Sorcerer Hat, gone. Now 5 more things Disney should remove from Walt Disney World.


Now that walls are going up around the Sorcerer’s Hat and the 14 year obstruction will finally be removed from the classic facade of The Chinese Theater, it’s time to look at at few other monstrosity’s that would help clean up some mistakes made by previous administration at Team Disney Orlando.

Here’s my list of five things that Disney should delete from Walt Disney World. I promise there are no sacred cows either:

1. Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station

There are a lot of elements of Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland that I find questionable, but the water play area called “Casey Jr. Splash n’ Soak Station” is the worst. Not only is it a safety hazard, but the design was so bad that kid’s are kept away from the main play feature of the train engine by a fence. Derail this train and instead install a performance area with amphitheater seating and a stage for bands and comedy acts. Oh yeah, add some shade too.

2. Walk Around The World bricks

Over 20,000 bricks were sold as part of the “Walk Around The World” promotion that started in 1994 and ended in 2000. Bricks were only promised to be maintained for 10 years and we’re now five years past that date. Most of the pathways are now showing their age. A lot of bricks have been removed leaving an ugly patch work of new and worn bricks around the Magic Kingdom and TTC area. It’s time to pack the bricks away and put in some beautiful new pathways.


3. “Leave a Legacy” at EPCOT

The “Leave a Legacy” program at EPCOT filled the void left by the end of the “Walk Around The World” bricks program. Visitors to EPCOT purchased a small plaque with their image or a quote which was placed on a series of marble pillars at the entrance to EPCOT.

As time goes on these pillars resemble a cemetery or memorial of some sort. That’s definitely not the spirit of EPCOT. Ditch the tombstones and bring back a beautiful garden and fountain lined path (bring in those jumping fountains from the Imagination pavilion to add some lightheartedness too).

4. Imagination Pavilion

Speaking of jumping fountains, it’s time to close the curtain on the Imagination Pavilion at EPCOT. It’s a pale shadow of its former self, large areas are blocked off and the movie is definitely vintage-aged. Dreamfinder and Figment can find a home in the remodeled “Wonders of Life” pavilion once the new attraction based on Pixar’s Inside Out opens in the former “Cranium Command” location. Then use the Imagination pavilion space for a new adventure.

5. Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama

Face it, the road-side attraction themed Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama has never quite fit in with Walt Disney Imagineering’s usual stellar level of theming, the best of which is on display throughout the rest of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Instead we get off-the-shelf attractions with the lightest theme imaginable and carnival games. It’s exactly the sort of atmosphere Walt Disney was reacting against when he built Disneyland.

Those are my suggestions for closings. I hope Disney is listening.

With Disney in the closing mood, what would you like to see them get rid of next?


32 thoughts on “Sorcerer Hat, gone. Now 5 more things Disney should remove from Walt Disney World.”

  1. I hate (and I really try not to use that word) almost all of the play areas. As a slightly neurotic mom of 4, if I can’t actually SEE my child at least 75% of the time while they’re playing, we aren’t going. In particular, I don’t like the Boneyard one or the Honey I Shrunk the Kids one (<- is that still there?).

    True story: My oldest was looking intently at the bricks at the Magic Kingdom. He asked my mom, "Are these where all of the mice are buried?" LOL!

  2. I’m with you on most of these for sure. The entrance to EPCOT is too cluttered and doesn’t really need anything but a clear path to Spaceship Earth.

    With Imagination, I’d rather they just update the ride instead the current facility and re-open the Image Works upstairs. They can use the current post-show as part of a longer ride that incorporates new technologies while paying tribute to the original (far superior) version. They can still open Wonders of Life in some fashion, and it will help both sides of the park. Future World needs a lot of help.

  3. I understand that also Captain EO- Michael Jackson, is a classic but I do honestly think that it needs to be upscaled or changed all completely. I was there a few weeks ago and that attraction is not attracting many. WDW should bring more to life in EPCOT. I really enjoyed the Mission Space. The first part of EPCOT should remain with its futuristic view and feel but I do know there is much more technology that has come to live after 1986 (Capt. EO was created) that can attract more life to it. Thanks.

  4. This isn’t something that needs to removed, but they should make use of the area behind Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in MK. They used to have like an outdoor theater, but now it is just closed. Definitely some valuable real estate available in Tomorrowland.

