It’s easy for Disney fans to be protective of the parks, especially our favorite attractions. We’re nervous that management is just looking for an opportunity to change them, and not necessarily for the better. Few of us agree on what’s actually worthy of preservation, however. Maelstrom was a treasure to some fans and a dated relic for others. The arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy in California drew scorn, but that’s hardly a universal opinion. These examples can lead to online drama but also create fun debates. Which extinct rides and shows do we miss the most?
For the latest episode of The Tomorrow Society Podcast, I’ve put my cards on the table and ranked my top five extinct attractions at Walt Disney World. I could narrow the choices to a single park or even just a section like Future World, but that’s too easy. The point is to force me to make difficult choices when selecting favorites. Certain rides draw the most attention, but are those the most essential for me? That personal connection goes back to early trips to the parks as a kid. Those vacations built the framework for what I love about Disney World today.
This podcast isn’t about deriding the current inhabitants of past greats in the parks. It’s easy to take shots at Mission: Space and The Seas with Nemo and Friends (they deserve it). I’m focusing on what I loved about the attractions that no longer entertain guests at the parks. They still live on through our memories, blurry photos (like the one above), and grainy YouTube videos. The chances of a revival for these attractions are slim, but crazier things have happened. Few expected Captain EO to return for another five years when it originally closed. I’ll keep the torch burning for past favorites, despite the evidence to the contrary from Disney management.