/ Monday, July 2nd, 2012

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Top Ten Attraction Finales in Walt Disney World and Disney Trivia Contest

Hello and welcome to The WDW Radio Show – Your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is show #281 for the week of July 1, 2012.

Every attraction in Walt Disney World tells a story, and in many cases, there is a moment, reveal, detail, song or element that resonates with all of us. And sometimes, that magical moment comes as the attraction comes to an end. So this week, we’re going to look at our Top Ten Attraction Finales in Walt Disney World

I’ll then have the answer and winner for last week’s Walt Disney World Trivia Question of the Week, and pose a new question for your chance to win a Disney prize package!

Be sure and stay for the announcements, including information about the next WDW Radio Meet of the Month in Walt Disney World, as well as some of your voicemails at the end of the show. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio Show.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

Information and Links from This Week’s Show:

Question for YOU: What is your favorite attraction finale in Walt Disney World? Leave your answer in the comments section below

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41 thoughts on “WDW Radio # 281 – Top Ten Attraction Finales in Walt Disney World”

  1. Michele says:

    American Adventure, for everyday. Christmas Illuminations, for holiday.

  2. nicholas says:

    I LOVE American Adventure!!!

  3. benjamman says:

    Hey Lou,

    Without a doubt the finale of IllumiNations gets me every time. Its the ultimate end to the ultimate show for me. A close second is the end of the muppet 3d movie where the screen gets blown down. Its simply an amazing moment.

    Our next trip to the world is in October and I can’t wait. Thanks for keeping us tied over til we can get there.



  4. Totally agree with Tim, my top choice would have been the amazing film at the end of One Man’s Dream…gets me everytime 🙂

  5. Jon Grant says:

    You guys mentioned most of my favorites. There is one other I was thinking of, though… the end of the Flights of Wonder show. I love when they bring out the birds, and the Macaws fly overhead and perch on either side of the stage, and then they release that flock of white doves right at the end. So very cool.

  6. Tracie Rugh says:

    All the firework shows. Wishes, Illuminations, Fantasmic – all spectacular finales that can’t be beat!

  7. Norman says:

    It’s not really my all time favorite, and it’s a shame it’s not working right but the yeti!!

  8. Michael Brown says:

    Right up until Lou slipped it in, I was yelling at my iPhone about the finale of Festival of the Lion King. Gets me every time when the girl bird flies over the crowd spinning.

  9. Dave says:

    Haven’t heard the whole show yet, but while there are several that come to mind, one that left a big impression when I was a kid was If you had wings at the end when you go through the narrowing tunnel with seemingly increasing speed because of the movie on the wall. It felt to me (again, as a kid) that we were moving so fast, even though we weren’t.

  10. Adam says:

    My favorite finale is probably Spaceship Earth when you come around the corner and you’re in the huge, dark room with the Earth in the distance. The music is playing, and Judi Dench says, “After 30,000 years of time travel here we are. A truly global community networked online poised to shape the future of this, our Spaceship Earth.”

    That moment gets me every time.

  11. Danielle Mahoney says:

    This is a hard one for me. It is a tie between Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. I love the hitch hiking ghosts – especially the new ones added. But Pirates has the prisoners with the key holding dog – classic and not to be forgotten is Jack Sparrow rocking away amongst the treasure. But my all time favorite part of the Pirate finale is when the boats bunch up and bump each other. Then you disembark to the moving sidewalk back up to the plaza. Love it.

  12. Laurel says:

    My favorite finale is stopping in the middle of main street as your leaving and taking in the view of the castle, but then also turning around taking in the view of the exit and the atmosphere of main street. I never want to leave!

    As for the COP, Lou, I agree with you. We recently took our children for the first time, and they didn’t get it. It was a joy to go through it again and explain to them the various scenes, our hopes, and dreams that we had back then. It’s like a historical view of our dreams for the future.

  13. Stephen Conti says:

    Hi Lou and Tim. Great show and topic. Some that weren’t mentioned that I love…

    1.) The random drop sequence at the end of Tower of Terror

    2.) The final ride out and around of the building on Test Track

    3.) The finale of Illuminations

    Tim; I agree, the movie at the end of One Man’s Dream gets me every time. Very moving and inspirational.

  14. Jeff (Disney Poppy) says:

    One of the most spectacular and thrilling attraction finales is Test Track. Accelerating toward the crash wall and then the wall opens up and you race at 64.7 mph around high banked turns. It is always a rush!

  15. Jenn says:

    I have three.

