1. PUSH the Talking Trash Can
After their contract ran out with the Orlando-based robotics company that made this animatronic trash can, this beloved 19-year-old character will no longer roam Tomorrow-land. The good news is that you’ll never have to walk more than 30 steps to throw your trash away.
2. Individual Ride Tickets
When WDW opened in 1971, each ride required a separate ticket, which was not included in the price of admission ($3.75 at the time, which, adjusted for inflation, would be $21.66 today). Each ride was categorized as a letter from A–E depending on the level of excitement. The Carousel was A, Space Mountain was E. Disney’s more thrill-based rides are still referred to by those in the know as “E-Ticket” rides. The ticket prices ranged from 10–90 cents (50 cents–$5 today).
That means for the price of buying one adult ticket in 2014 ($99) you could get admission and 15 tickets to ride Space Mountain. Or 154 rides on Cinderella’s Carousel.
3. A Sea of Yellow Mickey Ponchos
When it rained at WDW (which happens every day in Florida), the crowds would be covered in those overpriced plastic bags known as ponchos. The bright yellow ones with the giant Mickey on the back are a thing of the past — the company switched to clear ponchos in 2003.
4. “The Making of Me,” a Live-Action Video About Sex and Birth
In this 15-minute video shown in the Wonders of Life pavilion at EPCOT, host Martin Short pulls a Marty McFly, going back in time to witness his own conception using actual footage from his birth. The pavilion has been closed since 2007, but you can still watch the whole thing on YouTube here.
5. Rhea Pearlman as a Time-Traveling Robot
The Timekeeper was a 1992 movie starring Robin Williams (as the first Audio Animatronic) and a robot named 9-Eye ( Pearlman). The film was shown in a 360-degree Circle Vision theater and took the audience on a journey through time, during which a curious Jules Verne is accidentally brought into the future from the 1900 World’s Fair. Wacky hijinks ensue. See snippets of the original film here. Located in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom, it has since been replaced by the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
7. An Aerial Gondola Lift Between Lands
The WDW “Skyway” took guests between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland on a Swiss-designed aerial ropeway. The attraction was closed in 1999 but the towers weren’t removed from the park until 10 years later in 2009 during the renovation of Fantasyland. Rumor has it that the ride was closed for safety reasons after a park employee suffered a fatal fall during maintenance, but the company maintains they had plans to close before the unfortunate incident and the Skyways at Disneyland and Tokyo Disney had already been closed in 1994 and 1998 respectively.
8. The Legitimately Scary Alien Encounter Ride
Located in Tomorrowland, this “ExtraTERRORestrial” encounter had everything: Tyra Banks as the pre-show alien host, Tim Curry as a robot, binaural sound effects, total darkness, lasers, animatronic predators, simulated alien tongues, and an exploding monster. One of the few attractions specifically not suited for children under 12, it was replaced with the much tamer but similarly styled Stitch’s Great Escape in 2006.
9. A Semi-Submerged Submarine Ride
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a pioneering passenger ride at Magic Kingdom that used underwater animatronics, forced perspective, and bubble machines to make guests believe they were “diving” under the ocean. The “Nautilis” boats had guests sitting below water level looking through portholes at real and mythical aquatic life, including eels, turtles, mermaids, and the lost city of Atlantis. Despite being popular, the ride was closed in 1994 due to high maintenance costs and low capacity.
10. This Terrifying Witch
After “crashing” through a wall in Snow White’s Scary Adventure at Magic Kingdom, guests were faced with this scary animatronic witch. The ride was known during its 41-year existence as a rite of passage for Disney’s youngest guests who were routinely frightened to the point of tears by this cackling hag. It was replaced in 2012 with the Princess Fairytale Hall.
11. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
This stylized cartoon-like ride was based on the Disney version of The Wind in the Willows. The well-loved ride closed in 1998 and was replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Fun fact: In front of the Haunted Mansion ride there’s a stone in the pet cemetery dedicated to none other than Mr. Toad. The actual grave marker is not easily legible from guest areas but according to park lore, it reads:
DEAR MR. TOAD
IT’S SAD BUT TRUE
NOT NEARLY AS MARKETABLE
AS WINNIE THE POOH
13. A 200-Foot Mickey Hand Over Spaceship Earth
The icon tower at EPCOT was originally built as part of the Millennium Celebration. Weighing 500,000 pounds and standing over 257 feet high, it was the tallest structure at the Walt Disney World Resort until it was taken down in 2007.
