10 Disneyland Attractions That Don't Exist Anymore (but We Wish Did)
It's not easy being Disneyland. To keep people coming back and visiting year after year, the Anaheim amusement park has to constantly reinvent itself while not changing in ways that'll alienate diehard fans whose nostalgia runs deep. A few months ago, the park permanently closed the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to turn it into Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!, which opens May 27. While Disney is filling the ride's gift shop full of plush Baby Groots (just a guess), we got to thinking of other rides and attractions that have come and gone over the years. Here are 10 we kind of wish we could check out.
10. Submarine Voyage
OK, Submarine Voyage kind of sucked, particularly if you were a man of a certain weight with a distaste for tight, enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces, aka my father, who basically had a panic attack on the attraction at Disney World in Florida in the mid-’80s. The underwater ride closed in the ’90s but returned in 2007 as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Feeling nostalgic for the original? As of my visit to Disneyland last summer, those little subs are still as cramped and warm as ever.
9. Country Bear Jamboree
It wasn’t until the late ’70s that the United States reached the height of its fetishization of rural populations (think The Dukes of Hazzard, Smokey and the Bandit, etc.), but the Country Bear Jamboree’s Disneyland debut in 1972 predicted the craze. (And eight years before the Rock-afire Explosion debuted at Showbiz Pizza.) An adorable array of backwoodsy, moonshine-swilling bears stole the country’s hearts with their jugs and banjos and washboards. The sit-down show — a great way to trick kids into sitting still while parents soaked up some air conditioning — was retooled in the mid-’80s with the same characters but a vacation theme. Alas, nothing pure and simple can stay — the attraction shut down in 2001. I guess the terrorists won after all.
8. Adventure Through Inner Space
At Disneyland, mice are the size of human men and, from 1967-85 human men (and women and children) could experience being shrunk to the size of a snowflake, then a molecule and then an atom, well before Dennis Quaid ventured inside Martin Short. Sponsored by your friendly neighborhood chemical company, Monsanto, Adventure Through Inner Space was the kind of science-centric ride that appealed to Americans back when they believed in science. Maybe it’s time to bring this back?
7 & 6. Tie: Monsanto House of the Future and the General Electric Carousel of Progress
Before there was a trash island the size of Texas floating somewhere in the Pacific, the future was all about plastic. But, wait, it never biodegrades. Eh, we’ll worry about that later (ahem, now). Disneyland’s House of the Future — also sponsored by Monsanto — was a plastic house filled with plastic stuff that was, reportedly, outdated just about as soon as it was completed. And then there was General Electric’s Carousel of Progress, a shameless advertisement for GE that details all the ways household appliances have improved our lives, masquerading as an educational ride. The Carousel was moved from Disneyland to Disney World in Florida in 1974, so young East Coasters (like myself) could have our first brushes with brand-loyalty propaganda. What a country!
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