Disney's Hollywood Studios Epcot Parks & Resorts Walt Disney World Resort

Disney Lifting Annual Pass Block-Out Dates to Allow One Last Ride on Great Movie Ride, Universe of Energy

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Walt Disney World will be lifting block-out dates in August on annual passes that would not typically allow entry to the parks during this time so that guests may say goodbye to two classic attractions.

While we don’t have the exact dates yet, Disney should be distributing that information to guests later this week. The adjusted block-out will allow these guests to enter Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to ride the Universe of Energy and the Great Movie Ride one last time. Of course, guests will get to experience other things in the parks as well, not limited to these rides.

The Universe of Energy (Ellen’s Energy Adventure) and the Great Movie Ride both close forever on August 13th, 2017. The Universe of Energy will be replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy thrill ride, while The Great Movie Ride will be replaced by Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

UPDATE: Silver and Weekday Select Annual Pass will have access to all 4 Walt Disney World theme parks starting August 1st. Weekday Select passes still will not admit guests on weekends, however.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

27 Comments

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  • Could you all please stop assuming that Guardians will be a thrill ride?

    They’ve never said anything of the sort.

  • This is very nice of Disney to do this for Florida AP holders.

    However, not all AP holders live in Florida or are able to visit WDW one last time before closing. What about all of the AP holders who don’t live “in Mickey’s backyard” and can’t schedule a quick trip to see two of their favorite attractions one last time before they close forever. A one-month warning is definitely not in keeping with the Disney spirit. I still keep hoping that Disney will remember the guests, and not just concentrate on the money and the stockholders. Disney, please do the right thing, and extend the closing date to permit all of us one last visit.

    • Oh please, they are a business. They are not here to bend over backwards so everyone who wants to come, can. They have a lot of work to do on two rather unpopular attractions. You’re going to miss one last ride on a broken down review of movies people have forgotten, and a place to take a 45 minute nap while Ellen tells you that fossil fuel is the only viable source of energy and solar is “too expensive” (lol). Get over it.

  • I called Disney today and they said no block out dates have been lifted. They also said they would not notify pass holders if this happens.

  • I was actually in Disney World a fortnight ago. when I heard The Great Movie Ride was closing.

    It was my 1st time in WDW i’d been on Great Movie ride once be for I heard news. When I heard it was closing I this year I made sure to ride it one last time.

    Its sad when classic rides close.
    I sympathize with other Great Movie ride fans and Universe of Energy fans too.

  • Let me say this .
    A . It’s more than nice of them to do this . It is also good business strategy .
    I guess knowing what they are going to do they know that there are people who visit over and over again who love the old attractions so much and understand that this is going to take some getting used to for those who visit constantly .
    B . I hope that they keep on at this pace where when they start to make changes making sure that it is not at the speed rate to where it hurts guest capacity in the parks especially on days when the parks get crowded .
    C . As much as I will call Bob Chapek a liar for talking about Epcot staying true to its’ original vision in some ways sometimes you have to dig through the lies and wait for the truth to come out in the end and it came out in the end where he says that Epcot is going more Disney . More on that on a later date .
    D . As much as I am not as big on Mickey Mouse the comic book style at least I am glad that Mickey is getting a little experience lovin’ at Walt Disney World for the first time in a while .
    Give or take , however popular or unpopular the changes may seem I am more glad that Disney is catching onto the growing pains that guests who they open the avenue so many times to visit frequently go through while going for their vision of updating and revolving the attractions here and I hope that they keep that pace of being attentive to the guests to where it does not cause so much war between the old and new guests and also guests and cast members , and some props for promoting experiences and turning away from promoting freebies a lot and hopefully they keep focusing on quality park guest service and experience over high park guest quantity .

  • As an out of state AP Holder I am miffed if this is true. I have to pay nearly double for an annual pass without a payment plan. If there are no black out days can I pay the Florida resident rate for my annual pass?

    • Tony, if they did do this, it would only mean an extra 10 days in August to see these attractions. The blackout dates are over in August on the 10th anyway. Those of us who live near enough to go on “day trips” to the parks usually go on days the weather is better anyway. Are you planning on coming to Florida when it is raining and the heat index is over 100? No need to be miffed.

  • This is a wonderful thing that they are doing! My husband and I live in Michigan and planned a last-minute anniversary trip there the weekend they both close. I’m glad others living in Florida can see them once more before they close as well.

    Does anyone know if “closing on the 13th” means that their last day is the 12th or the 13th? Also, I’ve never been at Disney the last day a ride is open-do they do anything special? We’re planning our days and I’m wondering if we should try to hit them (or one of them) on the 13th for something special or avoid them on the 13th because they’ll be packed.

  • The only thing I’ll miss about the Universe of Energy Ride was a relaxing, uncrowded, air-conditioned dark ride. It may have been starting to show its age but man–it could not be beat for rallying during that hot mid-day slump.

    I can only hope that the GotG ride that comes in is also a long, high guest capacity ride.

    • I watched the UoE footage on YouTube the other day as my farewell to the attraction I only did once (back in 2010). I never really have time to go do it when I’m at Epcot any more, since we spend more time in World Showcase after 11 am. Parts of the ride were okay, and I’ll always love Ellen, but the dino sequence seemed pretty long and I’m kind of glad something new is coming. I also watched the cowboy version of GMR today on YouTube, since in the four times I rode that I never got the cowboy takeover version (just the gangster)…farewell to that one, too.