17+ Iconic Disney Rides That No Longer Exist

Walt Disney is remembered for saying, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Even though several more Disney Parks opened after his passing in 1966, they all have continued to change and evolve through the years. Plenty of iconic Disney rides have closed for good, making way for new adventures. From pioneering attractions to fan favorites, these retired rides will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Disney fans.

The Great Movie Ride, Closed in 2017

The neon theatre marquee of The Great Movie Ride.
Wikimedia Commons / Jedi94 / CC 3.0

The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios delighted movie fans from 1989 to 2017. This immersive attraction took visitors through iconic movie scenes with animatronics and live actors. Located inside a replica of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, it featured scenes from movies like Singin’ in the Rain, Alien, and Casablanca

Horizons, Closed in 1999

Horizons glass cased display at Walt Disney Presents at Hollywood Studios
Wikimedia Commons / jimmyweee / CC 2.0

Horizons operated in Epcot from 1983 to 1999. The ride provided a visionary glimpse into the future, showcasing advanced technologies and futuristic living concepts. Praised for its immersive experience and innovative design, the ride remains a beloved memory for Disney fans, even though it has been closed for decades.

Ellen’s Energy Adventure, Closed in 2017

Dark ride Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot.
Flickr / Steven Miller / CC 2.0

Ellen’s Energy Adventure was a ride that made use of a few different formats. There was a film shown in a rotating theatre, similar to the Carousel of Progress, which is still open at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park. Then guests were transported through a prehistoric world, complete with animatronic dinosaurs and animatronics of the ride’s hosts Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. The ride underwent plenty of changes over the years and was replaced by Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

If You Had Wings, Closed in 1989

One of a series of family photos taken during a vacation, probably August 1972
Wikimedia Commons / Dada1960 / CC 4.0

If You Had Wings was an enchanting Disney World attraction that let guests embark on a virtual air travel journey. Open from 1972 to 1987, it offered an immersive experience with OmniMover ride technology and vibrant scenes showcasing exotic destinations. Sponsored by Eastern Airlines, this ride went through many changes before being replaced by  Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

Kitchen Kabaret, Closed in 1994

The 'Kitchen Krackpots'
Wikimedia Commons / Albaum / CC0

Kitchen Kabaret entertained guests from 1982 to 1994. The musical show featured animatronic food characters like Bonnie Appetite and the Cereal Sisters, who promoted healthy eating with catchy tunes. The attraction was reworked to Food Rocks in 1994, which featured more modern music numbers. 

Maelstrom, Closed in 2014

Norway's pavilion at Epcot in Florida
Wikimedia Commons / Kjersti Holmang / CC 3.0

Maelstrom, an attraction in Epcot’s Norway Pavilion, operated from 1988 to 2014. This boat ride took guests through Norwegian folklore with scenes of trolls, Vikings, and polar bears. It was replaced by Frozen Ever After, but Maelstrom remains memorable for its dramatic storytelling and cultural showcase of Norway’s heritage.

ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, Closed in 2003

The entrance sign of ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
Flickr / Steven Miller / CC 2.0

The idea for ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was inspired by the success of the 1979 film Alien, after it was decided that Disney Parks needed more attractions for teens and young adults. George Lucas’s company Lucasfilm helped produce the attraction, which was praised for its dark tones in comparison to other rides. ExtraTERRORestrial closed in 2003 and was replaced by Stitch’s Great Escape! in 2004. 

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Closed in 2010

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience attraction at Epcot
Wikimedia Commons / Mike Bean / CC 2.0

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience took place in a 4D theatre that made use of 3D film effects and shaking and rocking seats. The attraction opened in Epcot in 1994, following the success of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise. This attraction closed in 2010 to make room for Captain EO’s return, which was later replaced with a Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival.

Body Wars, Closed in 2007

Wikimedia Commons / Edward Russell / CC 2.0

Body Wars opened in 1989 in the Wonders of Life pavilion at Disney World’s park Epcot. The motion simulator ride took passengers on a mission to study the effects of white blood cells inside the body. It was known by frequent park-goers that this ride frequently gave riders motion sickness due to its jerky movements, so some Disney fans were happy to see this one close in 2007.

Captain EO, Closed in 1998

Captain EO waiting area at Tokyo Disneyland in 2013
Wikimedia Commons / Wpcpey / CC 4.0

This 1986 attraction featured a film starring Michael Jackson, which told the story of Captain EO and the crew of his spaceship. The film was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featured music written by Jackson for the attraction. The attraction returned as “Captain EO Tribute” at Epcot in 2010 before closing again in 2015.

