The Magic Kingdom’s First Decade

MK-fan

Active Member
Original Poster
The Magic Kingdom is coming up on it’s 50th Anniversary and even though it’s definitely changed significantly in some areas, it still holds great memories and a ton a magic, i compiled a thorough timeline of the first 10 years of the park, all the changes made and new additions.

It all began in 1971, here is the roster:

Walt Disney World Railroad
Penny Arcade
Fire Station
Omnibus
Jitney
Horseless Carriage
Horses-Drawn Streetcars
Fire Engine
Main Street Cinema
Jungle Cruise
Swiss Family Treehouse
The Safari Club
Tropical Serenade
Country Bear Jamboree
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat
Mike Fink Keelboats
Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery
Diamond Horseshoe Revue
The Haunted Mansion
The Hall of Presidents
The Mickey Mouse Revue
Cinderella Castle
Snow White’s Adventures
Peter Pan’s Flight
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Cinderella’s Golden Carousel
Mad Tea Party
Fantasy Faire Stage
Skyway to Tomorrowland
It’s a Small World
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Skyway to Fantasyland
Grand Prix Raceway
Tomorrowland Terrace
Circle-Vision 360: America the Beautiful
Flight to the Moon

Tomorrowland was still not finished and was planned to be completed throughout the next few years. Also, the Western River Expedition was going to start construction the following to year but by the end of the year, Pirates of the Caribbean would seem to be the clear replacement because of guest complaints and the overall cost of the new attraction.

1972 came quickly and would begin with lots of additions to existing attractions including the Baker Bird at Tropical Serenade, the queue canopy at The Haunted Mansion, lastly Timothy Mouse, disco ball and Dumbo hats were added to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. A second railroad station was added in Frontierland and the biggest addition of the year would be If You Had Wings.

1973 was a big year for new attractions, this included The Walt Disney Story which also helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company. Plaza Swan Boats and The Plaza Inn opened in Main Street while Richard F. Irvine Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island opened in Frontierland. The Grand attraction this year was Pirates of the Caribbean along with a new (not yet finished) Caribbean Plaza. Also, Grand Prix Raceway saw an expansion.

1974 saw Hall of Presidents adds its first new president, Gerald Ford. Caribbean Plaza adds new restaurants, stores and the Caribbean Arcade. Mad Tea Party adds a roof and the Grand Prix Raceway gets shortened in preparation for Space Mountain. Magic Carpet ‘Round the World becomes the second film used in the Circle-Vision theater. Star Jets opens over a month before the new Tomorrowland premiered in January of 75.

1975 was definitely the crown jewel year after the park had opened, on par with 1959 for Disneyland. The newly completed Tomorrowland brings Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress, Wedway PeopleMover and Mission to Mars. America on Parade and a revised America the Beautiful returns to celebrate the upcoming bicentennial.

After 1975, Imagineering focused more on projects like Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland which meant less attention on the Magic Kingdom but still, there were new additions on a smaller scale.

1976 brought the parks’ first fireworks show, Fantasy in the Sky.

1977 brought a Disney instant classic, the Main Street Electrical Parade. Also, the Hall of Presidents adds President Jimmy Carter.

1978 celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mickey Mouse with Mickey’s Birthday Parade and the Main Street Cinema permanently adds Mickey Mouse shorts.

1979 saw Magic Carpet ‘Round the World return to Circle-Vision theater and another parade addition, Dumbo’s Circus.

1980 was the first time a major attraction was taken out of the park, this being The Mickey Mouse Revue which became a theater for cartoon shorts not too long after. Another entertainment venue opens, the Tomorrowland Theater. The park finally gets it’s biggest new attraction in 5 years, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

1981 sees a couple of additions to existing attractions such as the Carousel of Progress getting a new New Years Eve scene, Hall of Presidents adding Ronald Regan and The Walt Disney Story showcasing a preview of Epcot Center.

The decade gets topped off with a Tencennial Parade this capping off an extraordinary first decade. Of all the Castle Parks created after Disneyland, Magic Kingdom definitely had the best ensemble of attractions to start out with. Definitely miss a lot this park had to offer, the park is still great but lost some unique things. Here’s to the first 10 years of this great park and to the upcoming 50th as well.
 
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WEDfan9798

New Member
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The Magic Kingdom is coming up on it’s 50th Anniversary and even though it’s definitely changed significantly in some areas, it still holds great memories and a ton a magic, i compiled a thorough timeline of the first 10 years of the park, all the changes made and new additions.

