Extinct EPCOT: The BIG History of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!

In the decades since Disneyland first opened, all of the Walt Disney Company’s parks have seen attractions come and go. Some of these closed attractions have become iconic to Disney fans, while others have faded as products of the time they were created.


Where does today’s topic – EPCOT’s 1990s 3D film Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!, based on the 1990s live action film series – fit? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

The first film in the “Honey” series, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, premiered in 1989. Starring comedian Rick Moranis as inventor Wayne Szalinski — who as the title suggests, inadvertently shrinks his children and several of their friends — the film was a massive hit upon its release, and led to a franchise that included two sequels and a television series.

Disney quickly capitalized on the film’s success by opening a Honey themed playground area in 1990. However, Imagineers began devising plans for a larger, more in-depth attraction.

Honey I Shrunk The Kids Playground

Meanwhile, by 1993, the theater that Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! Would eventually call home was somewhat languishing. Known as the Magic Eye Theater, it had housed a 3D film as part of EPCOT Center’s Imagination Pavilion since the park’s 1982 opening day. Initially, the venue housed Magic Journeys, a film that chronicled the world as seen through the eyes of the child.

The Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT

In 1986, Magic Journeys was replaced with Captain EO, a science fiction epic musical 3D film from George Lucas, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Michael Jackson. The film – the first major attraction to open as part of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells plan to make Disney’s parks more appealing to teenagers and young adults – utilized in-theater effects to create a 4D experience. Thanks to it’s MTV-style editing, Star Wars-esque story, and the presence of Jackson (at the time, the biggest music star in the world) Captain EO was initially a massive hit. However, by 1994 the film’s story and aesthetics were a bit passe’, and Jackson’s star had been dimmed by accusations about his personal life, making it ripe for replacement.

Captain EO

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! opened on November 21, 1994, just four months after the closure of Captain EO. The attractions featured most of the film’s cast — along with Eric Idle — in a storyline that saw Szalinski receiving an award from the Imagination Institute. As the title suggests, his shrinking machine accidentally shrinks the whole audience of guests, leading to a series of 3D-assisted hijinx before he’s able to return guests to their normal size.

Honey, I Shrunk the Audience

The attraction was a massive success upon its opening, with guests reacting very positively to its humor and adherence to the tone and style of the course material. In fact, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! became so popular so quickly that by 1999 it had been added to Tokyo Disneyland (as MicroAdventure! in 1997), Disneyland in 1998, and Disneyland Paris in 1999. However, the next decade would prove far less fruitful for the attraction.

Read About Horizons, Another Closed EPCOT Attraction


As the 1990s turned into the 2000s, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience’s popularity began to wane. The final installment of the film series had been released in 1997, and the television series had ended in 2000, leading the property to irrelevancy. In addition, the widespread disdain for the revamped Journey into Imagination attraction — which features Eric Idle’s Dr. Nigel Channing from Honey — arguably hurt the film’s popularity, as well. However, the final nail in the coffin of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! was the death of Michael Jackson in June of 2009.


Following Jackson’s passing, a wave of nostalgia for the King of Pop’s career took off in American culture, at least temporarily sidelining most talk of the allegations against him, and leading many to call on Disney to bring back Captain EO. The company acquiesced to the demand, closing each version of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! throughout the early months of 2010 and replacing it with the Captain EO tribute (the original film minus many of the in-theater effects that had been removed when the attraction was initially closed).

The Captain EO nostalgia would be relatively short-lived, as all versions had closed by 2015. However, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! didn’t return to any of Disney’s parks. While that likely means the film will never be seen again, it is worth noting that Disney currently has a sequel starring Moranis in production, and if that proves to be a successful release, anything could happen!

Do you have fond memories of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience! or do you think it was an attraction whose time has passed? Let us know in the comments below, and keep following All Ears for the latest Disney info!

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One Reply to “Extinct EPCOT: The BIG History of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience!”

  1. I’ll always remember the pre show and the song True Colors playing. You can find the clip on YouTube and it brings me back🙂