45 years ago today was a big day for guests visiting the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. It was the opening day for two iconic attractions. Space Mountain and the Carousel of Progress opened on January 15, 1975. These two attractions are iconic and continue to be part of the traditions for many Disney guests visiting The Walt Disney World Resort.
Space Mountain was the next coaster for Disney that evolved after the opening of the Matterhorn Mountain over in California at Disneyland. Space Mountain was originally envisioned by Walt Disney as the next thrill ride that would eventually come to Tomorrowland. During this time of dreaming, it was known as the Space Voyage. However, after the passing of Walt Disney, the dreams of Space Mountain was set aside.
After the opening of Magic Kingdom, Disney recognized that Disney’s second theme park needed more exciting thrill rides. The dream of Space Mountain was reborn. With technological advancements, soon this dream became a reality and guests were zooming through space on their own rocket ship.
Guests visiting both the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland might notice that the rockets in Florida are different than in California. In many ways, the rockets in Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom are more like the Matterhorn bobsleds than the rockets found at Space Mountain at Disneyland when it opened two years.
45 years later, Space Mountain continues to be a Disney fan favorite as guests blast through the stars. It has seen overlays and updates through the years but the main premise is still the same. Space Mountain is still giving guests the chance to zoom through space!
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
The Carousel of Progress originally debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair. It was found at the General Electric Pavilion. The idea for the attraction was originally envisioned as the story of electricity that would be found in an expansion at Disneyland. When that didn’t happen, Walt Disney pitched the idea to General Electric for the 1964 World’s Fair and history was made.
Once the attraction opened at the 1964 World’s Fair it was known as Progressland. Guests would circle around the attraction in six theaters that spun around the center stage that showcased the different eras of progress. The attraction progressed from the past, to the present, and even gave a glimpse at what was coming in the future! In this version, after the show guests could explore the building and see more of the progress of electricity.
Following the closure of the World’s Fair the attraction moved to Disneyland. There, it found a home in Tomorrowland. It opened at Disneyland in 1967 and remained there until 1973. After it closed at Disneyland, it was moved to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World where it opened on this day in 1975. With the move to Walt Disney World came several updates to the attraction. This included a new color schemed, music, theater, and even a theater that rotated a different direction! Through the years, the ride has seen refurbishments and updates in an attempt to keep it relevant.
45 Years Later
45 years after these two attractions were introduced at the Magic Kingdom, they continue to be loved by fans who visit from around the globe. They are both attractions that are beloved by the DAPS MAGIC team when they visit Walt Disney World. They continue to be an example for how attractions can have an enduring legacy when they are innovative and give guests two very different experiences that create a magical memory.
What is your favorite part of these two attractions? Can you remember the first time you experienced them? Share your thoughts, memories, and opinions in the thoughts below!