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Sunday, November 26, 2023

Finest Attraction Replacements at Disney World

Over time, many sights have come and gone at Walt Disney World. Some higher than their predecessors, some worse. This put up is 1 of two in a sequence, with this checklist specializing in one of the best alternative sights added to the park, plus the follow-up Worst Attraction Replacements at Walt Disney World. (Up to date November 25, 2023.)

This checklist specializing in enhancements wasn’t simple. A lot of the finest additions at Walt Disney World have been new developments or authentic sights, so it’s probably not attainable to dub them as replacements. Usually, alternative sights are additionally confronted with the problem of being shoehorned into an present area, which appears to make it troublesome for them to surpass their predecessors.

Moreover, as somebody who has been visiting Walt Disney World my complete life, I’ll admit that I’m in all probability nostalgic for what I grew up with. Although I attempt to view every part with an open thoughts and clear slate, generally the replacements have already got a strike in opposition to them in my head.

For the needs of this checklist, we’re evaluating present sights with their instant predecessors. This prevents the sins of the daddy from being laid upon the son, and retains issues cleaner. (So no evaluating Buzz Lightyear’s Area Ranger Spin to If You Had Wings.)

Our newest updates to this checklist for Late 2023 add a number of new journey replacements in addition to Walt Disney World righting previous wrongs, so to talk. Newer Disney followers who shaped nostalgia for the issues that are actually gone would possibly disagree, however we now have to provide kudos to Walt Disney World for (not directly) admitting they made some errors and undoing the harm.

Anyway, right here’s the checklist of what’s new…and the outdated that’s new once more…that’s an improve as in comparison with what it changed at Walt Disney World…

Soarin Across the World -> Soarin Over California – Spoiler alert: Soarin’ is the one attraction to make this checklist twice! Sadly, the newer Soarin’ isn’t fairly pretty much as good because the OG Soarin, which has since (briefly?) changed its successor in the beginning of the Disney100 celebration.

Though it would seem to be increasing Soarin’ from geography solely in California to a few of the world’s most recognizable landmarks is an efficient transfer, the execution may be very iffy. For one factor, a few of the new places weren’t filmed in any respect. They’re totally CGI. For an additional, showcasing so many architectural icons in Soarin’ Across the World was a nasty concept–there’s actually unhealthy distortion from seats that aren’t dead-center.

Against this, Soarin’ Over California (which was initially simply “Soarin” at Epcot) nonetheless seems to be nice. It additionally isn’t notably California-centric. Until you’ve visited Anza-Borrego, Yosemite Nationwide Park, Tahoe, Malibu, Camarillo, and so forth., you in all probability couldn’t establish the place the footage was shot. You would possibly’ve simply assumed the desert, waterfall, dashing rapids, ocean, orange groves, and so forth. had been merely generic–however gorgeous–places.

I’m not averse to Soarin’ Across the World, however the CGI, tacky animals, and distortion has worn on me over time. Furthermore, I feel Soarin’ Over California is just not displaying its age in any respect. If something, it advantages from its footage being actual, whereas the intensive CGI of the brand new model will inevitably date itself a lot sooner. Each variations are good, must-do sights–however Soarin’ Over California is healthier.

Ellen’s Vitality Journey -> Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – I liked Universe of Vitality. Its closure hit me actually exhausting, between each my reminiscences of it and feeling just like the finish of an period for the outdated EPCOT. It additionally didn’t assist that one of the best thematic clarification Disney may should for Guardians of the Galaxy coming to Future World was that Peter Quill visited EPCOT Middle as a child. Then the huge present constructing went up, including additional insult to damage.

With all of that mentioned, I’ve no delusions about all of this. Ellen’s Vitality Journey was a few decade previous its prime, feeling woefully outdated and extremely unpopular with visitors. Whereas the Vitality pavilion’s retirement–together with different simultaneous shutdowns–did shut one chapter of EPCOT’s historical past, it was already a foregone conclusion. The park I liked as a child had been lifeless for over a decade, and its alternative had a lifeless mall vibe. If something, the closure introduced closure for followers.

