Yes, friends, we’ve all had some mourning to do in the recent weeks. Epcot axed not only the majority of their live entertainment, but the surprisingly beloved Maelstrom. Things got kinda intense on social media. Those announcements broke Disney twitter almost as badly as Adele Dazeem did.
Then Hollywood Studios closed American Idol, to which everyone’s reaction was:
But then they closed The Studio Backlot Tour, a staple that had been there since the park’s opening, and the Disnerd reaction could basically be summarized by the following text conversation:
Yurp, bodies are dropping so fast that you’d think it was a penultimate episode of a Game of Thrones season up in here.
I guess Disney has decided that Diagon Alley looks a little too impressive, standing there with its menacing dragon just across the street….so they decided to trim a few of their hedges. Do a little renovating. Which means that some things have to go. But, since Disney upgrades aren’t always an improvement, I thought I’d pay a tribute to some of their better rides that got wiped away for a new, shinier, but thoroughly lesser iOS system.
Note: I’m a 90s kid, thus I don’t have any memory of Horizons, Mission to Mars, or any of the other beloved projects of Epcot past, so you won’t see any of them on this list.
Double Note: I’m only listing park attractions. Not gonna even touch Pleasure Island. That’s another post for another time.
…I just want it known that when I set out to write this post, I decided I was going to write a list with no more than one line of introductory text. Because no one really cares about the text before the list.
In no particular order!
1) Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Play It!
I get why they decided to kill this one… the TV show, once a ratings monster, has completely dropped off our cultural radars. But why they replaced it with American Idol, which is similarly unhip, not nearly as interactive and fun, and, most remarkably, not even one of Disney’s many corporate commodities (which is actually kind of hard to find these days)…? I will never understand.
[Big Bro’s note: And that is why you fail…]
I know the title doesn’t have the brand name allure it once did…but it was just so much fun. Even if you weren’t in the hot seat, trying to get on the leader board was enough of a thrill. Plus, you got to sit there in judgment and feel superior when the contestant didn’t know an answer you did. I love feeling superior. It’s my favorite pastime.
[Big Bro’s note: You’ve never actually had a reason to feel superior.]
Plus, with a relatively small theater size, it wasn’t an improbability that you would be picked. I got in the hot seat twice, my mother twice, and Big Bro three times.
[Big Bro’s note: But I do.]
And yes, I completely guessed on the fast finger question both times that I was picked. DBCA, my friend. It never fails.
Well, except for all of the times that it did.
2) The Original Journey into Imagination
I do give props to Disney for, at the very least, fixing their first heinous renovation fairly quickly. At least we have Figment restored into his rightful place. But the current attraction…
You said it, Eric Idle.
More than anything, I just miss the Dreamfinder singing that catchy but goofy song — the full version — and Figment popping out of that insane combobulation of a machine.
What a lovable fellow!
3) The Old Animation Tour with Robin Williams
I feel like the return of this one is actually perfectly plausible. Sure, the tour couldn’t be exactly as it was before, since it’s no longer a working studio, but if we could at least replace the stupid Mushu gaffe with the old Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams movie? I mean, they brought back Captain EO after Michael Jackson died. Wouldn’t this be a similar tribute? If anyone is worthy, certainly it’s Robin. Plus, it’s just a great video.
4) The Jeremy Irons Version of Spaceship Earth
I believe this is the third time I’ve discussed this. So let me e’splain. No. There is too much. Lemme sum up. Judi Dench is awesome sauce but she sounds like she’s talking to a kindergarten class. Jeremy Irons makes me think I’m actually traveling through space and time. Switch it back.
And finally, the last previous incarnation of a Disney Park attraction that I miss…
5) The Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management
I DON’T CARE. I KNOW EVERYONE HATED IT. I KNOW THE TIKI GODS BURNED IT DOWN OUT OF SPITE. I DON’T CARE. I LOVED IT.
The original version is boring, ok? Zazu and Iago were funny! They sang catchy songs and made self deprecating jokes! I liked it!
Of course, when that version was active, there were plenty of people like me making lists like this one, wanting the original version back.
Just proves you can’t please everyone. So let’s cut WDI some slack here. They’re trying to make something new. I’m cool with that. Sure, I regret their missteps, but I’m still excited to see what they’ve got in store for us next. Because now, with Diagon Alley dropping jaws left and right, they’ve got something to prove.
And that’s when the exciting stuff happens.
What demolished attractions do you miss?