As most of you know, today was the last day for two long running attractions at Walt Disney World ~ The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, and Universe of Energy (aka Ellen’s Energy Adventure) at Epcot. The closures were announced last month at the D23 Expo, but we had heard rumblings before that, that this was coming. Change is hard, but necessary, and I have mixed feelings about it. Lets talk it out, starting with the Great Movie Ride.
The Great Movie Ride is a staple at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. So many people have it on their “must do” list when visiting the park. I know for us as locals, we like to take a ride to have a little rest on long hot days, and it’s entertaining to boot. We’ve been on the Great Movie Ride so many times, we can probably recite most of the script that the Cast Members use. From the time you hear “action” and “Hooray for Hollywood” begins to play, to the end of the ride where the movie clips roll, it’s all so familiar. Truthfully, I’ll miss the Great Movie Ride. It’s something that we’ve grown accustomed to. When I first heard that it may be closing, my hope was that maybe it would be updated with more current movies, or even just Disney movies throughout history. Truth be told, my kids haven’t even seen the majority of the movies that are currently featured, I hear this from a lot of parents. An update would have worked for me, but obviously that’s not to be, and my opinion is just my own. During the Disney Parks Panel at D23, when they announced that a Mickey Mouse ride was coming in it’s place, I was surprised. That was something I did NOT hear in the rumor mill. We got to see some concept art and more of the vision for the new attraction was explained. It’s about time that Mickey Mouse got his own ride, and The Great Movie Ride was the casualty for that. Yes, I’m going to miss The Great Movie Ride, but I’m so thankful for the memories that it holds for me and my family. I’ve heard from a lot of readers that they feel the same. We just have to keep moving forward… as Walt said.
Now on to Universe of Energy. I have a confession to make, I never even rode this attraction until we moved here to Florida. When we were vacationers, I never wanted to take time away from other rides and attractions to go on Universe of Energy. Truthfully, it was never on our vacation itinerary, and I was ok with that. One time, on a visit from Corey (our friend and long time writer) and his family, we were standing at Epcot and he sort of insisted that we finally take a ride on Universe of Energy. We gave in. The input that we got from readers over the years was spot on, it IS a great place to cool off and rest. Sure, it’s a bit outdated. Ok, a lot outdated, but still entertaining. Ellen’s dream sequence with Stupid Judy and Bill Nye the Science guy is something we’re all familiar with. The part of the ride with the dinosaurs is our favorite. So much potential for more there. But… it’s a long ride… and never busy. It’s time. Time for changes, updates, and excitement on what’s to be in that location. Guardians of the Galaxy! Die hard Disney fans aren’t big on change, and some get upset about major changes. When the Tower of Terror at California Adventure changed over to Guardians of the Galaxy, the internet went nuts with comments on both sides. A lot was disapproval, they didn’t want to see the Tower of Terror changed. I didn’t think I’d be on board there either. Fast forward to last month and our visit to California Adventure, we rode Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout… and LOVED it. I didn’t want to love it, but God help me, I did. So much fun to be had there, it’s great. That being said, this gives me hope for the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction that’s replacing Universe of Energy. If it’s even a fraction of the awesomeness that is Mission Breakout, I really think people will love it. I’m excited to see what Disney comes up with.
Yes change is hard, for me especially. Comfort zones are so easy to stay in, and we get used to certain things even when it’s time to move on. Disney has big plans for their parks, there is so much coming that will be amazing once it’s completed. Of course, closed attractions will always live on in our hearts, photos and videos. The memories they give us can’t be replaced, even when the buildings are. I have faith that Disney will bring us some amazing attractions that will give us even more cherished memories. I just know it. Until then, thank you for the memories Disney…. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
*How do you feel about these closings? Tell us about it in the comments!