The Disney parks have changed a lot over the years, but you can still find several classic Disney World attractions in the Magic Kingdom nearly five decades later! Many are replicas of attractions that first debuted at Disneyland in California years earlier, but a few are quite unique to the Florida parks.
Here’s eleven attractions that debuted in 1971 that guests can still enjoy today:
Country Bear Jamboree
This attraction has the distinction of being one of last attractions that Walt Disney himself worked on and remains in the park to this day. You’ll find this 16-minute show over in Adventureland at Grizzly Hall featuring eighteen talking and singing animatronic animals.
Even though this attraction is quite outdated compared to the rest of the park and could use a technology upgrade, it is a classic and a good air-conditioned break from the Florida heat. The show usually runs several times each day and has no height requirement, so the whole family can enjoy this attraction together.
Fun Fact: This attraction was originally designed for a ski resort that Disney was planning to open out in California, but since this resort was never built, the attraction was relocated to the Walt Disney World Resort instead.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Perhaps the most iconic of all classic Disney attractions, the original Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride opened at Disneyland in California on August 16, 1955. Sixteen years later, a second Dumbo attraction debuted in Florida at Walt Disney World’s grand opening in 1971. After the Fantasyland expansion beginning in 2012, Dumbo The Flying Elephant was moved to its current location in Storybook Circus where two identical versions of the attraction now sit.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant is a popular choice for baby’s first ride at Walt Disney World and is a great option for all ages since there is no height requirement and its a fairly short ride time. How high Dumbo flies can also be manually controlled, which is great if someone in your party isn’t a big fan of heights.
The Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents is not only one of the longest running shows at Walt Disney World… it’s also one of the longest shows you can watch at approximately 25 minutes! Along with 44 impressive animatronics of each of the Presidents throughout American history, guests will also see presentations retelling the founding of the United States and key moments in the nation’s history, including the creation of the Constitution, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.
If you’re looking for an educational as well as an entertaining attraction, stop by Liberty Square and catch one of the many showings for The Hall of Presidents throughout the day.
Fun Fact: There’s been 45 Presidents in American history, but only 44 animatronics are featured in this show because Grover Cleveland served as both the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States!
Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion opened a little over two years after the original version of the attraction debuted in Disneyland California in 1969, which was “the first major Disney attraction to open without the direct supervision of Walt Disney.” While this slow-moving dark ride is considered a classic, it is very different from any other ride you’ll find at Walt Disney World both in theme and atmosphere.
There is no height requirement, but it may be frightening for children (especially certain scenes). It’s more goofy than scary overall, but it is extremely dark (lighting wise) and the theming is also quite dark for Disney.
“it’s a small world”
Everyone knows this famous tune written by the Sherman brothers! This classic attraction is a relaxing 10-minute boat ride that takes guests on a journey to meet audio-animatronics from every continent, all singing “it’s a small world” in multiple languages. It was originally created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair where it was showcased for two seasons, and it is known for its unique artistic style designed by Mary Blair.
Like Dumbo The Flying Elephant, “it’s a small world” is another great ride choice for kids since it has no height requirement. Young children will love the fun song and bright colors featured throughout this ride!
Fun Fact: “it’s a small world” isn’t the only place you can see Mary Blair’s artwork on display in Walt Disney World. You can also find her mural featuring the famous five legged goat at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!
This 10-minute boat ride has been taking guests on a tour through the jungle since it opened in 1971. Located in Adventureland, Jungle Cruise is known for its comedic skippers telling punny jokes that go on for niles, and niles, and niles…
Along the winding jungle river guests will encounter a multitude of life-size animal animatronics, including elephants, hippos, tigers, zebra, rhinos, snakes, and lions.
There’s no height requirement for this attraction, so it’s another one that your whole family can ride together.
Mad Tea Party
One of Disney’s most iconic rides, the Mad Tea Party is still spinning away in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom every day! This ride first debuted at Disneyland’s opening in 1955 and then found its way to Walt Disney World’s opening in 1971. You can spin as fast or as slow as you want in this ride and there’s no height requirement, so this attraction is great for kids too!
Fun Fact: The Mad Tea Party isn’t the only place you’ll find Alice In Wonderland! Take a look at our post “4 Places You Can Find Alice In Wonderland at Walt Disney World” to learn more about where you can see Alice and her friends in the parks.
Peter Pan’s Flight
With this attraction you’ll feel like you really can fly! Once you board your very own pirate ship, you’ll gently glide through multiple well-known scenes and locations from Disney’s classic Peter Pan film. Every famous character from Disney’s version of this tale can be spotted in this dark ride, including Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, Wendy Darling, and Tinker Bell.
Fun Fact: Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the few rides that actually suspend guests in the air for the entirety of the attraction.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Fantasyland wouldn’t be complete without its very own carrousel. Located directly behind Cinderella Castle, this attraction features 90 horses, colorful decorations, and bright lights. Like Disneyland’s own merry-go-round, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Walt Disney World also has a special history – it was actually built in 1917 and spent many years at a park in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Magic Kingdom over fifty years later!
While it may very well be the stinkiest ride in all of Walt Disney World, kid’s love this attraction because they can “drive” their very own race car around the track. It’s definitely a classic ride, and one that’s once again designed as a replica of the original – Autopia – which is located in Disneyland.
The only thing that would make this attraction better is if they’d upgrade the gas-powered motors with electric ones so we would all have a quieter (and less smelly!) experience at Magic Kingdom!
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room originally opened as the Tropical Serenade at Magic Kingdom in 1971. This little show is full of fun characters, great music, and an amazing array of over 225 audio-animatronic birds, flowers, and tikis.
It must have really been something to see Walt Disney’s little singing birds come to life in this show for the very first time all those years ago, and even though their performance has changed a bit over the years, we are so glad that they continue to bring big smiles to so many guests (including us!) to this day!
Fun Fact: Disneyland’s version of the Enchanted Tiki Room was the first attraction to introduce audio-animatronic technology.
Thanks for reading our article about the 11 Classic Disney World Attractions You Can Still Find Today!
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As always, we encourage you to visit Disney’s website for all official information and to make sure that none of this information has changed since this article was written. We update our website and articles as often as we can, but it is always a good idea to double check Disney’s official website before booking any resort stays or visiting the Walt Disney World Resort.
All photos in this article not owned by Travel Times Two are used with permission. Thank you to Magic Bound Travel for sharing their photos with us!Article Last Update October 22, 2020