Amazing attractions come and go sometimes at Disney® and we ask “what did this Disney® attraction retire?” Disney, as opposed to Universal Studios™, tends to keep attractions for a longer period of time. There are a few reasons that factor in when the question of why replacing a Disney® ride occurs.
When Walt Disney World® opened in Florida in 1971, many visitors were expecting it to be the mirror image of Disneyland®. However, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction was not going to appear in Florida. When visitors and fans found out that this attraction was not open, there was an outcry for it. Disney® then immediately started work do away with the original plan of opening a different attraction and opened a Florida Pirates of the Caribbean instead. The same situation happened when Disneyland® started the Nightmare Before Christmas annual overlay. The overlay was applied to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion, however, international visitors were disappointed to find the overlay as it distracted from the original and expected Haunted Mansion. The annual overlay at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion has been discontinued after that.
Outdated and irrelevant attractions are also a prime reason for renovation or replacement. Successful attractions are always relevant and as we all grow up and maybe even have kids of our own. Newer prominent shows and movies take the place of the ones we once loved and treasured. Many rides have stood the test of time such as Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, but other rides such as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and The Great Movie Ride have been retired.
As technology advances, so does the tech behind the rides as well. From basic animatronic movements to trackless ride systems, modern tech is paving the way for more of an immersive experience. Hollywood Studios’ Streets of America showcased famous streets of American cities with the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This new land showcased more interactive and up-to-date tech attractions that drew in Star Wars fans.
Since the acquisition of Star Wars® and Marvel®, Disney® created new lands to draw in the fan base. Star Wars®: Galaxy’s Edge drew in Star War fans and is currently creating new content that it weaves into the land. Disney is doing the same with the newly acquired Marvel®, creating the Avengers Camp in Disneyland® in Anaheim, California.
During the acquisition of Pixar® Studios, many new computer-animated movies had made their debut and instantly became Disney® classics. Movies such as Toy Story and Cars to the newer movies such as Ratatouille and Moana are getting their chance to shine inside the Disney® parks.
Modern Culture fluctuates and some things may become more prominent while others become more taboo. A set of incidents during the pandemic year heightened the distaste for anything having racist undertones. As a convenient and creative solution to a potential problem, the Splash Mountain ride will be getting a change of theme. Splash Mountain is based on the controversial Disney® movie Song of the South. The old movie which has been kept and may indefinitely stay kept in the Disney® vault is not as relevant to modern children. The newer Disney® movie Princess and the Frog when integrated into the ride will simultaneously update the attraction and tie the theme to the surrounding area.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of retired Walt Disney World® attractions that detail some of these beloved retired attractions.