by: Chip Skambis Updated:
BAY LAKE, Fla. - Sunday marks the final day guests at Walt Disney World will be able to ride two classic attractions: Ellen’s Energy Adventure at Epcot’s Universe of Energy pavilion and The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios.
Both attractions feature slow-moving theater cars that travel through animatronic scenes—and were opening-day attractions at the parks where they reside.
The Universe of Energy pavilion opened with Epcot in 1982 and was updated to its current version with Ellen DeGeneres as host in 1996.
Ellen’s Jeopardy-infused nightmare version of the ride featured Bill Nye the Science Guy and Jamie Lee Curtis who portrayed Judy Peterson, Ellen’s college roommate whom she calls “Stupid Judy.” It also featured a cameo from Michael Richards, best known as Kramer on "Seinfeld," as a caveman.
The Great Movie Ride opened with Hollywood Studios—then known as MGM Studios—in 1989 as the park’s premiere attraction. The ride itself has remained largely unaltered since, except the montage of movies during the finale.
Disney announced plans to replace both of these attractions at the company’s D23 expo this summer in California.
A "Guardians of the Galaxy"-themed ride, billed as an “E Ticket” attraction, will replace Ellen’s Energy Adventure while still “adhering to the original vision of Epcot’s Future World as the place to experience the excitement and adventure offered by space travel.”
A Mickey Mouse-themed ride called Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will replace the Great Movie Ride.
In a blog post, the company said the new ride will allow guests “to step through the movie screen” and join Mickey:
“The attraction will put you inside the wacky and unpredictable world of a Mickey Mouse Cartoon Short where you’re the star and anything can happen. This zany out-of-control adventure features surprising twists and turns, dazzling visual effects and mind-boggling transformations that happen before your very eyes.”
The two new attractions are expected to be completed in time for the 50th anniversary celebration of Walt Disney World in 2021.
The new attractions are parts of major expansions in the works at Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
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