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The History of Disney Theme Parks...in 130 Classic Photos

101. Hong Kong Disneyland construction begins (2003)

Hong Kong Disneyland

In a joint venture with the Government of Hong Kong, Disney begins construction work on a fifth theme park resort. Hong Kong Disneyland will be located on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island.

102. Mission: Space opens at Epcot (2003)

Mission: Space
Image © Disney

Mission: Space opens at Epct, replacing Horizons. The ride uses centrifugal motion simulators to take guests on a trip to Mars, and stars Apollo 13's Gary Sinise.

103. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens at Disney's California Adventure (2004)

Tower of Terror

As it attempts to turn around the fortunes of Disney's California Adventure, Disney opens a clone of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the park. It lacks the dark ride section of the original, but retains the faster-than-freefall drop.

104. Raging Spirits opens at Tokyo DisneySea (2005)

Raging Spirits

Image: e_chaya

Raging Spirits, a virtual clone of Indiana Jones et le Temple du Peril at Disneyland Paris, opens at Tokyo DisneySea.

105. Hong Kong Disneyland opens (2005)

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland opens on September 12, 2005, following a rapid construction period. The park features a relatively small capacity for a Disney park and attendance levels disappoint.

106. Expedition Everest opens at Disney's Animal Kingdom (2006)

Expedition Everest

The towering Expedition Everest opens at Walt Disney World. To recreate the lowlands surrounding Mount Everest, more than 900 bamboo plants, 10 species of trees and 110 species of shrubs were planted.

107. Tower of Terror opens at Tokyo DisneySea (2006)

Tower of Terror

Tokyo DisneySea opens its version of the Tower of Terror - the first not to include a backstory based around The Twilight Zone.

108. The Seas with Nemo & Friends opens at Epcot (2007)

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Image © Disney

A re-imagined version of The Living Seas Pavilion opens at Epcot, now starring the friendly fish from Pixar's Finding Nemo.

109. Toon Studio opens at Walt Disney Studios, Paris (2007)

Crush's Coaster

Walt Disney Studios, Paris receives a badly-needed expansion, with the opening of Toon Studio. The headline ride is spinning roller coaster Crush's Coaster, which proves to be popular but suffers from long queues due to its low capacity.

110. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opens at Disneyland (2007)

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

After almost 9 years out of action following a "temporary" closure in 1998, Disneyland's Submarine Voyage attraction was finally revived with a new Pixar theme in 2007.

111. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens at Walt Disney Studios, Paris (2007)

Tower of Terror

The line-up at Walt Disney Studios is improved with the addition of a clone of the California version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

112. Disney-MGM Studios renamed as Disney's Hollywood Stuios (2008)

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney opts to rebrand Disney-MGM Studios as Disney's Hollywood Studios.

113. Toy Story Midway Mania opens (2008)

Toy Story Midway Mania

Opened at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney California Adventure in 2008 (followed by a third installation at Tokyo DisneySea in 2012), Toy Story Midway Mania has proven to be hugely popular. Perhaps the most significant innovation is the software-based nature of the ride's mini-games. This allows the various games to be swapped out in future, as has already occured on one occasion.

114. Pleasure Island closes (2008)

Adventurer's Club

Image: kgbarrett, Wikipedia

In September 2008, Disney shuttered Pleasure Island's clubs, claiming that guests were demanding more family experiences in their place (and refuting rumors that the success of Universal Orlando's CityWalk had led to a decrease in attendance).

115. Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek opens at Tokyo Disneyland (2009)

Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek

Based on the 2001 Pixar movie, Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek! cost $88 million to install in Tokyo Disneyland's Tomorrowland. The interactive attraction sees guests riding in 4-person cars equipped with "flashlights" that allow them to search for animatronic monsters in the dark.

116. Mickey's Fun Wheel opens at Disney's California Adventure (2009)

Mickey's Fun Wheel

Image © Disney

As part of a multi-year transformation plan, attractions at Disney's California Adventure begin to undergo makeovers. One of the first is the Sun Wheel, which is transformed into Mickey's Fun Wheel.

117. Captain EO returns (2010)

Captain EO

Image © Disney

Following the death of Michael Jackson, Captain EO returns in place of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience at Disneyland, Epcot, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.

118. World of Color debuts at Disney California Adventure (2010)

World of Color

Image © Disney

The spectacular World of Color water and projection show debuts at the newly-renamed Disney California Adventure.

119. Toy Story Playland opens at Walt Disney Studios, Paris (2010)

Toy Story Playland

Walt Disney Studios, Paris receives another expansion, this time in the form of a small land dedicated to Toy Story featuring themed versions of traditional midway rides.

120. Shanghai Disney Resort groundbreaking (2011)

Shanghai Disneyland

Image © Disney

A ground-breaking ceremony is held on the future site of Shanghai Disneyland, the heart of a sprawling new resort that is due to open in 2015.

121. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue opens (2011)

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Image © Disney/Lucasfilm

The original Star Tours is overhauled at Disneyland, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Tokyo Disneyland to feature a new storyline. The updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue features no fewer than 54 different possible experiences, made possible by splicing together various different scenes.

122. The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure opens (2011)

Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Disney California Adventure receives its latest new ride, a dark ride themed around The Little Mermaid. A clone is brought to the Magic Kingdom the following year.

123. Toy Story Land opens at Hong Kong Disneyland (2011)

Toy Story Land

Image © Disney

The first of three new lands to form part of an ambitious expansion plan opens at Hong Kong Disneyland. It is a clone of Toy Story Playland at Walt Disney Studios, Paris.

124. Cars Land opens at Disney California Adventure (2012)

Radiator Springs Racers

Image © Disney

The sprawling Cars Land expansion opens at Disney California Adventure, featuring headline ride Radiator Springs Racers.

125. Grizzly Gulch opens at Hong Kong Disneyland (2012)

Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars
Image © Disney

Grizzly Gulch opens at Hong Kong Disneyland. The area's headline ride is Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, which combines elements of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest.

126. Mystic Point opens at Hong Kong Disneyland (2013)

Mystic Manor

Image © Disney

Hong Kong Disneyland completes its initial expansion program with the opening of Mystic Point. The star attraction is Mystic Manor, a trackless dark ride that is a modern-day version of the Haunted Mansion.

127. MyMagic+ roll-out at Walt Disney World (2013-2014)

MagicBand

Image © Disney

Disney begins the roll out of the MyMagic+ system at Walt Disney World. The two major elements are MagicBands (RFID-enabled wristbands) and FastPass+, an updated version of the ride reservation system that allows timeslots to be booked in advance.

128. Pandora - The World of Avatar construction begins (2014)

Avatar Land construction

Image © Disney

Construction work begins on Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The new land will feature two major rides: a "flying" ride and a boat ride, and opened in May 2017.

129. New Fantasyland expansion completed at Magic Kingdom (2014)

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The New Fantasyland expansion is completed in spring 2014 with the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster.

130. Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy opens at Walt Disney Studios, Paris (2014)

Ratatouille
Image © Disney

The long-awaited trackless dark ride Ratatouille: L'Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy opens at Walt Disney Studios, Paris in summer 2014.

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There are 2 comments.

WOW!

The Park Theater was in Winter Park FL not Winter Haven!!!

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