Skip to Content

Original Disney World Rides


Some are lucky enough to remember the original Disney World rides.

The ones that are now classics, like It’s a Small World and Peter Pan’s Flight? I wish I were lucky enough to go to Disney World back then.

Even though some of the original rides have been replaced or updated over the years, they hold a special place in all our hearts. If you’re heading to Disney World this year, check out some old-school rides!

What Were the Original Rides at Disney World When it Opened?

The original Walt Disney World Resort in Florida opened on October 1, 1971. It included the Magic Kingdom theme park, featuring several original Disney World rides. These were:

Tomorrowland:

  • Grand Prix Raceway

Adventureland Attractions:

  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Sunshine Pavillion
  • Tropical Serenade (Enchanted Tiki Room)
original disney world rides
Photo Belongs to RetroWDW.com

Frontierland Attractions:

  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Mike Fink Keel Boats
  • Diamond Horseshoe Review
  • Frontier Shooting Arcade

Liberty Square Attractions:

  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Admiral Joe Fowler River Boat

Fantasyland Attractions:

  • Snow White’s Adventures
  • Mickey Mouse Review
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • It’s a Small World
  • Skyway
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 

Main Street, U.S.A. Attractions:

  • Penny Arcade
  • Horse-Drawn Streetcars
  • Main Street Cinema
  • The Walt Disney World Story
  • Walt Disney World Railroad

Wondering which Magic Kingdom rides are original? Now you know! There are still quite a few of the rides listed still operational today.

What is the Oldest Running Ride at Disney World?

The oldest ride in Disney World is Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, which opened in 1971.

Even though it was one of Magic Kingdom’s initial attractions, the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is older than other rides because it was originally built in 1917 by The Philadelphia Toboggan Company.

The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is one of the most iconic attractions at Magic Kingdom. The attraction features 90 hand-carved horses, each adorned with intricate details.

Guests can choose to ride on a horse of their favorite color or opt for a more traditional experience by riding in one of the two-person chariots that are also available.

What Rides Have Been Removed from Disney World?

Here’s a partial and non-exhaustive list of attractions that have permanently closed (or are no longer existing) at Magic Kingdom. This list primarily comprises rides we’ve heard about through various sources.

  • Donald’s Boat
  • Dream Along With Mickey
  • Goofy’s Country Dancin’ Jamboree
  • Mickey’s Country House and Judge’s Tent
  • Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire
  • Minnie’s Country House
  • The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History
  • The Pirates League
  • Pooh’s Playful Spot
  • PUSH, The Talking Trashcan
  • Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Stitch’s Great Escape!
  • Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook
  • Tomorrowland Arcade
  • Delta Dreamflight
  • ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 
  • Penny Arcades
  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
  • Mike Fink Keel Boats
  • Diamond Horseshoe Review
  • Frontier Shooting Arcade
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Skyway

Ride Descriptions

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World. The spooky ride takes guests through a haunted house where they encounter ghosts, ghouls, and other supernatural beings.

The Haunted Mansion is also one of the longest-running rides at Walt Disney World, having first opened in 1971.

Despite its age, the ride continues to be a favorite among guests, who come back time and again to experience its many scares. For those who are looking for a truly frightful experience, the Haunted Mansion is not to be missed.

Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bear Jamboree is one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World. The ride, which first opened in 1971, is a musical revue featuring a cast of animatronic animals.

The show includes such classic country and western songs as “The Bare Necessities” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” The Country Bear Jamboree is a must-see for anyone who loves classic Disney attractions.

It’s a Small World

It’s a Small World is one of the original rides at Walt Disney World. The ride, which opened in 1971, takes guests on a tour of different parts of the world where they can see children from different cultures singing and dancing.

The ride is one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World, and its catchy theme song is known around the world. It’s a Small World is a must-see for anyone visiting Walt Disney World.

Skyway

The Skyway was a gondola lift attraction in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland of Magic Kingdom. The Skyway operated from 1971 until 1999 when it closed permanently.

The Tomorrowland Station was partially demolished in 2009 during the restoration of Space Mountain, but its lower station survives as a toilet facility. The Fantasyland Station was utilized for stroller parking until 2011 when the Tangled Rest Area was completed.

original disney world rides
Photo Belongs to Yesterland

The Skyway was closed due to metal fatigue and its inability to serve many guests at once.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the original rides at Walt Disney World. The ride, which opened in 1971, takes guests on a tour of Neverland, where they can see scenes from the popular Disney movie.

The ride is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World, and its popularity has only grown in recent years thanks to the release of the live-action movie. Peter Pan’s Flight is a must-see for any fan of the classic Disney movie.

Diamond Horseshoe Revue

The Diamond Horseshoe Revue was one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World. The revue, which opened in 1971, was a musical show featuring a cast of country and western singers and dancers.

The revue was one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World, and it continued to be a favorite among guests until it closed in 1988. The Diamond Horseshoe Revue is a must-see for any fan of classic Disney attractions.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

The Disneyland ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which opened in 1955, was inspired by the 1941 animated movie classic Dumbo. This Fantasyland attraction remained until 2014, when Storybook Circus expanded and created space for two rotating themed rides.

