How to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th

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In the ever changing world of Disney, it can be tough to keep up. But there are some attractions which have stood the test of time. With Walt Disney World’s 50th upon us, there are many ways to celebrate the magic. In my opinion, visiting Magic Kingdom is a MUST. I mean how can you not make the park that started it all part of your celebration? Taking a day to experience all original Magic Kingdom attractions is how to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th in the MOST Magical Way!!

Magic Kingdom Balloons with castle in background

How to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th Birthday!

Back in 2019, my youngest daughter and I did just that, for Magic Kingdom’s 48th birthday! We only had a couple hours to attain our spontaneous goal, but we were determined to go for it. We video journaled our magical day, and you may be surprised and how it ended. Furthermore, it had much more impact on me, that I ever imagined. 

Tomorrowland Speedway

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Tomorrowland Speedway with mom and daughter in car

Themed after Indiana Motor Speedway, and topping out at a whopping 7mph, this was originally called Grand Prix Raceway. 

Mad Hatter Tea Party

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Mad Hatter Tea Party with mom and daughter

Can you believe Mad Hatter Tea Party used to be uncovered? I suppose lines didn’t used to be as long as they are now, but happy you can get reprieve from the heat now. We tend to have lots of laughs spinning around. 

Dumbo Flying Elephants

Mom and daughter on Dumbo Flying ElephantsMagic Kingdom Original Attraction

Although the current rides are not the original, Disney was smart to expand Dumbo Flying Elephants with two full rides. It’s such a popular ride for Disney lovers of all ages. 

Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Prince Charming's Carrousel with toddler

Built in 1917, and originally called Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, this historic beauty has been around for over 100 years. So many joyful memories of our girls waving at onlookers as they rode around on their noble stead. 

Are You Planning to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th?

It’s a Small World

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction It's a Small World

My absolute favorite as a child, It’s a Small World will never lose it’s message of all nations coming together as one. 

Peter Pan’s Flight

Even though Peter Pan’s Flight was not open on opening day, it’s still and original in my book. I know there are mixed feelings about this ride, but I will let the wait times speak for themselves. 

Haunted Mansion

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Haunted Mansion with mom and daughter in front

A family favorite in our house. I remember back in high school, before parks were packed, just before park closing, a family friend and I kept running out the exit, and back in to ride over and over again. That memory will always stay with me. 

Hall of Presidents

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Hall of Presidents

I have to admit, this is probably my least favorite of the original attractions, so that’s probably why we saved it for last, and missed out on it. I do love history, but I prefer The American Adventure in Epcot.

Country Bear Jamboree

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Country Bear Jamboree

Another childhood favorite of mine. I remember Disney used to have trading cards, and I had several for the characters of Country Bear Jamboree. I sure wish I still had them today.

Country Bear Jamboree's Liver Lips at Magic Kingdom

This attraction reminds me of our neighbor, who we used to vacation to Disney with. Liver Lips and Big Al are still the ones we love to imitate. 

Enchanted Tiki Room

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Enchanted Tiki Room with mom and daughter in front

This was originally named Tropical Serenade, and for a short time was refurbished as Tiki Room Under New Management. Personally, I was happy to see it back to it’s almost original version. It’s altered script, but with the original characters. 

Jungle Cruise

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Jungle Cruise with mom and daughter in front

Anyone else love that this attraction is never the same? Each skipper adds their own twist to your experience. You may get your typical “back side of water”  and “ Ginger snaps” comments, but there are some very creative cast members on Jungle Cruise.  I do miss their ability  to carry guns and shoot blanks at the hippos, but I suppose that’s minor. 

Swiss Family Treehouse

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Swiss Family Treehouse with mom and daughter overlooking castle

I actually used to dream of getting stranded on a deserted island, and live like Swiss Family Robinson. Was anyone else a Sunday night “Wonderful World of Disney” watcher? 

