With only a few weeks left in 2015, we continue our look back at the year that was. Though we’ve already looked at some of this past year’s most notable closures, there have been some things at the resort that are even more painful for long-time guests than just the loss of attractions. The following situations represent the most awkward, uncomfortable, and occasionally depressing situations that Disney fans have found themselves as a part of in the past 12 months.
1. The selfie stick saga
One of the biggest debates that emerged in 2015 was the argument over selfie sticks. These small, telescoping camera accessories may seem innocent at first glance, but they became quite the issue this year. The trouble started when some Disney guests refused to comply with posted rules, pulling their selfie sticks out on rides and during parades. Though there were some responsible selfie stick owners out there, the actions of a few resulted in Disney taking truly drastic action, immediately banning all selfie sticks across its worldwide parks after an incident on California Screamin' where a guest took out their selfie stick during the ride and ended up shutting down the ride for nearly an hour.
Though Disney parks and resorts ban plenty of items on an annual basis, such a sweeping and immediate action was unprecedented at the time, and was met with both cheers and jeers from fans. While some might argue that this kneejerk reaction was overkill, it's worth pointing out that fellow theme park company Six Flags has also banned selfie sticks at their parks, though Merlin and Universal parks continue to allow these offensive acessories.
No matter which side of this issue you fall on, this is one debate that Disney fans are happy to leave in the past.
2. The closure of DisneyQuest
DisneyQuest may not have been the most popular destination at Downtown Disney, but this “indoor theme park” definitely had its fans, and despite its outdated technology, many grew to appreciate its retro appeal. However, it looks like Disney wasn't interested in keeping DisneyQuest around, as they announced in 2015 that this location would close in 2016 to make way for a new NBA-themed restaurant.
This is definitely a huge loss for Disney fans, as this entertainment complex (which was easy to spend an entire day exploring) is on track to be replaced by a restaurant you couldn't spend more than a few hours in. Though we don't have an official closing date yet, we do know that this attraction will welcome its final guests sometime early next year.
3. More abandoned attractions
Walt Disney World has the unique problem of too much space. And because of this issue, when an attraction closes, it's very likely that the structure of the former ride, restaurant, or show will just sit and rot. We've seen this happen before at the Wonders of Life pavilion, the Odyssey restaurant, the top of ImageWorks and more.
Unfortunately, 2015 added several more abandoned attractions to the list, including the Premiere theater st Disney's Hollywood Studios, Innoventions West at Epcot, and the back half of the Tomorrowland Arcade at the Magic Kingdom. You can read more about these abandoned attractions here.