3D movies at theme parks should be fairly easy to replace and to re-play, years down the line, for special events or other engagements. But the 3D movies that are now sadly removed from the parks, usually contained some kind of in-theater element, whether it was rumbling seats, atmospheric effects, or live walk-around characters. While Magic Journeys was the least narrative-based of the shuttered 3D movies, but it was one of the most widely seen, having played in EPCOT, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdom (after its 3D theater in EPCOT Center was occupied by the flashier Captain EO). The music is incredible, with an ethereal song from the Sherman Brothers, and considering it was basically a tech demo for the 3D technology they were looking to use in the future, it more than succeeds. (It’s like you can reach out and touch the kite flying in front of you!)
Magic Journeys gave way to Captain EO, a notoriously plagued 3D musical that combined the considerable talents of Michael Jackson, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola (who directed). A sort of intergalactic Music Man, it featured two new songs from Jackson (one would remain exclusive to the attraction) and, despite its rather hellish production, wound up being a hit with audiences and was a staple at EPCOT Center, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. It even ran for several years starting in 2010 after public demand forced the Disney company to bring the attraction back following the performer’s untimely death. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, which replaced the Jackson-led attraction (partially due to persistent allegations of child abuse) was an expansion of the popular film franchise, and saw Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman return to essay their roles, alongside Eric Idle as Dr. Nigel Channing from the Imagination Institute (his character would carry over to the new Journey Into YOUR Imagination attraction next door in EPCOT). Honey, I Shrunk the Audience pushed the in-theater effects even further than Captain EO, making for a generally thrilling watch (it occupied all four theaters, around the world, that Captain EO held) – at least the first few times.
There were plans to show all of these films in the original 3D theater in Tomorrowland for the 60th anniversary of the park but that idea was cut due to budget restrictions. In Disneyland, at least, the space has been used in recent years for things like a preview of the High School Musical series on Disney+. Neat.