What attractions were open when Magic Kingdom debuted in 1971?

After years of anticipation, Magic Kingdom opened to the public on October 1st, 1971, becoming the first Disney park to open in Florida. Fascinated park guests entered through the gates onto Main Street, being greeted with electric energy full of magic and awe.

Cindy Inserra was there that day, telling FOX 35 that "everyone around us was in awe of the magic of Mickey. The feeling was like floating and butterflies."


Photo from Cindy Inserra

Susan Kroll, another person who attended the opening of Magic Kingdom in 1971, felt similar energy, stating that "I couldn’t even believe how beautiful it was. Everybody that was there was just fascinated with the whole place."


Photo from Susan Gaul Kroll


Several attractions at Magic Kingdom were open for visitors like Cindy and Susan to enjoy on October 1st, 1971. Many of them are still operating to this day. FOX 35 dug through history to bring you information about each one.


Disney said that the current attraction, ‘Prince Charming Regal Carrousel,’ was open when Magic Kingdom debuted in 1971. However, at the time, it was called ‘Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel.’ The ride’s name was said to have changed on June 1st, 2010.


Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (Photo from Walt Disney World)

The attraction takes guests on a "royal spin" and reportedly features 90 wood-carved ornate horses and one carved chariot.


Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (Photo from Walt Disney World)

They said that the ride was originally built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1917 for the Detroit Palace Garden Park. It was later moved to Maplewood Olympic Park in New Jersey, where Disney designers discovered it. They gave it a complete renovation and brought it to Walt Disney World.


The ‘Country Bear Jamboree’ debuted on Magic Kingdom’s opening day, Disney confirmed, bringing a "cuddly, country-western celebration" to park guests. 18 audio-animatronics perform country songs to an audience.


Country Bear Jamboree (Photo from Walt Disney World Resort)

Disney said that the Country Bear Jamboree was one of the very last attractions that Walt helped developed. It was originally planned for a never-built Disney ski resort in Mineral King, California. It first debuted at Walt Disney World and went on to open at several other Disney parks worldwide.


Country Bear Jamboree (Photo from Walt Disney World Resort)

When the attraction opened in 1971 in Florida, an official Country Bear Jamboree record was reportedly released too. Inside the album jacket, fans could read detailed descriptions of each bear’s backstory.


Country Bear Jamboree (Photo from Walt Disney World Resort)

For example, Henry was said to be a former football player for the Goose Creek Bruins, Teddi Barra was discovered at a soda fountain outside of Gentry, Arkansas, and Big Al was considered a "resident bard and balladeer in the swamp before Walt Disney World was built."


Country Bear Jamboree (Photo from Walt Disney World Resort)


According to Disney, the ‘Diamond Horseshoe Revue’ opened with Magic Kingdom on October 1st, 1971. The show is based on the original ‘Golden Horseshoe Revue’ attraction at Disneyland in California.

They said that in 1986, the ‘Diamond Horseshoe Revue’ show changed and became the ‘Diamond Horseshoe Jamboree.’ Then, it ended in February 2003, making way for ‘Goofy’s Country Dancin’ Jamboree’ to open in July 2003.


Magic Kingdom guests have hit the skies with ‘Dumbo the Flying Elephant’ ever since the park opened in 1971, Disney confirmed. The attraction is said to have been remodeled at least twice, once in 1993 and again in 2012. The ride remains open today.


Cast members dressed as cartoon characters Minnie Mouse (R) and Mickey Mouse (L) sit on a ride, June 17, 2020 (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

While the original Dumbo attraction is at Disneyland in California, there are reportedly versions of the ride at Disney parks worldwide.


This attraction, now called ‘Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade,’ is located inside the heart of Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland and opened on October 1st, 1971, Disney said. It is currently said to be ‘temporarily unavailable’ but Disney did not state why on its website.

When it was open, guests got to grab hold of what is said to be a replica .54 caliber Hawkins buffalo rifle and took aim at moving and stationary targets scattered against a southwestern landscape.


Disney confirmed that ‘The Hall of Presidents’ was open when Magic Kingdom debuted in 1971. For the last 50 years, it has educated park guests on the formation of the United States and the nation’s struggles through a recalling of the country’s presidents.


The Hall of Presidents (Photo from Walt Disney World)

The show, which is said to be 25 minutes long, has reportedly added nine presidents since opening in 1971. President Joe Biden is the most recent addition. However, there are only 45 presidents on stage because Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.


The Hall of Presidents (Photo from Walt Disney World)

Another fun fact that Disney shared about the show is that the Abraham Lincoln figure actually debuted at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.


The Hall of Presidents (Photo from Walt Disney World)


‘Haunted Mansion’ opened first at Disneyland in 1969 and then at Walt Disney World two years later, on the opening date of Magic Kingdom, Disney said. Riders are taken through the mansion, observing spooky exhibits and special effects along the way.


Haunted Mansion (Photo from Walt Disney World)

On the outside, the mansion looks elegant but inside, it takes on a much more ominous and scary look. Disney said that Walt wanted to "keep up the outside and let the ghosts take care of the interior."

