Walt Disney World is always changing! With all of those changes it's hard to keep up. What's new? What's gone? I thought it would be fun to include a WDW timeline showing the debuts, grand openings, and exits of some of our favorite rides, shows & parks throughout the years. If you have a special memory of a ride or show that is not listed, please feel free to let me know and I can add it to the list.
1972 - Carousel of Progress and If You Had Wings (now known as Take Flight) opens in the Magic Kingdom.
1973 - Pirates of the Caribbean, Plaza Swan Boats, Richard F. Irvin River Boats, The Walt Disney Story, and Tom Sawyer Island open in Magic Kingdom; Golf Resort (now known as Shades of Green) opens.
1974 - Star Jets (now known as Astro Orbiter) opens in Magic Kingdom; Treasure Island (now known as Discovery Island) opens; Lake Buena Vista Golf Course opens; Pioneer Hall Dinner Theatre in Fort Wilderness opens.
1975 - Space Mountain and WEDway People-Mover (now known as Tommorrowland Transit Authority) opens in Magic Kingdom; Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (now known as Village Marketplace) opens it doors.
1976 - River Country opens; America on Parade runs through the Magic Kingdom.
1977 - Empress Lilly Riverboat (now known as Fulton's Crab House) docks at Villiage Marketplace; Main Street Electrical Parade debuts in Magic Kingdom.
1978 - Treasure Island renamed Discovery Island.
1980 - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens in Magic Kingdom and the Mickey Mouse Revue moves to Tokyo Disneyland.
1981 - October 1st marks 10th anniversary!
1982 - Epcot opens on October 1st!!!
1983 - Journey Into Imagination, New World Fantasy Show, Horizons, and Epcot Outreach & Teachers Center open in Epcot.
1984 - Morocco pavilion opens in Epcot; American Journeys opens in Magic Kingdom.
1986 - Captain EO and the Living Seas open in Epcot.
1988 - Wonders of Life, Norway and IllumiNations open in Epcot; Grand Floridian and Caribbean Beach Resorts open.
1989 - Disney-MGM Studios opens!!! Mickey's Starland opens in Magic Kingdom; Body Wars, Dream Flight and Cranium Command open in Epcot; Typhoon Lagoon opens; Pleasure Island opens.
1990 - Star Tours and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience Movie Set Adventure opens at Disney-MGM Studios; Yacht Club and Beach Club Resorts open; Swan and Dolphin Resort opens.
1991 - SpectroMagic replaces Main Street Electrical Parade in Magic Kingdom; Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3-D and Beauty & the Beast Stage Show opens in Disney-MGM Studios; Port Orleans Resort opens.
1992 - Splash Mountain opens in Magic Kingdom; Voyage of The Little Mermaid opens in Disney-MGM Studios; Disney's Old Key West and Dixie Landings Resorts open; Osprey Ridge & Eagle Pines Golf Courses open for business.
1993 - The Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress change in Magic Kingdom; The American Adventure in Epcot changes; Backlot Theater opens in Disney-MGM Studios.
1994 - Legend of the Lion King and The Timekeeper opens and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea closes in Magic Kingdom; Innoventions replaces Communicore, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience replaces Captain EO, Food Rocks replaces Kitchen Kabaret; and The Circle of Life replaces Symbiosis in Epcot; The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opens in Disney-MGM Studios; Blizzard Beach opens; All-Star Sports and Music Resorts open; Wilderness Lodge Resort opens; Planet Hollywood opens.
1995 - Alien Encounter opens in Magic Kingdom; Disney's Wedding Pavilion opens; Walt Disney World Speedway races open.
1996 - 25th Anniversary celebration includes Remember the Magic Parade and Illuminations 25! Mickey's Toontown Fair replaces Starland in Magic Kingdom; Ellen's Energy Adventure opens in Epcot; Backstage Pass to 101 Dalmations and Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame-A Musical Adventure opens in Disney-MGM Studios; Disney Institute opens; Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf opens; Celebration formed; BoardWalk opens; Rainforest Cafe opens in Disney Village Marketplace; Dream Flight renamed Take Flight.
