6 Retired Disney World Animatronics We Miss

Animatronics are one of the quintessential hallmarks of a Disney attraction. Ever since their debut in 1963 at The Tropical Serenade (now the Enchanted Tiki Room) at Disneyland, they have been a key component of some of the most beloved Disney rides.

Walt Disney with the Tiki Birds

While we understand that sometimes attractions have to close to make way for new magic, we can’t help but miss some of the awesome audio-animatronics!

Here are six retired animatronics we miss:

1. Buzzy


Remember Cranium Command at Epcot?

We’re excited to see the re-imaginging of the Wonders of Life pavilion but we can’t help but miss the star of the show: BUZZY.

2. The Alien

Alien Encounter

We get it — this ride was TERRIFYING and really didn’t fit in the Magic Kingdom. But the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was awesome in its own right, and we do miss that alien — even if he scared the bejesus out of us.

3. Lucky 


His time at Animal Kingdom was short (real short, as in a few months), but man, do we miss Lucky! I mean, he’s a free-walking animatronic dinosaur — does it get any cooler?

4. Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly

To be fair, we miss every animatronic on The Great Movie Ride… but Gene Kelly performing his legendary moves from “Singin’ in the Rain” was pretty iconic. Sigh.

5. The Peach Boys

The Peach Boys

Flying around the world is great is great, but animatronic snacks singing food-related parodies about nutrition? ALSO GREAT. Why oh why can’t we live in a world where we have both Soarin‘ and  Food Rocks?

6. Betty the Yeti

The Yeti

OK, OK, this animatronic isn’t technically retired. But Betty the Yeti (yes, that is her name, and yes, she’s a she!) hasn’t moved in years. She used to swipe down at your car as you flew past, but now it’s “Disco Yeti,” where strobe lights just dance upon her to give the illusion she’s moving.

Unfortunately, in order to fix the Yeti, the entire attraction would literally have to be deconstructed. The mountain was built around the animatronic so it doesn’t seem like Betty will be fixed anytime soon. Good thing Expedition Everest is still awesome!

Those are 6 of our most-missed retired animatronics — what are yours? Let us know in the comments!


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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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14 Replies to “6 Retired Disney World Animatronics We Miss”

  1. All of the old Dreamfinder and Figment animatronics from the original Journey Into Imagination. That entire ride was a thing of beauty and fascination.

  2. Any of the characters in the now-gone Kitchen Kabaret show at EPCOT. Especially the Veggies and Fruits. Also – who could ever forget “Mr. Johnson” from the Mission to Mars ride in Tomorrowland

  3. It’s hard to believe that they made such a huge design flaw in building the Yeti. I have never seen it move and it’s so disappointing after all of the hype when Everest was being built. That was the entire big deal of the ride!

      1. I gotta disagree with ya there. I also rode it when it was new, and the final scene with the Yeti made my jaw drop with awe. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to share this same experience with travel mates since that first ride.

  4. Am I crazy or did the rocks on Big Thunder Mountain used to move in and out as if they were going to fall on you while going up the one hill? Wish they would “rock n roll” again!