  5. You suggest they get rid of the Imagination pavilion? Hasn’t Figment been through enough at this point?

    I totally agree about the Leave a Legacy though. Those things are hideous to the park.

  6. NOOO!! Not Figment! My 8 year old is obsessed with Figment and this ride. He watches it on YouTube all the time and has every single piece of merch the store offers. Last time he went in with his Fig-ears and t-shirt they called him “Figment’s biggest fan” and let him go in the FastPass+ line. I mean, no one else was in the line but whatever!!!

  7. I totally agree about those tombstones at Epcot. I hated them right from the start.
    Gardens and fountains would be a lovely way to start the journey.

  8. Totally agree. Chester & Hester’s is an eye sore. Worst themed area on property. I avoid it at all costs.

    1. Totally agree with you… I hate just seeing those oversized cartoony Dinosaurs, and even though my kids love Prime-evil-whirl… they could have done so much better with this area. Looking at concept art for what this area was suppose to be just make me cry.

  9. Wow John, you hit the nail on the head with all of these.

    They’re all bad but let me rant for a second only on the worst: Casey Jr’s Train from Hell.
    I was one of the few people actually sad to see the ToonTown houses go. It was a nice change of pace from the rest of park that my young daughter liked to walk through and touch everything. I was only okay with the demolition and dramatic overhaul of New FantasyLand because I thought all the new ideas would be just as good or even better than what it was replacing. The Train is a monstrosity. My daughter(5 years old) won’t go near it. Doesn’t want water squirted in her eyes, doesn’t want to get completely soaked without a change of clothes, doesn’t want other bigger kids running into her, and as you mentioned, she can’t even touch or sit on the train because of the eyesoar of a gate. THE single biggest WTF in the whole park. Stupid idea, bad design, horrible application.
    Forget removing The Hat, take the whole train out and relocate it somewhere in Disney Springs. There I think it’d be nice, but not at MAgic Kingdom where land and space is already at a minimum. Please remove Casey and actually put something there that I’d pay park-admission to see/ride/experience………(pause), rant over, lol.

    Great write-up John. Our family will be back there the last week of January, and I’m sure all 5-of these eye soars will make me think back to this article and chuckle :)

    1. Yes!! I thought the same thing… I would want mine back. They are cracking and getting very worn though, so I see the desire to replace them. Ours isn’t in a high-traffic area so it’s survived ok. I would definitely love to keep it!

  10. I agree with the other comments about the Walk Around the World bricks. We visit ours every time we are at Magic Kingdom, and we just love it!

  11. They sold Walk Around The World bricks as recently as 2007 – I know, I bought one, and it exists between the Poly and TTC. So they’d need to wait a couple more years.

  12. I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I would not be sorry in the least to see the Universe of Energy go. It is a very, very long ride and even though I enjoy Ellen, it is not that entertaining. I know people enjoy it as a break, but I feel like something else could be put there. frankly, I’d love to see some Big Hero 6 incorporated in EPCOT- after all the movie featured robotics and a lot of Walt’s messages, like “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

    1. Trish is right. Brought my then-4-year old daughter on that ride for the first time last year. Proof it was too long like you said? She was sitting on my lap and peed all over herself and me midway through. Both needed new pants afterwards :P

  13. For better or worse, Leave a Legacy isn’t going anywhere any time soon. The plaques are still contractually obligated to be on display and will be for another five to twelve years. I believe most will be removable in about seven or eight years, but the last can’t go until 2027 and it’s unlikely Disney will remove them en masse unless they can remove them all, so small reductions in five or so years are possible but the bulk will most likely hang around until 2027 when the last minimum terms expire. Technically, Disney could move the plaques (anywhere in WDW) and/or display them differently per the terms of the agreements, but those massive monoliths aren’t going to be cheap to remove and crafting a replacement area will have a substantial cost of its own. That’s money which can be better spent on more pressing matters like making some use of all the dummied out space in Epcot. A modest proposal to improve the entrance area on the cheap: swap the exits and entrances so guests enter in the middle looking across the planter with the flowers, a perspective which makes the monoliths look far less out of place and makes for a great sight line of Space Ship Earth emerging out of the planter and with the monoliths guiding the eye to it.

