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Disney World: The 10 Best Opening Day Attractions

On October 1, 1971, Disney opened its first-ever Florida resort: Disney World. While it opened with only a single park (the Magic Kingdom), a few hotels, and a golf course, the vacation location has expanded to include four theme parks, two water parks, 27 resorts, 9 additional non-Disney hotels, the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment location, and so much more.

Today, we're looking at some of the best Disney World attractions that have been there since day one. Despite there being a load of fun opening day attractions, we'll only be looking at those that are still operating now so that you can experience them for yourself.

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With that said, here are the best attractions which have always been a staple at the Magic Kingdom.

10 It’s A Small World

This Fantasyland boat ride sends guests on a cruise around the world. Mixed with cheery theme music which you'll never forget and a load of singing and dancing dolls, It’s A Small World is bursting with life and nostalgia.

Though longtime park-goers might get a little sick of this one, it's undeniable that the scenes are beautifully designed and colorful. Having first made an appearance at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the well-received ride naturally made its way to Disneyland and later Disney World upon opening.

9 Tomorrowland Speedway

via: The Disney Blog

This mini raceway lets guests drive their own gas-powered cars through a fun and exciting track.

Yes, the cars only go 7 mph. That being said, the race theming is top-notch, which keeps the makes the ride entertaining, despite being slow.

The Tomorrowland Speedway is similar to the Autopia race car attraction at Disneyland in California. That being said, it's based on an international track rather than a futuristic one.

8 Mad Tea Party

Located in Fantasyland, this spinning teacup ride twirls guests in circles around an Alice in Wonderland-themed set. Each teacup automatically rotates, although guests can make them turn faster by spinning a wheel in the middle of each ride vehicle.

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 Though the original 1971 version of the Mad Tea Party opened outdoors, a roof was added a couple of years later to keep guests away from the rain and sun.

The ride got a fresh coat of paint and music update in 1992, and in 2010, the giant canopy that stretches over the attraction was also splashed with new colors.

7 Country Bear Jamboree

via wdwmagic.com

Frontierland’s Country Bear Jamboree is a lively stage show featuring a cast of animatronic bears. They perform a selection of western songs including “The Ballad of Davy Crockett,” “Heart, We Did All That We Could,” and “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone.”

The attraction got an update in 2012, with every character getting fresh skins, furs, and costumes. Additionally, certain songs were modified or removed and the dialogue was also revised. This has the current version of the show clocking in around 4 to 5 minutes shorter than before.

Though the attraction still feels a little dated despite the update, it is nonetheless a classic.

6 Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

This charming Fantasyland carousel has a vibrant history that stretches over 100 years. It was first built in 1917 and sent to Detroit, Michigan. It was later transferred to Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey, and in 1967, Disney got their hands on the ride system.

Disney modified the mechanics as well as the horses to match the Cinderella theming that they were aiming for. The attraction opened alongside the Magic Kingdom in 1971 as Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel. However, though the attraction remained largely the same, it received a Prince Charming name change and freshened backstory in 2010.

5 The Hall Of Presidents

The Hall of Presidents is a Liberty Square show attraction that has gone through its fair share of changes over the years. Presently, it contains animatronics of all 44 U.S. Presidents and features speeches by Lincoln and Washington as well as a short film about notable presidencies.

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 The original version also had Lincoln giving a speech, though it was different than the one he gives now. Additionally, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama recorded speeches for their lookalike animatronics to give during their presidencies.

The attraction was refurbished in 2017 to allow Donald Trump to recite the Presidential Oath of Office and will be updated again when a new president moves into The White House.

4 Dumbo The Flying Elephant

The carousel-style ride featuring Disney's famous flying elephant was copied from Disneyland and pasted in the Magic Kingdom. It had a few slight variations, but overall, the attraction was largely the same.

Sometime after opening, the Dumbo vehicles received hats and near 1972, Timothy and his disco ball were added to the center. The ride got new mechanisms and was expanded from 10 elephants to 16 in 1993.

When Disney began renovating Fantasyland in 2011, Dumbo was moved, cloned, and altogether updated. The newest rendition of the ride features two carousels, which has helped the wait times stay low in recent years.

3 The Jungle Cruise

This riverboat attraction also got its start in Disneyland. Its twin later opened in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

The Jungle Cruise takes guests on a journey down the Amazon River via 1930s-style tramp steamers. As visitors go through the water, they'll notice all sorts of animatronic jungle animals and lush scenery. Additionally, a tour guide gives guests a humorous pun-heavy narration.

Beginning in 2013, this attraction got a fun seasonal overlay during Christmastime. Additionally, the Jungle Cruise is set to be released as a film starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt next summer.

2 The Haunted Mansion

This Liberty Square dark ride takes guests on a journey through a manor where "999 happy haunts" reside. The Omnimover system is continuous, letting guests slowly cruise through the fun, spooky rooms.

The Florida version of The Haunted Mansion was built to be slightly longer than the one at Disneyland in California because Disney World doesn't have the same space restrictions.

Over the years, updates have been made that reflect the newest ride technology. This includes projected portions of the attraction as well as more vivid ghosts.

1 Peter Pan’s Flight

Topping off this list is the dreamy Peter Pan's Flight located in Fantasyland. This classic dark ride sends guests off to Neverland via their own flying pirate ship. Thanks to special technology, the ride vehicles are able to hang over the scenes below them.

The original Disneyland ride had guests playing the role of the protagonist in Peter Pan's Flight. This caused riders to become confused when they didn't see Peter himself in the attraction named for him. Disney took note of the complaints and decided to add him to the Magic Kingdom's version.

The only major update the Disney World rendition has received is an enhanced, interactive ride queue.

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