Walt Disney World is constantly changing. From brand new lands to resort refurbishments to updated restaurants to fresh treats to new apparel, the Disney parks and resorts always have something hot and recent for guests to check out.
With all of the new things that keep coming to the happiest place on earth, I can’t help but reminisce about what has been removed from Disney World. As someone who grew up loving Disney (I first visited Disney World when I was 5-years-old), I’ve seen many changes along the way. Some of the additions have been welcomed (Disney’s Animal Kingdom), whereas many have been harder to say goodbye to (the nighttime parades).
I understand Disney has to continue to expand and change with the times, but when you’re as big of fan as I am, it never gets easy bidding farewell to rides and attractions that have meant the world to you and impacted your Disney trips greatly.
With that said, here are the things that I miss the most at Disney World and will continue to wonder about on a daily basis.
1. Magic Kingdom Welcome Show
The Let the Magic Begin welcome show currently at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is nowhere near as great as the original. Remember when Cast Members opened up the happiest place on earth by singing “Good Morning” and “Casey Jr.”? And then the characters rolled in on the Walt Disney World Railroad? It was truly magical and exactly what an opening show should be. I understand by allowing guests to enter the park early, walk down Main Street, U.S.A., and have a welcome show at Cinderella Castle is less congested and probably safer for park goers, but, I sure do miss the old welcome show — a lot.
2. Main Street Electrical Parade
The Main Street Electrical Parade at the Magic Kingdom was so special. Between the light-up floats, the characters, and the soundtrack, this was one of the best nighttime parades at Disney World. It was a sad day when the parade came to an end. There really needs to be a new Magic Kingdom nighttime parade, stat.
Before the Main Street Electrical Parade, there was SpectroMagic. It was a unique parade with some beautiful floats filled with lights that were pretty magnificent. Remember Chernabog, the demon in the “Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria” segment from Fantasia? There’s just something truly special about a parade at night, and, again, here’s hoping a long-running nighttime parade arrives at Disney World sometime soon.
4. Characters Strolling
Who else remembers when characters used to stroll freely and randomly at the park? I’ve heard this still happens at Disneyland, but, at Disney World, guests typically have to stand in line for character meetings or attend a Character Dining experience. It would definitely be amazing to see characters walking around at leisure interacting with park goers again.
5. Streets Of America
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a completely different park than it was a few years ago with the closing of multiple attractions, entertainment, and park areas. Now, there’s even the addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge slated to debut sometime in 2019. All that said, one of the biggest pieces that’s no longer part of Hollywood Studios is the Streets of America, which was a backlot depicting the streets of New York City and San Francisco. The land screamed Hollywood Studios. This is one of the places I miss the most at Disney World.
6. ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ Umbrella
In the Streets of America, there was an umbrella attached to a lamp post. Do you remember this? Water droplets also sprayed out of it sporadically. If you were unaware, this was known as the Singin’ in the Rain umbrella and made for some super fun photos. Seeing as the Streets of America is no more, the umbrella disappeared with it. I loved taking a picture with the umbrella during every visit, especially because the 1952 musical is one of my favorites. I really think Disney should bring back the umbrella and put it somewhere on Hollywood or Sunset Boulevard.
7. ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’: Movie Set Adventure
Talk about feeling nostalgic. Not only was the 1989 movie a huge part of my childhood, so was this attraction at Hollywood Studios. This experience transported guests into the movie and made them feel like they had actually shrunk. From the enlarged cereal to the massive legos to being able to sit on Antie, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: Movie Set Adventure was pure magic.
8. Studio Backlot Tour
Another part of Hollywood Studios that no longer exists is the Studio Backlot Tour ride. Guests toured a backlot area (think Warner Bros. Studio Tour), which was both interesting and exciting. Remember the special effect demonstration with the truck, water, and fire? My favorite part of the ride was the line queue, which took guests through the “Prop Warehouse.” You could see all kinds of props from movies. It was really cool. I wonder where all those props disappeared to?
