When Walt Disney World Resort® first opened on October 1, 1971, the overwhelming swarm of guests flooded the 19 attractions. As nearly 50 years have passed since then, a lot of the attractions have changed, but several are still running today.
Country Bear Jamboree
The concept for the show came from Walt Disney himself, back when he planned to build a ski resort. One of the attractions he wanted in the resort was a musical show hosted by local bears, but when Walt passed away the resort plans were put on hold. Thus, in order to at least partially fulfill Walt’s original idea, imagineers created Country Bear Jamboree for the company’s newest park.
Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
On opening day, the shootout simulation, called Frontier Shooting Gallery, shot lead pellets. Aside from what could be safety concerns, the arcade’s 97 targets had to be repainted every night and so the guns were eventually replaced with infrared light rifles.
The Hall of Presidents
Fans of Walt Disney likely know about his passion for American history, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this attraction serves as one of the original items in the park. Walt’s first president animatronic was Abraham Lincoln, which lead to the creation of The Disneyland® Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincolnout in the California park. Hall of Presidents was the next evolution of that.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
First called Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, the ride was first built by a carrousel production company in 1917. Walt Disney bought the carrousel in the 1960s from Olympic Park in New Jersey and it was brought into his park in Florida.
Mad Tea Party
The original ride opened without a roof and operated without one until 1974. The attraction received updated teacups, new colors, lanterns, and different music in 1992.
This attraction was directly inspired by Walt Disney’s trips through rainforests and swamps and thus serves as one of the Florida attractions that show the mind of the man who created the entire company. Walt originally wanted there to be live animals throughout the attraction but settled for what were some of the most unique and advanced fake animals of their time.
Swiss Family Treehouse
The giant tree that takes up a big chunk of Adventureland® Area was there when the park opened. The walk-through attraction is a sign of an older era, when Walt Disney had planned for other attractions, specifically like Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland® Resort, were planned to be walk-through as well.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant®
This tame, family-friendly wide has seen tons of copies and reskins throughout all of Walt Disney World®Resort, but Dumbo was the original. It now fits in better with the area around it, thanks to the recent theming of the circus-focused area.
Haunted Mansion® Attraction
A fan-favorite attraction that inspired a full feature film, it’s been open since the park’s first day. Many of this version’s props and animatronics were made as identical copies to Disneyland® Resort’s ones, but the attraction in Florida is a bit longer than the one in California.
At first, called Grand Prix Raceway, the attraction went through tons of name, sponsor, and theme changes. It arrived at its current form in 2008.
It’s a Small World® Attraction
One of the most iconic attractions across all Disney parks, the first version of It’s a Small World was designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Each park around the world that features the attraction has a different version, which makes the one in Walt Disney World® Resort all that more special.
Featured image copyrighted by Disney.