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Aug 5, 2017 (#Disney)

As you might have read in my blog post from last month, The Great Movie Ride closed on August 13th, as did Ellen's Energy Adventure. However, I couldn't let one of my favorite rides out of all of the Disney parks close without riding it one last time, so I drove back down to Orlando for a few days at Disney World!

I don't have all of the photos sorted through yet, but here is one of the best photos I took while I was there:

The beginning of The Great Movie Ride

As soon as I finish sorting through the photos I took, I will post them to my Flickr page (and here too).

Even though Elly couldn't go with me, I still had a great time! I also managed to buy a Great Movie Ride t-shirt before they all sold out. Now I just wish that they would sell some of the props from the ride. There are a few I'd definitely like to own...

As for the Universe of Energy, you could kinda tell that the ride was coming to a close, and that Disney was reluctant to fix things on it. When I rode it for the last time, the middle seating section wasn't used, and in the pre-show portion, the speakers for the center screen sounded a bit distorted, almost as if a speaker was blown or a cable was loose. The ride had also been closed for maintenance for a while that day, after it was evacuated for some other technical problems. Even the very last ride was shut down early, supposedly because the battery for one of the ride vehicles was bad and they didn't want to take the time to fix it. I'm not sure if all of the ride problems were just the ride showing its age, or if Disney was just letting it go because they knew the end was coming (or some of both). It will be interesting to see what changes they make to the Universe of Energy pavilion and to the parks in general.

Jul 26, 2017 (#Disney)

Disney recently announced the closure of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios). While there had been rumors going around that the ride was going to be changed, the news of a complete closure and replacement was kind of a surprise to me, seeing that they added a new witch animatronic in the Wizard of Oz scene and just did a refurb of the attraction a year and a half ago.

Great Movie Ride Image

The Great Movie Ride has always been one of my favorite rides at Disney, and I will be sad to see it go. I also wish I had taken some pictures of it when I was there back in December. I'm not sure why I didn't. It really was "A spectacular journey into the movies!"

In recent years, some people have called the attraction "outdated" and "boring" and that it "needs newer movies". While I think that some of the animatronics could have used some updates, the people that say that the movies need to be updated are completely missing the point of the ride. The Great Movie Ride's whole theme is a showcase for classic films made during Hollywood's prime. These movies all helped bring filmmaking to what it is today, and the ride does a great job of bringing these films to life.

For fans of the attraction, Martin of Martin's Videos Online posted an excellent tribute video that I will embed below. The video not only goes through the history of the attraction, but also takes you into the ride with multiple angles and crystal clear audio:

Mar 2, 2017 (#Disney)

Back in 1996, Disney released a piece of software called "The Walt Disney World Explorer" that took users on a magical journey through the rides, shops, hotels and attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort. This was always a favorite of mine when I was in the mood for a little Disney World but couldn't visit the parks (although it just made me want to visit the parks more).

The program was pretty simple to use: Just move the cursor (Tinker Bell in this case) around the map and click on things you want to hear more about. When Tinker Bell's wand sparkles, you've found something to click on.

Click image to view full map

Frontierland & Liberty Square

There are also "Hidden Mickeys" throughout the program, and finding 10 of them unlocks a bonus video clip.

Some other areas of the program:

New Tomorrowland

Space Mountain

Disney Studios Florida (Now Disney's Hollywood Studios)

The original Discovery Island!

Future World at Epcot (Look at those classic attractions! Horizons and Food Rocks!)

I wish Disney would make an updated version of this. The latest version (Second Edition) was released in 1998. In my opinion, it gives you a much more in-depth look at the attractions and history of the resort than their website. The narration is top-notch, and includes the sights and sounds of the park, plus some 360-degree views. It makes me want to take a vacation! Their website is dull in comparison.

Note to seekers of this CD-ROM: It works on Windows 3.1/95/98/ME/2K/XP. It will not work on Windows 7 or NT 4. Also, the background ride noises won't play on versions of Windows other than the 9x series (95/98/ME). This may not be a big deal to you, and some of the narration is easier to hear without all the added noise on the map sections. But, if you are really anal about every last detail, you need Windows 9x. Also, lower your screen resolution to 640x480 if you can. On Windows XP, you can set the compatibility settings to do this automatically when you launch the program.

Copyright notice: All images used in this article belong to the Walt Disney Company. No copyright infringement is intended. Images are for informational use only.

Feb 12, 2017 (#Disney)

I completely forgot to post the photos from my trip to Disney World when I got back! Luckily, forgetting to upload them here allowed me extra time to find this nifty feature on Flickr that allows me to embed albums on my website. Feel free to click through the album below and see what I've been up to!

Disney World 2016

Also, here's a video I took of Pirates of the Caribbean. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me!

One of the first 4K UHD recordings on my new HTC 10

Dec 16, 2016 (#Disney)

...and exhausted. The trip was very fun. However, it feels good to be back home, even if only for a couple days before I catch a flight to NJ for the holidays. A LOT of traveling going on this week! Pics from Disney to come.