Cinderella’s Castle

Mom and daughter in front of Cinderella Castle

Sadly, when I was doing research on which attractions were original, there weren’t any that mentioned Cinderella’s castle. Not sure why, but how can you NOT count the focal point of Disney magic??? Probably the most photographed building in all the parks, it’s original, and Magic Kingdom would not be the same without it. 

Walt Disney World Railroad

WDW Railroad with mom and daughter in front

Sometimes when we’re in Magic Kingdom, we hop on the railroad, and just ride it all the way around, just to relax. Sadly, it is not running with the addition of Tron. But, they do offer photo opportunities with the train until it runs again. 

Additional Ways to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th at Magic Kingdom

Frontierland Shooting Arcade

Magic Kingdom Original Attraction Frontierland Shooting Arcade

Another attraction that some consider original, but I decided not to add it on our challenge because it’s not included in your park admission. The arcade has games available for additional cost. I wanted to mention it, since it has been in the park since the beginning. 

Extras: Original Magic Kingdom Attractions

Monorail Transportation

Young girl in monorail driver car

I think the monorail is worth mentioning, because it was a choice of transportation to the Magic Kingdom on opening day. Anyone else miss the days of being able to ride up front with the driver? Last time we did this was in 2006, before it was no longer allowed. 

Can Disney Trams Be Considered Original Attractions at Magic Kingdom?

Mom and daughter on tram at Magic Kingdom

Trams were shuttling guests from the beginning, even these have also evolved over time. I really wish they still had trams in Fort Wilderness Campground instead of the bus system. Great memories of hopping on and off the trams while I was growing up. 

Final Thoughts on How to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th

The night before Magic Kingdom celebrated it’s 48th birthday, I spontaneously decided we would head to the park, and attempt all the original attractions. I was in a mental “funk” at the time, and had no idea how experiencing all these original attractions was going to alter me. It’s sad we won’t be there to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th, but I will treasure this day with my daughter forever.

As you may have read, many of these attractions hold significance in my childhood. Therefore, it’s no wonder I walked out of Magic Kingdom that day feeling much brighter than I did when I woke up. Disney is truly a magical place for our family. 

If Disney has brought joy and happy to your life, we would love to hear about it. Share your stories with us. In addition, let us know how you will be celebrating Walt Disney World’s 50th!

For more Disney fun, check out:

Review of Disney’s Copper Creek Resort

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Share Our Happy!!

38 thoughts on “How to Celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th

  • April 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm
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    I’ve been going to WDW since 1970 and I went back last year with my grand nephews. So much has changed but so much remains the same. Very nostalgic.

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    • April 5, 2020 at 1:24 pm
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      So you have seen all the changes since the beginning!! I’ve been going since 1975, but I was so young, there is much I don’t remember.

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  • May 19, 2020 at 5:10 pm
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    Oh, my goodness. I haven’t been to Disney since before Alex was born, and I had forgotten about many of these. The Tiki Room, I think, is my favorite, but I also love the Haunted Mansion. Thank you so much for the great memories of a trip with my parents and a later trip with my husband and brother. What fun!

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:59 am
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      Happy it brought back some wonderful memories for you!

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  • May 19, 2020 at 9:32 pm
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    I grew up just 2 miles from Disneyland and now live 1.5 hrs from Walt Disney World. We love it! Also, there’s nothing like “It’s a Small World!” In reality, all of these rides are fantastic!

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:58 am
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      Ah, Disneyland!! Still need to get there!

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  • May 21, 2020 at 9:23 am
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    This post gives me all the classic Disney feels. I’m so ready for it to be open again this summer!

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:58 am
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      Me too!! I will definitely do this again!

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  • May 24, 2020 at 8:19 am
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    This is a really fun idea for mixing up the normal Disney day! It’s nice to see that so many of the attractions from opening day are still there. I know quite a few of these we almost never ride, so next time we go I think we will make time to do more of them.

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:57 am
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      We are typically the same way. I think that’s why it was so emotional to ride them all in one day.

