Ellen's Energy Adventure was not my favorite ride in the parks. The 45-minute ride doubled as nap time for me whenever I would ride it, and I would ride it often. Since I've only been going to Disney for three years, I did not get to ride the original 1982 version (though I'm certain it would also put me to sleep).
Opening October 1st, 1982, the original ride (before the Ellen addition) had an eight-minute opening movie that explained different forms of energy, which would lead into a traveling theater ride. The theater was pretty innovative, which is exactly what Disney strives for. Using a technique known as Kinetic Mosaic, the screens consisted of 100 rotating flip screens that operated under computer control and were synced with the movie. In 1996, this was dropped, and replaced with boring static screens. The ride was preparing for a major overhaul, involving a new movie, some new animatronics, and new humans added in: Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye The Science Guy. Also involved were Alex Trebek, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Johnny Gilbert. I'm not sure what kid would care about any of these people outside of Nye, but 1996 was a magical year of weird.
For the most part, after the Ellen movie, the ride was largely unchanged. The animatronics were still amazing, and they even added an animatronic of Ellen, because nightmares are fun (and yes, I am an Ellen fan). Like I said though, I fell asleep every time I rode this.
Despite what the Disney community might tell you, this ride was never busy. You could honestly ride it back to back to back and have no wait. It may have been popular in the community, but I never saw any proof of that in action. Granted, the ride was probably busy as hell the last day it operated — August 13th, 2017. Will I miss it? Sure. I like naps. But it's being replaced with a Guardians of the Galaxy ride, and I'm really excited for that.
If you're curious about Ellen's Energy Adventure, you can watch the video below to check it out.