Walt Disney World Opening Day Attractions: How Many Are Still Around?

by | Dec 5, 2023 | Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

Find out which opening day attractions at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom are still open and welcoming guests over 50 years later.

When Walt Disney World welcomed its very first guests on October 1, 1971, it was vastly different from the sprawling resort it is today. At the time, there was just one theme park – Magic Kingdom Park – and only 23 attractions to explore. However, as we’ve seen over the last five decades, Disney World is now truly a whole world, with four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of hotels, and even Disney Springs. But if you’re hoping to enjoy a touch of that original opening day magic, you can still find a surprising number of attractions at Magic Kingdom that have been around since the very beginning.

So, what attractions were around to ride back on opening day in 1971 at Disney World? Magic Kingdom is still home to quite a few of its original rides and entertainment, and you can discover a full list of what was available on opening day below.

A Complete List of Magic Kingdom Park Opening Day Attractions

Back when Magic Kingdom – and Disney World at large – first opened, there was quite a lot of overlap between the Florida theme park and the original Disneyland Park in California. As Magic Kingdom was meant to be a slightly different version of Disneyland, guests who visited on opening day found that it was similar not only in layout and lands, but also in attractions.

What attractions could guests ride and experience on Magic Kingdom’s opening day in 1971? Here’s a look at the complete list of available attractions:

  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Tropical Serenade
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Mike Fink Keel Boats
  • Frontierland Shooting Gallery
  • Diamond Horseshoe Revue
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Snow White’s Adventures
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mickey Mouse Revue
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Skyway
  • Grand Prix Raceway

Walt Disney World Opening Day Attractions You Can Still Experience

Guests will once again be able to enjoy a trip aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad this holiday season at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photo by Courtney Kiefer / Disney

As Walt Disney World and Magic Kingdom have changed over the many decades since both first opened, a surprising number of the original, opening day attractions that were present in 1971 are still around. While some have been relegated to Disney World history (like the beloved Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which faced a very contentious closure), quite a few have already surpassed their 50th anniversaries.

The next time you’re headed to Disney World, make sure to ride these Magic Kingdom opening day attractions that you can still experience today:

  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Tropical Serenade (now Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room)
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Frontierland Shooting Gallery
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel (now Prince Charming Regal Carrousel)
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant (now Tomorrowland Speedway)
  • Grand Prix Raceway

How Magic Kingdom’s Remaining Opening Day Attractions Have Changed

Main Street Vehicles: The fleet of Main Street Vehicles rolling down Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom remain relatively unchanged since opening day. You’ll still catch the Omnibus, fire engine, and jitney vehicles ferrying guests around – and sometimes, you may even spot the horse-drawn trolley!

Walt Disney World Railroad: When Magic Kingdom first opened, so too did the Walt Disney World Railroad with a 1.5-mile route around the theme park, with three stations. Today, the journey is pretty much the same as on opening day, though changes to the park (like the addition of TRON Lightcycle / Run) have resulted in some slight updates over the years.

Jungle Cruise: On Magic Kingdom’s opening day, Jungle Cruise was up and running – and unlike the version at Disneyland, this attraction started off with a punny script. Over the years, little has changed here, and guests can experience essentially the opening day ride as it was back in 1971, with some enhancements and adjustments over the years to mirror social changes as well as the live-action film storyline of Jungle Cruise (2021).

Swiss Family Treehouse: Here’s an opening day attraction at Walt Disney World that’s remained unchanged over the years. The Swiss Family Treehouse, which was modeled after the Disneyland version, is just as it was five decades ago.

Tropical Serenade: On opening day, this Magic Kingdom attraction might’ve sounded like an original attraction, but it was actually just a differently-named version of Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Over the years, this attraction has changed twice. In 1998, it was reimagined into The Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management), with an updated show featuring Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from The Lion King. In 2011, the attraction was changed again, back to the original script (with a few tweaks for the modern era, that is.) So, you can say this attraction is pretty much the same as it was on opening day, albeit with a new name!

Country Bear Jamboree: If you want to recapture that opening day magic, catch a show of the Country Bear Jamboree. This long-running attraction is just as it was back in 1971 – however, changes are planned, and Disney revealed at Destination D23 in 2023 that it’ll be reimagined for new audiences soon. So, if you want to catch the original show while it’s still around, act quickly.

Frontierland Shooting Gallery: Now called Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, this simulated shooting game has gotten some technology updates and refurbishments over the years, but otherwise remains relatively unchanged. 

Hall of Presidents: Technically, the Hall of Presidents changes with every presidency, since the attraction is always updated to reflect new presidents. But otherwise, this opening day attraction at Magic Kingdom is just the same as it always was.

Haunted Mansion: As a beloved attraction modeled after Disneyland’s own version, the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom remains pretty much the same as it was on opening day. Changes have been made over the years, but they’re mostly welcome ones, like the arrival of Hatbox Ghost in 2023.

Haunted Mansion facts

Photo by Rain Blanken

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel: Although this opening day attraction has undergone a name change – it’s now known as Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – it still maintains its original ornate horses and classic carousel spin to this day.

“it’s a small world”: If you can’t get famous tune from this beloved Fantasyland attraction out of your head, you aren’t alone! “it’s a small world” has been setting sail around the world at Magic Kingdom in its original form since the theme park’s opening day back in 1971. Aside from refurbishments over the years, it’s still in the very same shape and storyline.

Peter Pan’s Flight: Peter Pan’s Flight is still the most popular dark ride in Fantasyland at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and this opening day attraction is just as beloved as when it welcomed its first guests over 50 years ago. Updates have made slight changes to the attraction over the years, but it’s still quite true to its original form today.

Mad Tea Party: There’s been one big change to the Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland since it opened with Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. The tea cups were originally completely uncovered, just like the version at Disneyland. However, thanks to Florida’s frequent rain, the attraction got an upgrade when a canopy was added to keep guests dry and covered.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Dumbo is perhaps the most changed opening day attraction at Disney World. The flying elephants underwent two major remodels after 1971, with revamps in 1993 and 2012. However, the 2012 remodel was especially significant, as it was part of the larger 2011 Fantasyland reimaging – as a result, Dumbo the Flying Elephant was actually moved out of this land and into the new Storybook Circus area. The ride also doubled, with a second set of flying elephants added. 

Grand Prix Raceway: Influenced by the Autopia at Disneyland, the Grand Prix Raceway allowed Disney World guests to race (well, drive, at least) around a 2,260-foot long track at a top speed of 7 miles per hour. Over time, this attraction has remained pretty unchanged, though its name has changed; it’s now called Tomorrowland Speedway. The track has also gotten slightly shorter as changes to the theme park’s layout and shape have occurred.

Posts by Heather Adams

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Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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Authored by
Heather Adams

Heather is a lifelong Disney fan who grew up at Disneyland and loves spending as much time as possible in the parks. As WDW Magazine’s Content Operations Manager, Heather is a content creator and strategist with experience at a wide variety of different outlets. She’s written for publications including Clean Eating Magazine, Fatherly, The Drive, Task and Purpose, Healthversed, Nation.com, and Car Bibles. Heather also authored the book Fidget!: 101 Ways to Boost Your Creativity and Decrease Stress.
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