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As Walt Disney World evolves over time, we lose and miss many things that have been lost along etc way. So let’s get a bit nostalgic this week and talk about some things in Walt Disney World other than attractions that may be extinct, but we wish we could bring back. Some you may remember, and some you may have never heard of, and one that sparks some interesting discussion and armchair Imagineering. Of course, I’ll ask what you’d like to bring back as well.

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QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: What extinct part of Walt Disney World (other than attractions) would you bring back?Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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More Extinct Walt Disney World from the WDW Radio Blog:

I Have a Craving for… Foods I Cannot Have Again At WDW – By: Kendall Foreman

The Lost Walt Disney World Food Diary–Beaver Tails By: Jeremy Morrison

The Lost Walt Disney World Food Diary – The Handwich – By: Jeremy Morrison

Disney’s Polynesian Resort – When You Have to Move On – By: Kendall Foreman

J.P. and the Silver Starts (Extinct 2002) – By: Lou Mongello

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29 thoughts on “WDW Radio # 442 – Extinct Walt Disney World Things (Other Than Attractions) I Would Bring Back”

  1. Tim says:

    My parents took me to WDW for the first time in 1973. We stayed in Fort Wilderness in a silver Airstream Trailer. I don’t know when they took them out, but I would love to stay in one again. I also greatly miss the original Adventureland Veranda. Back in college I made a joke about some Polynesian-inspired entree the cafeteria was attempting to serve, comparing them to the Adventureland Veranda. One girl in line got the joke and laughed, and I immediately thought, we are going end up together. Four years later we were honeymooning in WDW.

  2. Kyera says:

    I absolutely loved playing VMK, so I was devastated when they got rid of the scavenger hunts for VMK (and subsequently the online game). I remember going on a huge family vacation when I was 11 with aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandparents (12 people). We stayed at the Contemporary and one afternoon our parents just let all of the kids go to the park together. They wanted to go to MGM, but I decided I wanted to do the VMK quests at the Magic Kingdom. I spent all afternoon there, got so many cards, and it was amazing. The cast member even gave me a special Disneyland Nemo subs card, which was super nice of them. I still have all my cards and the rubber bracelet I got then. I wish they still did things like that for their online or even console-based games.

  3. The Tony says:

    These may count as attractions but I’d bring back Push in Tomorrowland and all the neat things to do on the 2nd floor of the Imagination pavilion at Epcot.

  4. Amanda Young says:

    For my sixth birthday my parents too me to Disneyworld, but not into the parks. We stayed at the Disney Inn, and my dad took me to the Contemporary to play at the arcade, enjoy a special make-your-own-pizza night at a restaurant in the hotel, and attend a midnight showing of Sleeping Beauty in the theater. It’s still, 30 years later, the best birthday ever, and one of my favorite trips to Disneyworld. So glad you guys mentioned the Fiesta Fun Center!

  5. Devan says:

    I’m heartbroken every time I go to Tomorrowland and Push isn’t there. Why??

  6. Cheryl Pickard says:

    Your podcast is very timely as I have become very discouraged about the many changes currently taking place at WDW. Through your podcast and the walk down memory lane, I have come to realize that the emotional attachment to these older attractions that can never be taken away. Your walk down memory lane was spot on! My first visit was 1973 and my memories are the most precious souvenir I will ever take with me after a visit to WDW. Here’s to the old and new memories! Thanks Lou!

  7. Terri D. says:

    Well, I may be drifting into extinct attraction category here but my family misses the playground in Norway. My kids always had a blast on that! I also enjoyed a character breakfast they used to have on the Empress Lily! I went to that back in ’92. There was also a “secret” trail at Animal Kingdom between the former Mr. Kamal’s Burgers and Africa shown to me by Rick & Gayle Perlmutter, authors of Walt Disney World for Couples. I took a bunch of pics of us going through the trail. They have sinced closed it off but it was fun and we were the only ones on the trail the whole entire time. It was like discovering gold!

  8. Paul D says:

    Lots of little free extra holiday mementos like; real paper fast pass tickets, “Do Not Disturb” signs form the Tower of Terror ride photos, the kids getting “glow in the dark” Frisbees from the Sci-Fi diner, being able to sit up front with the monorail pilot and the kids getting a monorail pilot’s license and this one is just for me; the chicken curry at the ABC commissary!!!!

  9. Dan says:

    Our first trip to DisneyWorld was in 1983. Each of the Resorts had their own themed folder handed out at check-in. The folder was specific to the Resort such as a drawing of the Contemporary Hotel or a Polynesian design. The same theme was on the soap and hair products. The folder included your tickets, park guides and times, ads for new Disney events or rides, etc. Port Orleans included a newspaper about the Resort’s “history.” Then one year the folders stopped and the soap was wrapped in a generic DisneyWorld design. Michael Eisner (who did great things for animation and the parks) seemed to be placing profits over quality or, at least, uniqueness of the brand which I believe was one reason he was replaced. We saved each folder and the inserts as souvenirs of each trip and I’d love to be able to add to my collection.

