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Graphics Software Entertainment

Lost Disney Rides Recreated in CGI 203

Dan Howland writes "Disney closes the rides, but the CGI geeks love them too much to let them disappear. 'Adventures thru Inner Space,' the Disneyland ride in which you shrunk down to the size of a molecule, ran from 1967 to 1985. Atommobiles.com is a fan site which includes this elaborate CGI recreation. The Walt Disney World version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed in 1967. Virtual Toad is in the process of re-building it." I was born after 1967, and I've ridden MTWR many times, so perhaps they're talking about an older version.
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Lost Disney Rides Recreated in CGI

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  • by Garinwirth ( 325774 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:45PM (#7590046)
    if they got cease and desist letters for "infringing Disney's property."
  • by OrthodonticJake ( 624565 ) <[[OrthodonticJak ... ail]}{[.][[com]]> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:48PM (#7590055) Homepage Journal
    Soon all Disney rides will be in CG and you'll see advertisements on TV with kids begging their parents to 'log on to Disneyland'. The only problem is that people will not be surrounded with merchandise.
    • by dswensen ( 252552 ) * on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:51PM (#7590068) Homepage
      Well, if they're running IE, they'll have plenty of popups hawking merchandise... Nearly the same thing.
    • They will be when the ride 'conveniently' ends at the virtual giftshop.
    • by Latent Heat ( 558884 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @09:34PM (#7590442)
      It would be too bad if every ride went virtual reality. My favorite Disneyland experience was not on a ride but watching a ride. In Frontierland they had this kind of log flume ride. It was a water course, and the patrons rode in these "cutout logs." While the water kind of flushed the ride logs along just like with real lumber rafts, and I guess a chain hooked the logs to take them up high so the logs could cascade down a flume as a kind of thrill part of the ride, the patrons actually had paddles and provided some of the motive power of the ride, and there was a Disneyland employee guide sitting in the back working a rudder.

      Anyway, one of the logs had an entire crew of young men, who looked quite muscular under their t-shirts, and they had military-style haircuts (I don't know enough military to tell Marine from SEAL from other units, but these guys looked quite trained well beyond Basic and they had some kind of military haircut). Anyway, these guys took the paddles and got a rhythm going, and not only did they get their log throwing a wake, the Disneyland "guide" was in the back with this expression of sheer terror and hanging on to the rudder for dear life. That alone was worth the price of the park admission.

      • I think you're merging together two different rides. Splash mountain is a flume ride, with conveyor lifts and tall drops. There is no guest or cast member power. There is also a canoe ride in the Rivers of America, which works as you described, minus the flume and elevation change. The biggest drop in Splash Mountain has a runout adjacent to the Rivers of America, so I can see how the two would blur together.
  • by scrod ( 136965 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:48PM (#7590058) Homepage
    If they can do a good enough job recreating the rides, their Whuffie's [craphound.com] going through the roof!
  • Sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dswensen ( 252552 ) * on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:48PM (#7590059) Homepage
    Sadly, I'm so out of touch -- it's been so long since I've been to Disneyland, I never realized they shut this ride down (Inner Space). This and Space Mountain were my absolute favorite rides as a kid.

    I'm sad to find out (very belatedly) that it's gone, but happy to see that someone is doing something to preserve it. Even looking at those images of the huge ice flakes brings back a lot of very old memories.
    • Funny how they say it closed in 1985 as I'm sure I went on this ride back on my first and only trip to Disneyland in 1993. I don't remember much but I can recall floating around the bloodstream of a person and there was a splinter (which obviously looked very large) in the skin, with another molecule sized person working on it.

      Maybe I'm thinking of a different Innerspace ride but thinking of the film with the same name [imdb.com] I'm pretty certain I went on this ride.
      • I think that ride is either at Epcot or MGM. I remember it too, and I know I didn't ride it before 1985.
        • Re:Sad (Score:3, Interesting)

          by falcon5768 ( 629591 )
          That was body wars, iit was sorta a replacement for the innerspace ride, but was at epcot. First ride to use a flight simulator machine if I am correct.

          The other one was at MGM and that was Star Tours, where you accidentally got sucked into the first battle over the death star. Pretty cool and it had R2D2 and C3PO, thought it fuges with the history of the movie... course Lucas doesnt mind since he out and out tossed it out a few years later with the special editions :-D.

