Three Defunct Disney/Universal Attractions

universal-orlando-springfield-full-resolution-2355x1266-550x295The world rejoiced at the news that Universal was planning on building a large chunk of Springfield for visitors to walk through to coincide with the Simpson’s roller coaster they already have. You’ll be able to grab a drink at Moe’s, visit Duff Gardens, eat at Krusty Burger and hopefully be able to breathe in toxins from the famous tire fire.

Every time something new comes, it usually means something old has to go. Here are three attractions that have bit the dust at Florida theme parks:

 

Disney Afternoon Avenue

afternoon2_cbIf you’re a person born between, say, 1980 – 1986, you probably have fond memories of Disney Afternoon, a two hour syndicated block of original Disney cartoons that aired everyday around 3pm in the 90s. In the days before kids had a million of viable choices on cable, Disney Afternoon was an intuition. Ducktails, Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Tail Spin, Goof Troop… the list goes on.

The two hours became so popular that in 1991 Disney opened Disney Afternoon Avenue. It featured such attractions as Rescue Ranger’s Raceway, Baloo’s Dressing Room, ans the abilty to take a boat cruise to see how Gummi Juice was made.

Obviously missing was the Scrooge’s Money Vault. What kid wouldn’t want to swim through a giant pool of money.

This attraction proved to be much less popular than the actual Disney Afternoon, as it not only opened in 1991, but also closed in 1991.

Kongfrontation!

kingkong_universal_studiosWhen I was a kid and I’d see advertisements for amusement parks it always seemed like Disney was the one with the Tea Cups, Splash Kingdom, Space Mountain, and awesome firework shows. And Universal had a giant stuffed monkey. Also there was Williamsburgh.. but no one paid any attention to that. Who wanted to learn outside of school?

Don’t get me wrong, as a kid I loved King Kong. The original 1933 Black & White one, I’ve still never seen the ’76 one. But to go to a whole amusement park to just see a giant fake ape while Disney down the block just seemed stupid. Not that it mattered, as I wouldn’t make it to Florida until I was years past being a kid.

Now, I kind of wish I had seen it. It was closed in 2002 due to increasing mechanical issues and cost. It was replaced by a interactive 3D King Kong attraction based on the 2005 remake. I have seen that one, at it is pretty awesome.

Honey, I Shrunk The Audience!

This is a gross exaggeration of what happened on this attraction.
This is a gross exaggeration of what happened on this attraction.

In the 1980s, Disney had a 3D interactive film called Captain EO. It was written by Francis Coppala, directed by George Lucas and starred Michael Jackson. Given Mr. Jackson’s huge success in the 80s it seemed like a no brainier to make an attraction based on his music. Of course Mr. Jackson’s popularity began fading quickly and in 1994 it was replaced by Honey I Shrunk The Audience.

Based on the 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, this immersive 3D film featured all of the original cast, plus Eric Idle for some reason. As the audience was watching the film they would accidentally be shrunk down by Rick Moranis. Such gags that were featured was a giant dog sneezing on you, rats running into your legs and a picture of Robin Williams in the queue for no reason.

The attraction had a pretty good run, running until 2010, long after anyone remembered the film or that Mr. Moranis used to be an actor. It was replaced with, funny enough, a return of Captain EO.

 

 

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