The attraction has reportedly opened at several Disney parks worldwide.


‘It’s A Small World’ debuted with Magic Kingdom in 1971 and is still open to this day, Disney said. It takes guests through all seven continents, sailing past the sights and sounds of dozens of nations.


It's A Small World (Photo from Walt Disney World)

The ride opened first at Disneyland in 1966 after being moved from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, they explained. It opened next at Walt Disney World and then debuted at several Disney parks worldwide.

The music for the attraction was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who won two Oscars for their music in ‘Mary Poppins.’ They were reportedly asked by Walt to create a simple piece that could be reported over and over and sung in different languages.

"The resulting song became one of the best known Disney tunes of all time," Disney said.


‘Jungle Cruise’ opened on October 1st, 1971, at Magic Kingdom and remains open today. Disney said that the attraction, which takes riders on a river cruise full of comedy and adventure, recently received enhancements following the release of the 2021 ‘Jungle Cruise’ movie starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Emily Blunt.


Jungle Cruise (Photo from Walt Disney World)

When Walt opened the original attraction at Disneyland in 1955, it was said to be one of the most eagerly awaited rides yet because of its extensive publicity prior to opening. On television, Walt showed off the channel that the ride would go through, the trees being planted around it, and talked about what the ride would be like.


Jungle Cruise (Photo from Walt Disney World)


Another attraction that Disney said is still open to this day after opening with Magic Kingdom in 1971 is the ‘Mad Tea Party.’ Guests sit in an oversized teacup, controlling the speed and direction of their spin as music plays.


Mad Tea Party (Photo from Walt Disney World)

The ride is said to be inspired by the 1951 Disney film ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and the original version of the attraction opened at Disneyland in 1955.


Disney said that ‘Mickey Mouse Revue’ opened at Magic Kingdom on October 1st, 1971, and operated until September 14th, 1980. The revue featured a cast of animatronics that performed Disney songs. Mickey Mouse himself led an orchestra through it.

When Mickey Mouse Revue was removed though, Disney said that it became ‘Fantasyland Theater’ and was used seasonally. Fast-forward to present day and this spot is now the home of the ‘Mickey’s PhilharMagic.’


The ‘Mike Fink Keel Boats’ attraction opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971, Disney said. The original version of it at Disneyland was based on the television show, ‘Davy Crockett’s Keel Boat Race.’


"Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ opened on October 1st, 1971, in Magic Kingdom, Disney confirmed. The ride is based on ‘The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.’


On September 7th, 1998, Disney closed the attraction and it was reportedly replaced with ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.’ Disneyland still operates the original version of the ride.


Disney said that ’Peter Pan’s Flight’ opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971. 50 years later, the ride is still open, taking guests on a journey through the sky, following Peter Pan to Never Land.


Peter Pan's Flight (Photo from Walt Disney World)

While the attraction originated in Disneyland in 1955, it has since gone on to open at several Disney parks across the world, they said.


A ‘Skyway’ was established at Magic Kingdom upon opening in 1971, Disney said, connecting Tomorrowland and Fantasyland by gondola. It stayed in operation until November 9th, 1999.


Skyway multicolored cable cars passing over Fantasyland on their way to Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World, Florida, 1971. (Photo by Ray Fisher/Getty Images)

Other Disney parks, like Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, reportedly had a version of the ‘Skyway’ attraction as well but they have also since closed.


’Snow White’s Scary Adventures’ was opened on October 1st, 1971, at Magic Kingdom, according to Disney. It closed on May 31st, 2012, to make way for a meet-and-greet area called ‘Princess Fairytale Hall.’ This was part of the Fantasyland expansion at the park.


Snow White's Scary Adventures (Photo from Walt Disney World)

A new Snow White attraction, the ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, reportedly opened at the park in 2014. The coaster takes riders through a diamond mine from ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’


Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Photo from Walt Disney World)

Disney said that a piece of the ‘Snow White’s Scary Adventures’ ride can be spotted on the new ’Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’ attraction. It is located after the first lift when the mine cars pull out and travel up to the top of the mountain. This is where a jib crane sits topped by two ominous vultures — the latter of which is from Magic Kingdom’s original Snow White attraction.


Snow White's Scary Adventures (Photo from Walt Disney World)


Described by Disney as ‘the ultimate treehouse,’ the ‘Swiss Family Treehouse’ opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971. The attraction is inspired by the classic Disney film, the ‘Swiss Family Robinson.’ Guests can climb up to six stories, earning a 360-view of Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise river.


Swiss Family Treehouse (Photo from Walt Disney World)

Disney said that the treehouse, which takes 116 stairs to get to the top of, features five rooms: a living room, kitchen, library, master bedroom, and boys’ room. Then, at the tree’s base, is a large wooden wheel that gathers water from a stream. A series of contraptions carries the water up to the rooms inside the treehouse.