14. The Spirit of Saudia Arabia, Eritrea, Israel and Easter Island
During the 15-month Millennium Celebration, the Millennium Village pavilion at EPCOT had interactive exhibits from more than 30 countries that weren’t in the permanent World Showcase. The exhibits included fashion, history, and cuisine presented in displays and presentations from international representatives. The pavilion is now an event space used during the Food & Wine festival.
15. An Island Filled with Lemurs, Galapagos Tortoises and Exotic Birds
Discovery Island, located in Bay Lake near the Magic Kingdom resorts, was a zoological park accessible to guests by boat. When it closed in 1999, the animals were moved to sanctuaries at Animal Kingdom. There was a plan at one point to join with the creators of the video game Myst to turn the island into an interactive themed experience, but the idea never went past concept.
16. The World’s Last Dusky Seaside Sparrow
Located on Discovery Island, Avian Way was home to many species of birds, including the largest community of breeding Scarlet Ibises in the U.S. It was also home to the last known Dusky Seaside Sparrow in the world, known as “Orange Band,” who died in 1987. The species was officially declared extinct in 1990.
17. A Waterslide Using Real Lake Water
Opened in 1978, River Country was a rustic “watering hole”-themed water park that used filtered water from nearby Bay Lake. In 2001 when brain-eating amoebas were found in several Florida lakes, the park was permanently closed. It has since been abandoned.
19. Human Body Probes
Body Wars was a simulator ride in the Wonders of Life pavilion where guests were “miniaturized” by a futuristic science company to be able to enter the human body for the purpose of treatment and diagnostics. Similar to Star Tours, this ride was one of the earlier and more jerky simulators at the park. The attraction was closed in 2007.
20. A Giant Pink Candy-Covered Castle
For the 25th anniversary of Magic Kingdom in 1996, Cinderella’s Castle was transformed into a giant birthday cake. It took over 400 gallons of pink paint to transform the 18-story structure, which included 20-foot candles, 5-foot gummy bears, 5-foot gumdrops, 6-foot Life Savers, 3-foot lollipops, and 2-foot gum balls. The icing was inflatable, and it covered more than 1,000 feet until 1998, when the castle was restored to normal.
22. Dancing Anthropomorphic Produce
Food Rocks, located in EPCOT’s The Land, was a “mock rock concert that delivered nutritional messages to guests and was hosted by Füd Wrapper, inspired by the rapper Ton Loc.” It has since been replaced by the popular Soarin’ ride.
24. A Tamer Mission to Space
Before it was Alien Encounter, the Magic Kingdom space was occupied by Mission to Mars. This ride was the primitive version of the current Mission: SPACE, just without all the NASA-generated centrifuge simulators…or the deaths.
25. A Parade with 600,000 Miniature Lights
The SpectroMagic parade at Magic Kingdom, featuring elaborate, brightly lit floats of Disney characters and scenes, ran until 2010. The wildly popular score by composers John Debney and Steve Skorija featured Disney music arranged into a 14-minute suite, which can be purchased on compact disc here.
26. Keel Boats Named Gullywhumper and Bertha Mae
These boats, featured in Disney’s Davey Crockett shows, were a B-ticket ride that took guests on a trip around Tom Sawyer Island. After one of the boats capsized in 1997, the attraction was closed, and one boat was sold for $15,000 on eBay. The other boat was installed on Tom Sawyer Island as a prop.
27. Scale Replica Facades of the Golden Girls and Empty Nest House
The shows were produced by Touchstone Pictures, a subsidiary of Disney, and many of the houses were used for external shots during some or all of the show seasons. They were also a big stop on the Backlot Tour, before being demolished in 2003 and replaced with the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
28. A Cartoon-Themed Lingerie Shop
Jessica’s of Hollywood was a lingerie store at Disney’s Pleasure Island named for Jessica Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The store closed in 1992, but the neon sign with the swinging leg was used on the Planet Hollywood sign until 1996.
29. Ryan Gosling and Justin Timberlake Filming the All New Mickey Mouse Club
The 1990s reboot of the once popular Mickey Mouse Club was filmed at Walt Disney Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Mousketeers included Britney Spears, Chrsitina Aguilera, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, and JC Chasez. The show was canceled because merchandise wasn’t selling and the producers felt the cast wasn’t talented enough to carry the show.
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