Finest and most significantly of all, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is unbelievable. It’s an extremely satisfying attraction from begin to end, with a queue and pre-shows that present depth and someway handle to offer sufficient of an ‘edutainment’ basis to weave this into EPCOT, a few wow-moment results, hilarity & hijinks, and a compelling story set-up. The curler coaster itself is satisfying in period and has unbelievable stream and fluidity–higher the music and the movement, it feels a bit like dancing.

Above all else, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is simply flat-out enjoyable. It’s certainly one of probably the most enjoyable sights in all of Walt Disney World. It hits all the proper notes, and is only a continuous hoot from begin to end because of its characters, humor, and use of music. It’s precisely the blockbuster attraction that EPCOT wanted, and is one other nice trendy hybrid of story and enjoyable from Imagineering. It is perhaps known as Cosmic Rewind, however the journey fast-forwards to a brand new chapter of EPCOT.

Disney Enchantment -> Fortunately Ever After – All Magic Kingdom fireworks exhibits have the identical core qualities, with pyro exploding over Cinderella Fortress to conclude a protracted, memory-filled day at Walt Disney World. The music is pulled from sentimental moments in memorable Disney motion pictures and the visuals are dazzling. The entire manufacturing tugs on the heartstrings, overwhelming the senses and feelings in the easiest way attainable. Due to all that, there’s a excessive flooring for any Magic Kingdom nighttime spectacular, and even a “unhealthy” one continues to be “good” relative to most different sights.

Suffice to say, Disney Enchantment discovered that flooring and was as near “unhealthy” as fireworks over Cinderella Fortress may conceivably be. It was about pretty much as good as a Magic Kingdom fireworks present set to the “Meow Combine” jingle with cat projections on the citadel. That may’ve really been higher–no less than it could’ve been humorous. Fortunately, Walt Disney World had the great sense of undoing this error, even after declaring that Fortunately Ever After had been “completely” retired.

Fortunately Ever After excels largely because of a unbelievable association paired with track and film selections. There’s a thematic development to the present that is sensible–it goes from journey to friendship to romance to overcoming adversity to attaining a ‘fortunately ever after.’ The track selections are unbelievable, pyro pairings are really very good, and projections add much more to the nighttime spectacular. In a way, Fortunately Ever After is the Disney animated movie archetype, however in montage fireworks present type. It’s good, and the nighttime spectacular that Magic Kingdom deserves.

Primeval Whirl -> Seating Space – No, this isn’t on the fallacious checklist. The removing of Primeval Whirl was addition by subtraction. Hear me out on all of the strengths of the seating space:

  • No line
  • Not bodily painful
  • Good, secure enjoyable
  • Not a hideous carnival journey

None of that may very well be mentioned about Primeval Whirl. Sadly, Dino-Rama has turn out to be widespread with followers who reward its backstory. To the extent that it’s attainable for an opinion to be fallacious…they’re fallacious. Dino-Rama’s backstory is lipstick on a pig, anticipating to dupe you into pondering cheesy carnival rides are literally good.

This displays a pervasive downside in fandom: diehard lovers need limitations to entry to make the fabric incomprehensible to informal audiences. They wish to be “within the know” or have deciphering content material be a problem, with there being some misplaced notion that it earns them avenue cred or some nonsense.

However on the finish of the day, a dumpster filled with rubbish that has an attention-grabbing story continues to be a dumpster filled with rubbish. Regular visitors don’t care about backstory, and it couldn’t save this crappy carnival journey. Right here’s hoping that the finances for Tropical Americas is greater than the like twenty bucks they spent on this mess.

poohs playful spot magic kingdom extinct

Pooh’s Playful Spot -> Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice – This isn’t completely truthful. Some followers will in all probability keep in mind that the attraction earlier than Pooh’s Playful Spot was 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea, a real Walt Disney World basic. Evaluating Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice to that may not go as properly.

