8 of our Favorite Vintage Disneyland Attractions
Here at MickeyBlog we wanted to spend a bit of time this weekend talking about one of our favorite reasons to visit Disneyland! It’s not the churros or the amazing hotels (though we love those too) but rather the incredible vintage attractions you’ll find at the Disneyland theme park. The original “Happiest Place on Earth” is big on nostalgia making your feel magically transported to days gone by. Though much has changed since the park first opened back in 1955 most of the attractions on our list have been at the parks for nearly just as long! Check 8 of our favorite vintage rides and attractions below:
Though many of Disneyland’s incredible mountains eventually made it over to Walt Disney World– here’s one that is uniquely Disneyland! Adding an incredible mountain range to the park, the Bobsleds first opened back in 1959. This was the same year as the Disneyland Monorail and the Submarine Voyage. It was the first roller coaster in the world to employ a tubular steel track and electronic dispatch system. It was also build to a 1/100th scale of the original Matterhorn and has been the highest point in the park since opening. Even though its a piece of Disney history, the Matterhorn still packs a punch as it whisks you through the mountain on a fun-filled Alpine adventure.
This year, this frightfully delightful New Orleans Square attraction celebrates 50 years of bringing 999 Happy Haunted to Disneyland Resort. The attraction first opened its rusty gates to visitors in 1969. It was modelled after the Shipley Lydecker House in Baltimore and features a spooky pet cemetery, stretching room, ghostly cemetery and so much more. It was originally designed to be The Museum of the Weird (a strange exhibit of oddities from around the world.) However, the concept morphed into a wax museum before becoming the ride you know and love today!
Mad Tea Party
This classic teacup ride was one of Disneyland’s original attractions. Though it looks quite harmless on the outside, overzealous kids have the ability to spin the teacup until dizziness ensues! Did you know that for 30 years the Disneyland version of this attraction sat in the current location of King Arthur’s Carousel and was moved in 1983 to be closer to the Alice in Wonderland attraction? You’ll also notice from the design that legendary Disney artist Mary Blair had a hand in the project. While she’s most often associated with her work on “it’s a small world” you’ll also find her stamp on the original designs adorning the teacups!
Mr Toad’s Wild Ride
Confession: I’m a bit of a Disneyland traditionalist so this is one of my favorite rides in the whole park! One of the original opening dark ride attractions, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride takes Disneyland guests on a wild speed race through the English countryside wreaking havoc along the way. Inspired by the “Wind in the Willows,” the motorcars feature the names of the characters in the 1949 Disney feature film including Mr. Toad, MacBadger, Ratty, Weasel, Winky and Cyril. One of our favorite details is that on the Crest adorning the entryway to the ride you’ll notice the words: Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda. This means “A Speeding Toad is Always Absurd!
Snow White’s Scary Adventure
This is one of the vintage dark rides that opening with the park back in 1955 and has been making unsuspecting kids cry ever since. This ride which takes visitors on a journey through the key plot points from the Disney animated films starts off innocuous enough as the princess meets here dwarven counterparts. However, introduce the Evil Queen and the ride does include some dark, spooky scenes that may frighten young children. Also, be sure to check out one of my favorite details in all of Disneyland. Look up at the window above the outside entrance to the ride and you may catch the Evil Queen peering out from behind the curtain.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
This Adventureland attraction which opened back in 1963 is a sliver of Disney history as it was the first attraction to employ the incredible Audio-Animatronic Technology to the theme parks. The groundbreaking technology would go on to animate other iconic Disneyland attractions like “it’s a small world,” “Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Walt Disney originally envisioned the attraction as a dinner show but changed the format to accommodate more guests before it opened! During this incredible performance, guests sit in a Polynesian style tiki-hut while being entertained by a chorus of over 225 Audio-Animatronic choreographed birds!
Alice in Wonderland
We’ll end our vintage attraction round-up with another original 1955 attraction. When it first opened, the Jungle Cruise was a serious documentary-style attraction. All of the funny scenes and jokes were added in later! Walt’s original vision was to use live animals however this plan was abandoned when zoologists informed Disney that most of the animals were nocturnal which would make the ride boring for daytime guests. which is when animatronics were introduced. In the 1960s Walt collaborated with animators to change up the mood and create a tongue-in-cheek feel with the Skippers working from a script of hilarious puns and jokes.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of our favorite vintage Disneyland attractions. Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for the latest Disneyland news and updates.
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