The Oldies But Goodies – 10 Classics Not To Be Missed at Walt Disney World

One of the most exciting things about Walt Disney World that keeps guests returning year after year is the constant change and additions that create new experiences for guests to enjoy. With constant expansions in recent years and more scheduled for the future, there are always new experiences to bring guests back to Walt Disney World. While these new experiences and expansions are amazing, there are some attractions and experiences that have been around for many years and solidified their classic status. Some experiences even date back to the Walt Disney World Resort’s opening date of October 1, 1971 and they continue to charm guests each and every day in the parks. From thrilling experiences to family-friendly shows and attractions, these classic experiences are definitely considered to be oldies, but are amazing in their own ways. Here are ten classic experiences that simply cannot be missed on any Walt Disney World vacation.

1. Peter Pan’s Flight

Since the Magic Kingdom opened with the Walt Disney World Resort in 1971, it is no surprise that there are many classic experiences located there that guests must enjoy. Peter Pan’s Flight is situated in Fantasyland and magically sprinkles guests with pixie dust before letting them soar high in pirate ships. With classic characters and music from the Disney animated film, guests absolutely love soaring high over familiar scenes such as the Darling nursery, London, and Neverland. Definitely considered to be a classic, no trip to Walt Disney World is complete without experiencing Peter Pan’s Flight.

2. It’s A Small World

Located just across from Peter Pan’s Flight is another classic experience that invites guests to embark on the happiest cruise that ever sailed. It’s A Small World has guests board cheery boats and set off on a serene tour around the world. Each impressive scene brings a location from around the world to life through charming dolls, recognizable landmarks, and other beautiful details. With the entire experience being set to the Sherman Brothers song of the same name, It’s A Small World is considered to be a quintessential experience in Walt Disney World.

3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Storybook Circus in the Magic Kingdom is home to several big top tents which help to bring the excitement and adventure of the circus to life. Found in the area is a classic attraction that brings one of the most beloved Disney characters to life. Dumbo the Flying Elephant features two spinners where guests can climb inside of the character and take to the skies, soaring high above the circus tents. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is also popular with guests thanks to its innovative line system where guests save their place in the queue while allowing small children to enjoy an interactive play area in one of the big tops.

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4. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

Located in the center of Fantasyland is another classic attraction that can even be seen from Main Street through the main walkway of Cinderella Castle. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is a vintage carousel that was originally built in 1917 before being purchased and beautifully restored by Disney. Guests who enjoy the attraction today can choose from dozens of unique horses before embarking on a circle-vision tour of Fantasyland accompanied by calliope-style renditions of classic Disney songs.

5. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Another classic Magic Kingdom attraction that is nearly always considered to be underrated can be found in Tomorrowland between Space Mountain and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress first debuted at the 1964 New York State Fair and features an innovative design where the theater and audience rotate around several scenes on a central stage. The attraction to this day brings guests on a wonderful journey through the century with one family as they enjoy the new inventions and technologies that help to make each day easier. With a classic Sherman Brothers song and memorable characters and scenes, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress might be overlooked, but is certainly a classic that should be enjoyed.

6. Jungle Cruise

Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom allows guests to travel to exotic and far corners of the world for adventures that are certainly unforgettable. One classic attraction found in the area is the world famous Jungle Cruise where guests can set sail down some of the most remote rivers in the world in search of adventure. The highlight of the attraction are the skippers who navigate each boat who infuse witty humor and sarcasm into their narration of the journey, making guests both groan and laugh the entire time. With famous sights like the backside of water and humor that is unlike any other in Walt Disney World, the Jungle Cruise is a must do classic attraction.

7. Haunted Mansion

One of the most beloved attractions in all of Walt Disney World can be found in Liberty Square housed inside an impressive brick manor home. The Haunted Mansion is a classic experience that brings guests through an interactive graveyard before introducing them to the Ghost Host who narrates the entire experience. After a few eerie and quiet scenes, nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts begin to materialize and cause all sorts of spooky and humorous moments that guests will love. With memorable characters such as Madame Leota and the hitchhiking ghosts and the classic song “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the Haunted Mansion is a must do classic attraction in the park.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean

Another favorite classic attraction of many guests is Pirates of the Caribbean found in Adventureland. Guests head into the Castillo del Morro and soon find themselves setting sail with pirates on a journey that brings them through all sorts of adventure. With a raging seaside battle that quickly escalates into looting and the burning of a seaside village, Pirates of the Caribbean brings the swashbuckling antics of pirates to life while allowing guests the opportunity to be in the middle of the action. In addition to the scenes, guests will also love singing along to the classic “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

9. Spaceship Earth

Epcot is a favorite Disney Park of many guests thanks to its unique combination of Future World and World Showcase. Each area of the park celebrates the beauty of nature, the advancements of technology, and the cultures of the world through amazing experiences and attractions. When using the main entrance of Epcot, guests first encounter Spaceship Earth, a classic attraction where guests travel through time to see how the advancements in technology and communication have taken us from ancient times to modern day. With a wonderful narration by Dame Judi Dench and classic scenes, Spaceship Earth is an attraction that is a must do in Epcot.

10. Kilimanjaro Safaris

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four Disney Parks in Walt Disney World and it invites guests to experience both the beauty and adventure that nature has to offer. A classic experience that opened with the park in 1998 is Kilimanjaro Safaris which is situated in Africa. The attraction has guests board open air safari vehicles and embark into the Harambe Reserve where they can enjoy breathtaking views of the forests and savanna while watching animals freely roam. Some favorite animals that guests can spot on the attraction include elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and lions, making Kilimanjaro Safaris a classic experience that cannot be missed.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.