Pooh’s Playful Spot, however, was nothing particular. Whereas its predecessor was epic in period and scale and its successor is thrilling and endearing for households, Pooh’s Playful Spot was kind of simply “there,” a stop-gap to throw in place whereas they discovered what to do with the plot of land.

walt disney world december photos 008

El Rio del Tempio -> Gran Fiesta Tour – Since El Rio del Tiempo was changed by Gran Fiesta Tour, it has been met with a combined response by followers, lots of whom had been upset over the introduction of characters to the attraction. I’ve at all times been tremendous with Gran Fiesta Tour (though I actually miss the music from El Rio del Tiempo) and that’s as a result of it makes use of characters who’re from an obscure movie that closely focuses on the tradition and surroundings of Mexico.

This wasn’t merely a matter of Disney eager to capitalize on the recognition of Three Caballeros as has occurred elsewhere in Epcot. For the reason that Audio Animatronics have been added, the attraction has an acceptable finale a real “wow” scene that offers it an actual climax. That is one thing it has by no means had, and in my e-book, makes the present Gran Fiesta Tour higher than El Rio del Tempio.

Tarzan Rocks -> Discovering Nemo: The Musical – This one is clear-cut, and with out caveats. Tarzan Rocks was a high-energy live performance fashion present with some neat visuals, however the “excessive sports activities” vibe made it really feel misplaced in Animal Kingdom. It additionally wasn’t almost as elaborate or well-produced as Discovering Nemo: The Musical.

Though the Nemo present is a CliffNotes model of the film, it really works extremely properly, and options glorious manufacturing worth. The way in which it makes use of performers versus puppets is the spotlight for me, and I feel the present is likely one of the finest ones Disney has accomplished within the parks.

donalds boat mickeys toontown

Donald’s Boat -> Dueling Dumbos – I nonetheless keep in mind the drive all the way down to Walt Disney World within the early 90s, and listening to Disney Radio, “Florida’s in-car welcoming station.” One yr, the radio touted a brand new non permanent land, Mickey’s Starland, with a Disney Afternoon Present. As a younger youngster, nothing was fairly as cool as this. Twenty years later, this “non permanent” land was nonetheless chugging alongside as Mickey’s Toontown.

New Fantasyland’s “Dueling Dumbos” aren’t completely new within the sense that there was a Dumbo spinner in Magic Kingdom earlier than, however the presentation is considerably higher, as is the general expertise. The wait can also be now so much shorter, there’s an indoor interactive play space, and the Storybook Circus space across the Dumbos is high notch.

Rejoice A Dream Come True -> Pageant of Fantasy Parade – What number of Disney followers have uttered the phrase “I’m not a parade individual” as results of a decade-plus of the varied incarnations of the Rejoice A Dream Come True Parade? It’s not that it was unhealthy…in 2001 or 2002 when it first debuted, however a decade later I used to be extra than over it.

It wasn’t till seeing a few of the parades at different citadel parks that I noticed possibly it’s not me, it’s the parade. Pageant of Fantasy is imaginative, elaborate, colourful, and options a number of jaw-dropping floats that culminate in a daytime parade worthy of Magic Kingdom.

tokyo tiki room 2

Beneath New Administration -> Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – Typically, all it takes is a small fireplace to essentially set issues proper! I don’t know whether or not Disney determined to revert to the unique Tiki Room as a result of it was the correct factor to do, or the cheaper factor to do, after a fireplace broken facets of the Tiki Room.

No matter motivation, the unique Tiki Room is again, undoing the Nineties harm inflicted upon the attraction.

Meals Rocks -> Soarin’ – Epcot sights will function prominently on the sequel to this checklist–the ten worst attraction modifications, nevertheless it additionally earns a excessive place for among the best modifications. A part of the rationale Soarin’ ranks so extremely is partially attributable to the truth that Meals Rocks was an inferior alternative for the EPCOT Middle-era Kitchen Kabaret, a enjoyable and extra memorable present.

