We love Walt Disney World and the Disney magic that it brings to ourselves and guests from around the world daily. However, there are attractions from Walt Disney World’s past that we love and dearly miss. Recently, I asked Disney fans on social media what they missed most from Walt Disney World’s past, and today, I’m sharing the top 10 most missed Walt Disney World attractions.
10. World Showcase Buses
Do you remember the double-decker buses that used to take guests around EPCOT’s World Showcase? The buses debuted with EPCOT’s opening in 1982 and ran until the early 1990s. Even though they were a little slow, many guests miss this unique Disney World ride.
After the buses stopped being offered as guest transportation, they were still used periodically. For years, the buses hosted the Junkanoo Bus Show, filled with musicians traveling around the World Showcase. They were also used in the early 2000s for “Characters on Holiday,” where popular characters were transported around EPCOT to sign autographs and take pictures.
9. Disney Quest
One of Walt Disney World’s largest remodels was the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. This outdoor shopping district has seen many popular shops and attractions come and go, but one of the most missed is Disney Quest.
Disney Quest was an indoor interactive theme park with five floors of video games and virtual reality attractions. It lived at Disney Springs West Side and operated from 1998 until 2017. Disney Quest featured four zones of play: Explore Zone, Score Zone, Create Zone, and Replay Zone. Notable attractions included Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster, CyberSpace Mountain, Invasion! An Alien Encounter, and the Virtual Jungle Cruise.
Innoventions was an iconic piece of EPCOT’s Future World upon the buildings’ openings in 1994. Innoventions was divided into East and West and, over many years, housed various attractions highlighting new and upcoming technology. Notable exhibits included Sega Genesis, Video Game Playground, Environmentality Corner, StormStruck, Test the Limits Lab, and The Sum Of All Thrills.
Innoventions was ultimately replaced by EPCOT’s most recent remodel as Connections Cafe and Eatery and Creations Shop replaced Innoventions East. Recently, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana opened and replaced Innoventions West. Many guests miss Innoventions and the spirit of exploration this attraction brought to EPCOT.
While Frozen Ever After is fun, many Disney fans miss Norway’s original attraction, Maelstrom. Maelstrom was described as “a high seas Norwegian Adventure,” taking guests on a boat dark-ride through Norway’s history and culture. The World Showcase attraction was a favorite among many, making it a most missed attraction when it closed in 2014 to make way for Frozen Ever After.
6. The Great Movie Ride
I don’t think many Disney fans will be surprised to find The Great Movie Ride on our list today. This Hollywood Studios attraction was a favorite among many, especially movie lovers. The ride was housed in the park’s Chinese Theater and took guests on a thrilling ride “through the movies,” narrated by a Disney Cast Member. The Great Movie Ride closed in 2017 to be replaced by Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
5. Mickey’s Toontown Fair
Replacing Mickey’s Starland, Mickey’s Toontown Fair opened Magic Kingdom in 1996. The land featured The Barnstormer, Donald’s Boat, Mickey’s Country House, Minnie’s Country House, Toontown Hall of Fame, and eventually, it would also include Pixie Hollow. The land was closed in 2011 as a Magic Kingdom Park remodel opened Storybook Circus as part of New Fantasyland.
Guests loved Mickey’s Toontown Fair and the magic it brought to enjoy the homes of their favorite characters. One guest on social media wrote, “It was so special for me to walk through their homes and feel like I really knew them.”
4. The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights
In 1995, the Osborne Family Lights moved from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Disney-MGM Studios, beginning a beloved holiday celebration at the Walt Disney World theme parks. The light spectacle began with 3 million lights, and by its closing days at the park, it featured over 5 million dancing lights.
The show was later renamed The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and in 2005, decorated the park’s Streets of America. The holiday light show ran seasonally until 2016 when it came to an end. The Streets of America, along with several other nearby attractions, were closed to make way for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Unsurprisingly, this ranks high on the list of most missed Walt Disney World attractions.
Now, I don’t think many need me to say that a large population of Disney fans miss FastPass. Parkgoers have seen many updates to this system over the last ten years, but there’s a certain nostalgia for Walt Disney World’s original paper FastPasses. FastPass was initially introduced to Disney parks in 1999, allowing guests to insert their ticket at an attraction kiosk to receive a paper FastPass with a return time. The guests could then return to the attraction with their FastPass later to ride with a reduced wait time.
FastPass+ arrived in 2013, making it so guests could make up to three reservations in advance and moving from paper FastPasses to digital. However, in 2021, after FastPass+ had been suspended due to COVID-19, Disney Genie+ replaced the FastPass system and its complimentary nature. Disney Genie+ is Walt Disney World’s current system, allowing guests to pay for a way to skip the line.
2. The Dreamfinder’s Journey into Imagination
While Journey Into Imagination with Figment still operates at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT in World Discovery, many Disney fans are nostalgic for the attraction’s original version, which debuted at the Disney Park in 1983 (though the pavilion opened in 1982). Journey Into Imagination featured the Dreamfinder and his companion Figment the dragon and transported guests to the Dreamport.
The original pavilion also featured Imageworks, which still exists today but no longer features all of the attraction’s original features. Many guests sorely miss the Rainbow Corridor or “rainbow tunnel” as many remember it. This iconic tunnel hosted guests from everywhere, including Michael Jackson, as he had a photoshoot in the attraction’s tunnel.
1. Main Street Electrical Parade
One of the most overwhelming answers to what guests miss the most from past Walt Disney World is the Main Street Electrical Parade. This illuminated nighttime parade has traveled in various versions across the Disney parks and back again, but many Walt Disney World fans haven’t seen it in Orlando’s Magic Kingdom since 2016.
Originally, the Main Street Electrical Parade ran at Walt Disney World from 1977 until 1991, when Spectromagic replaced it. After moving from theme park to theme park, the parade returned to the Magic Kingdom from 1999 to 2001 and then again from 2010 until 2016. Currently, the only illuminated nighttime parade at the Walt Disney World Resort is the Electrical Water Pageant, which you can catch on the Seven Seas Lagoon.