Terrified Guests Shut Down Multiple Disney Rides

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Disney Magazine shows Alien ride

Credit: D23

The Disney parks are famous for some of the most enchanting theme park experiences in the world and rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world,” and Space Mountain are how parks like Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort stay as popular as they are. However, not all of Disney’s rides are made equal.

Dopey, a dwarf from snow white, smiling and waving in a colorful, jewel-lined mine shaft. he wears a green tunic and purple hat, and holds a shimmering, multi-colored crystal.
Credit: Disney

While rides ranging from Journey Into Imagination and Peter Pan’s Flight to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Expedition Everest, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Disney World. Despite its sugary, sweet exterior, Disney has a history of going the extra mile for older audiences and even offering more intense experiences. That said, not all of them were winners.

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The Walt Disney World Resort has existed since the ’70s and has seen several changes in its over 50-year presence. In that time, the parks have seen rides come, go, and then come back again for various reasons. While it’s natural for rides to age out due to popularity, complicated mechanics, or simply lack of interest on the part of the Walt Disney Company, some rides have actually been closed simply for being too scary.

Scared to Death at Disney World?

Two kids cry at Cinderella Castle at Disney World
Credit: Inside the Magic

When most people think about the place where dreams come true in Orlando, Florida, they don’t typically imagine anything particularly chilling, save for maybe a few dated effects and animatronics. However, Disney’s audiences have a surprising history of causing rides to close due to being absolutely horrified by the experience.

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Disney has definitely created some monsters in it today—just look at the giant Disco Yeti at Expedition Everest—but have there really been rides too scary for Disney World? Fastpass Facts shares multiple examples of animatronics and dark rides that have had guests scared out of their Mickey ears, but recent developments out of Animal Kingdom are mirroring a similar effect.

Dinosaur Goes Extinct

Dinosaur stands over Guests on DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

As harsh as it sounds, Dinoland USA has not aged particularly well. However, as guests mourn the loss of their glorified carnival rides and big buried bones, one attraction that many will miss is Dinosaur. This time-traveling dark ride might have been something of a cult favorite, but it absolutely terrified hundreds of small children, especially with that carnotaurus at the end.

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With Dinoland’s scheduled closure, an announcement was made that the Time Rovers would be on their last missions. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that the screaming toddlers and roaring prehistoric predators didn’t have something to do with that decision.

Snow White Gets Scary at Disney World

Dinosaur is just the most recent ride to suffer this fate, but the original too-scary-for-Disney ride was the original Snow White’s Scary Adventures. As pointed out in Yesterworld’s footage above, the ride truly lived up to its name. So much so, that it had to be toned down in later iterations of the ride.

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To Disney’s credit, the Queen’s transformation into the old witch was remarkable when it first premiered in the 1930s, but seeing it brought to life in an animatronic form crosses into that uncanny valley. Not only that, but it’s rare that a Disney attraction has so many jump scares. Now it seems that Rachel Zegler is the only thing scary about Snow White these days.

Close Encounters of the Wrong Kind

Alien Encounter artwork
Credit: Inside the Magic

If there’s one Disney World attraction that will forever live in infamy, it’s ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter. An immersive attraction where guests are locked in an examination chamber with a carnivorous alien sounds more like the plot to a Ridley Scott movie than something featured in Tomorrowland, but it was one of the most intense attractions ever cooked up by the Walt Disney Company.

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Alien Encounter was definitely one of the most terrifying experiences of the ’90s, and it undoubtedly left an impression. While the specifics of its closure are still hidden by Disney, some cite that it’s because guests were literally running out of the building after the show was over. Stitch’s reworking of the ride was gross, but not nearly that gnarly.

The Disney brand might have the reputation of being notoriously sweet and saccharine, but that doesn’t mean the Imagineers aren’t capable of making some dark materials. Audiences might have changed since the parks first opened, but it’s hard to say that they haven’t consistently been “too sensitive.” One thing that can be said is that these attractions were definitely a scream.

Were you ever terrified by a Disney ride? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!




in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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