The first-ever Disney park, Disneyland, opened way back in 1955 and is now nearly 65 years old! Then, Walt Disney World opened back in 1971, and is almost fifty years old! So as I’m sure you can guess, a lot has happened since they opened; a lot of rides have made their debuts, and a lot have closed! And today, I’m going to be educating you on some of those extinct Disney rides that now only exist in history, but that make you nostalgic for old times. Let’s take a trip to Disney’s past!
This one is probably more fresh in people’s memories since it only closed down in 2014, but newer Disney fans probably wouldn’t know of the now extinct EPCOT attraction that shut down almost 6 years ago. Maelstrom, which was located in the Norway pavilion in EPCOT, was a troll themed ride that operated from July 5th, 1988 to October 5th, 2014.
Maelstrom ran for 26 years, until it was announced in September 2014 that it would be closed down to be replaced by a Frozen themed ride, which is now Frozen Ever After. Disney fans were not happy that a classic EPCOT World Showcase ride would be replaced, and a lot of people voiced their opinions. But, the ride still closed down in October 2014, and it’s replacement, Frozen Ever After, opened up on June 21st, 2016. They used the same track for the Frozen attraction as they did for Maelstrom, except they made a few changes so the ride would fit the Frozen theme. You can see the last ride on Maelstrom ever in the video down below from the YouTube channel Theme Park Review.
2: Universe Of Energy-Ellen’s Energy Adventure
This is another extinct Disney ride that used to live in EPCOT, and not only was it in EPCOT, but it was an opening day attraction. And also just like Maelstrom, Ellen’s Energy Adventure hasn’t been closed for that long-In fact, Ellen’s Energy Adventure ran from EPCOT’s opening on October 1st, 1982 to August 13th, 2017. And even though some people might remember this one, a lot of Disney fans had no idea this existed even when it was open. (Myself included until it closed.)
Ellen’s Energy Adventure (or Ellen’s Universe Of Energy) starred Ellen DeGeneres, but it didn’t start out that way, Ellen was added to the ride in 1996. In my opinion, the ride seemed really weird. I mean, the ride was 45 minutes of Ellen and Bill Nye the Science Guy taking guests on an “Energy Adventure.” I’m sure this attraction has a special place in a lot of people’s hearts, but it’s just not my kind of ride. Anyways, the ride closed in mid-August 2017 to make way for a Guardian’s of The Galaxy attraction coming to Future World in 2021. But of course, the ride had to close with a bang, and it did. On the last ride on Ellen’s Energy Adventure ever, the ride began as normal, but when the ride vehicle got to the dinosaur scene, the ride stopped. Not long after, the lights came on and cast members came out explaining to the guests that they would have to evacuate the ride. Even though the guests couldn’t finish the ride, they got to have a pretty awesome experience! You can see it all in the video from Attraction’s Magazine down below.
3: The Great Movie Ride
The last extinct Disney ride we’re going to talk about today is The Great Movie ride. Like Ellen’s Energy Adventure, The Great Movie ride closed in 2017 to make way for a new ride. The Great Movie ride opened on May 1st, 1989, on Hollywood Studios’ opening day, (Except then, Hollywood Studios was called MGM Studios.) The ride featured scenes from 12 famous motion pictures, including The Wizard Of Oz, Mary Poppins, and a lot more.
The classic attraction The Great Movie Ride ran for a solid 28 years until 2017, when it was announced that the ride would be closing to make way for the first ever ride starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse, which is now known as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Like with Maelstrom’s closing, fans were not too happy to hear that a classic Hollywood Studios attraction would be leaving the park, but against their wishes, on August 13th 2017, The Great Movie Ride closed with Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Then, before the parks closed amidst the coronavirus, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened to the public in early March of this year. And while most Disney fans have to agree that the ride seems spectacular, a lot of them still miss The Great Movie Ride. Down below is a video of The Great Movie ride from Theme Park Worldwide’s YouTube channel.
Even though each of these extinct classic attractions have cool looking replacements or plans, nothing can beat the original, or the nostalgic of it all. Just like everyone else, I’m happy to see replacements once in awhile, but I hope Disney keeps the rest of it’s classic attractions, at least for awhile longer. Anyways, stay safe and have a magical day!