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An Ode To Long-lost Disney World Experiences

September 16, 2019 No Comments

For so many Mouseketeers like myself, Disney World has been a place for making memories and somewhat of a tradition. For me, Disney World was a glorious and highly anticipated yearly trip and I couldn’t wait to be standing right in front of Cinderella Castle again.

The smells, the sounds, the people… there’s nothing quite like Disney World. 

Growing up Disney meant I saw a lot of changes and whilst I would never say that Disney make mistakes (because it’s just not in my Disney-loving DNA) I do miss a number of long-lost Disney attractions. Remember these? 

Tarzan Rocks 

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (huge thank you!), you may have seen a story or two where I chatted about me huge love for this particular show. Once located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom before Finding Nemo – The Musical came about, this show was something spectacular especially in the eyes of a child.  

Now I have no hate for Finding Nemo, the show is pretty incredible with its catchy songs and amazing costumes, but would I bring Tarzan Rocks back? You betcha!  

For those who didn’t have the chance to see this impressive show, let me explain. We all know the story of Tarzan right? The man raised by apes who can swing from the trees like no other? Well this show not only told the story but sang it through the concept of a live rock show. 

Talented artists sang familiar songs including Two Worlds, Son of Man and many more whilst acrobats acted around them.

Incredible right? There’s more!

Because being an ape just wasn’t enough, stunts were also performed on roller skates!  

I will never forget eagerly waiting for the first scene to start knowing that the performers were just waiting to drop from the ceiling. Literally!

Oh there really was nothing like it and of course no Tarzan show would be complete without an appearance from Terk and the iconic scene of Tarazn and Jane swinging from the vines. This show was everything! 

Parades 

Now I could just about get over the disappearance of the parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (MGM for classic Disney-goers), but it hurt when the other parks followed including Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade over at Animal Kingdom. 

As a child, parades were a must and as an adult, they still are. They act as the perfect break from attraction queues and a great way to see characters. What’s not to love? 

Jammin’ Jungle was a particular favourite of mine because it totally captured the park’s vibe and let’s be honest that song was so catchy (we still play it in the car now).

And there was always the added bonus of getting a high-five from Baloo and seeing the classic characters in their safari gear.

Sadly, this all ended in 2014 and I could still cry at the final parade on YouTube. Please tell me I’m not the only one? 

I even remember the days of a parade at Epcot! But by far the hardest parade goodbye was of course the Main Street Electrical Parade in Magic Kingdom. A night-time parade where characters and floats literally light up the street as they sing and dance. It was the epitome of magic and it’s missed by many. 

Now here’s the thing, I’m a sucker for a classic and I’d love to see this parade return, but could I be as happy with a Disney World version of Disneyland’s Paint The Night… I’m going to say yes. Thoughts? 

The Great Movie Ride 

It wasn’t so long ago that Disney announced that the very popular Great Movie Ride located in the Chinese Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was set to be replaced.

Are you holding back the tears?

In fact we are still waiting for it’s replacement to open and although we are all excited to see what Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway has to offer, it’s still a little heart-breaking to see another classic go. 

The Great Movie Ride allowed guests to travel through classic films like Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz and many more, all whilst listening to a guide.

It all sounds pretty simple until you find yourself in a film that’s come to life. Your guide would have to depart for a couple of reasons, like a gangster has taken over the attraction for example but it all worked out in the end. Of course, it is Disney World after all.  

And after many years of the attraction running, guests could quote the script and knew basically every prop, but it was still enjoyable, and news hit hard when the announcement came in 2017. 

Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

How could I possibly go on without mentioning this glorious Christmas treat?

Another sad departure from Hollywood Studios was the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, the most amazing display of dancing Christmas lights that even the biggest humbug couldn’t turn down.

This was the perfect way to enjoy the arrival of Christmas and I still have a hope that it will one day return. Those memories of sipping hot chocolate and watching thousands of dancing lights as I casually strolled down the Streets of America… they will never leave me.

Maelstrom 

I thought I’d end this one on a bitter/sweet note because this attraction has Disney fans totally divided. Maelstrom was a viking-style boat ride located at the Norway pavilion at Epcot. It took guests through mystical lands that included animatronics of trolls and more.  

In 2014 Maelstrom was redesigned to capture the story of Frozen and this divided guests to the max. Who knew Maelstrom was such a fan favourite? I sure didn’t.  

There’s just no denying that Frozen is extremely popular and it was inevitable that Disney would create a Frozen themed ride at some point, we just didn’t quite anticipate a redesign.

And whilst it may pain some people to hear, I can’t argue that the Frozen overlay is nothing short of spectacular.  I’m not even a big Frozen fan!

The track is basically the same but the animatronics and décor have truly transformed this ride to a whole new level. The ride has since been very popular for guests of all ages and a FastPass is highly suggested if you fancy a trip to Arendelle.  

I guess on this occasion, guests who were big fans of Maelstrom just have to let it go. Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself. 

If you want to add some Disney magic to your day, follow me on Instagram @thimblesandspoons and subscribe for New Post updates.

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