2 long-time Disney World rides to close doors for good

Plans announced for replacement rides

(Photo courtesy of Disney Parks Blog)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sunday marked the end of an era for two popular Disney World rides.

Fans will say their final farewell to Epcot’s Universe of Energy and Hollywood Studios’ The Great Movie Ride, two of the theme-parks’ longest-running rides.

The Universe of Energy opened in 1982 with a first-of-its-kind traveling theater ride system.

The current version of the show, starring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye, began running in 1996 and has entertained guests since then with its life-size dinosaurs.

The ride will run for the last time Sunday evening, but not without plans for a replacement.

During Disney’s D-23 Expo last month, company officials plans to open a “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride in place of The Universe of Energy.

The ride is something thrill-seekers might be excited about, as insiders have said that it may become a roller coaster.

Work on the project is expected to begin as early as next week.

The Great Movie Ride will also close its doors for the final time Sunday evening.

Since 1989, the ride has taken guests inside “The Wizard of Oz,” “Tarzan,” “Casablanca,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and other films. 

Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway is set to take its place upon completion in about two years, officials announced at the expo.

The ride, which company officials described as “groundbreaking” will be Disney's first ride based on Mickey Mouse. Disney said the “mousterpiece” will be a “2 and a half-dimension” ride and will allow park visitors to step inside the world of a modern Mickey Mouse Cartoon short, as seen on the Disney Channel.

Disney also announced plans for several other projects during the expo. Click here to learn more about the company’s plans for the theme parks.

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