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3 epcot attractions

3 Epcot Attractions I Miss

Epcot originally opened in October, 1982, nearly 34 years ago. Surprising little has changed in the park when compared to the Magic Kingdom. Sure, some of the pavilions have been upgraded (The Living Seas being slightly changed and transformed into The Seas with Nemo & Friends), but for the most part, Epcot remains very much the same as it did 34 years ago. There are some Epcot attractions that have been closed or replaced over the years, and some I miss and one in particular, I do not miss at all.

3 Epcot Attractions I Miss


  1. Horizons – Originally opened on the first anniversary of Epcot, Horizons is probably the most talked about ride that no longer exists in any Disney theme park. Personally, I only rode Horizon a hand full of times, yet I still remember it like it was yesterday. The ride started looking at inventions of our past, and then what our future may look like, showcasing all of Epcot’s Future World elements of communication, community interaction, energy, transportation, anatomy, physiology, along with man’s relationship to the sea, land, air, and space. Unfortunately, GE dropped sponsorship of the ride after less than 10 years. The ride closed shortly thereafter, but for only about a year, and was reopened until 1999 when it closed permanently, torn down, and replaced by Mission: Space. I am still waiting for my robot butler.
  2. Maelstrom – One of the few “rides” in the World Showcase of Epcot, Maelstrom was opened in 1988, and it depicted a ride through the history of Norway, complete with Vikings, polar bears and Trolls. In recent years, Disney+Norway only brings one thing to people’s minds, FROZEN. Unfortunately for us, Maelstrom was closed in October 2104 to make way for a new Frozen themed ride, Frozen Ever After. The Frozen version of Maelstrom opened in June, 2016 to huge lines and decent reviews. Having been on the ride, the track and many of the surroundings have not changed from the Maestrom days, which is both good and bad. Good in that I still get to see the feeling of the Maelstrom ride, bad in that it makes me miss Maelstrom just that much more. Maelstrom was always a family favorite, we often end our days in Epcot, and Maelstrom rarely had lines in the evening, so we often rode Maelstrom several times in a row while waiting for Illuminations. I don’t think we will have nearly as much luck with the lines with Frozen.
  3. Food Rocks – Did you know there used to be an attraction in Epcot starring Tone Lōc? Yes, the early 90’s rapper. It also featured songs by the Beach Boys, the Police, Queen, Cher and others. Located in the land pavilion in Epcot, Food Rocks was originally Kitchen Kabaret, but was changed and upgraded into Food Rocks in 1994. The show only lasted until 2004 when it was closed to make way for Soarin’. Food Rocks was a fun, entertaining show that rarely had lines. Someone needs to make me a Fud Wrapper t-shirt to make me feel better.

There are more than 3 attractions that I miss of course, Cranium Command was awesome and World of Motion was great, even though I got motion sickness every single time I even thought about it. Attractions will come and go, but we can always miss the ones that are gone forever.

1 Epcot Attraction I Do Not Miss

Of course, not all closed attractions are missed. Good riddance I say to you.

  1. Body Wars – Located in the Wonders of Life pavilion at Epcot, Body Wars used the technology of Star Tours to take you on a tour of your body. Horrible. You spent most your time in the blood stream fighting infection received from a splinter, which meant that your vehicle was constantly surging forward then backwards, making everyone within a mile of the place violently ill. There was never a line of Body Wars, which is great, but every single person that ever rode the ride got sick. Fortunately it closed in 2007, hopefully to never see the light again.

Which Epcot attractions do you miss, or not miss at all?

5 disney things

5 Disney Things You Should Know This Week – June 24, 2016

Each Friday, I provide 5 Disney things all Disney fans should know from this past week, just in case you missed them. This week, we feature news from Walt Disney World, Disneyland as well as other Disney parks around the world. See what I did there?

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion Dining Packages

frozen live packages

A few weeks ago, a new Frozen stage show opened at the Hyperion theater in Disney California Adventure. It replaced the long running and super popular Aladdin stage show. Early reviews of Frozen Live have been off the charts fantastic, and the show has been extremely popular and seats have been hard to come by. Well, now you can get reserved seats, along with some yummy treats. Disneyland has launched three new Frozen dining packages, everything from just snacks to a complete dinner are available. Booking is open now, the first packages are available for dates starting next week.

For more informationFrozen Live Dining Packages

Magic Kingdom Holiday Dessert Parties

boo to you

Every year, the Magic Kingdom comes to life with the holiday parties, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. While these parties offer plenty to do, Disney has just introduced new dessert parties during the parties if you want to add a little more to your night in the Magic Kingdom.

There are no tricks, just treats during the HalloWishes Fireworks Dessert Premium Package, available during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, select nights from September 2 to October 31. This frightfully fun package begins with reserved viewing of Mickey’s “Boo-To-You” Halloween Parade on Main Street U.S.A. and is followed by a private fireworks dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace. Enjoy Halloween-themed confections while you take in the spectacular Happy HalloWishes fireworks.

