10 Discontinued Disney Rides We Wish Could Come Back
We will never stop missing these iconic rides.
All good things must come to an end—and sadly, this also applies to Disney rides. Disney parks have been around for so long, it’s no surprise that some earlier rides are no longer available. While you most likely haven’t even heard of some of the discontinued rides, there are some that people miss to this day. Here are the 10 discontinued Disney rides we wish would come back. Make sure you also check out what you need to know about Disney reopening.
Submarine Voyage—Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park (1959-1998)
Although they weren’t real submarines and didn’t actually submerge in the water, it sure felt like they did. Submarine Voyage took riders on an unforgettable “underwater” adventure. According to Yesterland, the captain of the submarine brought riders through a shipwreck graveyard, the North Pole, and Atlantis. But the riders weren’t alone on their underwater adventure. They also passed by mermaids, unusual glowing fish, and a sea serpent. Although Submarine Voyage is now Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the new attraction still follows the same path as the original. Here’s what you need to know about visiting the reopened Disney parks.
The Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland—Frontierland, Disneyland Park (1960-1977)
According to Yesterland, The Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was “inspired by Disney’s True-Life Adventure nature movies of the 1950s.” This train ride offered views of waterfalls, geysers, cacti, and bubbling pots of mud. Surrounded by over 200 animated animals, like beavers, bobcats, and bears, this train ride had every guest feeling like they were part of nature. Yesterland also mentions a little-known secret of this ride: “If you board the Mine Train around 8:50 p.m., the train will stop on a hillside above the Living Desert. You’ll be treated to the best view of the fireworks anywhere in the park.”
Adventure Thru Inner Space—Tomorrowland, Disneyland Park (1967-1986)
After climbing into your inner space-traveling Atom Mobile, your Adventure Thru Inner Space began. First, riders would pass through the Mighty Microscope, which was followed by being shot into giant snowflakes. Upon venturing further into the snowflakes, riders “shrunk” small enough to be surrounded by H2O molecules, electrons, oxygen atoms, and the nucleus. When the snowflakes began to melt, riders “grew” back to normal size. According to Yesterland, “Adventure Thru Inner Space opened in Disneyland in 1967 as part of the New Tomorrowland project. It occupied the space that previously housed the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea walk-through and the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry. It closed in 1986. The space is now occupied by Star Tours.” Find out some surprising etiquette rules all Disney employees must follow.
Skyway—Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (1971-1999)
As one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World, how could we forget Skyway? Skyway was a gondola ride that transported guests to another world–literally. Skyway was a quick way to get from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland or vice versa. Guests could enjoy views of the lagoon and other attractions along the way. “The Skyway was built by Von Roll of Bern, Switzerland, which built similar sky rides for over 100 amusement parks, theme parks, and exposition grounds,” according to Yesterland.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures—Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (1971-2012)
While Snow White’s Scary Adventures is still running in Disneyland, its Walt Disney World counterpart closed in 2012. “Snow White’s Adventures—without the adjective Scary in its name—was one of the Magic Kingdom’s original rides when the park opened October 1, 1971,” according to Yesterland. However, most parents and children didn’t know what they were getting themselves into with such an innocent title. The ride consisted of the guests experiencing Snow White’s journey as if they were the princess herself—including the Evil Queen trying to kill her, which, in turn, ultimately led to the addition of the adjective “Scary” to the ride’s name. These are the 9 biggest differences between Disneyland and Disney World.
World of Motion—Future World, Epcot, Walt Disney World (1982-1996)
When Epcot opened in 1982, World of Motion was one of its opening day attractions, and the ride focused on the progress of transportation throughout history. According to disneyparks.disney.go.com, “The attraction, then sponsored by General Motors, took guests on a time travel journey through the history of transportation—man’s foibles and triumphs in designing new vehicles, the age of flight, and the development of the horseless carriage, as well as the transportation trends our culture latched on to like the bicycle, the family Sunday drive, and the summer road trip.” Fun fact: The ride that took World of Motion‘s place, called Test Track, inspired Chevy to design a real-life car! Learn some more surprising secrets Disney employees won’t tell you.
The Great Movie Ride—Hollywood Blvd., Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World (1989-2017)
As one of the largest indoor Disney rides in history, The Great Movie Ride took guests on an elaborate trip through scenes from classic movies like The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, and Casablanca. “The finale was a montage of movie clips. It was celebration of memorable Hollywood movies, not just Disney movies,” says Werner Weiss, Curator of Yesterland. “Along the way, a depression-era gangster or a Western villain would step out of a movie scene, hijack the vehicle, and replace the tour guide. Eventually, the hijacker would meet a grisly fate, and the tour guide would triumphantly return.”
ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter—Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World (1995-2003)
If you’re a Disney fan and you think of “extraterrestrial,” what comes to mind? Probably one of our favorite friendly aliens, E.T. However, as its title suggests, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter in WDW’s Tomorrowland portrayed its alien as anything but friendly. Most of the attraction consisted of guests sitting in the dark as a visitor from another planet made its way through the crowd, causing seats to rumble and feelings of the alien’s breath and drool to hit the back of their necks. Yikes! Here are 15 surprising things that are banned from Disney parks.
Rocket Rods—Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort (1998-2000)
Although Rocket Rods wasn’t quite as much of a “thrill” ride as other attractions (and it had to drastically slow down around corners), guests still had opportunities to sightsee while zipping in and out of buildings and overlooking other nearby rides. Unfortunately, “the constant speeding up and slowing down took its toll on the vehicles and infrastructure,” according to Yesterland. “Almost immediately, the ride became better known for breakdowns and limited operating hours than for entertainment and thrills.” Well, it was fun while it lasted!
Ellen’s Energy Adventure—Future World, Epcot, Walt Disney World (1996-2017)
Ellen’s Energy Adventure in Epcot was both humorous and educational—in other words, the perfect family attraction. As the story goes, American comedian Ellen DeGeneres fell asleep while watching Jeopardy! and the guests were part of her dream, where she was a contestant on the show. Ellen soon realized the category she was being tested on was energy, which she didn’t know much about. Fortunately, her friend Bill Nye the Science Guy took her on a time traveling adventure through the history of energy, and the guests were along for the ride. According to disneyworld.disney.go.com, guests could “encounter an array of prehistoric creatures and discover how fossil fuels were formed. [They could] smell prehistoric swamps, narrowly escape streams of molten lava from an erupting volcano, and see if [they could] spot an embattled Ellen amidst the primordial pandemonium.” Want to reminisce your other favorite discontinued Disney rides? Check out Yesterland! Next, check out how Disney World will be changing after the pandemic.