    1. The very final moment of Tower of Terror. Not the drop per se, but as you’re being lowered and getting ready to leave the ride. The Imagineers easily could have let the elevator lower into a generic space and open the doors, ride done, thank you goodbye. But there is one final scene that blew me away. Just before the doors open, take a look around that darkened room – it’s full of ominous, nightmarish things. My favorite is to the right…a creepy doll sitting in a chair (it reminded me of a ventriloquist doll, but that may have just been my overactive imagination at work). I love how the attraction doesn’t end with the drop – it extends until the sound of the elevator bell and the doors open. That is a finale that lingers with you, and is just plain great storytelling.

    2. The final scene of Philharmagic. The 3D movie brings the characters right into your space, but when Donald Duck’s tailfeathers and legs are hanging out of the back wall, your mind tricks you into believing it was all more than just a show. Love that.

    3. And my favorite finale in all of Walt Disney World…dessert!! Who’s up for the Kitchen Sink?

  16. CriesDuringWishes says:

    The Wishes finale! I know, I know- leave it to me to bring up Wishes.

    Also I agree with the Nemo musical. Always a tearjerker for me.

  17. WDW Radio Running Team "Coach" Happy says:

    The best Finale at Walt Disney World is crossing the Finish Line for any runDisney Event (and receiving your Disney-fied “Bling” as reward for your accomplishment)!

    Those of you who have never experienced this Finale, jump on over to http://www.wdwradio.com/running , and find out how you can join us!


    Happy Keller
    WDW Radio Running Team “Coach”

  18. Shelly says:

    One of my favorite endings is “A Salute to All Nations, but Mostly America” followed by the theater being destroyed.

  19. Brian L. says:

    I’d like to say that to me drop of Splash Mountain is the finale and should be on the list, the final scene feels more like an epilogue.

  20. Major Havoc says:

    My favorite finale no longer exists as Norman already pointed out…

    It was that moment on Expedition Everest when the Yeti’s huge arm would come sweeping down over your head as you raced toward the coaster’s final plunge. It was a swell effect, and a nice exclamation point on a very well themed, narrative attraction.

    The Yeti animatronic is the most important plot device in the Everest storyline. He is the “big reveal” at the end, the glue that holds the whole attraction together. The entire experience builds up to that quintessential moment when the riders encounter the ferociously lunging Yeti, but because he is immovable, hidden, and a shell of his former glory, the narrative resolution of the story is completely ruined. I guarantee you that Mr. Joe Rohde, distended earlobes and all, is horrified at the current state of his baby.

    I too am saddened by the fact that my beloved Disney still has not fixed this coaster. Having “touches” like an animatronic Yeti is part and parcel of what sets Disney apart from the Six Flags of the world. In fact, the animiatronic Yeti is exactly the type of immersion we generally call “Disney Magic”.

    I am glad I was able to ride EE back in 2007 when the Yeti still worked. It used to be my favorite Disney experience, now it is not even my favorite attraction at Animal Kingdom.

  21. Nancy Combs says:

    Festival of the Lion King for sure. I get teary every time. It is breathtaking.

  22. elbug10 says:

    First two I thought of even before I listened to the show were Splash Mountain and It’s a Small World.

    I suppose now that I think of it, the Showboat scene in Splash isn’t exactly the end of the ride, but it’s the pretty lights, great song and relief of “oh, thank goodness, I made it!”

    It’s a Small World is and always will be my absolute favorite ride at WDW. It was one of the few rides that didn’t terrify me as a child. (Although now that I’ve read Kingdom Keepers, I may have different thoughts on that, lol). But that last scene where all the countries come together and everything is all shiny and pretty always brings a tear to my eye. Why can’t we just all get along?

    Honorable mentions go to Muppetvision 3D (the ultimate show-stopping number), the Tiki Room and Carousel of Progress.

    Great topic!

  23. Kris Banas says:

    Wishes for sure for me…… but the big one is Festival of the Lion King!! The entire show is so powerful, but the finale is something that brings me to tears!

  24. Sarah M. says:

    One of my favorite finales is the Country Bears Jamboree! They all get together at the end and perform, and it is still great, even after all of these years! A true classic!

  25. Pooh for President says:

    Our last ‘attraction’ on every trip to WDW is to eat dinner on the porch of Tony’s and watch the MK Electrical Parade. After dinner, we say our good byes to WDW until we return again.

  26. Noah W says:

    I can’t believe you forgot Test Track. The Barrier Test is the best part of the ride, you think you’re going to crash, then you race around the loop at 65mph. Everyone gets off and talks about that final turn around the building.

  27. Michael says:

    It’s actually not at WDW, but at DLR, but it’s he end of the Indiana Jones Adventure when you’re sitting there waiting for the final turn and the giant ball comes from overhead. It’s a great final moment.