9. The Great Movie Ride
One of the most obvious and iconic pieces absent from Hollywood Studios is The Great Movie Ride. It’s hard to believe the attraction is no longer running and will be replaced with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This ride was the centerpiece of the park and I’m still not entirely sure I understand why it closed, but, now I’ll just have to continue reminiscing about it.
10. Mickey’s Toontown Fair
This was such a big part of Magic Kingdom, but, sadly, it’s no more. New Fantasyland now occupies the space where Mickey’s Toontown Fair once existed. Don’t get me wrong, I love New Fantasyland. The land is beyond magical and fits perfectly in Magic Kingdom. However, there was something special about walking through Mickey and Minnie’s homes and exploring their town.
11. Yellow Mickey Ponchos
Who else remembers the bright yellow Mickey ponchos you could purchase at Disney World? Now, the ponchos are clear with an image of Mickey and Cinderella Castle, but they are nowhere near as fun as the yellow ones.
12. Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Admittedly, I was terrified of this ride as a child, but as I got older, Snow White’s Scary Adventures definitely got less scary. This was a classic Disney ride that was part of Old Fantasyland. Yes, Magic Kingdom now has Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but it’s very different than the OG Snow White ride. I guess this means I’ll just have to visit Disneyland regularly to enjoy her scary adventures.
13. The Sorcerer’s Hat
Mickey’s Sorcerer’s Hat first went up at Hollywood Studios in 2001 as part of Disney’s “100 Years of Magic” promotion celebrating the 100th anniversary of founder Walt Disney’s birth. For 14 years, it was the first thing guests saw as soon as they entered the park and walked down Hollywood Boulevard. Now, it’s no more. The hat was taken down in 2015 and now park goers see “Grauman’s Chinese Theatre” that once housed The Great Movie Ride. I really loved the hat that became a staple of Hollywood Studios for over a decade. It definitely wasn’t easy saying goodbye to the icon.
14. The Earffel Tower
There have definitely been a lot of changes at Hollywood Studios that I miss dearly, and one of them includes the Earffel Tower. This was the faux water tower adorned with Mickey Mouse ears that stood next to the park. For years, it was as symbol of the park that was formerly called Disney-MGM Studios, but it sadly was torn down as Disney planned to transform Hollywood Studios with the addition of both Toy Story Land and Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge.
15. Hollywood Studios Parades
Who else remembers when Hollywood Studios had parades? Yes, there’s March of the First Order now, but it’s not the same as a full-fledged parade. Back in the day, the park had the Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade, in addition to a parade completely dedicated to Aladdin. With how much Hollywood Studios continues to expand, the addition of a parade seems like the next logical step. Who’s with me?
16. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade was the parade at Animal Kingdom. Believe it or not, but I only ever saw this parade once — and I loved it. Sadly, it no longer exists. The park has a variety of great shows and street entertainment, but it would be nice to see another parade at Animal Kingdom. There’s no denying the walkways are a little tighter compared to the other parks for a parade, but they made it work the first time, so why not again?
17. The Magic Of Disney Animation
I loved The Magic of Disney Animation at Hollywood Studios (Star Wars Launch Bay took over the location), where you could walk through, learn about Disney animation, and even meet characters. It was a really cool and fun interactive space that I miss dearly.
18. The Goofy Bench At Magic Kingdom
Who knows what I mean when I say “The Goofy Bench”? It’s the bench the Goofy statue sat on right outside Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom. Click here to see a photo. Now do you know what I’m talking about? I loved getting my picture taken with this Goofy statue, but it’s been gone for a very long time. From my understanding, Disney is known to remove the statue for cleaning, but I feel like it’s gone on a permanent basis. If I’m wrong, please let me know, because I need this statue back in my life, immediately.
19. Mickey High Fives
At the time of writing this article, my last visit to Disney World was in June 2018. During all of my visits, I could always expect Cast Members at either the parks or resorts to be wearing Mickey gloves and giving people, who wanted them, high fives as they passed by. During my last visit, I saw only TWO CM’s doing this. Where did all the Mickey high fives go? Maybe CM’s no longer want to do this? Maybe there’s a new rule? Whatever the case, this was a great way to interact with the CM’s and get excited about the day.
What do you miss the most at Disney World? Let me know in the comments!