          What amazed me is there is noth

          • Re:Sad (Score:5, Informative)

            by nytes ( 231372 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @09:14PM (#7590346) Homepage
            What amazed me is there is nothing on the Thousand Leagues under the Sea ride which i was on when i was 7 but when I went back in 1998 was closed due to it no being able to be made handicap accesable, which pissed me off to no end cause it was one of my favorites along with Mr. Toads
            Actually, dig around a little and you'll find that neither sub ride (both Disney World and Disneyland's sub rides are now closed) were close due to ADA requirements. ADA only would apply to new construction.

            It's pretty common knowledge among the fan community (of which I admit that I am one) that they were closed simply due to save on the maintenance costs. It's further believed that Disney World's sub ride was closed because the staff conned Disney prez Ovitz [jimhillmedia.com] (about halfway down the article).
      • I think you're thinking of Body Wars [imdb.com], which is a simulator attraction in the Wonders Of Life pavilion at Epcot. Body Wars opened in 1989, IIRC.
  • by CapS ( 83352 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:49PM (#7590060)
    Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed on September 7, 1998, according to the Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride site [savetoad.com]. It was a fantastic ride; too bad Disney closed it. :(
  • MTWR (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:49PM (#7590062)
    I was born after 1967, and I've ridden MTWR many times

    I went on Mr Toads Wild Ride back in 1993, at the young age of 9, and after that I vowed to never experiment with LSD or other hallucenogenic substances.
  • by gooman ( 709147 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:51PM (#7590070) Journal
    to the best "make-out" ride ever.

    At least to this hormone driven teen in the late seventies (before the geek gene fully asserted itself). Ahhh memories.
  • by RLiegh ( 247921 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:52PM (#7590074) Homepage Journal
    You get the great disney rides, but without the psychotic crowds and (usually) smelly and slimy water, etc (seriously, what the hell is up w/ the smell in disneyland, anyways?)
    • "(seriously, what the hell is up w/ the smell in disneyland, anyways?)"

      If you meant disney world, it was probably florida that smelled odd to you. I've lived here for 6 years and I don't notice anymore. But for the first few months, everything had a moldy smell.

      If you really did mean disney land, I have no idea. Didn't smell bad when I was there.
    • is that it's only useful for the slow or non moving rides that are mainly aural/visual. For obvious reasons rises such as Space Mountain, without the key component (that feeling in your stomach) the experience is going to be somewhat removed (unless you have a very strong friend to shake your chair!)

      As far as educational rides go, this would be a great idea, and would save the pain of the extortionate entry fees.
      • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {jllerraf}> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:26PM (#7590193) Homepage
        without the key component (that feeling in your stomach)

        That feeling is actually in your inner ear, and it can be simulated by stimulating it with lowlevel electrical shocks. I remember a couple companies were working on bringing this kind of device [unc.edu] to the mass market, but it never materialized, probably for legal reasons.

        --

        • As far as complaining about how the tremendous amount of work that would have to go into volunteer projects as impressive as these is useless simply because it could not effectively reproduce the feeling one gets while on Space Mountain, the mere thought of stimulating the poster with lowlevel electrical shocks brings a smile to my face. =)
  • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {jllerraf}> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:54PM (#7590081) Homepage
    Everybody knows the real reason why many of these happy-happy-joy-joy rides get shut down: They're too dangerous! [snopes.com] :)

    --

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Most of the people getting killed on amusement park rides have only themselves to blame. The idiots dont follow the rules, end up getting killed, and its the park owners like Disney who get blamed for it by the press and idiotic family members.
      • Some 15 years ago I sat next to a rather large woman on a "tea cup" carousel, and was almost pushed out of the cart when she managed fell over me. My feet were hanging out of the cart, and I had to try to pull myself into it again. While I was struggling (and slightly panicking :-), I heard the operator yell "Faaaster"! Not what you want to hear when you are going to get tossed 10 meters if you lose your grip.

        Eventually, I managed to get back in. After that, I'm only playing coin-ops at amusement parks :-)
    • No, those rides aren't too dangerous, it's that people are too stupid. Maybe you should think about that nexttime before you decide to go walk the monorail track.
      • In the past it does seem the guests were at least partially responsible. Of the ten items reference on the page, 4 were due to guest ignoring ride rules, 3 were due to lack of proper security, and three were due to poorly designed or maintained rides.

