Disney is amazing for so many reasons – one of which being that they are constantly changing things up, and offering up new rides, attractions, and experiences for their guests. Innovation is a key to getting people to come to Disney World (and to keep them coming back for more year after year!) – but aside from the shiny, new stuff, we can’t forget about the older attractions – they are the backbone of Disney, and what helped turn it into the magical place it is today! So while you may go for the new, stay for the retro – and don’t forget to check out these amazing classic Magic Kingdom Rides:
Space Mountain: Since opening in 1975, this thrill ride through space has always been one of the most popular rides in Tomorrowland, with wait times often exceeding 2 hours (Fastpass+ HIGHLY recommended for this one!). The idea for this was Walt’s – he wanted a high-speed attraction themed around the space age, and while he unfortunately wasn’t alive to see the finished product, I am sure he would love the way it turned out! A fast-paced tour of the galaxy is what you’ll get on this roller coaster – oh, and to add to the thrills, you’ll be mostly in the dark, too! The space theme is a bit cheesy – but still really fun, and a must do for all roller coaster lovers out there
“It’s A Small World”: This attraction was originally designed by Walt Disney for the Pepsi-Cola company to benefit UNICEF at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, and when the Fair closed, the attraction was moved to Disneyland. It was so popular there that it was duplicated at Walt Disney World, and has been bringing magic to Fantasyland since the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971. The ride features children of the world singing the catchy tune as they showcase their different country’s cultures. It’s a gentle boat ride through different themed rooms, where the Audio-animatronic children dance and sing and delight those of all ages. It’s a must do especially during the hottest/sunniest times – as the ride is inside so it provides a nice cool place to relax and be entertained at the same time
Carousel of Progress: I think the award for “Most Interesting Historical Attraction” goes to Walt Disney’s Carousel Of Progress – as it’s not only a fun trip back through history, but it also teaches us about how electricity has made the world a better place along the way. It was another 1964-65 New York World’s Fair creation of Walt’s – sponsored by General Electric (hence the nod to electricity throughout history), and once the Fair was over it was moved to Disneyland for 6 years – during which time it was viewed by over 31 million people, before making its way to Walt Disney World – to reopen in 1975 – and it’s been entertaining and educating audiences ever since! The show features 4 different “stages” – each show a different time period and talk about how electricity has improved our lives. I think the best part of this attraction (aside from Rover – the family dog!) is the Carousel portion of it – the stage stays put while the audience portion rotates around it for each scene change. It’s pretty unique, and I love the fact that it’s one of Walt Disney’s personal creations
Mad Tea Party: This attraction opened in October 1971 when the Magic Kingdom first opened, and it is inspired by the crazy Tea Party Scene featuring the Mad Hatter from Disney’s 1951 animated classic Alice In Wonderland. You board a giant teacup, and then you can SPIN like CRAZY once the ride starts! You can control how much you spin (so of course most people want to go as fast as possible the whole time – including my husband ha) – so if you are with someone who will want to spin fast, you may want to do this one on a less full stomach, lest you get queasy! But seriously, it’s a fun time – I LOVE the theming, and the cups themselves are so whimsical and fun – it’s a great way to relive the magic of Alice and her trip to Wonderland!
Haunted Mansion: Located atop a hill overlooking Liberty Square, this spooky house is home to “999 Happy Haunts” and is looking for YOU to become Lucky Ghost #1000! While this ride has been open since the debut of the Magic Kingdom, it has gotten a few facelifts along the way – including the addition of an “interactive queue” in 2011 (a great way to stay busy during a long wait time!). Once inside, you board a “Doom Buggy” on a tour through the Mansion, where many spooky, creepy sights await you! It is all in good fun, but little ones might be frightened by the darkness and scary scenes featured throughout – just an FYI. Personally, I have always loved it – and it’s one we do multiple times during each trip – it just never gets old!
Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was the first park in Orlando, with an opening date of October 1, 1971 – and while unfortunately, Walt Disney wasn’t alive to see it come to life, his legacy lived on all throughout the Park, and it still does today, too – with these classic attractions (some of which were open since that very first day!) that are a “Must-Do” for me and my family.
What about you – Which classic Magic Kingdom Attractions are on YOUR must do list?
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