If you’re planning on attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, have a holly jolly time at theWishes Fireworks Dessert Party, select nights from November 7 to December 22. Take in Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade with reserved viewing on Main Street U.S.A., afterwards, take in fa-la-la-fantastic views of Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks while enjoying festive treats at a private dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Dinner reservations for The Crystal Palace Restaurant, Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table are also now available for party nights.

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire now open

mickey friendship faire

The Magic Kingdom finally has a new stage show, presented daily right in front of Cinderella’s Castle. Mickey’s Friendship Faire replaces the long running Dream Along with Mickey, and features magic, music and merriment. Against the majestic backdrop of Cinderella Castle, Mickey Mouse and his friends welcome favorite characters from some of Disney’s newest classics: “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.” The show celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful moments that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends.

“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” features fifteen Disney characters, a musical score recorded by the London Symphony, the original song “On This Day” by composers Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (“Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings”), elaborate costumes, special effects, a dazzling display of daytime fireworks and more!

Soarin’ Around the World now open

soarin around the world

Soarin’ Over California has been one of the most popular attractions at Disney since it’s launch. This week, Disney replaced the long running Soarin’ film with a new version, Soarin’ Around the World. Soarin’ Around the World elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that fill’s a guest’s entire field of vision that gives them the sense of flight. During their journey, guests can expect to spy jaw-dropping natural and man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Not only that, but a guest may find that their other senses are engaged, feeling, smelling and hearing the new world around them.

‘Inside Disney Parks’ Newscast #3

Episode 3 of the Inside Disney Parks newscast is now available, and includes Frozen Games at Disney’s Blizzard Beach, Animal Kingdom at night (hint, it is awesome!), Frozen Live, a Duffy Monorail in Tokyo and a cool POV video of Big Thunder Mountain. Enjoy!

Did I miss any Disney news this week that should have been included?

epcot first stop

3 Reasons to make Epcot your First Stop

Visitors to Walt Disney World are faced with a dilemma when starting their vacations: Where do I start? By default, most people start their vacations with a visit to the Magic Kingdom for no reason at all, well, no good one. Personally, I have found that making Epcot your first theme park visit on your Disney World vacation makes for a much better visit to Epcot, and a much better vacation overall. Now, Epcot is my favorite theme park, and if you ask my kids where they would want to spend a day at Disney, it would almost unanimously be Epcot, mostly because we always make it our first stop, and partly because they are my kids and have been forced to love it.

Three Reasons to make Epcot your First Stop

  1. Overstimulation – By spending your first day in the Magic Kingdom, your family is completely over Disney stimulated. They are bombarded with rides and characters and parades and shows and fireworks from the moment they walk into the park until you head home after midnight. They then mentally come to expect this from all four Disney theme parks, and the other parks are really not like that, and Epcot couldn’t be further from that experience. Many of my clients say their kids just don’t like Epcot, but that is because they visit after three straight days of the Magic Kingdom and expect more of the same. By starting at Epcot, you set the stimulation bar low and you enjoy the park for what it has to offer, which makes for a fantastic experience and a fantastic day.
  2. Decent Closing Time – Regardless of the time of year, Epcot closes at exactly the same time every night, 9 PM. Well, technically the fireworks show Illuminations starts at 9 PM every night, then the park closes. Since it is your first day of vacation, 9 PM is a perfect closing time. You have a nice dinner, ride a few more rides, watch the fireworks and are home and in bed by 10 PM. While I love that the Magic Kingdom is open late at time, it isn’t optimal for the start of your vacation. On my last Disney World vacation, I stayed in the Magic Kingdom until 3 AM. It was awesome and basically empty, however, it completely ruined the next day for me, we all slept until mid-afternoon, and just was not worth it. Plus I hate leaving a park early, it feels like you are missing out. Much better to have a decent closing time so you can be back out and at another park first thing.
  3. Dining Options – One of my favorite features of Epcot is all of the dining options you are provided in the park (plus even more near by) due to the country dining locations in the World Showcase. Why is this important? On your first day, you are going to want a nice, decent place to sit down and relax for dinner. Your poor feet are not used to this, and will need a break. Consider going to the Biergarten in Germany or Chefs de France for a great dinner, or maybe even Tokyo Dining in Japan or Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco for a fun tasty dinner. Epcot is a fantastic place to take your kids to a nice restaurant and dine on something you may not be able to find at home. Epcot restaurants are used to kids every day, all day, so your kids will be welcome and treated with respect. DO NOT book a character meal this first day (remember #1 above), pick one of the World Showcase options and enjoy!

There are my three reasons why you should make Epcot your first stop on your next Disney vacation. Where do you stop first and why?