Keep, Change, Close: Walt Disney World Dark Rides

What are some of the most iconic and beloved rides at Walt Disney World? It’s those classic Disney dark rides.


You know we love starting controversial convos with our installments of keep, change, and close. After all, it’s pretty fun to think about what Disney rides we want to keep as long as possible, change for the better, or close altogether. 

Remember, we don’t feel the same way as everyone! Maybe you love a ride we want to change, and that’s a-ok.  Maybe we love a ride that you think could use some work! Mileage varies on dark ride opinions, and we’re just sharing ours. (Share your opinions in the comments below!)

For our take this time though, we’re going to check out one dark ride for each category. And don’t worry, we’ve got our reasons.

Let’s see what we’d Keep, Change, or Close of the Disney World dark rides!


Haunted Mansion

Alright, we just can’t pass this one up. Haunted Mansion is perfect, and you can fight us on it. This spooky attraction is the ultimate Disney dark ride experience. You even voted it your favorite Disney World attraction out of all of them. Period!

Haunted Mansion horseless carriage

It’s pretty hard to argue with that sort of accolade. But hey, AllEars readers know their stuff. Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion is a treat to ride. From the ballroom to the graveyard, to the hitchhiking ghosts; this attraction gets our seal of approval.

Haunted Mansion Entrance

You can tell the ghost host we feel this way, too! Some of our favorite parts of this attraction include the flawless narration and the fact that it runs on an Omnimover track, keeping lines moving relatively quickly and giving it that iconic dark-ride flow.

Haunted Mansion during the Party

Sure, have we wished to see a the Disneyland Haunted Mansion holiday overlay or Hatbox Ghost end up in the east coast Haunted Mansion? Yes. But that wouldn’t necessarily make us love this attraction more. It already sets the bar for dark ride love!

The Haunted Mansion

In fact, the tech from Haunted Mansion is just as mind-boggling today as it was when it opened with the park. The pepper’s ghost effects? Stunning. The never-ending stairway room? How do they do that!?

Haunted Mansion


“it’s a small world!”

Okay, don’t hate us, but the Walt Disney World version of “it’s a small world!” has nothing on the Disneyland version, and not just because Disneyland gets an awesome holiday overlay.

it’s a small world

It’s not like Disney could easily do an overhaul to the exterior of “it’s a small world!” Still, the huge small world facade is Disneyland is a testament to the design genius that was Mary Blair and it’s a downright shame that we don’t see more of those design elements on the exterior of the ride.

it’s a small world

Still, we’d love to see a queue overhaul at “small world” to give us more of that iconic theming instead of the stall-like old Fantasyland queues. Hey, they did it for Peter Pan’s Flight!

it’s a small world

Plus, Disneyland got some flack for adding Disney characters to “small world” but in the end, people tend to like the change! It’s fun to pick out your favorite characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Lilo, Woody, and more. It doesn’t detract from the ride at all and makes for a fun touch.

Disneyland’s “it’s a small world!”

So yeah, we would like to see a little update over at “Small World” after all that iconic attraction and mind-numbingly addicting song both deserve a lot of love, and that means a little TLC sometimes.


Journey Into Imagination with Figment

Ok, we’re asking again, please don’t hate us. Although on this one, we’re not sure you will. The Disney dark ride that we would like to close is none other than Journey Into Imagination with Figment.

Journey into Imagination

This ride opened in 2002 as the third iteration in a line of Imagination Pavilion rides. Today, it feels shockingly dated for its age and rarely boasts a line longer than 15 minutes. The past few times we’ve ridden it, there have even been audio outages, yikes.

Imagination Pavilion

Now, we do love Figment, don’t get us wrong. But he deserves better! There aren’t even many pieces of the current Figment ride we’d keep, but we’d love it if our favorite purple dragon could end up as the main character on a new ride (perhaps with Dreamfinder back again? We’re just saying).

There’s Figment!

With a lot of improvements coming to Epcot, is this ride here to stay? Who knows! All we can say is, we think it might be time for this attraction to move on to the big amusement park in the sky.

So, what do you think? Were we right or wrong? Tell us what your choices would be in the comments!

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9 Replies to “Keep, Change, Close: Walt Disney World Dark Rides”

  1. It’s hard for me to choose a dark ride at all that I would like to see closed because for me, dark rides ARE Disney, but I would probably say the same. I just wish they would put in lots more of them.

  2. Change Rockin’ Rollercoaster. This old guy loves listening to Aerosmith, but time to change it up. But don’t put some Disney Pop music in there. Surely there’s a Marvel IP that Universal doesn’t have the rights to that can be used!

  3. Journey Into Imagination with Figment should not close. It should change back into the original version with the Dreamfinder. It would be a total sham if it were to close or if it were to add other Disney characters to it. And bring back the iconic exhibits from the 1990s like the Rainbow corridor and hexagon lights in the upstairs Imagination Room.

    1. But then if you HAD to chose a replacement for it to close, what would that be? I admit I thought the same thing as you….until I had to try to come up with another dark ride that I would close in it’s place.

  4. I thought this piece was going to be a list of groups of rides that you could play Keep, Change, Close with

  5. I totally agree with closing journey into imagination. It feels pretty outdated and I don’t like how figment is portrayed as a little bit annoying instead of how he used to be.

  6. Sorry but I love all the rides, except frozen ever after (or what ever it’s called), I really wish they had left maelstrom. But Journey into imagination with Figment is great and needs to stay. I prefer rides that I have been on because I enjoy them.

  7. Imagination needs to be closes and razed. It is awful, just awful. One of the worst things Eisner ever touched.
    The original had the spirit of imagine, what it is, how it works and how to apply it.
    A total do over is needed, something to restore imagine to the imagination pavilion. This can not happen soon enough.