It’s hard to imagine that Magic Kingdom first opened its doors all the waaaaay back on October 1st, 1971.
And while we’ll have to wait until 2021 to celebrate Disney World’s big 50th-anniversary, we’re kicking off the festivities a little early today!
That’s right, friends! We’re about to share a weird (but interesting!) fact about these 14 opening day attractions! Get ready to have your Disney World minds expanded with some little-known Disney trivia!
Country Bear Jamboree
Fur and claw-tapping tunes have been flying out of this long-time Frontierland establishment since Magic Kingdom’s opening day!
Trixie St. Claire in a Bathing Suit?
Oh, ho ho! You read that right! Country Bear Jamboree used to receive TWO unique seasonal overlays! One was a kitschy winter theme which included holiday music (and Liver Lips McGrowl looked like a Santa Elvis).
Meanwhile, the “Country Bear Vacation Hoedown” was a summer-themed hootnanny — and yes, Trixie was sporting a very stylish one-piece swimsuit! Both variations were phased out of Magic Kingdom by the mid 2000s, but man — those were some crazy times to be alive! And if you still want to catch either of these shows, you still can at Tokyo Disneyland!
The Hall of Presidents
Walt Disney loved America, and The Hall of Presidents is his homage to our nation’s great leaders throughout history.
Those Aren’t PROPS, Little Jimmy!
In fact, the lobby of The Hall of President is home to several artifacts once owned by former U.S. Presidents! There’s John Quincy Adams’ microscope, a golf club that belonged to Woodrow Wilson, and a Powderhorn used by Theodore Roosevelt.
There’s even a beer mug that belonged to George Washington! That’s pretty impressive considering he lead from 1789 to 1797!
The Haunted Mansion
999 happy haunts have set up permanent residency at this classic Magic Kingdom attraction, but don’t worry — there’s always room for ONE more!
Parents Can Be Weird, Especially if They’re an Imagineer
A lot of us seem to think our parents were a little “off” when we were growing up, but the spawn of Disney’s Imagineers might have more of a reason to feel that way! D23 recently shared a story about Imagineer, Leota Toombs, who originally portrayed Madame Leota, The Haunted Mansion’s psychic medium.
It seems one evening her daughter (and future Disney Imagineer herself!), Kim Irvine, was headed to a school dance. Her date came by the house and overheard “Madame Leota” rehearsing her incantations. Kim’s shocked date turned to her and asked, “Wow, what’s up with your mom??”
“it’s a small world”
On the Happiest Cruise to Ever Set Sail, you’ll also be treated to the hardest song to get out of your head!
“There is just one moon and one golden sun…”
Even though a lot of us know these lyrics to it’s a small world, did you know the attraction itself does NOT have just “one moon and one golden sun?”
In fact, each “room” you enter has a moon and sun somewhere within! See if you can spot them all on your next cruise!
The jokes may be corny, but where else could you see the backside of water?
Cleaner Than It Looks, But We Still Wouldn’t Drink It!
For health reasons, Disney World ensures all of the water it uses for attractions is clean. So why is Jungle Cruise’s water so murky-looking?
According to World of Walt, Disney World actually dyes the water a dingy greenish-brown in order to conceal the tracks of its boats. And don’t worry — the river is only about 4 feet at its deepest point — like we got to see recently when one of the Jungle Cruise’s boats actually SANK with passengers on it! (*Cue sad elephant trumpeting sound effect*)
Mad Tea Party
The March Hare and Mad Hatter might not be in attendance, but this little guy sure is!
Gettin’ Dizzy with the Dormouse
Did you know one of Alice’s super-rare friends from Wonderland makes a frequent cameo appearance at Magic Kingdom? Next time you go for a spin on the Mad Tea Party, direct your attention to the large teapot in the center of the ring!
You’ll get to see the Dormouse peak his head out of its top — but only occasionally! He’s really sleepy, though, so don’t expect him to hang around for very long — he’s gotta catch his zzzs when he can! The Dormouse has only been known to pop up at Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, even though there’s a version of iconic teacup ride at almost every Disney park in the world!
Main Street Vehicles
We’d love to see the odometers on these sweet buggies that have been cruising along Main Street for almost half a century!
Regular Maintenance Required
Disney World has a literal fleet of streetcars, and jitneys — all of which are ACTUAL antique vehicles! These old-timey whips have been providing one-way rides up and down Main Street U.S.A. since Magic Kingdom opened.