Studio Backlot Tour, Closed in 2014

The marquee and entrance to the Studio Backlot Tour attraction
Wikimedia Commons / Jedi94 / CC 3.0

The Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios offered guests a thrilling behind-the-scenes look at movie magic. Running from 1989 to 2014, the tour featured film sets, special effects demonstrations, and iconic props. It captivated visitors by revealing the intricate craft of filmmaking, leaving lasting memories of Hollywood’s filmmaking techniques.

America Sings, Closed in 1988

America Sings exterior
Wikimedia Commons / Albaum / CC 2.0

America Sings was an animatronic show at Disneyland, operating from 1974 to 1988. Hosted by a charming eagle named Sam, it celebrated American musical history through lively performances across different eras. Located in Tomorrowland’s Carousel Theater, it was replaced by Innoventions in 1998, after years of the theatre sitting empty.

Superstar Limo, Closed in 2002

The ride's exterior.
Flickr / The Fun Chronicles / CC0

Superstar Limo, a dark ride in Disney California Adventure, operated briefly from 2001 to 2002. This quirky attraction took guests on a zany limousine tour through Hollywood, featuring caricatured celebrities and vibrant sets. The ride’s premise was heavily reworked after the unexpected death of Princess Diana, which lead to the ride’s slow pace and vague plot. The attraction was later replaced by Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

Flying Saucers, Closed in 1966

Flying Saucers (attraction)
YouTube / Disney History Institute

Flying Saucers was a futuristic attraction in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, that operated from 1961 to 1966. Guests hovered on individual saucers that were maneuvered by jets of air. Despite its innovative design and popularity, technical difficulties led to its closure, marking the end of this unique attraction.

Disneyland Skyway, Closed in 1994

The Skyway to Tomorrowland from Fantasyland
Wikimedia Commons / Robert J. Levy / CC 4.0

The Skyway was an aerial gondola ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Operating from 1956 to 1994, it offered spectacular park views before closing due to structural challenges and changes to nearby attractions. 

Journey Into Imagination, Closed in 1998

Journey into Imagination with Figment ride logo at Epcot.
Wikimedia Commons / Nixinova / CC0

Journey Into Imagination, a beloved EPCOT attraction, was open from 1983 to 1998. Featuring Dreamfinder and his dragon companion, Figment, the whimsical ride explored creativity and innovation. Despite its small base of rabid fans, it was revamped into new versions, leaving nostalgic Disney enthusiasts yearning for the magic of the original attraction.

Primeval Whirl, Closed in 2020

Primeval Whirl at Walt Disney World.
Flickr / Jackie / CC 2.0

Primeval Whirl, a spinning roller coaster in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, operated from 2002 to 2020. Located in the DinoLand U.S.A. area, it was a playful fast coaster, with a prehistoric theme and spinning cars. Despite it being the only ride of its kind in the area, it closed permanently in 2020.

Adventure Thru Inner Space, Closed in 1985

Adventure Thru Inner Space
YouTube / Disney History Institute

Adventure Thru Inner Space was a groundbreaking Disneyland attraction that debuted in 1967. Utilizing Omnimover technology, similar to the Haunted Mansion, it simulated a journey into the molecular world, mimicking shrinking guests to microscopic size. Sponsored by Monsanto, the ride was a “C” ticket attraction when the park still used a ticket system. It closed in 1985 and was replaced by Star Tours.

Splash Mountain, Closed in 2023

Splash Mountain, Tokyo Disneyland
Flickr / Rob Young / CC 2.0

Splash Mountain, a log-flume attraction at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland, immersed guests in the story of Br’er Rabbit. The attraction opened in 1989 and featured catchy songs like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” animatronics, and a final drop. In 2023, Disney closed the ride to reimagine it with a “Princess and the Frog” theme.

Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, Closed in 1977

Mine Train Accessory at Disneyland
Flickr / Tom Arthur / CC 2.0

Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, a Disneyland attraction from 1960 to 1977, took guests on a scenic journey through desert, forest, and cavern landscapes. Featuring animatronic animals and serene environments, the attraction was a reworked version of the ride Rainbow Caverns Mine Train. The ride was eventually replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, but some props from this classic attraction are still visible in the park.

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