Popular Disney Attraction Disappears Permanently With No Explanation, No Advanced Notice for Guests

cinderella castle mickey minnie mouse silhouettes
Credit: Flickr/Canva/Becky Burkett

A popular Disney attraction suddenly closed earlier this week, and Guests were given no advanced notice of the closure and no explanation for its disappearance.

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first-person view of expedition everest ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park

Expedition Everest from the Front Seat/Credit: Flickr/Norm Lanier

Guests who visit the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida or Disneyland Resort in Southern California with any frequency know that refurbishments of attractions and ride maintenance can render a favorite experience in the parks inoperable and closed to visitors. Though the refurbishment of a few attractions might go unnoticed by some Guests, other refurbs can be extremely disappointing, especially for Guests visiting from out of state who discover their favorite ride won’t be in operation during their visit.

For this reason, both Disney World and Disneyland announce planned refurbishments and planned maintenance of rides and attractions well in advance of their closure date via the Resorts’ official websites. The planned closure of a few Disney Parks attractions can even cause die-hard fans to rearrange their Disney vacation plans, and if doing so lumps them together with those crazy Disney Adults, so be it. Priorities, you know?

cinderella castle magic kingdom at disney world

Credit: Becky Burkett

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Though it’s rare, occasionally, an attraction at the parks can be rendered inoperable because of an unforeseen mechanical or electrical problem. In the event of such a problem, an attraction might be unavailable to Guests for hours–and, in extreme cases, a day or more. Understandably, there’s no advanced notice given to Guests about these types of closures, as they happen with no warning. But earlier this week, a Disney experience suddenly closed its doors to Guests, and there has been no explanation given for the closure.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company, and in celebration of the centennial, Disney is offering fans new experiences in the parks and around the country. One such attraction is the Lighthouse Immersive Disney Animation experience–an exciting, interactive attraction that is taking place in select cities around the United States, including Boston, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Toronto, and others.

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disney lighthouse immersive disney animation experience

Credit: Becky Burkett

The experience celebrates decades of Walt Disney Animation Studios and the animated feature-length films fans have loved for years with the use of dramatic lighting, three-dimensional projections, music, and the magic of Disney.

But on Wednesday, the Disney animation-themed event suddenly ceased operations in Dallas, Texas, with no advanced notice and no explanation for the closure. Dallas is no longer on the list of cities hosting the engagement, the Dallas version of which was held at ArtSpace Dallas and opened to Guests in April. It was scheduled to run through Labor Day.

lighthouse immersive disney animation experience website screenshot

Credit: Screenshot/Lighthouse Immersive Disney Animation

Lighthouse Immersive Studios, the production company behind the animation-themed experience, gave no reason for the abrupt closure, only issuing a message on the official Dallas experience website, which reads, “Lighthouse Immersive regrets to announce that our production of ‘Immersive Disney Animation’ in Dallas has closed. All ticket holders will receive a full refund. We apologize for the disappointment and inconvenience.”

“Our top priority now is to take care of Guests, so we are in active communication with them and issuing refunds,” said a spokesperson for the experience. He gave no further details. A sensory-friendly version of the experience was scheduled to be offered beginning June 24.

lighthouse immersive disney animation experience dallas

Credit: Becky Burkett

The experience was also scheduled to kick off in Houston on July 1, but the event has also been canceled at that location with no explanation. A third experience in San Antonio, Texas, is still proceeding as planned as of the time of this publication.

disney animator's desk at lighthouse immersive disney animation experience dallas

Credit: Becky Burkett

The Lighthouse Immersive Disney Animation experience in Dallas allowed Guests an up-close look at the desk of a Disney animator and allowed visitors to step into casita with the amazing Madrigal family from Disney’s Encanto (2021), to sing “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen (2013) at the top of their lungs, and to stand alongside the animals at Pride Rock as Rafiki presented Simba in Disney’s The Lion King (1994). The experience sweeps through Disney’s centennial of films and includes a vast array of the studio’s feature-length animated films, from its earliest offerings, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and Fantasia (1940) to more recent releases, like Encanto (2021) and Strange World (2022).

disney animation lighthouse immersive the lion king

Credit: Becky Burkett

The experience also featured a responsive floor design that moved as the audience walked around the large open space, as well as other special effects and touches like cascading bubbles, which came together to create a 360-degree immersive experience for Guests of all ages.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!