With Star Wars Land on the horizon, a handful of new rides and Marvel attractions set to arrive the next few years, there is so much coming to Walt Disney World — but two classic rides will be closing to make room for these new experiences.
Epcot’s time-traveling journey Ellen’s Energy Adventure will be shutting the doors on its prehistoric educational experience on Aug. 13, 2017.
The writing had been on the wall for the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted ride for a while now, which debuted in Epcot’s Universe of Energy pavilion when the park opened in 1982, but was confirmed to close when a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster was announced to take its place.
The removal of the forty-five minute long dark ride is part of Epcot’s reimagining prior to Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary in 2021, which will also welcome a Mission:SPACE restaurant, a Ratatouille attraction in the World Showcase France pavilion and a redesign for the front half of the park along with the large-scale Marvel attraction.
Though Disney’s Hollywood Studios has already endured much change to make way for Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to arrive in the next two years, the D23 Expo 2017 fan conference brought with it a bit of a shocker that yet another attraction would be shuttering at the Tinseltown-inspired park. “The Great Movie Ride,” a tram tour through the characters and storylines of classic and beloved movies, will close its curtains forever on Aug. 13, 2017 as well.
When it reopens, Hollywood Studios will welcome Disney’s first-ever Mickey Mouse ride. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is set to take guests on a multidimensional journey through the comic book stylings and cheerfully chaotic adventures of the classic cartoon characters.
No opening date is announced, but the cinematic history of “The Great Movie Ride” will remain within its architecture. Housed within a large-scale reproduction of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, it’s unlikely that the building itself will change for the forthcoming Mickey Mouse attraction, as Disney recently debuted two evening shows with projection mapping over the historic theatre exterior.
It’s never easy to see a beloved ride disappear, but with eight new attractions coming to Walt Disney World in the next four years, it’s an expected sacrifice.