In bigger half, Soarin’ is right here as a result of it manages to seize the spirit and ambition of EPCOT Middle, whereas additionally including pleasure to the combo. The up to date Soarin’ Across the World is inferior to its instant predecessor (see above), however for the sake of this entry, we’re contemplating Soarin’ as a complete attraction, not the movie taking part in in it.

toy story mania sarah bricker

Who Desires to Be a Millionaire: Play it -> Toy Story Mania – Since its debut over a decade in the past, Toy Story Mania has been one of the vital widespread sights in Walt Disney World. I’ve to confess that I feel it’s overrated, with reputation coming from a dearth of different family-friendly choices in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Nonetheless, I feel it’s higher than Who Desires to Be a Millionaire: Play it and the kind of attraction the park wanted. The following Toy Story Land additions (Slinky Canine Sprint and Alien Swirling Saucers) had been constructed on unused land, so that they don’t actually matter right here. With that mentioned, Slinky Canine Sprint is our favourite of the trio.

Camp Minnie-Mickey Trails -> Avatar Flight of Passage – Speculating is a harmful recreation, and we initially anticipated Na’vi River Journey, the slow-moving boat journey via a bioluminescent rainforest with stress-free music alongside the best way, to be our favourite attraction in Pandora – World of Avatar. Even then, it was apparent that Flight of Passage could be the headliner, however we’re suckers for boat rides.

In actuality, the marquee draw and our favourite alternative for the Camp Minnie-Mickey Trails has been Avatar Flight of Passage. Whereas this may very well be described as Soarin’ on steroids, it’s actually a lot extra. Earlier than riders climb aboard the again of a banshee and fly via Pandora for a simulator expertise, there’s a ton of build-up and funky queue. Plus, the journey itself is a multi-sensory expertise that’s stress-free and exhilarating unexpectedly.

Phrases don’t do Flight of Passage justice–it’s so good that it ranks as #6 on our Itemizing Rating All 91 Sights at Walt Disney World! That’s ok to make it the #2 attraction alternative within the historical past of Walt Disney World, however it will probably’t compete with #1…

Lights Motors Motion -> Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance – This isn’t simply the #1 attraction alternative within the historical past of Walt Disney World, it’s tied for one of the best journey in all of Walt Disney World, interval. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is that nice, a real triumph of creativity and a contemporary masterpiece of Imagineering.

It’s been properly over a decade because the Disney-MGM Studios actually shined as a working studio, and since then the Streets of America portion of the park trudged alongside with none memorable attracts (save for the Osborne Lights at Christmas). As such, it was fairly simple for the billion-dollar Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to surpass it.

As a complete, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is unbelievable however arguably doesn’t fairly dwell as much as its full potential. It was a giant swing for Imagineering to create an authentic setting and follow a storyline, however that has ended up being a legal responsibility slightly than an asset (see It’s Time for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Break the Guidelines).

Of the journey replacements again on this nook of the park, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is way superior to Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. That may come as a little bit of a shock to first-timers, in any case, what child hasn’t dreamed of piloting the Quickest Hunk of Junk within the Galaxy?! Because it turned out, Smugglers Run is enjoyable however a bit like a UPS-in-space simulator, whereas Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is revolutionary. It’s proper up there with one of the best Walt Disney World–or any theme park wherever–has to supply.

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study accommodations on our Walt Disney World Accommodations Critiques web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Critiques. To economize on tickets or decide which sort to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets put up. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys put up takes a novel take a look at intelligent gadgets to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Trip Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, one of the best place to start out is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for every part it is advisable know!

Your Ideas

Which attraction replacements at Walt Disney World do you assume are upgrades? Something on this checklist that’s really a downgrade for you? Did we miss any rides or exhibits that ought to’ve made the lower? Do you agree or disagree with my checklist? Do you just like the alternative sights on this checklist, or would you favor their predecessors? Which of the new-generation sights are your favorites? Share any questions or extra ideas you have got within the feedback!

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