        Recently, it seems, that the park has gotten better at security and designing rides to keep the guests safe, even the stupid ones. OTOH, people are dying because of faulty maintenance [themeparkinsider.com].

    • Do the math, considering the normal rate of severe injuries and death for a major city and the number of people who go through there every day, Disneyland and Disney World would rate as some of the safest places on Earth.

      Its kind of like the people who get freaked about the risk to our children in schools from school shootings--they are more likely to be killed within a couple of blocks from school than they are on school property.
    • You'll notice every one of these deaths was because they bypassed safety equipment - not because some ride had a failed system or anything. One was because a guy tried to sneak into the park via the monorail track apparently forgetting that the train regularly traveled its tracks.
  • by witts ( 552031 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:56PM (#7590088) Homepage
    I remember reading a book about Disneyland, and the favorite joke about the Inner Space ride was this: The disney employees could always spot the horny teenagers hoping for a nice long, dark ride. When asked how long the ride was, they'd intentionally give the teenagers a made-up answer like "Nearly an hour." Then they'd wait for the teenagers to suddenly emerge from the ride and struggle to put all their clothes back on, in full view of the waiting patrons... Good times!
  • by dagg ( 153577 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:56PM (#7590089) Journal
    Please do not pull or push bar
    Hand bar operates automatically

    Nice :).

  • by witts ( 552031 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @07:59PM (#7590102) Homepage
    If you love memories of disney rides long gone, check out http://www.yesterland.com/yester.html
    absolutely great website if you wondered whatever happened to your favorite ride!
  • Weird... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hogwash McFly ( 678207 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:01PM (#7590109)
    Just the other day I bumped into the Inner Space guy and chatted to him about this very project. It's a small world after all.
  • Not only is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride no longer at Disneyworld, but it's slated to be taken out from Disneyland, too. Sucks, because that's one of my fav rides there!
  • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:19PM (#7590176)
    I went to Disneyworld 20 years ago and was inside the big golf ball- Epcot's "Spaceship Earth"- when there was a mechanical failure of some sort and the cars stopped moving. They sent someone to run down the track and tell everyone to stay in their seats. We were stuck there for almost an hour. When it happened we were passing by the Renaissance scene. There was an animatronic setup where a bunch of Renaissance Italians were gathered on some steps, and one of them was teaching the others from a book. The other was nodding like if he was listening- nod, nod, shift down, nod, nod, shift up, repeat. If you see less than one cycle of that, it looks convincing, but after a few hundred cycles it starts to look fake, like the guy isn't really listening or learning anything.

    I felt bad for the people a bunch of cars behind us. They were trapped in the Dark Ages. But the real victims must have been whoever was passing by the animatronics of the 19th century telegraphist- with the telegraph rattling up and down and the guy spelling out letters of nonsense. They must have lost their minds.

    • by Montag2k ( 459573 ) <jgamage AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:55PM (#7590292)
      Similar story: I got stuck in "Pirates of the Caribbean" in Disneyworld for almost an hour. I will die a happy man if I never have to hear "Yo ho ho its a pirate's life for me!" another time.
      • Me and my brothers went to "It's a small world" because "hey, the line is long it must be good". We were in line for at least 20 minutes before we could see the sign that said what the ride was. Small World? hmmm... maybe its like that mars ride or something. Another 20 minute in line before we found a book that told us what it was about. Dolls? Singing? WTF?

        The ride didn't break down or anything (thank god!), but that ride is fucking long. And they just sing "its a small world after all" over and over ag

      • Swear to Primus, I was at Disneyland (CA) just yesterday, and my son wanted one ride on "Pirates" before we left for the night. So since I was already dog-tired and wanted to go home, the boat goes and gets stalled at the foot of the final lift before the ride ends. Probably took us 20 minutes to get out of there.

