10 Abandoned Locations in Disney Parks

Disney Parks Secrets

Disney Parks are full of rides. They are the thing that keeps people coming back to the parks year after year and have made them one of the most profitable branches of the Disney company. Unfortunately, many rides also close over the years for various reasons. Some close to make way for something new that needs the space. Some close due to lack of popularity. Some close because they just sucked (Ahem, Superstar Limo/ Journey Into Your Imagination). What is interesting is when they just stay there. Not replaced by anything, not torn down, just there as a reminder of what used to be. This happens for countless reasons and are present in almost every Disney park in America. Some of these you may have passed not even knowing a ride used to be there.

Peoplemover Disneyland

If you look up in most areas of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland you can see white, flat walkways above where guests are walking. This may look to just be decorative, but it was actually a ride for most of Tomorrowland’s history. One of the staples of the 1967 redo of Tomorrowland was the Peoplemover. It connected every ride in the land and allowed a slow look at the entire land and it’s attractions from above. It closed in the 1990’s to make way for a new fast version of the Peoplemover called Rocket Rods featuring technology similar to Test Track. This failed quickly and closed for refurbishment, never to reopen again. Since then the tracks have just sort of been...there. Nothing has been done to remove them, in fact they keep getting painted along with the rest of the land. All they are used for at the moment is lighting and holding up banners.

Upstairs Image Works

Image Works may still be open at the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot, but this is not the first area to use this name. When the pavilion first opened, the entirety of the first floor was used for a much longer version of the Journey Into Imagination ride. The Image Works was located on the second floor of the building and featured the characters from the ride downstairs Dreamfinder and Figment. It featured many of the same basic kinds of games as the current one does but also featured interactive exhibits and a rainbow tunnel. When the original ride closed the Image Works was moved downstairs into an area that used to be part of the ride. The original was partially taken apart over the years, but as of 2017, much of it still remains partially intact.

Circle Vision Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland used to feature a Circle Vision theater. Just like the ones still in operation in Canada and China in Epcot, this featured screens all around you showing different images and videos to tell a story. The last attraction to use this theater as it was originally intended was the Timekeeper, a comedy show featuring Robin Williams as a talking robot. This attraction was converted into the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, which uses a more traditional theater setup, but the Circle Vision infrastructure still remain. If you look around you can see the theater is still circular and the screens are still in place above your head, ready to use for a future show if Disney ever chooses to do so.

Rocket Jets Disneyland

A spinner featuring rockets has been a part of Tomorrowland since its inception. Rocket Jets was the original spinning ride featuring rocket ships in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. This job is currently fulfilled by the Astro Orbiter, a similar ride at the entrance of Tomorrowland. The original ride, which was an opening day attraction at Disneyland, still sits atop the old Peoplemover loading platform. It is currently setup to look like a satellite, but utilizes the same mechanics as the opening day ride used to.

Discovery River Boats Docks

Animal Kingdom has a almost spotless history of adding attractions and never closing them. For all of Pandora-World of Avatar, all that closed was a Mickey and friends meet and greet (Which just moved elsewhere in the park) and Festival of the Lion King (Which also moved elswhere in the park). Asia was also added, with the roller coaster Expedition Everest, without taking away anything. There is one exception to this. One opening day ride that did not survive the first two years of the park. The Discovery River Boats.

The Discovery River Boats were a series of boats meant to transport guests around the park. That's it. The ride was incredibly unpopular from the start. Disney tried saving it in two ways. First they tried staying on theme and added animals to the boat for guests to enjoy. When that failed Disney tried to be hip and cool with the kids and rebranded the ride after Radio Disney. When that didn’t work they gave up and tuned one of the stations into a meet and greet and called it a day.

Body Wars

Body Wars was the first real attempt of a thrill ride in Epcot. Before this the park featured mostly slow moving rides that didn’t hold the attention span of many guests. This ride utilized technology from Star Tours to simulate being shrunken into a human body for a tour. It was popular when it opened, but then other thrill rides opened in Epcot and it was left mostly forgoten because it was DISGUSTING. I mean it’s a ride through the human body. The entire pavilion it was in, Wonders of Life closed and is now being turned into the Play Pavillion, a new kids area for the park, but still leaving this ride abandonded. Since the closure the simulators have been removed, but the queue and exit remain mostly intact, just used as storage.

Cranium Command

Just like the previous one on this list, this ride was located in the Wonders of Life pavilion at Epcot. This was not a disgusting thrill ride though. It was a cute kid friendly show featuring an animatronic who had a job to control the brain of a human. Picture a kind of Inside Out but over 10 years before Inside Out was a thing. In fact, the director of Inside Out worked on this ride, so it actually inspired Inside Out. This also closed along with Wonders of Life and the show was just left there. I mean the animatronic is still sitting there as of like a year ago. Nothing at all has been removed.

Motor Boat Cruise

The Motor Boat Cruise was a calm boat ride through the green space underneath the Monorail tracks of Fantasyland. It used a space that would have otherwise been left empty and added a fun break from the crowds and noise of the parks. When it closed it wasn’t touched. The ride’s station is now just a collection of tables and chairs for people to take shelter from the sun. The waterways this ride used to travel on still remain partially untouched to this day, mainly due to the fact the monorail tracks lie just overhead, making any construction in this area difficult.

Jolly Trolley

Ever notice how there are tracks all throughout Disneyland’s Toontown. Those used to hold the Jolly Trolley. This was a trolley that would take you on a slow moving tour of Toontown. As Toontown is mainly designed for small children, the Jolly Trolley was dangerous as it could hit them if they were not paying attention. It was closed and one of the vehicles remains in the land as a reminder of what used to be there. The vechicle storage building also still stands to this day.

Mine Train Thorugh Nature's Wonderland

Opening day Disneyland attractions that still remain today are practically considered sacred and would never be removed. This also goes for what little remains of some of the rides that opened either on or close to the opening of Disneyland. Just less than a year after after the official opening of Disneyland the first version of Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland opened. This ride would remain the headliner of Frontierland until the 1970’s when it was closed to make way for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Now, Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was massive, much bigger than the ride that would replace it and much of it was able to remain past it’s closure. Unfortunately all that really remains to this day is a lake and a tunnel along Big Thunder Trail, and even that is falling apart every year. It used to have a bridge with some of the ride track, but even that is now gone, leaving only a cave.