In the past, we’ve talked a lot about abandoned restaurants, attractions that are standing but not operating, and other wastes of space at Walt Disney World. However, today we’re going to turn our eye specifically towards one type of attraction that seems to be under used, no matter what theme park it is in: theaters.
Though there are a few examples of theaters that are used well (MuppetVision 3D and PhillharMagic are two great examples of theater-style attractions that have proven to have enduring popularity over the years) the following theaters represent some of the biggest underused spaces at the resort. Many of them you've probably walked right by during a visit to the parks, either because the "attractions" they housed were so uninteresting, or in the case of our first venue, the building has been completely abandoned...
1. Sunset Showcase Theater
Despite only being constructed just last year, the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios now sits on the far side of Sunset Boulevard, just behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and next to the Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, completely unused and walled off from guests. Though this venue hosted the Club Disney character experience for several months, the dance party didn’t prove to be a popular offering, and Disney quickly shuttered it this past February. And then just a few months later the Club Villain upcharge character experience housed in this theater was also discontinued, without any advance notice or warning.
With both of these attractions now gone, the Sunset Showcase Theater now sits completely unused during regular park operation, behind a wall. This is really a shame, as there are plenty of things that Disney could do with this brand new venue (which was originally developed as a “flex” space), which could help ease congestion at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which only has a dozen attractions in the park after its multiple closures. However, as of summer 2016, this location is just wasting space down on Sunset Boulevard, waiting for a purpose.
2. Magic Eye Theater
The Magic Eye Theater has enjoyed some popularity over the years, most recently thanks to the "tribute" edition of cult hit Captain EO. However, when Disney shuttered the Magic Eye Theater late last year after the closing of the second coming of Captain EO, many fans were hopeful that this venue might get something new in the very near future. However, fans unfortunately got the Disney and Pixar short film Festival, which is a collection of three short films that are already available on DVD and Netflix.
As you might expect, this “attraction” has not been very popular since it opened earlier this year. Theaters often play the short film collection to only two or three parties at a time, and even though this spot is a great place to enjoy air conditioning and have a nice sit down, you're more likely to see guests hanging out at Ellen's Energy Adventure than inside this almost always-vacant location, which is quite a feat.
In the past several years, new films have been proposed for this venue, including, most recently, a film that takes place in the world of Inside Out. Unfortunately however, thus far it seems that there’s been no traction on anything new for this theater, which means the Magic Eye Theater will probably remain stagnant at the Imagination pavilion while guests continue to walk on by…