        I think if I had to listen to "A Pirate's Life For Me" -- along with the animatronic pirates grunting as they hauled that treasure chest -- for another ten minutes, I would have personally hunte
      • I don't think anything could be worse than being stuck in "It's a small world after all". Urgh.
    • My soon-to-be wife and I on our first trip to WDW in 1997 got stuck in the Horizons ride in Epcot - it was a continuous motion ride much like Spaceship Earth, and we only were there for about 20-25 minutes. The problem was the ride had two VERY large dome projection screens, and we got stuck at one of them, with a continuous loop that included a flight clip where you are swooping down and turning, making you feel like you are moving. Sit through that for 20 straight minutes and you can develop a serious cas
      • Dude! That was the best spot in the entire park system to get stuck at.

        (I've been to WDW many times, my mom works there, and there probably isn't a ride on the park I haven't gotten stuck on for at least a few minutes. 2nd nicest is at the very top of Spaceship Earth)

        • by NormalVisual ( 565491 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @07:52AM (#7592025)
          I'm a part-time monorail driver at WDW, and I think I found the worst place to get stuck this past summer. I was driving from the TTC to Epcot with a fairly full train during a pretty intense storm, and as I was passing the MK toll plaza we got word that a tornado warning had been issued. Nice, as I can't see more than 100 feet in front of me because of the rain. The fun started when I got about a third of the way around the Epcot teardrop and the entire system lost power for about 25 minutes. Not fun, as I had no idea where the reported tornado was. Turns out it was several miles south of me, but I still would not care to do that again. During the time we were stuck, there was also a direct lightning strike on the Innoventions East building about 100 feet away, which I'm sure freaked out a lot of people on the train.
      • I forgot to mention that Horizons closed sometime after, and was completely rebuilt as Mission: Space...
    • I wish that could have happened to me when I was a kid. That would have vastly speeded up my, then undeveloped, disillusionment with the public education in my small town.
    • by djh101010 ( 656795 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @03:44AM (#7591585) Homepage Journal
      We got stuck in "It's a small world" with that damn song going over and over and over. Talk about an earworm, that's got to be the worst one ever. To this day, I can elicit a visceral response from my folks by launching into that song.

      The gnome-things were all smiling, though, so they seemed to be enjoying it well enough. Hell, we were just passing through, they're stuck there 24x7.
  • by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) * <[ten.notaehwliw] [ta] [liw]> on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:21PM (#7590180) Homepage Journal
    I am one of the biggest Disney weenies in the world. I've had an AP since I was 15, and I long for a return to the old days of Disneyland. I would love to see a full-on 3D recreation of Disneyland in various eras, that could be "walked thru."

    Two sites that I frequent are Yesterland.com [yesterland.com], which features pictures, descriptions and memories of the almost every "retired" Disneyland attraction, and MiceAge.com [miceage.com], which features backstage "exposes" about Disneyland and the people who run it.
  • Defunct Attractions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LunarFox ( 591499 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @08:21PM (#7590182)
    This reminds me of a website called Virtual Midway, which features some defunct attractions [virtualmidway.com] at Cedar Point. No fancy CGI but still fascinating (to me, at least).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Next time read the website before posting. The Mr. Toad ride wasn't even built in 1967, Walt Disney World wasn't even open until 1971. And they finally removed the ride in 1998. Despite the protest of people who wanted to keep it.
  • Time warp? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The Walt Disney World version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed in 1967.

    That's cool! Walt Disney World didn't even open until about 1971 or 1972

  • I rode MTWR many times since 1972 when I was born. I have been to Disney World in Orlando over 20 times and I have pictures of it from our trip in 85 or 86. Maybe it was taken out of Disney Land in CA, but FL had it for some time as that was one of my favorites.
  • CGI? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Seth Morabito ( 2273 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @09:10PM (#7590337)
    Come on, these days you should implement things as Java web services, or maybe a simple LAMP solution using MySQL and Perl, Python, or PHP. CGI is just so mid-90s!

    Oh, wait, you mean Computer Graphics? Not the Common Gateway Interface? My mistake.

    Seriously, every time I see CGI I have this moment of confusion when I try to map the subject into my little web development world. Too much time writing code I guess.
    • Computer Generated Images. C. G. I.
    • CGI [uiuc.edu]:

      The Common Gateway Interface (CGI) is a standard for interfacing external applications with information servers, such as HTTP or Web servers. A plain HTML document that the Web daemon retrieves is static, which means it exists in a constant state: a text file that doesn't change. A CGI program, on the other hand, is executed in real-time, so that it can output dynamic information.