  10. MacKenzie Rayman says:

    I was devastated when they closed the Animation Academy! It was my favorite attraction in Hollywood Studios, it was great for all ages, it was a great learning experience, and it was a great souvenir to take home from year to year! I am even sad that the gift shop closed next to it because it was always so fun to get drawings that they would draw right in front of you and personalize! I have quite a few and even gave them as gifts such as my neighbors 1 year old birthday and she still has it up in her room 7 years later! Does anyone know if anything like this will come back to the parks?

    And I agree with Devan, bring Push back!!

    Have a magical day everyone!

  11. Paul Saint says:

    Lou and Company,

    Having been a proud Cast Member during the late ’90’s at Walt Disney World, I was lucky enough to get full time status at Imagination and Living Seas area of EPCOT. One of the saddest time was the closing of the original Journey Into Imagination, with Dreamfinder and Figment. I was lucky enough to be on the last train of cast members to go through the original attraction. There was dry eye in the place. I still hope the rumors are true and that Dreamfinder will return with Figment. That would be the way to relaunch Imagination to its true meaning, I think.

  12. James Farnsworth says:

    Not really part of WDW but I miss the AAA WDW Welcome Center that was located in Ocala, FL

  13. Kerchug says:

    Back in the early days at MK they had Mold-o-Rama machines that would make wax Disney characters around the park. Similar to the penny press machines, but you would get a 5-6 inch Disney character. The smell was distinct for sure! I think they still have a similar machine at the science museum in Chicago

  14. Joanne says:

    Years ago, while waiting to meet my golfing husband at the Brown Derby for dinner, I spent an hour in the CatWalk Bar. I would probably never go to a bar alone anywhere else, but this was Disney World. I claimed a comfy chair, sipped my cocktail, and revelled in all the fascinating objects scattered around the room and suspended from the ceiling. A lovely Disney memory!

  15. Paul Saint says:

    I remember the Catwalk Bar, too, Joan! My then-partner and I found it on our first trip to WDW together in September 1993. It was a wonderful place to get away from the heat and simply relax. We met others there and we compared notes on both our trips. It was a fun and fascinating place that is missed by those who knew this little gem!The drinks were great, as well!

  16. Ken Munroe says:

    Hi Lou:

    I am a Massachusetts resident who has visited WDW nine times since 1986 and I still love it. I was originally an uptight guest trying to get on every attraction following a surgical plan that took the joy out of vacation. I have learned to quiet it down and enjoy everything the parks have to offer including the musical loops played in certain areas, the street actors at the Studios (my favorite)or the random street performer. At EPCOT they had the Junkanoo double decker bus playing reggae music and leading guests in dance moves. I used to love to see the bus roll up and the party begin.

  17. Amanda says:

    There use to be a statue of Pleakly from Lilo and Stitch by the water fountains in Tomorrowland. Every trip my husband would take my picture with him. A few years ago he disappeared much to our dismay.

  18. Michael Feener says:

    At the end of the Imagination ride there used to be figment footprint all along the wall on the way to the store. This last trip they were all painted over. Always used to get picture of My Wife and or daughter in the hallway.

  19. Nicole says:

    Such a great list! Thank you for bringing up Tapestry (both Nations and Dreams!) I was a cast member in those parades and they have such a special place in my heart! Miss them terribly!

  20. Ryan Shimpeno says:

    I miss the Candy Cube Boxes. It was probably the late 80’s/ early 90’s. You could pick up a small clear cubed box of various candy. The best were the original Tart N Tinys. Not the coated ones either! I think they may have been about $3.25. It would last the car ride home to Ft. Lauderdale. So you had to buy two! My favorite place to pick them up was as you were exiting Epcot. As you passed under Spaceship Earth, they sold them in the gift shop on the right.

    Also around this time they had the double deck buses that you could ride around World Showcase. I think there were three stops. I would do a lap on the bus while my parents watched the movie at the China Pavilion.

  21. Teresa says:

    Even though it is a “new” change at Disney’s Epcot, my kids and I already miss Maelstrom. When I broke the news to them that it would now be a Frozen-themed ride, they both screamed “NOOOOOoooooo!” We are lucky enough to go to Disney every year and we look forward to this ride every year. On another note, your comments concerning having the “learning events” in Disney as a permanent attraction would be GREAT for us parents that have to have an “educational reason” for school if we pull our kids out for a vacation. We actually have to fill out a form for school indicating what the learning experience will be and the principal signs off on it. If that is not received, or the reason given is not acceptable, they are counted as having an unexcused absence. We have to make up something that can’t be truly validated other than through pictures of learning experiences the kids anticipate having or do have in the parks. It would be great to have something they could participate in for each park that they could maybe get a “certificate for participation” in. Epcot has always allowed us to pull a rabbit out of a hat with reasons by attending the Behind the Seeds tour and a tour of the countries getting their passports signed. Animal Kingdom’s safari has also been another good one.

