One of Walt Disney’s most famous quotes declared that the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort would never truly be finished and “will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” This has certainly proven true over the years as the Disney Parks continue to expand and change with new and exciting experiences for Guests.
While change always brings new things, sometimes it also results in the removal of certain experiences and attractions. May beloved attractions have been replaced over the years, but Guests can still spot special references to them through remnants and carefully placed tributes left by Walt Disney Imagineering. Be sure to slow down and check out the details on any trip to the Walt Disney World Resort to spot these wonderful tributes to attractions and experiences that can no longer be enjoyed today!
Mr. Toad’s Statue & Painting
One of the most universally missed attractions that can no longer be enjoyed at the Walt Disney World Resort is Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride which brought Guests on a chaotic and eventful ride that ultimately landed them in hell. Previously found in the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride closed in 1998 to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but Guests can still spot several tributes to the lovable amphibian in the Disney Park.
In Owl’s tree house on the current attraction, Guests can spot a painting of Mr. Toad handing the deed for the space to Owl as well as portrait of the character Mole. Mr. Toad can also be found atop a tombstone at the very back of the pet cemetery at the nearby Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square.
The Great Moving Ride
The Great Movie Ride was a quintessential experience in Disney’s Hollywood Studios that brought Guests directly into the movies to relive some of the most iconic moments from memorable films. Sadly, the attraction closed in 2017 to make way for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, but Guests can still spot a clever homage to the beloved experience. While in the carnival scene, Guests should be on the lookout for a poster advertising “The Great Moving Ride” which is a clever, yet subtle, reference to The Great Movie Ride.
“Paging Mr. Morrow…”
The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover whisks Guests on a gentle adventure throughout the skies of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom offering up some beautiful views as well as a unique glimpse inside of Space Mountain. While moving through the more thrilling attraction, Guests can hear an announcement that declares “Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow. Please contact Mr. Johnson in the control tower to confirm your flight to the moon.”
This quote cleverly pays homage to a number of previous Tomorrowland experiences and characters beginning with Tom Morrow who was a character on Rocket to the Moon in Disneyland as well as the host of Innoventions. Tom Morrow also was the host of the Flight to the Moon attraction in Walt Disney World, but was replaced with Mr. Johnson, making sense of the second half of the quote that Guests can hear today.
Journey into Imagination with Figment in EPCOT is a whimsical and lighthearted adventure into the sensory labs at the Imagination Institute where Figment helps Guests discover how to set their imaginations free. While the current version has its highlights, many Guests miss the beloved original attraction titled Journey into Imagination which operated from 1983 through 1998.
The original version featured Figment alongside Dreamfinder, a loveable character who traveled around the world collecting ideas in his Dream Catcher to bring back to the Dreamport. While Dreamfinder is very missed by many fans, a subtle reference to him can be found on a door in the current attraction that reads “Dean Finder.”
Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom is home to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, a fun and competitive attraction where Guests join Star Command to help shoot at targets and collect power to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg. In one scene, Guests find themselves in a large room with a volcano and many different alien creatures but also strangely a cluster of chickens.
These chickens are remnants from the Delta Dreamflight attraction that previously operated in the same space until 1998. The former attraction featured a scene where Guests flew through a barn and spotted the plucky chickens who were then transplanted into the current attraction as an homage to the past.
Fantasyland has seen many different changes and expansions over the years with the most recent addition being New Fantasyland which opened in 2012 and included Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid. While Guests now can enter into Prince Eric’s seaside castle and relive the beloved story of Ariel, the space was once home to 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage which operated from 1971 through 1994.
The previous attraction brought Guests on a submarine voyage into the depths of the sea with thrilling and beautiful scenery, and one reference to the attraction can still be found today. While in the queue for Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, Guests should be on the lookout for a formation of rocks just above the water that create a nautilus which was the name of the vessel from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage.
Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion in EPCOT’s World Showcase is a family friendly attraction that welcomes Guests into the kingdom of Arendelle for a celebration with Elsa, Anna, and friends. While the attraction is popular, many Guests miss Maelstrom which brought them on an adventure through all corners of Norway.
While Maelstrom closed in 2014, Guests can spot several remnants from the attraction to help celebrate its history. After the small drop on Frozen Ever After, Guests emerge in a nighttime scene with beautiful fireworks bursting above. Off to the side are several puffins looking on that were originally found in an arctic scene from Maelstrom.
Horizons was an incredibly beloved attraction in EPCOT that operated from 1983 through 1999 when it was replaced with Mission: SPACE. The former attraction featured an array of larger sets and animatronics to showcase various ideas of what the future could hold, and several references to the experience can still be fond today.
While on line for Mission: SPACE, Guests pass by a massive rotating wheel with various living areas, and in the very center of the wheel is the former logo of Horizons. The same logo can also be spotted on the cash register desk in the Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay, the store that Guests exit the attraction through.
Mesa Verde Sticker
A very memorable part of Horizons was an interactive finale where Guests were able to choose one of three destinations for a unique flyover video. Guests could opt for Brava Centauri, Sea Castle Research Base, or Mesa Verde, the last of which can be found on a sticker attached to a suitcase near the exit onto the moving conveyor belt on Space Mountain.
Vultures & Dancing Figures
Fans of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs love to enjoy the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Enchanted Tales with Belle in the Magic Kingdom, but the area also used to be home to Snow White’s Scary Adventures which closed in 2012 to make way for Princess Fairytale Hall. While the attraction is missed, there are several references to it on the current Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that Guests can spot.
Just before entering into the mine where the Dwarfs are working, Guests can spot a duo of black and white vultures perched above that were previously found in a scene of Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The final scene of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train depicts Snow White and the Dwarfs dancing in their cottage, and several of the figures including Snow White herself were reused from the previous attraction as well.