      For example, let's say that you wanted to "hook up" your Unix database to the World Wide Web, to allow people from all over

  • The Tomorrowland Flying Saucers were the ultimate futuristic version of the old bumper cars...individual pods that actually hovered above the ground, supported by bursts of air blasted from below.
    Each saucer would carry one big guest (or two little ones), and they could steer their saucer just by leaning their body in the direction they wanted to go. The saucers would become the bumper cars of tomorrow, and your mission was to plow into as many other saucers as you could before your time was up.
    The sauce
  • Typo (Score:5, Informative)

    by Danny's_Land ( 728210 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @09:20PM (#7590373) Homepage
    Sorry, meant to say that MTWR closed at WDW in 1998. See www.savetoad.com for more info than you need.
  • by georgeha ( 43752 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @09:24PM (#7590395) Homepage
    As a young boy, I found that ride with Michael Jackson very touching.
    • Yeah, Micheal Jackson may be a wierdo sicko, but that Captain Eo was really cool. I wish they would bring that back. Have alternating "Honney I shrunk the kids" and "Captain Eo" shows.

      Ya know, talking about Disneyland I really need to go back before the year is over. I go there at least once a year. Then again it helps when my son's god mother works there and can get us in for free.

      Right now they have the Haunted Mansion done up all like the movie "Nightmare Before Christmas" and it's really kick ass. Hau
    • I find it disturbing to read the words "Michael Jackson", "touching", and "young boy" in the same sentence. (shudder)
  • by liquidsin ( 398151 ) on Saturday November 29, 2003 @10:04PM (#7590561) Homepage
    Trish: When are men going to learn that women want romance, not "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride"?
    Brodie: Be fair, alright. Everyone wants "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride".

  • "I was born after 1967, and I've ridden MTWR many times, so perhaps they're talking about an older version."

    Sorry to burst your bubble. Mr. Toad'd Wild Ride is indeed gone. It has been replaced by some other animated-disney ride. I can't remember which one. I live in orlando, but I haven't been to disney in several years.

    They also got rid of the figment ride at Epcot. The imagination ride. They replaced it with John Cleese as narrator, and at the VERY end of the ride, there is a wall with Figment on it in
  • I asked my wife if she'd heard of this ride, seeing as she was raised in Southern California before her family moved to Seattle in the early 80's. "Wow, That My Favorite Ride" she said, and told me all about the sights and sounds.

    It was kind of disappointing to not be able to access the .avi files, seeing as we have a Mac, but the .mpg's ran great and really blew her away how realistic it all looked.

    She mentioned a big eyeball that would peer down at you after the "miniaturization" process, which was
  • by crucini ( 98210 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @02:25AM (#7591406)
    I took a quick look at both sites (only one of which worked) and didn't see the obvious: where are they getting data? They need a plan showing ride track, figures, effects and show lighting. They may also need speed profile data - I believe the Toad vehicles are dual-speed, actuated by a cam that follows a hump in the floor. Are they simply going to fudge the geometry based on recollections? Guests do not get a good feel for how a ride is built by riding it. And yet, I think even the unremembered details contribute to the overall impression.

    Audio tracks are also an issue. For the simulation to feel right, they have to be localized to the location of the speaker. A tape recording made in the ride usually sounds like muck, and would probably violate copyright as well.

    In the absence of a convincing plan, I guess that this will be an impressionistic reconstruction that misses a lot of the detail. Really, there is no way, either technically or legally, to do a good job without the cooperation of Disney.
    • As far as Toad is concerned, there are a *lot* of photographs and video available to draw from, not all of it taken by guests. :-)
  • by djward ( 251728 ) on Sunday November 30, 2003 @03:10AM (#7591512)
    They brought them back in CGI, only to be shut down again by the long lines of Slashdotters spilling soda and nachos on each other, trying to cram into a website that only seats 30...
  • .. then I remembered being stuck in It's a Small World for 45 minutes. You guys may laugh, but because of this ride there's an episode of the Simpsons I still can't stomach.
  • Where's the CGI "Carousel Of Progress"?

  • The Walt Disney World version of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed in 1967.

    I remeber riding that ride in Disney World when I was 7 years old. And I was born in 1969! My guess is that they are talking about the DisneyLAND (not World) ride which closed in '67. Or perhaps it was a revamped version I rode as a kid.

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