The Oldies But Goodies: Classics Not to be Missed at Walt Disney World

magic kingdom park haunted mansion liberty square
Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion/Credit: Disney Parks

Sometimes the Oldies really are the Goodies. Sometimes they just need makeovers. But not with this list! This list includes old and original rides and attractions from the parks that still bring joy to this day. There are lots of rides that aren’t on here that are still going strong, but these are a few that I love!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

Here’s an original Disneyland attraction that people still flock to. Pirates of the Caribbean, which began as a Park favorite, known for its quick drop, silly animatronics, and water smell, is now a worldwide movie phenomenon. Thanks to Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew, Pirates became even more popular. Although the attraction has been changed over the years (RIP Redhead), it still feels classic and important.

Photo Credit: Disney World

2. The Haunted Mansion

Foolish mortals! Haunted Mansion is another original classic that has yet to lose its creepy charm. Climb aboard your “doom buggy” and take a spin through this spooky house. This ride stays fresh because it’s pure silly fun with great history. The cast members at Haunted Mansion also keep it going by acting completely deadpan all the time. These are not your typical CMs. There are no smiles, no jokes, no politeness. It’s awesome.

3. It’s a Small World

This is the ride you either love or love to hate. It’s a Small World was first premiered by Walt himself at the World’s Fair. Its history is astounding and it’s a joy to watch. Sure, the dolls are a bit old and the song is never ending, but it’s so charming and endearing. It’s one of those rides that you have to go on, you have to experience this slice of classic Disney.

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4. Enchanted Tiki Room

The Enchanted Tiki Room has seen some changes over the years, but it’s still a classic in my mind. I’ll admit it’s not my favorite attraction, but it was one of Walt’s original creations, so it’s still important. The Tiki Room is a show hosted by some very outspoken parrots and it features great music that will definitely get stuck in your head. It follows the theming of Adventureland perfectly and is fun for all ages!

5. Tower of Terror

This is a classic in Hollywood Studios. Originally, the ‘symbol’ for this park was the Mickey water tower. Then it changed to the sorcerer’s hat. Now, it’s the Tower of Terror. This mega spooky hotel takes guests to the cellar before taking them to the sky – and then right back down again! This thrill ride did not open with the Park, but it quickly became one of the Park’s biggest draws.

6. Main Street

This is a bit broad, I know, but hear me out. For many, Main Street U.S.A. is iconic Disney. It’s often the first memory of a Disney vacation and I’d argue one of the most magical. Main Street has been dazzling guests since day one. The Railroad has been chugging along since then, too, only adding to Walt’s original vision. If you wander Main Street, you’re bound to hear the Dapper Dans, who have been serenading since the beginning too!

7. Space Mountain

Space Mountain is classic to me because when it first premiered a few years after Magic Kingdom opened, it was state of the art. No one had ever heard of a rollercoaster quite like it. And since its introduction, Space Mountain has become a critical part of the Magic Kingdom skyline. It’s dark, fast, futuristic, fun, and definitely iconic!

8. Carousel of Progress

This attraction did not open with the Park in ’71, but it was a personal creation of Walt Disney’s. He created the story and show for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. At the time, this was state-of-the-art technology and proved to many that Walt was the real deal. It was an original show in Disneyland and make the switch to Magic Kingdom where John’s been singing ever since.

9. Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris is a highlight of Animal Kingdom, and it really is the heart of the Park. This is classic because it opened with Animal Kingdom in 1998. Guests adore this attraction. It’s a fantastic way to get an up close and personal experience of the amazing animals that call the park home. Every safari is different, which keeps it fresh and exciting!

About Molly Elias

Molly Elias has been a dedicated Disney fan since she was 18-months old. She has grown up with and learned from Disney her whole life. As her family's main vacation spot, Disney World is a place of love and laughter and magic for her. Her family also prides themselves on their Disney Cruise Line knowledge and would rather be on the high seas with Mickey than anywhere else in the world. Molly plans to keep Disney in her life forever, while also pursuing a writing career. She recently completed a master's program in creative writing in the hopes that someday she will be able to be a writer for the Happiest Company on Earth. Molly keeps Walt's famous quote at the forefront of her life: "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."