Typically, Disney builds its theme park rides and shows to last. Many of Disneyland's rides, such as Peter Pan's Flight, have been entertaining guests since the park's opening day in 1955. The Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain opened in 1975. Even the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios has now been around for the best part of 20 years (and it still looks great and functions well). Sometimes, though, new attractions just don't work out. Whether it be for practical, technical or cost reasons, they are removed not long after appearing in the parks. For fans of Disney, simply having experienced one of those short-lived attractions is almost a badge of honor. Here are 10 Disney attractions that operated for a fraction of their expected lifetimes. How many did you manage to ride or see before they disappeared?
10. Discovery River Boats (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
When Disney's Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, it featured only a handful of actual rides. One of these was the Discovery River Boats, which were intended to provide transportation from the Safari Village to Asia, offering guests a look at scenery including animatronic dragons and other props from the mythical Beastly Kingdom. Unfortunately, Beastly Kingdom was never actually built - leaving guests to look at bland riverbanks. Those expecting an experience similar to the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise were very disappointed. After six months, the boats were renamed as the Discovery River Taxis, emphasising that they were intended to provide transportation and nothing else. By 1999 the attraction was once again renamed, this time as the Radio Disney River Cruises, with the boats being repainted in bright colors and Radio Disney music piped in. It proved to be just as unpopular, and the ride was closed for good.
9. The Mickey Mouse Club Circus (Disneyland)
Not long after Disneyland opened in 1955, Walt Disney experimented with an on-site circus show. Tied into the new Mickey Mouse Clubtelevision show, it saw two huge circus tents being set up on the edge of Fantasyland. Two 75-minute performances took place every day, featuring acrobats, aerialists, wild animals and Mouseketeers from the show. Unfortunately, guests hadn't come to Disneyland to see a circus show, and it proved to be unpopular compared to Disneyland's other attractions. A series of mishaps - including an incident in which a black panther bit the paw off another animal in front of a live audience - led to the circus being removed after just a few months.
8. Superstar Limo (Disney California Adventure)
Disney's California Adventure was built on a relatively shoestring budget, and lacked attractions when it debuted in 2001. The park suffered from poor attendance levels and negative guest feedback - and one of its headline rides, Superstar Limo, is a perfect example of its struggles. Located in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, it was a dark ride featuring purple "stretch limo" vehicles that carried guests through a cartoon-style recreation of Hollywood. A variety of celebrities appeared in animated form, with the storyline revolving around riders becoming "Hollywood's newest celebrity". Superstar Limo was widely panned by guests and media alike, and was shut after less than a year in operations. It was eventually replaced in 2006 by Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue.
7. The Wonderful Wizard of Bras (Disneyland)
One of the stores on Disneyland's Main Street USA on its opening day, located right next door to Grandma's Baby Shop, was the Intimate Apparel Store. Yes, in Disney's family theme park female guests could stop in and buy a corset or a bra. While there, they could also watch the amazing Wonderful Wizard of Bras, who took to a rotating stage to deliver a recorded history of undergarments. On one side of the stage was a recreation of 1890s underwear, while the other side hosted "the fashions of today". Elsewhere, a Singer Sewing Machine dating from the 1860s and 3-D boxes showing historic underwear added to the educational experience. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Wizard of Bras and the store that hosted him were evicted after just six months. The store was absorbed into the Glass and China Shop next door.
6. Journey into Your Imagination (Epcot)
The original version of Journey into Imagination operated at Epcot until 1998, and was one of the most popular attractions at the park. Following its closure, it was overhauled to become Journey into YOUR Imagination. This version of the ride came in for stinging criticism, and only survived for two years before it was itself replaced. It was themed around 3-D movie Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which was also hosted in the same pavilion, and saw guests passing through numerous areas of the fictitious Imagination Institute.Image: Disney
Fans of the original ride were furious. What had happened to Dreamfinder and Figment, the icons of Epcot? They demanded the characters' return, and Disney caved. In 2001, the ride was again closed, reopening the following year as Journey into Imagination with Figment, its current incarnation. Figment received a much larger role this time around, appearing in every single show scene. The famous theme tune of the original ride, One Little Spark, was also back. But fans were just as critical of the new version - as can be seen in these reviews from TPT readers.