Fan-Favorite Disney World Attractions That No Longer Exist

Disney World is constantly evolving. In making room for new, more modern additions, that means having to close the doors on other attractions that have taken up space for years. Unfortunately for some park goers, that means having to say goodbye to some of their favorite staples of the park.

Some rides and shows that have been removed seemed to have been beloved by all. Nevertheless, Disney World decided to get rid of them for good. Here are 7 attractions that were deemed fan-favorites, but they no longer exist.

The Great Movie Ride

Chinese Theatre | Disney

The Great Movie Ride was a true Disney World staple, and we’re still not over the fact that it shut down for good on Aug. 13, 2017. Housed in the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood Studios, this ride took you on a tour through some of the most classic movies to exist. From Mary Poppins (1964) to Alien (1979) to The Wizard of Oz (1939), the impressive animatronics made you really feel like you were there during some iconic scenes.

Our favorite part of the ride was when real-life actors came into play. It always involved a shootout scene, but you never knew if you’d get the “gangster” or “western” scenario, adding a dose of excitement for repeat riders. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be taking over in the same location of the Great Movie Ride, but nothing can truly replace it.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure

If you love Ellen DeGeneres, you would have loved Ellen’s Energy Adventure in Epcot’s Universe of Energy pavilion. It was a fun, quirky ride taking you on a trip back to prehistoric times to learn all about energy with her “neighbor,” Bill Nye the Science Guy.

It debuted with the opening of the park in 1982, so the fact that it stayed as long as it did was pretty remarkable. Like the Great Movie Ride, this ride took its final spin on Aug. 13, 2017.


A hidden treasure tucked away in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot, Maelstrom took passengers on a “Scandinavian log-flume adventure.” Maybe simply because it was one of the few actual rides in World Showcase (instead of an educational video that most countries feature), it became a cult-favorite among park goers. It closed down in 2014, and was replaced by Frozen Ever After. While we’re here for the Frozen-themed ride, we’re definitely sad that it had to take the place of Maelstrom.

Studio Backlot Tour

The Studio Backlot Tour in Hollywood Studios gave a super insightful and entertaining look into what goes on behind-the-scenes in making TV shows and movies. A tram car took you through a few different scenarios, one of which included floodwaters gushing right toward you.

As Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, pointed out, “That was the core attraction of the park.” He added, “The whole romance of seeing where movies are made really began to die as people got the ability to make movies themselves. The only movie production that’s happening in there are people holding up their iPhones and uploading to YouTube.”

The ride debuted in 1989, when Hollywood Studios originally opened as MGM Studios. Its last day of production was Sept. 27, 2014.

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show

Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show | Walt Disney World via Instagram

A perfect way to take a break from walking around the park, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show gave a thrilling performance every time. The show turned off the lights in 2016, with the intent to make room for the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land sections of the park.

Professional stunt drivers had the audience on the edges of their seats, from narrowly missing collisions to literally catching on fire. The show opened in Hollywood Studios in 2005, which impressively lasted for over a decade. Luckily, we still have the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! to provide us with our stunt show satisfaction, but Lights, Motors, Action! is still sorely missed.

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience

You didn’t have to be a fan of the 1989 movie, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, to be a fan of this attraction. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience did exactly as the title suggests: Professor Wayne Szalinski accidentally shrinks the audience during this 3D movie adventure, and it’s just as fun as it sounds.

If you had the chance to go through the attraction, you may remember imaginary mice running under your seat, a giant python hissing in your face, and the entire theater being “picked up.” The ride opened at Epcot’s Imagination Pavilion in 1994, but sadly closed its doors in 2010.

Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba

If you were headed to Disney Springs for a little time away from the main Disney Parks, you wouldn’t have to worry about being short on entertainment. For nearly 20 years, Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba wowed crowds with their insane acrobatic skills. Once we learned that its last show would be taking place on New Year’s Eve 2017, we were truly saddened.

The sadness didn’t last for long, however. On Dec. 18, 2017, Disney Springs marketing manager Darcy Clark announced a new show would be created in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group. According to Clark, “This original show will be created by Cirque du Soleil and will pay homage to Disney’s rich history of animation, with a vivid story told in a way that only Cirque du Soleil can deliver.”

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