Hey Animated World!
It’s been quite a busy summer for me, but I finally have some down time before classes resume to spend on animated.
I’ll start off this post by backtracking to the weekend of July 14-17, the weekend of the D23 expo. If you don’t know what D23 is, it is basically Disney’s version of E3 or Comic-con. During this expo Disney releases details on all things such as movie releases, gaming releases, and theme park releases/changes. I didn’t follow this year’s expo as closely as previous years. My main interest in the expo this year was any Kingdom Hearts 3 information. I thought on the theme park side it would mainly pertain to the opening of Star Wars land and Pixar world in Hollywood Studios. While that was true, we got a whole lot more! The Tron coaster from Shanghai will make its way to the Magic Kingdom as well as the Ratatouille Attraction from Paris will make its way to EPCOT in Orlando. I was super excited about these announcements. However, with alot of new attractions coming, a few highlight attractions were to be removed. Two of the most noted put a bit of a cloud on my excitement for the changes headed to Walt Disney World. Ellen’s Energy Adventure would depart from EPCOT to make way for a Guardians of the Galaxy themed attraction. Also, The Great Movie ride from Hollywood Studios would be removed from the park for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
The big stunner for me was The Great Movie ride. It was a Day-One attraction when the park Hollywood Studios opened (formerly known as MGM Studios). Also the Chinese Theater the ride takes place in was known as the staple of the park. (So why’d we get rid of the Big Hat again?) Yes, I’m a little upset about losing one of my favorite attractions in the Great Movie Ride. However, I’m not here to write complaints about the decision. Quite frankly it wouldn’t do any good anyways because both rides were closed on August 13th.
I wanted to write a final farewell to two rides that I made a lot of special memories in my visits to Walt Disney World. I’ll be sharing my favorite memories on the ride and why each ride will hold a special place in my heart.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure
I never looked as Ellen’s Energy Adventure to be one of the “main” rides at EPCOT. However, it was always there. So you know when Test Track was +100 minute wait and Soarin’s line seemed to go on for an eternity, you needed some type of escape from the Florida weather. If we weren’t close to the ball, (Spaceship Earth Attraction), we’d go ride Ellen’s Adventure. For those who never rode the attraction, it was basically about a 45-minute ride that had you go through an adventure about prehistoric origins of today’s energy sources. The attraction had quite a star powered duo with Ellen Degeneres teaming up with Bill Nye. All at like…. 5-10 miles per hour :). Yes, it was far from a thrill ride. It was simply a ride in it’s most recent days we’d ride to escape the heat or lightning storm as well as give our legs a rest from a full day of walking the park. I’ve had fun moments on the ride, but I have one memory that makes Ellen’s Adventure an attraction I’ll always remember.
Backtracking to the young animated days when I was just a little fella!
I don’t remember my exact age, probably between 5-10 years of age. I was scared of the ride because of the “big-bang sequence” that still to this day was louder than hell. (Take that from someone who attends NASCAR races :)) I was also terrified of the dinosaur animatronics within the ride. (It took me till like 8th grade to finally ride DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom, ironically enough it is actually one of my top five favorite rides.) My dad and sister went to go ride Maelstorm, another ride I was afraid of because of the backwards “drop”.
(I know, you’ll never believe this scared kid would one day be the same guy that knows were every turn, drop, and photopass picture is on every attraction on property.)
(Also said kid is “that guy” who screams like a banshee for fun on Tower of Terror…even when nothing is happening.. :))
….I know you’re all dying to go on a Disney Trip with me. XD
This left me with my mom, and my grandparents. My grandparents insisted on riding Ellen’s Adventure. I also got the, “if your grandparents can ride it, you’ll be more than fine.” I decided to ride it, and yes, I closed my eyes and ears during the big bang sequence. The memory here doesn’t lie with riding the attraction for the first time or conquering my fear of looking at mechanical dinosaurs. This was my most memorable ride experience I shared with my grandparents. I believe it may have also been the last ride I shared with my grandpa and most likely also my grandma. It’s fitting Ellen’s Adventure would be the ride to share with them as to the intelligent people they were. I’ll never forget that ride experience, and it kept me coming back to the attraction to relapse into that memory. Sure, in my most recent ridings I was hightailing it to Ellen’s Adventure because it was about to start pouring cats and dogs. However, even when I rode the ride to escape the weather, I’d still ride the attraction knowing the ride holds a much bigger meaning to me and always will.
FUN FACT: I actually got to meet Bill Nye at Supercon. 🙂
AH, the movies!
Unlike Ellen’s Adventure, The Great Movie ride doesn’t have one sole memory I can pinpoint to talk about. I’ve had so many fun rides on this attraction with friends and family. However, I didn’t actually even know the attraction existed till about high school. See in Hollywood Studios at the time, you’d mainly go for Tower of Terror and Rock’n’Rollin Rollar Coaster starring Aerosmith. (Another two of my top five favorite attractions.) Maybe get a ride of Star Tours if you had time. (Note: this was before Toy Story Mania.) Well one day at the park Tower of Terror was shut down and Aerosmith +100 minutes. I can’t remember exactly who suggested riding The Great Movie ride, but we decided on heading over to the attraction. I really thought I had rode the attraction before. Well yea… till our attraction vehicle got robbed by bandit, allien made an appearance, and said bandit got tricked by a pharaoh who turned out to be our cast member.
Yea…. I may have missed those small details the first time I rode the ride… @_@ (slow clap for animated)
The Great Movie ride was an attraction that took you straight into some of the all-time most popular movies. I have to say though, what made the ride was the cast member interaction with the attraction. They truly put on a show within the show, having a bandit kidnap the ride vehicle or a cowboy make his/her escape using the ride vehicle. It was truly a show within the show within an attraction.
I’ve had too many great memories with a bunch of different great people. So this post would probably go on forever if I decided list them all. All I can say, after riding the attraction for a first time, it became a must-do attraction on every trip to Hollywood Studios. Sure we’d go to the park in excitment for Tower or Aerosmith, but we knew we’d be having a great time on The Great Movie Ride as well.
The ride concluded with a compilation of clips from famous movies. It was sort to say, “the cherry on top” to conclude a fantastic experience. If you weren’t able to ride The Great Movie ride, I highly reccomend watching the video below that is the complation of clips that concluded the ride. Sure it won’t have the same effect as watching it on the ride, but it is still a fantastic compilation!
Jeez, you keep a guy quiet for two months and he goes off on a 1000 word plus talking spree. 🙂
Sure, I’m a little upset to see these two attractions go. However, I’m excited to see what these new attractions will have in store when they open at Walt Disney World.
Hope to share new memories on new attractions with you all real soon!
That’s a Wrap!