  22. Melanie Pickett says:

    Yes! PUSH! My kids grew up talking with it and Yes! Getting a pic w/ the Pleakley statue!!!!
    We also miss something that we still have as souvenirs and use; the Mickey shaped kids meal plastic dishes! I’m sure it’s more eco friendly to have something else yet they were something my kids always looked forward to getting at the quick serve restaurants. So glad I saved a bunch years ago. Even my 14-year-old still likes using them for snacks ! 🙂

  23. Melanie Pickett says:

    Forgot to mention one we know comes and goes but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen him; the talking Goofy statue in Tony’s town Square area! We have such great memories of sitting on him and getting our pictures !

  24. Chuck Zitta says:

    My first visit to WDW wasn’t until 1988, and after that visit we didn’t come home until 2002. So, we missed a lot to say the least. However, there are still some things I miss that are now extinct, including:

    1. The Athletic store in Disney Springs. I’m a golfer, though I haven’t had a chance yet to place any of the WDW courses. So I used to stop in the sports store and grab a golf towel, balls or whatever as a little treat to myself each time we visited.

    2. The Wonders of Life Pavilion. Now, it contained attractions, but was not technically an attraction itself. I miss something being in this area of Futureworld. Hope some day Disney decides to fill the void.

    3. Now I did visit Disneyland back in 1973. And I would assume Fronteirland in WDW had similar merchandise? Like the Davey Crockett caps, guns, etc. I miss all that cool stuff!

    4. Last trip down, we had dinner one night at Liberty Tree Tavern and noticed the butter had changed. They used to have this killer cinnamon butter that was to die for! No more. (Unless we caught them during a shortage?) Loved that stuff. I was actually thinking about it months before we visited.

    5. The Beatles band in the back of United Kingdom Pavilion. Was always fun to hang out back there when they were playing.

    6. Pete Renaday’s voice on the TTA.

    7. The Dreamfinder.

    8. The store in the castle that used to have all the cool swords and other knightly stuff.

    9. The remote control boats by Jungle Cruise. I think those are extinct, right?

    10. Agree, bringing back the entire Studios as it was originally intended would be incredible. It appears to me (IMO), like the Hollywood theme of this park has been lost. Possibly why a new name is coming? Not to say the new things that are just around the corner won’t be incredible. Just miss that old Hollywood vibe.

    Thanks again for another fantastic show, Lou and Ryan!!!

  25. Brian Walton says:

    Amazing the passion this has gotten from everyone. Lou, you really hit that nostalgia nerve. In a good way!

    I wanted to mention Epcot Circus, but Totsie reminded me that it was things we wanted to come BACK. So, scratch that one. ; – )

    But she mentioned one that is good. The past IllumiNations show, where they had the over-sized projections on the pavilions. When the Germany pavilion turned into a giant gingerbread house. Interestingly, it’s sort of the same thing they do on Cinderella castle now, for Frozen. Would love to see some version of those projections to come back.

    Keep up the good work, and we’ll see you Saturday!

  26. Lisa says:

    There used to be a small little stand in Canada at EPCOT that sold Beaver Tails. Those things were amazingly delicious. I can still taste them.

  27. TJ says:

    While I enjoy the Main Street Electrical Parade, I would love to see SpectroMagic again! The music in that parade was spectacular. Also, while I know it’s little, I really miss the AAA preferred parking at the parks – and realize what a value it was given the cost for the premium parking!

  28. Becky says:

    I agree with one already mentioned – the paper souvenirs – unused fastpasses, tickets etc. I have most from previuos visits in scrapbooks!
    We also used to receive unique gifts from Disney – jewellery boxes, books etc – miss those!
    The Wonders of Life pavillon was great! I know its an attraction – but the one with Buzz and your inside the brain?
    Also again an attraction, the fud rockers show..

    And there used to be an amazing sandwich at Cosmic Rays – was a club sandwich.

  29. Hannah & Michael says:

    New Listeners here 🙂 We love your show!
    Spectromagic would be what I would bring back to Disney World (or at least a tribute to it like what you find in Paint the Night).
    I have the fondest of memories of late nights with my parents in the Magic Kingdom. My dad traveled a lot for work and they would save all they could to take us to Disney every 3-5 years, and those were the most precious moments, to see my parents stress free and care free and we just played together as a family in the parks. Whether we were walking hand in hand to frontierland to get on our favorite ride or sitting down together early enough to get a good seat, the music would start and I would get the chills! One of my favorite home videos I have my dad captured my reaction as Mary Poppins picked me out of a crowd of many and shook my hand (I couldn’t believe it!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lLIERp80b4 (That part is at 3:54-4:20).
    My husbands first time to Disney was actually on our Honey moon (best trip ever), I hadn’t kept up with was actually changing at Disney and we reserved our spot early and I had been talking up Spectromagic all day. I was devastated when I heard something different. Of course, now we love the MSEP too, but I really would love to see at least a tribute to this wonderful parade (love that Alan Menken was a part of the composition!!!). When Paint the Night came out, hope was restored that maybe Disney will eventually pay tribute to Spectromagic!