Original Magic Kingdom Attractions You Can Still Enjoy

A lot has changed at Walt Disney World since it first opened in 1971. Back then the Magic Kingdom was the only Park, and Disney resort choices included just the Contemporary, Polynesian Village, or the Fort Wilderness Camp Ground. Attractions at the Magic Kingdom have left, and now ones have taken their place, but through it all these time tested rides have survived it all. If you're looking for a taste of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom 1971 style, focus your your touring strategy on taking in these fourteen great original Magic Kingdom rides.

Original Magic Kingdom Attractions You Can Still EnjoyOriginal Magic Kingdom Attractions You Can Still Enjoy

Cinderella's Golden Carrousel - While the carrousel was given a new back story and renamed to "Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel" in 2010, this beautiful ride originally built in 1917 has enchanted its riders for almost 100 years now. The 72 wooden horses, four chariots, and sleighs create the kind of memories that we all share from our childhood. Riding upon its bounding horses, waving to your loved ones who are waiting to you each time you come around, creates the simplistic joy that is hard to capture no matter what the technological advancement.

Frontierland Shooting Gallery - It's hard to capture the spirit of the Wild West without the shootin' arcade. Themed as a shoot-out in Tombstone, Arizona, over Boot Hill this quaint nook originally used guns that shot lead pellets. Once technology allowed, those were replaced with guns shooting infra-red lights to save on the cost of repainting the targets every night.

The Haunted Mansion - The interior of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion was created at the same time as all the props were made for the Disneyland version. However Magic Kingdom Guests get a slightly longer ride with extra scenes. A fan favorite that has never lost its dusty luster, the Haunted Mansion attraction launched its own franchise of movies and merchandise. In 2011 an interactive graveyard queue was added to the attraction, and the technology for the hitchhiking ghosts was updated to create some new surprises.

The Magic Kingdom's Haunted MansionThe Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion

It's a Small World - Love it or hate it, this cheerful boat ride takes guests into a whimsical world showcasing the love and laughter of children around the world. It is often said that the attraction's song is the single most performed and most translated piece of music on the planet Earth.

Jungle Cruise - While the essence of this jungle adventure has stayed the same, with wise-cracking skippers guiding guests on a world journey via tramp steamer, some elements haven't lasted on the ride. The script on the Jungle cruise has been changed over the years to be more politically appropriate, and the Skippers in Walt Disney World no longer carry guns with blank to shoot at the hippos, but realistic props.

Mad Tea Party - On opening day this attraction was open to the sky, but by 1974 they had added a roof due to the extreme weather that Florida can encounter, it also got central teapot for the cups to spin around. In 1992 the Mad Tea Party was updated again with new music, colors, and Japanese lanterns.

Slide all the way forward now... That's the only way we have of keeping the cushions clean!Slide all the way forward now... That's the only way we have of keeping the cushions clean!

Swiss Family Treehouse - The Swiss Family Treehouse walk through at the Magic Kingdom has pretty much stood the test of time. While intended to look like a natural tree, the structure is actually made up of steel, concrete, and stucco, stretching 60 ft tall and 90 ft wide, decorated with vinyl leaves. For many guests, it's the treehouse of their dreams.

Grand Prix Raceway - Now called the Tomorrowland Speedway, the basics of this attraction haven't really changed. Guests hop in a mini "race car" and drive off for 7 mile per hour a trip around a 0.4 mile track. The attraction has been re-themed several times over the years with the current mood set to remind drivers of the Indiana Motor Speedway.

Walt Disney World Railroad - A 3 ft narrow gauge railroad, guests can climb aboard one of four locomotives for a 1.5 mile round trip tour around the Park. Guests can board at one of three stations; Main Street USA, Frontierland, or Fantasyland.

Disney Train at the RoundhouseDisney Train at the Roundhouse

While some things stay the same, Disney has always tried to shake things up to keep guests coming back. While the following attractions still exist in some form, the show isn't quite the same as back in 1971.

Country Bear Jamboree - There's some good ol' country rhythm going on in this fun musical stage show featuring a cast of audio-animatronic bears. In 2012, the show underwent a long refurbishment with all the characters getting new skin, fur, and costumes. During this time the show was shortened by 5 minutes to help increase daily capacity.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant - When Fantasyland received an expansion, Dumbo got a beautiful upgrade with an interactive play queue, new soundtrack, fountains, and a second hub that rotates clockwise from the original hub creating a dueling Dumbos effect.

Tropical Serenade - Now called Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room, has gone through a couple of reconstructions, with the most recent one occurring after some characters were damaged. That's OK though because not many fans were happy with the "Tiki Room Under New Management" show that played for many years. The current iteration makes nods back to the original show but with a slightly altered script, but the same original spirit.

A Cast of 225 Audio- Animatronic PerformersA Cast of 225 Audio-Animatronic Performers

The Hall of Presidents - This look at American history stayed the same until 1993 when a full script rewrite happened. Figures of Gerald R. Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama were then added as each entered into office. Soon Donald Trump will be added to the cast, though we do not know if that will include another script change.

While the nature of Disney Parks is that they are always changing, these great attractions still remain in some form of their 1971 opening state. They are true Disney classics, and a fantastic place to begin your Walt Disney World adventure.

Do you have any favorite attractions from the original Magic Kingdom? Do you have childhood memories that come flooding back every time you slide into the ride vehicle seat? Leave a comment below and share your original Disney story.

wdwizbest wrote on Tue, 02/28/2017 - 15:22:

wdwizbest's picture

Mr. Toad's wild ride was one of my favorites. When did Peter Pan open?

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 13:51:

Kristen K.'s picture

Oh my gosh! LOL! I missed Peter Pan's Flight, I only have 13 up there. Yes, Peter Pan's Flight was also an opening day attraction. I'll go back and update the article.

Mike L. wrote on Wed, 03/01/2017 - 19:23:

Mike L.'s picture

Always liked the Skyway ride, got to ride it for the last time in 1998. It closed before I made any visits in 1999.

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