  28. Brian Dancer says:

    Two of my favorite attraction finales are:

    1) Dinosaur – The adrenaline rush I get seeing the comet, the dino, and hearing the scary and loud audio, while plunging down the track is awesome.

    2) It’s Tough To Be A Bug – I love the finale song that actually sounds like a musical and is not scary. =)

  29. Ben says:

    EVEREST!!! You gotta love that yeti!

  30. LoriSue says:

    I completely agree with One Man’s Dream and The American Adventure but one that came to mind that you didn’t mention is Fantasmic! You gotta love that in the end Mickey defeats the dragon and the forces of evil and is ultimately the hero of the day!!

  31. Benny B says:

    My two favourite WDW attraction finales have to be Muppet Vision’s and Everest during extra magic hours, late at night and in the dark!!!
    My honorable mention goes to the Tower of Terrors final drops!

  32. Amanda says:

    Before I even listened to the show I thought of Splash Mountain and Journey into the Imagination. I like the big splash on Splash Mountain but i also like the boat scene. I like the scene at the end of Figment because you get a blast of air then there is just so much to take see and the colors are so bright(the song gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day though).

    My husband said his first thought was Space Mountain when you slow down and go through the red tunnel.

    We both agree with the American Adventure!

  33. Sarah Cooke says:

    “We’re not gonna make it! We’re not gonna make it!”

    “Mission accomplished.”

    “You made it!”

  34. Sheila says:

    In Walt disney World, I would say, the end of Jungle Cruise. I like hearing the double sided remarks the guide says.

    Also love the end of Buzz lightyear, seeing our families scores. We are all a little competitive.

  35. Peter says:

    Seeing the gospel choir at the end of the WDW Half Marathon and Full Marathon gives me goosebumps every time I think about it!

  36. Paul Goofyhouk says:

    “It’s a glorious 3 hour finale.” “You’ve a minute and a half.”

    Fireworks, arrows flying into the wall, the Chef’s cannon, the theater exploding, and Sweet’ems in 2 places.

    Good thing you guys slipped in Muppet Vison 3-D at the end because I was yelling at my iPod that I was cancelling my subscription to your podcast (okay – not really). But I was yelling. 🙂

  37. Rob says:

    By far the most exciting and breath taking finale is at the end of The American Adventure. The pride that you feel as not only a fan of Walt Disney World, but the emotional pride of being an American. It is breathtaking in every sense of the word!

  38. Nora says:

    I have got to say the end of Wishes, when I see the smoke from the final fireworks slowly blowing away, it still brings a lingering tear to my eyes! Sadly reminding me that you only get top be a kid once!

  39. Bill C. says:

    Clearly, the conclusion to “Wishes” and “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” are superb, perfect blends of arresting music and spectacular visuals. However, the finale of the “Spectromagic Parade” is in a class by itself: it concludes with the white light covered float featuring Jiminy Cricket and a captivating crescendo of magic-embellished orchestration that is inspiration, nostalgic and wonderful! Of course, the only place to properly experience the finale is at the side entrance of Pecos Bill’s in Frontierland because the last audio speakers that are activated are there which allows guests to experience the end of the parade at the very end location. Sadly, “Spectromagic” is no more.

  40. Chuck Zitta says:

    OK, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

    1. I agree 100% with Tim, regarding Splash Mountain. The boat scene is close enough for me. So I’m going with that as one of my top attraction finales. Additionally, I think this may be one of the biggest “hidden gem finales”, as some people may never experience it — out of fear for the “big drop” you see from the outside. I know I was pleasantly surprised on my first experience.

    2. I think the same holds true for the Haunted Mansion. To me the finale is the graveyard scene with the hitch hiking ghosts, which is awesome. While Little Leota seems more like a “see ya” tid bit at the end. More of an extension of the finale.

    3. The Jeremy Irons version of Spaceship Earth and the big reveal of our planet is pretty dramatic.

    4. Small World finale is classic and needs to be mentioned. The white room!

    5. The American Adventure is spectacular as well! Gives me chills every time I see it.

    6. On the lighter side, the Muppet Vision 3D show has a great side-splitting finale.

    7. Agree with Tim on One Man’s Dream. Going to miss that attraction.

    8. And I gotta add the Great Movie Ride finale in as well.

    9. Note sure if this one was mentioned or not, but the cliff hanger finale on Mission to Mars is pretty good too, eh?

    Thanks again for another fabulously entertaining show, Lou and Tim!!!

  41. carol devaill says:

    my favorite is the haunted manson. I can go on it over and over and never get tired of it.