Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is arguably the second-most beloved theme park in the world (behind only the original Disneyland in Anaheim) as the park has endeared itself to visitors for nearly 50 years. A major part of the park’s appeal lays in its lineup of attractions, from classics like The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Space Mountain to more recent additions like Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
However, for all the classics still operating, there have been many attractions that have closed over the years. These are five shuttered Magic Kingdom attractions that are still missed to this day.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride holds the distinction of being one of the few attractions that was a present on opening day at both Disneyland in 1955 and the Magic Kingdom in 1971. However, the Walt Disney World version was not a direct clone. In fact, its two track layout – leading to numerous “near-miss collisions” between ride vehicles on the respective tracks – made the Florida ride quite different from its California counterpart.
For the first 25+ years of the Magic Kingdom’s life, Mr.Toad remained a favorite of hardcore Disney Parks fans and casual visitors alike. However, that all ended in 1998. That September, despite organized protest campaigns from fans, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride closed to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Despite the fact that the attraction has been closed for over 20 years – and that the Disneyland version is still operating – many fans still mourn the loss of the unique Magic Kingdom version.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Just down the proverbial Fantasyland “road” from the former site of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride sits the location of another of the Magic Kingdom’s beloved shuttered gems: Snow White’s Scary Adventures. Upon the park’s opening in 1971, the attraction certainly lived up to its name, providing a terrifying experience where guests lived through Snow White’s nightmare, experiencing the ride through her eyes and encountering numerous frightening scenes, including seven animatronics of the evil witch. For 23 years, this version of the attraction terrified the young and old alike.
In 1994, the Magic Kingdom’s version of Snow White’s Scary Adventures was softened considerably during a refurbishment, Animatronics of the titular princess were added, and many of the the “scary” elements toned down or removed entirely. This version remains open until 2012, when it was closed as part of the New Fantasyland project. Since the expanded land would include the Snow White-themed Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster, Scary Adventures was deemed redundant. The attraction was replaced by the Princess Fairytale Hall meet and greet location, a design which still angers many Disney fans to this day.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage
The final Magic Kingdom opening day attraction on our list was also located in Fantasyland. The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage took the ride system, lagoon, and general layout of the original Disneyland Submarine Voyage attraction and added theming based around the Disney-produced film adaption of Jules Verne’s classic novel.
20,000 Leagues’ Nautilus submarines were an iconic part of the Fantasyland landscape from 1971 until 1994, when the attraction was unexpectedly closed. Initially, the closure was claimed by Disney to be temporary. However as months and months went by, it became obvious to may that the subs would never sail again. The company made the closure official in 1996, citing rising maintenance costs. Eventually, the location of the lagoon was filled in. These days, part of the aforementioned Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster is built over the former site of the lagoon.
The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
Shifting gears from Fantasyland over to its neighbor Tomorrowland, the next closed attraction on our list is easily the most controversial on our list: The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. As we’ve discussed in-depth in the past, the Alien Encounter was born out of grand plans to revamp all of Tomorrowland around the sensory-based attraction (which was originally set to be themed after the creature from Ridley Scott’s film Alien). While the attraction didn’t have the movie tie-in at opening, it did have a massive amount of hype from Disney. However, things did not go as planned.
From its very first previews, Alien Encounter proved to be controversial. While some guests loved the terrifying sensory experience, others were appalled that the terrifying and somewhat violent attraction was in the Magic Kingdom at all. Despite numerous attempts to retooling the show, Alien Encounter continued to receive complaints – especially from parents of young children – over the entirety of its lifespan. Despite a large cult following, the controversy became too much for Disney, and ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter was closed for good in 2003 to make way for Stitch’s Great Escape. Suffice to say, many fans still mourn the former while the latter was, um, not quite as beloved.
Mickey’s Country House
Mickey’s Country House, our final closed Magic Kingdom attraction, likely isn’t as beloved by Disney aficionados as the previous four, but it was a must-do for any child of the 1980s and 90s who grew up going to Walt Disney World. The walkthrough attraction/meet and greet originally opened as Mickey’s House as part of the (originally temporary) Mickey’s Birthdayland in 1988.
Mickey’s House allowed guests, especially children, to see Mickey Mouse’s home and personal belongings, before “meeting” the big cheese himself. The attraction was slightly tweaked in the mid-90s to become Mickey’s Country House as part of Mickey’s Toontown Fair (since by that point Mickey’s original home was cloned for Disneyland’s Toontown) but the overall layout remained the same.
Mickey’s Country House remained in operation until 2011, when the entirety of Mickey’s Toontown Fair was closed to make room for the New Fantasyland Expansion.
Do you miss these classic closed Magic Kingdom attractions? Did we leave your favorite off the list? Let us know in the comments below.