Since 1971, the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando Florida has been providing joy, laughter, and excitement to fans of all ages around the globe. Soon the park will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2021, and we are still riding and enjoying several of its original attractions.
Though they might have received some technological updates, exterior remodelings, or simply a new coat of paint, these rides have been with us since the very beginning, and some even further than that. Time to take a Disney history lesson with a little theme park 101, because we have ten of Walt Disney World's oldest attractions.
10 The Country Bear Jamboree
We'll start this list off with an easy one. Like many of the attractions on our list, the Country Bear Jamboree opened its doors the same day as the Magic Kingdom. Since then, though a few technological changes have been made, Henry, Wendell, Big Al, Trixie, and all the rest have had their paws full of adoring fans.
The attraction was so popular, Disneyland eventually adopted a version for their own Critter Country. Ever the fan-favorite, the band of bears continues to serenade guests to this day. So clap your hands and stomp your feet all the way to Country Bear Hall to experience this furry and fun attraction.
9 Enchanted Tiki Room
Where birds sing words and the flowers croon, it's Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. In its heyday, this attraction was one of the most technologically advanced treasures in the Magic Kingdom. With its colorful birds, singing flowers, and drumming tiki gods, the attraction has been nothing short of iconic since the day it opened.
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José, Michael, Fritz, and Pierre have been singing and squawking for decades and haven't said aloha yet. If you've never been to this wonderful musical attraction, there's no better place to enjoy your Dole Whip than this terrific tropical hideaway.
8 Peter Pan's Flight
Definitely a ride with its share of history, Peter Pan's flight is almost a carbon copy of the Disneyland counterpart. Since the Magic Kingdom is essentially Disneyland 2.0, it makes sense for rides originating there to make an appearance on our list. Peter Pan's Flight definitely meets our criteria for classic attraction.
Board a floating pirate ship and sail through the skies over London as Peter Pan takes you to the second star to the right and off to Neverland on a swashbuckling adventure. The ride is imaginative and familiar, a perfect combination for those wanting a classic experience in Fantasyland.
7 The Jungle Cruise
So popular they had to give it a movie starring The Rock, it's the Disney Jungle Cruise. Almost every fan of the parks is familiar with this bombastic boat ride. A Disneyland favorite that made a seamless transition into Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, this ride found a much more fitting home down in Florida rather than California.
Cruise past elephants, tigers, and a tribe of head-hunters as you explore the wonders of a trackless jungle. With all the corny jokes and dialogue from your skipper, it comes together for an attraction as entertaining as it is adventurous.
6 The Hall of Presidents
Much like the Enchanted Tiki Room, Disney's Hall of Presidents was once the crowning achievement of audio-animatronic technology. Though some of their models might be a tad unnerving, we're actually quite impressed with how lifelike some of the presidents are. Here's to you, Mr. Lincoln.
American history is made all the more interesting and understandable with a little bit of Disney magic thrown in, and the Hall of Presidents has been providing it since the Magic Kingdom opened its doors. Whether you find it interesting, uncanny, or a little bit of both, you can't deny the attraction is rich and engaging.
5 Space Mountain
Though not as old as something like the Tomorrowland Speedway, another Disneyland original, Space Mountain is a Disney World classic that has been sending us into orbit since 1975. Inspired by Disneyland's Matterhorn, this incredible interstellar coaster has been delighting fans young and old for decades.
Opening a full two years before its Californian cousin, Space Mountain is easily one of our favorite coasters in all of the Disney Parks, next to Big Thunder of course. The queue and effects have had some minor alterations during its career, but it's still the same classic coaster we've always loved.
4 It's A Small World
Small World gets a special mention on our list due to the fact that it didn't open at Disneyland or Disney World but at the 1964 World's Fair. Which means hundreds and hundreds of people have had that infamous song in their heads for at least 55 years!
Love it, hate it, tolerate it, or wish that the Sherman Brothers weren't so good at their jobs, you can't deny the impact the ride has had on the Disney name. The happiest cruise around the world has been sailing ever since, and we still can't stop singing along.
3 The Haunted Mansion
First appearing in Disneyland, but definitely an attraction that has existed since Disney World's opening date, the Haunted Mansion has been scaring up good times since the '60s and '70s. Though the original debuted in California, the Floridian fright-fest is definitely the bigger and better model.
With additional scenes, characters, and effects, this version of the famous dark ride, Disney World's Haunted Mansion is the definition of new and improved. Though there's no Hatbox Ghost, it still has plenty of spooky surprises in store for anyone willing to walk the halls of Gracey Manor.
2 The Magic Kingdom Railroad
Like the locomotives that cart guests around the perimeter of Disneyland in California, the Magic Kingdom Railroad uses real vintage steam engines to take guests to and from various stations around the park. A fan and family favorite, they've been in service since the very beginning, and are set to return after repairs in 2021.
Walt Disney's love for trains followed him even into the peak of his successful career. And nowhere is that admiration for these steam-driven giants more represented than in his parks' railroads. Don't miss the train, climb aboard on these rolling pieces of Disney history.
1 Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel
Though this attraction premiered with the park in 1971, the carousel itself is actually older than both Disneyland and the Walt Disney World resort. Before being adopted and refurbished by the Walt Disney Company, the carousel was built in 1917, making it the oldest attraction in any Disney-owned property.
Though it might appear to be like any other merry-go-round ride, once you take in the fact that the inner workings and machinery are over one-hundred years old should be enough to impress you. It's definitely more magical than your average attraction, just not in the way you'd expect.