For the most part, these already-quite-old cars are the same ones the parks used since 1971! Let that be a friendly reminder to get your oil changed ON TIME next time you try to procrastinate!
Peter Pan’s Flight
You can usually expect a long wait for this classic dark ride if you didn’t snag a FastPass+. But even if you have to fly standby, the queue area has awesome theming to make the time fly by.
What Do The Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan’s Flight Have in Common?
Is this a trick question? No!
Both classic Disney rides use a Omnimover track system, but instead of climbing into a Haunted Mansion doombuggy which glides along the ground, you’ll be suspended from the ceiling when you board your galleon on Peter Pan’s Flight!
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (Formerly Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel)
Even Walt Disney knew no theme park could call itself complete without a carrousel — that’s why he had to find the perfect one for his grand design.
Not So Custom-Made
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel looks like it was made for its magical space! It fits with the vibe and charm of Fantasyland perfectly! But did you know the classic Disney World attraction actually dates back to 1917??
According to Disney Trivia, Walt Disney purchased the carousel for Disney World in 1967 from the Olympic Park in Maplewood, New Jersey. The carrousel was originally built 50 years earlier by The Philadelphia Toboggan Company, one of the most prestigious carousel companies. The original carrousel included ninety horses, all of which were hand-carved from wood. Disney added eleven fiberglass horses while still making sure no two horses were alike!
Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Disneyland’s Snow White’s Scary Adventures is still around, but Disney World’s was lost due to the expansion of new Fantasyland.
It’s Scary, but Where’s Snow White?
Snow White’s Scary Adventures was replaced by Princess Fairytale Hall, but believe it or not, some folks just thought this ride was too darn scary!
If you got the chance to ride it back in the day, you probably remember what we’re talking about! It seemed like the Evil Queen was chasing us down from the word GO! In fact, the original ride didn’t even include Snow White until 1994 when it was refurbished! By then, it had already gotten a reputation for scaring the pants of little kids, so Disney World’s version shut down for good in 2012.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
Tarzan has taken over Disneyland’s treehouse, but the Robinson family is still in possession of Magic Kingdom’s treehouse.
But, It’s Not a TREE at ALL!
We hate to ruin the magic for you, but the Swiss FamilyRobinson Treehouse is a big misnomer. This opening day attraction is technically classified as a building.
Hey, certain permits mandate we call it like it is, but the artificial structure does technically have “root system.” According to Undercover Tourist, Swiss Family Robinson’s Treehouse’s infrastructure goes four stories into the ground. That’s a long way down from the 116 steps it takes to climb to its top!
Tomorrowland Speedway was closed for some time, but it recently reopened last spring with even more VROOM!
Going For a Victory Lap!
Previously known as the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, the word Indy was dropped from its name in 2009.
According to AllEars, cars can travel at a speed of up to 7.5 miles per hour. And, did you know it’s customary for a checkered flag to be waved at every driver who crosses the finish line?
Walt Disney World Railroad
Although the Walt Disney World Railroad isn’t currently running due to TRON Lightcycle Run construction, we can’t wait to go on loop as soon as it reopens!
Give a Little Whistle!
Here’s something else you probably haven’t heard: Walt Disney World Railroad’s whistles are very important! Sure, they add theming and ambiance to Magic Kingdom when the steam-powered engines are runnin’, but they’re also how the train conductors communicate with each other!
According to Disney Fanatic, the short or long ‘blow’ patterns tell when a train is approaching a station, making a general greeting, in forward or reverse motion, or if there is an emergency. If you’re ever curious, ask a conductor to translate the whistle blows for you!
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
A serenade from our feathery friends is pretty entertaining, right??
New Management Was Fired — Literally!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! At least, that’s how we feel about some of Disney’s most sacred pieces of history such as the Enchanted Tiki Room! That’s why you may recall a dark time in history (circa 1998) when the don’t-mess-with-a-good-thing attraction re-emerged as “The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management”.
In this version, Iago, from Aladdin, and Zazu, from The Lion King, decided to run the joint their way. It was all well and good until one day. According to Disney Lists, the Iago animatronic actually caught on fire during a performance in January of 2011. Shortly after, the “new management” was let go and the original version was reinstated.
Well, there you have it friends! We hope you enjoyed this little walk through Disney World’s history! If you know of any bizarre facts about Magic Kingdom’s opening day attractions, please share ’em with us!
If you’re looking for more ways to party today, check out our list of 50 memories you should make before Disney World’s 50th-anniversary celebration here!
Which of Magic Kingdom’s opening day attractions is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below!