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  • May 24, 2020 at 10:37 am
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    We love Disney World too! I was intrigued by the carousel dating back to 1917 – did Disney buy it from someone else?

    You have certainly shown plenty of attractions I haven’t enjoyed yet! Will just have to come back and visit again!

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:55 am
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      Walt did purchase it from someone else, but I do not recall from my research where.

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  • May 24, 2020 at 9:19 pm
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    Love all of these attractions! Apparently the Enchanted Tiki Room was my first ride ever when I was 6 months old, shortly after MK first opened. And yes, the trams should definitely be considered original. I remember riding those, fascinated by them, 30+ years ago.

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    • May 30, 2020 at 10:54 am
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      I wish they still had trams in the campground!!

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  • September 30, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    I love all of these rides! We try to hit most of them every time we visit. Definitely Peter Pan, the Haunted Mansion, and the Jungle Cruise.

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:31 pm
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      There were some I hadn’t been on it quite some time, so it was very special to get back on them.

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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      A day I will never forget!

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  • October 1, 2021 at 10:07 am
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    Now I want to go back to Disney World even more!!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:34 pm
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      Tell me about it! Me too! Hope you get to celebrate the 50th.

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  • October 1, 2021 at 4:33 pm
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    Honestly, I can’t begin to think of life without Walt Disney World. It has brought such joy to my family. I have met some pretty awesome people due to my love of the park. It just makes me happy. I instantly feel the stress leave my body when we drive through the gates. I can’t wait to be back!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:34 pm
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      I am the same way. So much happiness growing up, and then shared with my own girls. Next will be the grandkids.

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  • October 1, 2021 at 6:50 pm
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    I love all the original Disney world rides! That is a great way to celebrate the Disney 50th birthday!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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      They bring back so many memories, don’t they?

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  • October 2, 2021 at 1:08 am
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    How fun you were able to celebrate Walt Disney World’s 48th birthday two years ago. It would be so fun to ride all the original rides on the 50th celebration!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:30 pm
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      It sure would be fun to actually do this around the 50th birthday. But I sure am grateful to have decided not to wait.

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  • October 2, 2021 at 2:33 am
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    Fun post! I can’t believe WDW is 50 years old!! I’m overdue for a visit.

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:33 pm
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      I can’t believe it either! Same age as me, so it’s a great celebration!

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  • October 2, 2021 at 7:35 am
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    I just watched a Disney 50th Anniversary special on tv last night and it left me with goosebumps. The passion and determination of Walt Disney is unlike anyone else. He had a dream of building Disney World and thankfully people made it happen even after he passed away. I can’t wait to visit again with my children.

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:29 pm
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      I’m with you. I can’t wait to get back myself. Happy I was able to do this a couple years ago.

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  • October 2, 2021 at 9:02 am
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    Would love to be able to visit Disney for their 50th celebrations! May have to wait until the end of next year though. Looks like a great time! LOVE the special medals for the runDisney marathon!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:28 pm
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      Hope you get to celebrate here. I know you love Disney!

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  • October 2, 2021 at 11:14 am
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    We have loved all of our Disney experiences: the theme parks and the cruises. I’ll bet they’ll really make the magic happen for their 50th anniversary!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:32 pm
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      I am sure it will be magical. I hope to get to experience it.

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  • October 5, 2021 at 1:15 am
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    Awwww…remembering all these original rides make me smile. Great way to honor and celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th birthday!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:28 pm
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      Glad it brought a smile to your face. I know it really made me happy to experience them and bring back many memories myself.

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  • October 6, 2021 at 7:22 pm
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    Believe it or not, I have never been to Walt Disney World. It looks like you had a lot of fun! I will definitely need to go there soon. My son lives in Florida and I visit him once a year, so I have no excuse. Thanks for the great ideas of what to do!

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    • October 13, 2021 at 9:27 pm
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      That is kinda hard to believe. But I’ve met people who grew up and lived in Central Florida all their life and never been. That I have a hard time believing.

      Reply

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