youtube it and watch it much the the high annoyance of my husband. Poor thing has been subject to several hours of watching various videos with most being focused on the old Epcot attractions.

THANK YOU to EVERYONE who helped out with input and a few quotes I snagged. If anyone is interested I can post up the full paper here or email it around. Next semester stars in January so I'll probably find another way to relate a paper to Disney World and it's various lost and still present attractions. So please keep an eye out later on :)

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted December 10, 2010 at 7:24 AM
It's probably too late now, but I loved the original Alien Encounter BEFORE they Stitch-ified it. I guess they thought it was too scary for little kids, but why couldn't there just be one thing that was a bit more grown-up, why did it have to 'dumbed-down'...

It was one of the only things that I remember feeling genuinely entralled by...a real, complete experience without any indication of construction or intention. Now, with Stitch there it feels like everything has to relate to a film, more merchendise, more marketing, more plugging. Oh dear, I've got myself quite upset about this now actually!

Also miss Mickey's Birthday Land and Captain Eo.

From Carrie Hood
Posted December 10, 2010 at 10:28 AM

I feel you completely and I'm a huge stitch fan myself. I don't know why they changed it other then to fit stitch into the park somehow but I can't even say the merchandise is decent in the store they have no T-shirts but just a bunch of toys! Overall I was really disappointed in the merchandise select WDW has now, most of it's Mickey Mouse and very little about any other characters that aren't Tinkerbell or Grumpy!

Alien Encounters is a mystery to me, I remember a big thing that they shut it down and changed it soon after the original opening because Eisner didn't think it was scary enough! So I can't see them using the "To Scary" excuse myself. This might be something to investigate for future note!

Sadly I had a page limit so I only really got to wax poetic on two attractions (20k Leagues and Horizons) rather then the four I had planned (Wonders of Life and Mr. Toad) . Otherwise I'd end up with a 25 page paper easily if I went off on all the cool stuff that is now gone.

From Jan Hayhurst
Posted December 11, 2010 at 7:02 AM
Thanks for commenting Carrie, it's a really interesting subject. It's true about the merchendise as well, I hunted for AGES a few years ago for anything that had the Cheshire Cat on (my husbands favourite all time character!) and finally found a pajama pouch pillow-case thing just ofr the Cheshire Cat's head. its pretty cook, but took forever to find! Good luck with the result of your paper...

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 11, 2010 at 1:52 PM
From what I heard, guests thought that AE was out of place at MK, which is considered the most child friendly park. Personally, I used to be scared of it, but I learned how to appreciate how Disney can set up a quick horror story that was well done and believable for the 15 minutes or so. It really took the guests into a world that they forgot they are at a theme park.

Then again, AE never really had a big following or high rating on TPI. Most felt that it was OK.

The problem with Stitch being there now is that they did not exactly take out the factors that made AE so terrifying. Whats worse, parents are now willing to give the ride the benefit of the doubt because its Stitch. At least with AE, you were warned that it was scary. Its intersting because I always try to sit near the parent that brings their four year old on the attraction and see how they react. Usually is screaming in terror and I actually had a kid next to me almost escape out of his seat. Of course, Stitch also spit RIGHT INTO HIS FACE. Speaking of that, that Animatronic Stitch is out of this world (no pun intended) in technology. A saving grace for the doomed attraction?

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted December 13, 2010 at 8:37 AM
Wow, I am surprised that AE was such a bomb, as my family and friends thought it was brilliant. Scary, yes, but so well done, realistic and terrifying for sure. And yes, I remember being terrified as a child, but i still wanted to do it again. Not for four year olds though... although it will certainly help toughen them up a bit!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted December 13, 2010 at 9:51 AM
From what I remember, it had a 7 on TPI, pretty much in the upper middle of the road.

As for changes, nothing at WDW seemed to have changed more than those two attraction areas in the front of Tomorrowland. AE and Timekeeper is what I remember, but there was Mission to Mars and Circlevision before and now Stich and Monsters INC

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