A mighty treehouse patterned after that used by the Swiss Family Robinson will eventually be built atop this gaunt skeleton at Walt Disney World, Florida, January 04, 1971. Though it now looks more like a primitive air conditioning unit; this framewo

"Tour the island abode the Swiss Family Robinson built after they were shipwrecked on a deserted island," the attraction reads on the Disney website. "Explore the living quarters of the famous adventurers and discover open-air rooms brimming with a bevy of 19th-century articles salvaged from the wreck."


The ‘Grand Prix Raceway,’ now known as the ‘Tomorrowland Speedway,’ opened on October 1st, 1971, at Magic Kingdom, Disney said. Drivers get to race around a 2,260-foot long track at about a reported seven miles per hour.


The attraction was said to be influenced by ‘Autopia’ at Disneyland.


Disney said that ‘The Tropical Serenade,’ which is now known as ‘Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room,’ opened with Magic Kingdom in 1971. The attraction was reshaped into ‘The Enchanted Tiki Room’ in 1998 and then reimagined once again in 2011. It now features re-mastered audio, new lighting, and an elaborate new centerpiece.


Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room (Photo from Walt Disney World)

In addition, Disney said that the attraction is based on Disneyland’s version of ‘Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.’ It opened in 1963 and became the first attraction to ever feature audio-animatronics figures – a breakthrough that took 10 years to develop.


The Walt Disney World Railroad opened on October 1st, 1971, at Magic Kingdom, Disney said. Walt himself considered a steam train a must-have in his plans for the Disneyland park in California. When conceptualizing the attraction for the Florida resort, the park purchased four locomotives with their own interesting history.

"Manufactured by the Baldwin Automotive Works of Philadelphia between 1915-1928 for the United Railways of Yucatan, these trains spent years transporting jute and sugar through the Yucatan Peninsula. The locomotives were restored, repainted and put in place in time for the park’s opening on October 1, 1971," they explained.


Photo from Walt Disney World

Since then, the Disney fleet is said to have consisted of three locomotives named after members of the Disney family: the Walter E. Disney, the Roy Disney, and the Lilly Belle (after Lillian Disney). A fourth train is said to be named after Imagineer Roger E. Broggie.

MORE NEWS: The history of Walt Disney World and its opening 50 years ago

Walt Disney World kicked off its 50th anniversary celebration, dubbed ‘The World’s Most Magical Celebration,' on October 1st. Festivities will go for 18 months as new experiences debut across the resort.

Many of those will be at Magic Kingdom, the park where it all started.

For example, Disney said that the centerpiece of the anniversary magic is Cinderella Castle. It underwent months of renovation, donning a new color and decor. Jewels and royal blue ribbons adorn the castle as gold draping and turrets surround its towers.


"The entire castle will shimmer with pearls and jewels, and the turrets and towers will be wrapped in iridescent gold and royal blue ribbons," George Adams of Walt Disney Imagineering previously said. "Above the castle gate, a 50th-anniversary crest will warmly welcome guests to join the festivities."


Disney Parks Blog

In addition, throughout Magic Kingdom are several of the ’Disney Fab 50’ statues. For example, some of the ones that can be found there are Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pinocchio.


Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are two of the "Disney Fab 50" golden character sculptures appearing in all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., as part of "The World’s Most Magical Celebration," beginning Oct. 1, 2021,

Finally, on October 1st, the ‘Disney Enchantment’ firework show will begin at Magic Kingdom, lighting up the night sky and kicking off the 50th anniversary fun. Disney said that the show will feature fireworks, music, enhanced lighting, immersive projection effects that extend for the first time down Main Street, U.S.A., and an original song, entitled ‘You Are the Magic,’ by seven-time Grammy-winner Philip Lawrence. 

MORE NEWS: Disney World History: The opening and evolution of the iconic ‘Space Mountain’ attraction

"Since opening day in 1971, dazzling fireworks shows have provided that perfect exclamation point at the end of a fantastic day at Magic Kingdom Park," said Mark Renfrow, Show Director, Disney Live Entertainment. "From ‘Fantasy in the Sky’ and ‘Wishes’ to holiday spectaculars and ‘Happily Ever After,’ each new show has raised the bar, and the best is yet to come! I can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re creating with ‘Disney Enchantment.’"


Featured in the show will reportedly be iconic characters, moments, and music from both Disney and Pixar films. For instance, spectators will join Tiana, Rapunzel, and ‘Onward’ brothers Ian and Barley as they set out on a journey with adventurers like Moana, Raya, and Judy Hopps. 


Disney Parks Blog

"Joe Gardner from Disney and Pixar’s ‘Soul’ takes us into ‘the zone,’ where we discover a whimsical world inspired by the style of legendary Disney artist Mary Blair and filled with beloved characters from classic stories like ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to contemporary tales including ‘Luca’ and 'Wreck-It Ralph," Disney explained. "Everything builds to a climactic moment, as Tinker Bell takes flight, spreading shimmering gold pixie dust and empowering us all to believe in ourselves and the magic all around us."

MORE NEWS: Disney World History: Cinderella Castle over the last 50 years

For more of what you need to know about the anniversary festivities, check out ‘What to expect during Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration’ by FOX 35.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest theme park news.