Of every theme park to exist at Disney World in Florida, Hollywood Studios has gone through the most re-imagining. Originally designed to double as a working film studio, the theme park (which was then called Disney-MGM Studios) was designed to immerse guests in the magic of movie production. However, Disney eventually moved all of its film production back to California, and in 2008, Disney changed the name of the park to Hollywood Studios. Since this title change, the park has been slowly re-themed to focus on Disney's biggest blockbuster hits.
Because of this change, many incredible attractions that once made the park great have unfortunately seen their end. That's why we're journeying back in time to check out many of Hollywood Studios' incredible, now extinct attractions. With that said, here are some of the greatest rides, shows, and experiences at Disney's Hollywood Studios that no longer exist.
10 The Magic Of Disney Animation
This attraction, which immersed guests in the world of animation, opened in 1989 at Hollywood Studios.
When the attraction first debuted, it featured four experiences. Guests began by viewing a short film that starred Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams, who walked through the stages of character animation, by turning Williams into a Peter Pan Lost Boy. Guests then got to walk through a working animation studio, followed by a short film led by Disney Animators. Finally, guests were shown a video called “Classic Disney” that montaged the best moments from Disney's animated films and shorts.
Though the attraction changed a lot throughout its run, the leading film became one in which a Disney animator, with the help of Mulan’s Mushu, walked through the animation process. A portion of the newer attraction also taught visitors how to draw Disney characters. The Star Wars Launch Bay is now in its place.
9 Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show
This live-action stunt show debuted at Hollywood Studios as part of the Happiest Celebration on Earth festival in which every Disney World theme park opened a new attraction located at other parks across the world. While Animal Kingdom got Expedition Everest, Epcot received Soarin', and the Magic Kingdom refurbished several of its star attractions, Hollywood Studios received this action show from Walt Disney Studios Park in France.
The 40-minute production featured all sorts of automobile stunts, jet ski chases, pyrotechnics, and physical stunt work. All of this action was chased around by a camera crew who replayed the stunts up close on screens for the audience.
The show closed in 2016 to make room for the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land.
8 The Great Movie Ride
The Great Movie Ride was Hollywood Studio's star dark ride attraction, located inside a replica of Hollywood's famous Chinese Theatre. Though the 22-minute ride went through its fair share of updates from its opening in 1989 through its closure in 2017, the attraction always took guests on a slow-moving journey through classic film scenes. The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Singin' in the Rain, Man with No Name, Alien, and Indiana Jones were just a few of the movies guests got to ride through. Additionally, a set of live actors narrated the journey, with riders' tour guide getting replaced early on by a wild west movie character that hijacks the ride vehicle.
The attraction comes to a close, with guests being driven to a room that displayed a film montage. The Great Movie ride is being replaced by the forthcoming Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway dark ride adventure in Spring 2020.
7 Studio Backlot Tour
Though this premiere attraction lasted 35 minutes by the time it closed in 2014, it originally began as a 2-hour long experience.
The latest version of the Backlot Studio Tour took guests on a tram ride past the Earffel Tower, a costume and materials building, a movie prop boneyard, and a "live" movie set known as Catastrophe Canyon. This stop had guests experiencing a fire and water-filled earthquake simulation scene. Riders would exit into an exhibit featuring famous villains.
As fascinating as this behind-the-scenes movie production ride was, it closed in 2014 to make way for Toy Story Land.
6 The American Idol Experience
The American Idol Experience put guests into the action of the popular American Idol singing competition TV show. Operating from 2009 to 2014, this attraction invited park guests to audition in front of judges early in the day, and if they were selected, they would come back later for a live singing competition that mimicked the show.
Other park visitors could watch these performances throughout the day and vote for their favorite guests. Those who won the preliminary shows got to compete in that night's finale, and eligible guests who won the final show received a "Dream Ticket" that allowed them to skip the line at a real American Idol audition.
Though the show was impressive, it closed down in 2014 and was replaced a year later by For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.
5 Sounds Dangerous!
This audio show, led by comedian Drew Carey, took guests on a loud adventure inside an ABC soundstage theater. Guests wore headphones and were left in the dark for most of the attraction, being told that they were part of an ABC test pilot known as Undercover Live.
This attraction operated regularly from 1999 to 2009, when it began playing on a seasonal schedule. In 2012, the show permanently closed its doors to the public. Though the attraction wasn't wildly popular, it was a quirky favorite of many longtime visitors.
4 The Hunchback Of Notre Dame — A Musical Adventure
When the Hunchback of Notre Dame released in theaters in 1996, its Hollywood Studios stage show also debuted. Located in the Backlot Theater, this attraction closely followed the script of the animated film. Everyone's favorite characters, sets, costumes, and music appeared in this stage show. Unfortunately the songs "Hellfire" and "The Court of Miracles" didn't make the cut.
The attraction closed down in 2002 and was replaced by a different stage show known as The Spirit of Pocahontas. Today, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage remains in its place.
3 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire — Play It!
The popular Who Want To Be A Millionaire? game show was brought to Hollywood Studios in 2001. The attraction's theater replicated that of the actual television show and ran 25-minute sessions throughout the day.
Rather than answering trivia questions for dollars, contestants who took the hot seat competed for points, which could be exchanged for Disney prizes. The biggest prize a guest could win by the end of this attraction's run was a Disney Cruise Line vacation for four. Earlier, the million-point prize was a trip to New York City to see a taping of the actual "Who Wants to Be a Millionare."
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – Play It! closed in 2006 to make room for the interactive Toy Story Mania! ride.
2 SuperStar Television
This opening-day attraction let guests learn about and experience "live" television broadcasts. Guests got to be cast in shows including "Gilligan's Island," "Cheers," and "I Love Lucy" and would act out these roles on set.
The visitors who weren't cast in the production got to watch these shows plays out in front of them. They could also view the finish product air on screens above them.
Though this experience was immersive, it didn't last forever and closed in 1998 to make room for a stage show called Doug Live! This is where the aforementioned Frozen musical show runs today.
1 Here Come The Muppets
The Muppets took over a theater in Hollywood Studios from 1990 to 1991 for their very own live show. While Jim Henson's beloved characters still have a 4D film at the theme park to this day, they used to sing and play instruments from a stage.
Songs featured in the show included "Make 'Em Laugh" from Singin' in the Rain, "Bein' Green" first sung by Kermit the Frog, and "Shout!" by The Isley Brothers. With characters including Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Fozzie Bear shouting out their favorite tunes, it was impossible not to love.
Today, the theater is home to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid stage show.