  14. In defense of Chester and Hester’s, it’s supposed to look the way it does. It’s intentional that it looks like a sideshow attraction. The story is that after striking gold, the duo decide to set up shop and make their own amusement park. The point of it is that it’s supposed to look like it was set up in a parking lot like a state fair or something. It’s kitschy. I think it’s kind of cute.

    1. That is just the story that came up with as an excuse to put a cheap themed area in a space that was supposed to be occupied by something else. Google search for concept art for that area, and you will find a better story, theme and concepts that more fit with the overall theming of Animal Kingdom.

  15. The train and vIllage in the back of Epcot need to go or me upgraded. During Christmas, I was there and some of the people in the village are missing hands. It looks like a Zombie Apolcalypse.

  16. for me, it would be to remove the noisy, fume-spewing “Tomorrowland Speedway” and replace it with something, oh I don’t know… “Tomorrow-ish.” At a minimum, replace the engines with electric motors.

    1. Wow, steven vore wins the comment section. It’s funny, because I think the speedway is actually SO bad(perhaps the worst), I had almost completely forgot about it. Me the wife and the kid don’t even acknowledge it anymore when were at MK. The smell, the noise, everything is just out of place, we just look the other way and act like it’s not there when we go.

  17. I first went to Disney World in 2002 and I’ve never seen Hollwood Studios without the hat, so I’m very sad to see it go. I also remember seeing (and loving!) Mickey and Minnie’s houses and was crushed when they decided to get rid of it. When I went in 2012, the only thing open in fantasyland was the Casey Jr. Circus and I thought it was cute, but nothing special, and waiting in line for the Barnstormer was torture in the hot months of June with no shade. I also don’t think that the Tomorrowland Speedway really fits in with everything else and wouldn’t be sad to see it go. As for Epcot, even if the bricks and leave a legacies are distracting or ugly, I think it’s something that would upset the people who bought and made them, which is something Disney would probably try to avoid. And for Dinoland, I think it is probably THE worst part of any disney park. My family and I really try to avoid it and hate Primevil Whirl because it is so bad. I love Disney World more than anything, but some of their theming is off and needs improvement!

  18. Disney is starting to get rid of some of the worst things on property… With the closing of the ‘American Idol Experience’ (which opened when ratings for the show were already dwindling??) and Camp Minnie Mickey (another temporary area that turned permanent) and now the announced re-theming of the ‘Great Movie Ride’ I think that they are well on their way to making some improvements.
    It is know doubt though that future world in Epcot definitely needs a lot of help. I love the redo of Test Track, but to be honest, I wish they would have spent that money on an attraction that actually needed a lot more help (aka ‘Imagination Pavilion’) instead of dumping more money into an attraction that was already popular. The reason that wait times are so bad at Epcot is there is just not enough D and E Ticket attractions. Get ride of or redo ‘Universe of Energy’, ‘Wonders of Life’, and ‘Imagination’ pavilions and bring something fresh. Make Epcot, specifically Future World what is used to be.

    1. I agree. Future world in Epcot needs some fresh new rides in addition to the popular Test track, Soarin & Mission space. Ellens energy adventure should go.
      Its a big space for a great new ride. There just arent enough rides in Epcot.

  19. “Dreamfinder and Figment can find a home in the remodeled “Wonders of Life” pavilion once the new attraction based on Pixar’s Inside Out opens in the former “Cranium Command” location. Then use the Imagination pavilion space for a new adventure”

    I assume this “idea” that Disney are going to reopen Wonders of Life and add a new attraction is purely wishful thinking? I don’t remember seeing anything from Disney – not even vague rumours – saying they’re considering remodelling the Wonders of Life pavilion.

  20. Casey Jr isn’t that bad. My daughter loves it, but she’s 2. The walk around the world and the leave a legacy would only be replaced by more of the same. Imagination has the most potential of all the future world pavilions. It needs serious help, but Epcot can’t really stand to lose a pavilion right now. The problem with Chester and Hester’s isn’t so much the land as a whole. It’s really just the carnival games that seem out of place. IMO these are all really bland suggestions. Nothing I’d miss, but nothing that bothers me.

    If you want to really help WDW, get rid of those horrible flying carpets. They do to Adventure Land, what the Hat did to Hollywood Studios. They ruin what is otherwise a beautifully themed land.

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