As time goes by and Disney changes, so must this list. There are a few things I remember seeing as a kid that my son did not get to see and also quite a few things my son was able to see that my grandchildren will not. No one can take away your fond memories that bring a smile to your face. Here are a few of my favorites that still make me smile even though they are no longer at Walt Disney World.
Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights--An absolutely stunning view of the best lights in the world. The view left millions awstruck with the beauty and entertaining dancing lights. One of the sections of this spectacular event can be seen on our YouTube page. Simply click here.
Frozen Caveman—I remember flying into sunny and warm Florida from cold and snowy New Hampshire just to walk back into the snow to see the frozen caveman at the Coca Cola exhibit where my son would walk into the snow and say “Look, mom! We are home, again!” After walking through the cold and snow, you walk into a Coca Cola gift shop with a few sodas from different countries to sample. I decided to try one of them and chose the Coke from Italy. I could not bring myself to try another coke from another country ever, again. Now, we all know this place as Club Cool without the snow, caveman and significantly less products to purchase from the gift shop. It is mainly a taste-testing expedition and now all of us know the horrible Coke from Italy as “Beverly”. I tried some others on my last trip after not having any for 16 years. Something so small is one of my fondest memories. Silly, I know.
The Great Movie Ride--This was a movie tour ride located at Disney's Hollywood Studios. The attraction had Audio-Animatronic figures, practical sets, live actors, special effects and projections to recreate iconic scenes from twelve classic films throughout motion picture history. The attraction, which debuted with the park on May 1, 1989, was located inside the park's replica of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The Great Movie Ride closed on August 13, 2017, becoming the last operating attraction from the park's opening day to close. You can see the attraction in its entirety by clicking here.
Mickey’s Toon Town Fair—Fantasyland is definitely a better option for all ages over Toon Town, but Toon Town will be missed. If you did not know someone special to get you to see and take pictures with Mickey and Minnie together or pay Disney money to have Mickey and Minnie at a function, the only place to see both of them to have your picture taken with them (but never together) was at their individual homes. This land was first built to celebrate Mickey’s Birthday in 1988 with the official name of “Mickey’s Birthdayland”. After 22 years and a few name changes, it closed in February, 2011 to start construction on Fantasyland.
Riding with the conductor on the Monorail—On every Monorail run, there was one lucky family that was chosen to ride in the front of the Monorail with the conductor. You needed to request it and, sometimes, a line would form where many would just keep waiting for each monorail just so they could ride in the front. We were lucky and never had to wait. We were able to ride in the front a few times. They gave my son a co-pilot’s license. I wish I knew where those licenses are! My son always felt so special and that is all I needed. Due to a tragic accident in 2009, Disney discontinued guests riding in the front of the Monorail train.
Push—You ask, “what is Push” or “why do you miss a trashcan”? The talking trashcan was in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom from 1995-2014. It is simple, but it was a staple. It was a fun thing to encounter on your visit. It was funny to see the kids interact with it. I have a memorable picture of my son with it. Good times. Push is currently in Shanghai Disneyland.
World Showcase Players, United Kingdom—A visit to Epcot just was not complete without seeing the performance of “King Arthur and the Holy Grail”. This was a favorite place to grab a beer at Rose and Crown, grab a piece of the sidewalk and rest/wait for the show to begin resulting in a lot of laughing. I have had family chosen to participate in the show, too. It did not matter how many times you have seen the show. It was funny every time.
Character Bus—What a pleasant surprise it was to be walking around the World Showcase and, all of a sudden, see a double decker bus of characters driving by. The surprised look on my son’s face was priceless.
Sorcerer's Hat--This was meant to be a temporary fixture, but it finally came down almost 14 years later. Over the years, it became the Hollywood Studios' icon taking over the "Earffel Tower" as the icon. The hat was a spectacular structure to see as you entered the park.
Dream Along With Mickey--This show took place on the stage in front of the castle for almost 10 years. The show featured Mickey and Friends as they celebrated the magic of dreams. Mickey planned to have everyone's dreams come true. Mickey and Friends, with the help of Disney Parks guests, defeated villains and save the Magic Kingdom. Mickey and Friends along with all their guests celebrate the power of dreams as the show ends. The show ended April 2, 2016 and was replaced with Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire. Here's a clip of the final Dream Along with Mickey on April 2, 2016.
So many changes over the years, but change is a necessary evil to keep people going back to Walt Disney World. They need to keep things fresh to create more new, fond memories for us to miss after those have retired. Good times. Good memories.