This is the park that started the Walt Disney World theme park we know and love today. Magic Kingdom was the first of Disney’s four Orlando parks, and opened on Oct. 1, 1971. Throughout its history of almost 50 years, this park has continued to grow and change to meet the needs of its guests as one of the most visited vacation destinations in the world. Ready to learn more about Magic Kingdom? Here are five facts you probably didn’t know about Walt Disney World’s original theme park.
Oldest Attraction in the Park
Magic Kingdom’s oldest attraction has quite a few years of age on the park itself. The Prince Charming Regal Carousel in Fantasyland was originally built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. With over 100 horses, 90 made of hand-carved wood and 11 fiberglass horses later added by Disney, this carousel has quite a galloping history of its own!
Opening Day Admission
As admission prices to theme parks continue to rise, it’s hard to imagine a day when guests could enter the Magic Kingdom for only $3.50. When the park opened on October 1, 1971 adults could enter the Magic Kingdom for less than $5. Magic Kingdom had 23 attractions for guests to enjoy. Twenty attractions had been seen before at Disneyland, and three attractions were unique to the Magic Kingdom!
Disney is no stranger to creating illusions of heights both big and small for their attractions. Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom is no exception! Although this landmark appears extremely tall and regal at the end of Main Street U.S.A., Cinderella Castle stands at only 189 feet tall. Thanks for forced perspective, smaller windows and other optical tricks help this landmark to appear much taller.
The New Frontier
Space Mountain in Walt Disney World debuted before the version in Disneyland came to be. In the 1970s, this attraction was a modern marvel in its own right, as Space Mountain was the first roller coaster to be controlled by computers.
Not So Large
Although Magic Kingdom is chock full of magic in its six land of fun, it is actually the smallest of the four Walt Disney World parks. Even Magic Kingdom’s 12,000 car parking lot is larger than the park itself at 125 acres! This park may be small in size for Orlando, but Magic Kingdom’s 107 acres is still larger than the original theme park Disneyland at 85 acres.
Walt Disney World’s first theme park will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 before we know it! Magic Kingdom was the start of the Most Magical Place on Earth and continues to be the place where dreams come true for guests from around the globe. Like most things at Disney, there’s definitely more to this park than meets the eye! So next time you visit Magic Kingdom, be sure to keep these fun facts in mind.