When Walt Disney created his first park, he said that, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” That’s true not only for the original Disney theme park but also the parks at Orlando’s Walt Disney World (not to mention the ones in Japan, France, Hong Kong, and eventually Shanghai). Rides and other attractions will occasionally be changed or even completely removed to make room for new ones that are either more up to date or more likely to draw in tourists. While this is often a good move, occasionally this turns out to have been a mistake, at least in the minds of some Disney fans. Here are a few attractions at Orlando’s Epcot that no longer exist that should make a comeback.
The first attraction that should make a comeback was located in a pavilion that no longer exists. From 1989 until 2007 there was a pavilion in the Future World section of the park known as the Wonders of Life, which focused on health and the human body. Attractions within the pavilion included a simulator ride known as Body Wars (which was directed by Leonard Nimoy), live entertainment, interactive exhibits, and a restaurant. While the pavilion had a lot of tourists coming into it, since its closure it is now used mostly for storage and corporate events.
One of the best parts of the Wonders of Life was Cranium Command, a show featuring film, animation, and animatronics. It features a young soldier piloting a teenage boy through his everyday life. The show featured Robin Williams voicing one of the main characters, General Knowledge, and was a very entertaining and hilarious show.
One way they could bring back this ride is to incorporate the hot film “Inside Out,” which many critics say has been one of the best movies of 2015. Both the former ride and the film have similar concepts, and the slightly more up to date movie could bring in more tourists while keeping the essence of Cranium Command.
Another attraction that needs to come back is located in a pavilion dedicated to one of the things that Walt Disney and his company have been best known for, which is the power of imagination. The pavilion known as Imagination! (yes, its official name has an exclamation point at the end) has gone through many different changes; its gone through multiple 3-D movies (“Makin’ Memories,” “Magic Journeys,” “Captain EO,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience,” and now a new one about PIXAR shorts) along with changes with its main ride Journey Into Imagination, which was completely closed from 1998 until 2002. However, one of the biggest changes has been with the play area formerly known as ImageWorks.
From 1983 until 1998 ImageWorks was an interactive exhibit and play area that riders went to after riding on the original version of the ride Journey Into Imagination. It was located in the upper areas of the giant glass pyramids, and featured a giant pin table, large kaleidoscopes, a rainbow tunnel, and much more. Later on though that area was roped off, and is now used strictly for storage. Opening in 1999 there’s now an area on the first floor of the pyramid called the What If Labs, which has some interactive stuff. However, it doesn’t have the variety of things to do, and lacks the magic and wonder of the original. Ideally someday the original stuff in the upper level should be reopened.
For our final entry in this list we go to the most recently discontinued attraction. The main ride and attraction at the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase, the Maelstrom was a ramped up log ride in which riders embarked on Viking ships and discover the myths, legends, and history of Norway as they encounter trolls, Vikings, and polar bears amongst oil rigs. After departing in a port side village, riders then enter into a movie theater which showcases the people and beauty of Norway; it was one of the best films shown at the World Showcase, making one’s mouths drop with its cinematography.
That ride has since been closed recently, and is being refurbished to create a new ride based upon the blockbuster film “Frozen.” While it’s sure to be a hit with fans of the film both young and old, it’s a shame that a unique and classic attraction such as Maelstrom had to be closed down to bring it forward. With the large amount of room in both Epcot and throughout all of Walt Disney World in general, one would think that there would be plenty of other places to place a new “Frozen” attraction.