We've had galleries of abandoned amusement parks and toy factories, but nothing matches the sad splendor of abandoned Disney parks.

The original ImageWorks: The What-If Labs, an interactive area ("the creative playground if the future" at Epcot's Imagination! Pavilion, Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. It was opened in October 1982 and closed in 1998. The place is mostly intact but patrolled since then. It was located on the second floor, and the new ImageWorks is on the first.

These pieces of equipment were in the pavilion, according to Wikipedia:

  • Dreamfinder's School of Drama - Using a bluescreen, guests put themselves into a movie under the direction of Dreamfinder. Choices were a western (Daring Deputies and the Return of Sagebrush Sam), a fantasy film (Enchanted Travelers — Wily Wizard the Cranky King), or a science fiction film (Acrobatic Astronauts in Galactic Getaway).
  • Pin Screens - A massive pin table.
  • Stepping Tones - Guests create music from stepping on color panels
  • Figment's Coloring Book - Guests colored images featuring Figment and Dreamfinder using electric "paintbrush guns"
  • Rainbow Corridor - A large tunnel that featured colored lights that followed the guests as they went through, each guest getting a different color.
  • Electronic Philharmonic - By the usage of sensors, guests could conduct an orchestra.
  • Kaleidoscopes - Very large kaleidoscopes that could be controlled by the guest.
  • Vibrating Mirrors - An effect that made the guests reflection warp like a funhouse mirror.
  • Voice Activated Lumia - A 6-foot-diameter (1.8 m) sphere that would respond with light effects to the guests voice or sounds.
  • Bubble Projectors - In the small pyramid, bubbles were projected on circular screens under the guests control. When they overlapped they would create new colors

A walkthrough with some clips from Martin Smith's "Imagination 82 – The Original Imageworks":


(Top Image: Wikimedia Commons. All other images: Kurt Miller.)

Discovery Island in Bay Lake at Walt Disney World, Florida, abandoned since 1999

Walt Disney bought this place in 1965 and opened the Treasure Island here in 1974. Here was the biggest colony of Scarlet Ibises in the United States, but five Galapagos tortoises, flamingos, lemurs, swans, brown pelicans and the last known dusky seaside sparrow lived here, too.

In 2009 there were some extensive plans to convert the island to a Lost-themed island, but the project never materialized.

In the same year, an urban explorer named Shane Perez visited the abandoned island and found there abandoned buildings, preserved snakes in jars, old employee photos and attacking vulture babies.

(via Shane Perez)

The unfinished part of Disney's Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

This themed Disney hotel has buildings from each decades with period decorations. The first half of them (1950s-1999) are completed, but 9/11 came and the project was abandoned mid-construction.

(via illicitohio)

Disney's River County, the first water park at the Walt Disney World Resort, Bay Lake, Florida, opened in 1976, closed in November 2001, and abandoned since then.

(via Imagineering Disney)

The New Global Neighborhood, EPCOT, at the Walt Disney Resort, closed in 2004

And there was the Network Tree, a sculpture with multiple trunks comprised of 111 miles of fiber optic cable!

(via Flurbex and Falcon's Treehouse)

A Fake Disneyland in Japan: The Nara Dreamland, near Nara, Japan, built in 1961, closed in 2006.

The entrance is almost identical to Disneyland. Both parks has the Sleeping Beauty Castle, a Main Street, a monorail and an Autopia-type ride, but there are some other similarities, too.

(via thecrypt, Mircea Tatuc, mouse shadows, picturenarrative and Michael Libby)