Frontierland Shooting Gallery

The Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade at Magic Kingdom is a replica of a shootout that took place in Tombstone, Arizona in 1850. There are 97 targets spread out throughout the gallery, providing plenty of opportunities to test your aim.

On opening day, the weapons fired steel pellets but were later replaced with infrared light guns owing to the prohibitive cost of repainting the targets every night. This would have required 2,000 gallons of paint each year.

The Hall of Presidents

The Hall of Presidents is one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World. The ride, which opened in 1971, is an animatronic spectacular about the Presidents of the United States.

Walt Disney’s creation of the audio-animatronic Hall of Presidents was one of his most significant successes. The concept first came to him in a dream, and he created the first figure, Abraham Lincoln, for display at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

Cinderella’s Golden Carousel

Now called the Prince Charming Regal Carousel, the Cinderella Carousel was one of the original attractions at Walt Disney World. The carousel opened in 1971 and is a beautiful and classic piece of Disney history.

In 1967, Walt Disney bought the Liberty carousel, including handmade horses, from Olympic Park in New Jersey. If you look closely, you can still see the maidens at the top of the ride. Since its opening day, this carousel has only received repairs and upkeep.

Mad Tea Party

Magic Kingdom’s Mad Tea Party originally opened without a roof, but due to bad weather conditions such as continuous rain, the roof was added in 1974. Not only did this protect the central teapot, but it defended the ride as well.

In 1992, the teacups were improved with a new color scheme, accompanying music, and Japanese lanterns. The 2010 facelift included a repainted canopy.

Jungle Cruise

The Walt Disney World Jungle Cruise is set as a depression-era British outpost on the Amazon river, operated by the fictional company; The Jungle Navigation Co. Jungle Cruise is one of Walt Disney’s biggest success stories. Originally he wanted real wildlife to be on the sides of the cruise but realized that would not be possible. The animatronics were some of the most advanced of their time.

Mickey Mouse Revue

The Mickey Mouse Revue was an Audio-Animatronic music show featuring classic Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse. As the orchestra conductor, Mickey led other iconic figures from famous films.

The beloved production ran from 1971 to 1980 before moving to Tokyo Disneyland.

Mike Fink Keel Boats

The Mike Fink Keel Boats were tiny vessels that sailed the Rivers of America, which ran through Liberty Square and Frontierland, and Tom Sawyers Island. They were inspired by Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett television programs.

People could watch from inside or on top of the boats in a viewing area. This seasonal attraction closed permanently in 2001. The ancient loading dock still stands today, and for some time, the queue entrance was used as a Fast Pass distribution station.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Many people loved Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, an attraction located in Fantasyland, until 1998, when it closed and was replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Several individuals tried to prevent the closure but were unsuccessful.

Mr. Toad may be found in the pet cemetery near The Haunted Mansion, and his portrait may be seen in one of the Pooh ride’s sections.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Snow White’s Adventures changed a lot from when it first opened in 1971. Back then, the witches were eerily realistic, and most of the ride was set in dark dungeons or spooky forests.

The ride ended with a room full of strobe lights and the witch’s cackle skipping like a record, suggesting that she had murdered you.

In 1994, the ride was converted to be more child friendly and resemble the film better. In 2012, the ride closed and was replaced with Princess Fairytale Hall.

Swiss Family Treehouse

The Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland is a 60-foot-tall, 90-foot wide steel, concrete, and stucco structure made to look like a real tree. The attraction is based on the movie “Swiss Family Robinson” and guests can walk through it.

Tropical Serenade

The Walt Disney World version of this attraction, better known as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, was the first to feature Audio-Animatronics. This overhaul in the 1990s completely changed The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management hosted by Iago and Zazu, which currently still exists in Magic Kingdom .

Grand Prix Raceway

Goodyear international car race served as the foundation for the Grand Prix Raceway. The raceway’s sponsor was Goodyear because it provided tires to vehicles used in Mark VII cars. In 1973, the ride Was expanded and remained unmodified until Tomorrowland received a makeover in 1994.

However,1997 saw a change of theme and name to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway that aligned with New Tomorrowland’s vibes.

In 1999, 15 years after the track’s creation, Disney partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to give the space a makeover into that of a famous speedway. Then, in 2008, they went one step further by changing the name to Tomorrowland Speedway and ditching “Indy” altogether.

Walt Disney World Railroad

The Walt Disney World Railroad opened in 1971. It is one of the most active steam-powered railways, with over 3.7 million passenger journeys each year. The railway currently stops at Main Street USA and Frontierland before continuing on to Toontown Fair, which closed in the 2000s.

The station was renamed the Fantasyland Station when it reopened in Storybook Circus. To honor those who contributed to its creation, each train is named after individuals like Walt Disney, Lilly Belle (Walt’s wife), Roger E. Broggie (Epcot Imagineer), and Roy Disney, Walt’s older brother.

If you’re looking for a blast from the past or just want to experience some of Disney World’s original rides, take a trip on the classics. These timeless attractions will give you and your family memories that will last a lifetime. Which of these rides is your favorite?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.