22 Disney World rides that have shut down and the interesting reasons why
On the first day of Disney World, in 1971, Snow White’s Adventures, a dark ride, debuted in Fantasyland of the Magic Kingdom. In Disneyland, a comparable version debuted sixteen years earlier and continues to exist today under a different name. In Disney World, it was short-lived.
During the trip, visitors experience terrifying animation movie scenes from Snow White’s point of view. The ride was so terrifying, with the Evil Queen and other imitations of the witch from the movie, that it was shut down in 1994 so that it could be redesigned to be more kid-friendly. The princess herself was incorporated into the ride, the name was changed to Snow White’s Scary Adventures for a more accurate representation, and further alterations were made.
The attraction ultimately closed in 2012 as Fantasyland was being expanded because it was still too frightening. The Princess Fairytale Hall was added for character meet-and-greets after it was destroyed, and the wildly famous Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride replacement was also made.
The park and the Skyway debuted in 1971. Visitors sometimes refer to them as Sky Buckets. In the Magic Kingdom, a gondola operated in both directions between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. In addition to being a novel form of transportation, it also offered breathtaking aerial views of the park.
Due to limited patronage and high maintenance costs, the attraction closed in 1999. Its shutdown and final demolition in 2011 were also influenced by the death of a cast member working on the Skyway that same year and the expansion of Fantasyland.
Both boarding areas have been changed into restrooms in the present, with the former Fantasyland area now housing the Tangled-themed bathroom.
A comparable gondola-style mode of transportation with a similar name was included in the park in 2019. The Skyliner currently transports visitors between Disney World Resorts, Epcot’s International Gateway, and Hollywood Studios.
Visitors could experience what it would be like to fly to the moon on the simulated dark ride Flight to the Moon, which featured animatronics and moving chairs. In Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, the rollercoaster debuted in 1971. But because the US had already sent humans to the moon several times between 1969 and 1972, it swiftly lost its appeal.
Disney therefore closed the ride in 1975 to create the new and improved ride, Mission to Mars. Opening the same year, guests instead traveled to Mars rather than the moon. This was far more futuristic and whimsical, which fit in with the theme of Tomorrowland. The ride was successful and popular for 18 years, closing in 1993 to make room for a new ride: ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. More on that next.