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The 8 Best Limited-Time Disney Ride Changes

6. Alien Swirling Saucers

The newest overlay is Alien Swirling Saucers, the B ride at Toy Story Land. I’m not saying that as a negative, as I happen to love the attraction. It’s just not Slinky Dog Dash in the same way that Na’Vi River Journey is wonderful but simply cannot compare to Avatar Flight of Passage.

During the November/December holiday season, Alien Swirling Saucers receives a modified lighting effect plus different musical accompaniments. It’s a modest change but also one that reflects Disney’s drive to innovate. When they build modern attractions, they’re always thinking up new ways to keep the concepts fresh throughout the year.

In the case of Alien Swirling Saucers, the holiday overlay is terrific. It’s shiny and festive, with a pair of fun yuletide songs. Up on the House Top and Deck the Halls are perfect choices for a silly but entertaining ride. Despite the modest nature of the overlay, I’d actually rank it higher if not for an oddity. For some reason, Disney has left the regular ride music in the rotation, too. So, you might not get the holiday overlay unless you ride Alien Swirling saucers several times, which is annoying. Hopefully, Disney will commit to the premise in future years.

5. It’s a Small World Holiday

This overlay is the most straightforward of them all. Imagineers simply took the already-legendary design and style of It’s a Small World and added something to it. The addition is holiday décor.

There is one other significant change. It’s a Small World (the song) gets replaced at times by Jingle Bells, something I would describe as a lateral move. Other classic holiday music plays, and It’s a Small World is inescapable during portions of the ride, too.

Yes, It’s a Small World Holiday is the Small World attraction that you know and love/hate, only it has Christmas decorations now. I quite like it, but I’m also someone who has watched a Hallmark Christmas movie today…and it’s not December when I type this.

4. Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark

In the (somewhat modified) words of Helen Lovejoy, “Won’t someone please think of the Baby Groots???”

The Halloween overlay of the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction is similar to the main version. You’re still in a drop tower ride that simulates an out-of-control elevator, bouncing you wildly between floors. The difference is in the story.

You’re not with the entire superhero team. Instead, you’re at the Collector’s Tower when it’s in a state of emergency. Bad things are going down. The worst part is that Baby Groot is trapped inside! You join Rocket Raccoon in an attempt to save Baby Groot from the monsters, at least one of which is capable of crashing through a security door. It’s an exhilarating experience that is, if anything, better than the main version of the ride.

Suffice to say that the top four overlays are night and day better than the bottom floor. Monsters After Dark signifies the start of the upper echelon of Disney overlays.

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