It all began in 1971, here is the roster:

Walt Disney World Railroad
Penny Arcade
Fire Station
Omnibus
Jitney
Horseless Carriage
Horses-Drawn Streetcars
Fire Engine
Main Street Cinema
Jungle Cruise
Swiss Family Treehouse
The Safari Club
Tropical Serenade
Country Bear Jamboree
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
Admiral Joe Fowler Riverboat
Mike Fink Keelboats
Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery
Diamond Horseshoe Revue
The Haunted Mansion
The Hall of Presidents
The Mickey Mouse Revue
Cinderella Castle
Snow White’s Adventures
Peter Pan’s Flight
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Cinderella’s Golden Carousel
Mad Tea Party
Fantasy Faire Stage
Skyway to Tomorrowland
It’s a Small World
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Skyway to Fantasyland
Grand Prix Raceway
Tomorrowland Terrace
Circle-Vision 360: America the Beautiful
Flight to the Moon

Tomorrowland was still not finished and was planned to be completed throughout the next few years. Also, the Western River Expedition was going to start construction the following to year but by the end of the year, Pirates of the Caribbean would seem to be the clear replacement because of guest complaints and the overall cost of the new attraction.

1972 came quickly and would begin with lots of additions to existing attractions including the Baker Bird at Tropical Serenade, the queue canopy at The Haunted Mansion, lastly Timothy Mouse, disco ball and Dumbo hats were added to Dumbo the Flying Elephant. A second railroad station was added in Frontierland and the biggest addition of the year would be If You Had Wings.

1973 was a big year for new attractions, this included The Walt Disney Story which also helped celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company. Plaza Swan Boats and The Plaza Inn opened in Main Street while Richard F. Irvine Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island opened in Frontierland. The Grand attraction this year was Pirates of the Caribbean along with a new (not yet finished) Caribbean Plaza. Also, Grand Prix Raceway saw an expansion.

1974 saw Hall of Presidents adds its first new president, Gerald Ford. Caribbean Plaza adds new restaurants, stores and the Caribbean Arcade. Mad Tea Party adds a roof and the Grand Prix Raceway gets shortened in preparation for Space Mountain. Magic Carpet ‘Round the World becomes the second film used in the Circle-Vision theater. Star Jets opens over a month before the new Tomorrowland premiered in January of 75.

1975 was definitely the crown jewel year after the park had opened, on par with 1959 for Disneyland. The newly completed Tomorrowland brings Space Mountain, Carousel of Progress, Wedway PeopleMover and Mission to Mars. America on Parade and a revised America the Beautiful returns to celebrate the upcoming bicentennial.

After 1975, Imagineering focused more on projects like Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland which meant less attention on the Magic Kingdom but still, there were new additions on a smaller scale.

1976 brought the parks’ first fireworks show, Fantasy in the Sky.

1977 brought a Disney instant classic, the Main Street Electrical Parade. Also, the Hall of Presidents adds President Jimmy Carter.

1978 celebrated the 50th anniversary of Mickey Mouse with Mickey’s Birthday Parade and the Main Street Cinema permanently adds Mickey Mouse shorts.

1979 saw Magic Carpet ‘Round the World return to Circle-Vision theater and another parade addition, Dumbo’s Circus.

1980 was the first time a major attraction was taken out of the park, this being The Mickey Mouse Revue which became a theater for cartoon shorts not too long after. Another entertainment venue opens, the Tomorrowland Theater. The park finally gets it’s biggest new attraction in 5 years, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

1981 sees a couple of additions to existing attractions such as the Carousel of Progress getting a new New Years Eve scene, Hall of Presidents adding Ronald Regan and The Walt Disney Story showcasing a preview of Epcot Center.

The decade gets topped off with a Tencennial Parade this capping off an extraordinary first decade. Of all the Castle Parks created after Disneyland, Magic Kingdom definitely had the best ensemble of attractions to start out with. Definitely miss a lot this park had to offer, the park is still great but lost some unique things. Here’s to the first 10 years of this great park and to the upcoming 50th as well.


Technically, Space Mountain opened in December 1974 (with the Grand Opening occurring in Jan. 1975), but as with WRE, the plan as late as 1974 was to add the Western River Expedition (obviously on a less-grand scale than what WED originally envisioned between 1967 and 1969). It's interesting to note that the Pirates of the Caribbean was designed quickly and built on a reduced budget/construction schedule. It went from being green-lit in December 1971 to being designed between April and August 1972 and then built between September 1972 and November/December 1973.
 
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