1997 - Test Track opens in Epcot; Disney's Wide World of Sports opens; Coronado Springs Resort opens.
1998 - Disney's Animal Kingdom opens!!! Downtown Disney West Side opens; Disney Cruise Line sets sail!!! Rainforest Cafe opens in Animal Kingdom; Bet Soundstage Club replaces Neon Armadillo Music Saloon and a Country Club replaces Fireworks Factory on Pleasure Island; DisneyQuest opens in Downtown Disney West Side and Cirque du Soleil expected to open in the fall; Copperfield Magic Underground expected to open in fall in Disney-MGM Studios.
1999 - Disney's Animal Kingdom opens the land of Asia; All-Star Movie Resort opens in January.
2000 - Disney's Winter Summerland Minature Golf opens at WDW; in Magic Kingdom at Fantasyland, new ride the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh opens and in Tomorrowland, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin opens; at Disney MGM Studios, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster opens.
2001 - Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge opens; Near Animal Kingdom the new Animal Kingdom Lodge opened; Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! opens in Disney-MGM Studios; Magic Carpets of Aladdin opens in Magic Kingdom.
2002 - Magic Kingdom - Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin ride and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride are new attractions.
2003 - River Country closes; Mission: Space replaces Horizons pavillion in Epcot's Future World; at the Magic Kingdom in Fantasyland opens Mickey's PhilharMagic.
2004 - Turtle Talk with Crush opens in the Living Seas pavillion at Epcot; Stitch's Great Escape replaces ExtraTERRORestrial in Tommorrowland at Magic Kingdom; Pop Century Resort opens; Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa opens in the spring.
2005 - Hong Kong Disneyland opens! Disney launches it's Happiest Celebration on Earth! throughout all the parks honoring Disneyland's 50th anniversary! Soarin' opens in The Land pavillion at Epcot; Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show opens at Disney-MGM Studios.
2006 - Year of a Million Dreams launches on October 1st; Tarzan Rocks show closes at Animal Kingdom; the long awaited Expedition Everest opens in Asia at Animal Kingdom.
2007 - In Tommorrowland at Magic Kingdom Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club opens.
2008 - Disney-MGM Studios officially changes its name to Disney's Holloywood Studios! Toy Story Mania opens in Hollywood Studios; Animal Kingdom celebrates its 10th Anniversary April 22nd; all nightclubs at Pleasure Island are closed to create a more "family-friendly environment"; final ABC Super Soap Weekend takes place at Hollywood Studios; T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure Restaurant opens in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
2009 - American Idol Experience opens at Hollywood Studios; Sanaa restaurant and Kidani Village open at Animal Kingdom Lodge; Virgin Megastore closes and Characters In Flight attraction opens in Downtown Disney; Sum of All Thrills attraction opens at Epcot's Innoventions pavilion; Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration opens in Tomorrowland and Barack Obama added to Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom; WDW hosts first Princess Half Marathon weekend.
2010 - Captian EO returns, Kodak pulls sponsorship from Imaginiation! pavilion and redesigned exhibit "Smarter Planet" opens in Innoventions pavilion at Epcot.
2011 - Wild Africa Trek is introduced at Animal Kingdom; "Star Tours - The Adventure Continues", a new 3-D version of Star Tours opens at Disney's Hollywood Studios; and AMC Dine-In Theatres opens at Downtown Disney.
2012 - Art of Animation Resort built; Disney's Toontown Fair is closed to make room for Fantasyland expansion.
2013 - The Villas at Grand Floridian Resort open.
2014 - Maelstrom closes in Norway Pavillion at World Showcase in Epcot - to be replaced with a Frozen attraction.
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Copyright © 1998 - 2016 Wonders of Disney
Copyright © 1998 - 2016 Wonders of Disney