How To Tell When a Disney Ride Is Going to Close

Splash Mountain Drop Disneyland Critter Country

Walt Disney himself said Disneyland will never be finished, and that same theme has continued to every Disney Park around the world. Rides are always coming and going from the park, and it can be difficult to tell what rides are safe and what rides are not.

Today we are going to try and give you a basic guide on how to tell when a Disney ride is nearing the end of its life. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are always going to be exceptions, but these have proved to be true in the recent past.

1. Other Versions Close

Autopia From the Disneyland Railroad Tomorrowland

Disney is making the parks more and more similar in recent years, so if a version of a ride closes in another park, it is never a good sign for the other versions.

For example, two versions of Disney's Autopia style attractions have closed in recent years, and rumors of the demise of Disneyland's version in favor of a Fantasyland expansion were circulating before the coronavirus pandemic. Closing one version shows the ride is expendable, and may not last long in other parks.

There are always exceptions though. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was never quite the hit in Disneyland that it was in its other two locations. Those are more than likely safe for the foreseeable future despite its retheme in Disney California Adventure.

2. Original Attraction With No Merchandise

Primeval Whirl Entrance Dinoland Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney in general kills off original attractions a lot easier than IP based attractions, but there is a way to tell which ones are more likely to be removed.

Do they sell merchandise?

If Disney is making money off the ride they are much less likely to remove it. Haunted Mansion, The Enchanted Tiki Room, It's A Small World, and more sell tons of shirts, plush, and other items every day, so Disney is unlikely to remove them any time soon.

But rides that have closed recently? How many times did Disney sell Great Movie Ride or Universe of Energy stuff until right before they closed? What about Malestrom? Primeval Whirl? California Screamin?

How much merch is being sold is a good indicator of how safe a ride is, but by no means is it everything. Tower of Terror sells a lot of stuff, but Disney still closed it in Disney California Adventure.

3. Disney Stops Maintaining the Ride

Broken Down Splash Mountain No Water Magic Kingdom

This is probably the best way to tell when Disney is going to close a ride. Essentially when it is nearing its end, Disney just gives up on fixing anything that isn't serious inside the ride.

The mural on It's Tough To Be A Bug in Disney California Adventure was allowed to literally rot in the year before it closed. Splash Mountain at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom were plagued with broken animatronics for the last few years, signifying Disney wasn't terribly attached to this ride long before the Princess and the Frog ride was announced.

There really hasn't been a major exception to this except Disco Yeti on Expedition Everest, but that is a complicated and expensive fix that is different than the kind of problems we are mainly discussing here.

Overall the best way to tell if a Disney ride is going to close is if it starts having ongoing problems that are easily fixable, but don't get fixed.