Can you believe that the Magic Kingdom has been open for more that forty years? Disney has done a stellar job of updating their attractions and adding more and more to experience every year. But some Disney classics remain, and for nostalgia’s sake we hope they are here to stay…
10. Mad Tea Party – You haven’t truly done Magic Kingdom if you’ve never been on the Teacups. Mad Tea Party was one of the original attractions at the park opening on October 1, 1971. Although it is known to make some queasy because of the spinning, you are able to control the intensity of your ride with the disc in the center of your cup. In 1975 a covering was added to the original open-air ride in order to offer guests some shade and also allow the ride to continue to function in rainy weather.
9. Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel – Located directly behind Cinderella’s Castle, this traditional theme park attraction was also one of the original rides at the Magic Kingdom. However, its name used to be Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel until it was changed in 2010. The ride remains the same though, still boasting 90 hand-carved horses to choose from – or one carriage, if you prefer.
8. Tomorrowland Speedway – On opening day the Grand Prix Speedway was the only attraction in all of Tomorrowland! It was quickly joined by other attractions, but the speedway remains a constant classic. Though the name was changed to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway and then shortened to the current Tomorrowland Speedway, the premise of the ride is the same: steer your own gas-powered vehicle around the track to victory at speeds of up to 7 MPH. The Speedway is a favorite for kids – of yesterday, today, and tomorrow!
7. The Haunted Mansion – Do you dare to take a trip with the dead? The barely-scary Haunted Mansion has also been around since Magic Kingdom’s opening. It’s more hilarious than horrifying and has become a must-see for a classic Disney experience. Little has changed in the ride since day one, but the queue was updated in 2011 with interactive elements. Doing this ride around Halloween is the best – they turn up the music and the fog!
6. Jungle Cruise – No trip to Adventureland is complete without a jaunt on the Jungle Cruise. Again, this one is an original to the Magic Kingdom, and has gone through only minor updates and changes (for instance, the guides no longer carry guns since the post-9/11 security increases). Even if you don’t appreciate the animatronic animals, you have to admire the skippers’ cheesy, dry jokes. Jungle Cruise is a favorite!
5. Walt Disney World Railroad – Get a full view of Magic Kingdom aboard this classic steam-powered train! The Walt Disney World Railroad opened with the park, and is an iconic sight upon first entering the gates. Taking a ride on one of the train cars is also a handy way to get from one area to another, with stops in Main Street U.S.A, Frontierland, and Fantasyland.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean – Yo-ho, yo-ho a pirate’s life for me! Though Pirates of the Caribbean was not one of the original Magic Kingdom attractions, it joined the park in 1973 and became an instant favorite. The ride was updated with realistic animatronic elements to sync better with the blockbuster movies, but remains thematically the same.
3. Peter Pan’s Flight – What’s more magical than flying with Peter in your very own pirate ship? This attraction was not functioning on opening day, but debuted shortly after in 1971. Elements have been added and the popularity prompted recent queue updates, but it remains classic Disney through and through.
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2. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Soaring with Dumbo has been on most tourists’ must-do lists since park opening. Promotional material has often included guests riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant, making it as classic as the castle itself. With the overhaul of Fantasyland, Dumbo changed locations, added a mirror image ride, and incorporated a playground in the queue, making it even more popular and accessible.
1. it’s a small world – Though the ride often takes flack for it’s tune, it’s a small world remains a nostalgic favorite of Disney goers yearly. It too is one of the originals, with only minor changes and updates since it’s first day. Bring some pennies to toss in the water, pick your favorite cultural room, and hum along!
So there you have it – 10 favorites that have stood the test of time. What is your favorite classic Magic Kingdom attraction?
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