Welcome to Disney’s Defunct Attractions. My name is Cole and I will be your guide for today’s trip.
On Tuesday, Disneyland celebrated its 63rd anniversary, a truly monumental event. It seems like yesterday we celebrated the park’s diamond anniversary, but here we are three years later with Star Wars Land on the horizon and Marvel Land (in California Adventure) just behind. Now, many Disney fans may not like the addition of these experiences to Disney parks, especially Star Wars Land at Disneyland, but we must remember that “Disneyland will never be finished.” People claim that Walt would never let the promotion run wild at Disneyland, and yes, Bob Iger and Imagineering have recently focused primarily on IP-based attractions, but let’s not forget that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland opened in the park four years before the film was released. published. Yes, these attractions will be Star Wars themed, but they will also be the most immersive attractions ever created, and that’s an innovation Walt would be proud of.
Another thing Walt was proud of was his model train collection. In fact, he even had a miniature train set up in his backyard, the Carolwood Pacific. In fact, this passion led to the Disneyland Railroad and another lesser-known Disneyland train, the Viewliner.
Dubbed “the world’s fastest miniature train,” the Viewliner made its Disneyland debut on June 10, 1957, traveling at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Traveling through Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, this little train traveled throughout the region and along the Disneyland Railroad at certain points.
The Viewliner had two separate tracks that intertwined, one departing from Tomorrowland and the other from Fantasyland. Each track had its own train, with Tomorrowland cars named after planets and Fantasyland cars named after Disney characters.
However, the Viewliner was always intended as a fictional attraction. But while he was there, Walt used the train to show what he thought could be in the future for train travel. Of course, things didn’t quite work out that way, but it was still a novel idea. However, its era ended on September 30, 1958, making it one of the shortest-lived non-seasonal attractions to ever hit Disney parks. In fact, some seasonal shows even lasted longer. But things went well because as a benefit of this closure we had the Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage and the Monorail, the spiritual successor to the Viewliner.
Walt had a personal touch with the Viewliner, just as he had with one of the last attractions to hit Disneyland before his death, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Walt was a huge Abraham Lincoln fan, so after creating the show for the New York World’s Fair, he decided to bring it to Disneyland to entertain guests of all ages.
After a few years, the attraction did not attract as many guests as before, so the Disneyland brass decided to launch a new show around Walt at Disneyland on April 8, 1973 and at the Magic Kingdom on April 14. 1973. (although there is nothing superseded).
I have to say that I loved this movie. Even just looking at it on my computer screen, I was absolutely captivated. In the film, we hear Walt’s life story from none other than Walt himself. The whole show is made up of a series of photographs and clips, all of which come together in a beautiful story by Walt. I’ve always been a big fan of Walt and everything he managed to create that brought happiness to countless people.
Honestly, I could have watched a full documentary in that format because Walt was such an amazing storyteller. It covered its history from its early years to the founding of the Florida Project. In twenty minutes you could truly understand who Walt was and what drove him, but it left so much more to discover at the same time. I’m really gushing here, but I can only recommend checking this out enough, especially if you’re a Walt fan.
Returning to the attraction’s history, The Walt Disney Story existed as a stand-alone at Disneyland until February 12, 1975, when guests began demanding Mr. Lincoln’s return. A compromise was struck, however, as The Walt Disney Story managed to stick around as Mr. Lincoln’s pre-show until 1984, when Great Moments took over for good.
In the Magic Kingdom, the story of Walt Disney managed to live a more fruitful life in the Magic Kingdom theater. After enjoying the film, guests were able to tour the preview centers at Epcot and Disney’s MGM Studios. It managed to last until October 5, 1992 when it became a visitor center before becoming the Town Square Theater it is today.
Well, that wraps up our story for today, but here’s your preview of what I’ll be talking about next week.
- This undeveloped land was orchestrated by Tony Baxter.
- This land had multiple rides that inspired attractions around the world.
- This land was to have a companion miniseries.
Thanks for reading and have a magical day!
Cole Geryak is a childless millennial making his way around the world. He rode all the Disneyland rides in one day, while wearing a shirt and tie. Imagination is his middle name and his heart truly lies in the parks.