The Magic Kingdom in 1973
Magic Kingdom
Spring-Summer 1973
Information Guide
Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom Spring-Summer 1973 Information Guide

© Disney

Welcome to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World… as it was in 1973.

The maps in this article are from the Walt Disney World Spring/Summer 1973 Information Guide, a 34-page, 3¾" x 8" guide booklet. Walt Disney World had just opened October 1, 1971, so the park was still quite new.

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom Spring-Summer 1973 Information Guide

© Disney

Did you notice the “Walt Disney Productions 50 Happy Years” emblem on the cover? The company that Walt Disney and his brother founded in 1923 has had four names: Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio (1923-1926), Walt Disney Studio (1926-1929), Walt Disney Productions (1929-1986), and The Walt Disney Company (1986-present). The company’s 100th anniversary is just around the corner in 2023.

As you look at the maps and attractions for each land, you’ll see that some lands have changed more than others. Take a look at what tickets (“A” through “E”) were required for attractions

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, 1973, Main Street

© Disney

Although Main Street looks similar at first glance, closer inspection of the 1973 map reveals that many things are no more. Let’s look at some of them.

The Main Street Cinema was still a cinema—an attraction that required a “B” coupon—not a shop that merely looks like a cinema.

West Center Street was a side street. (East Center Street remains.) Side streets suggested a real street with blocks. Harmony Barber Shop was at the end of West Center Street. The former street is now an extension of the Main Street Emporium.

The Penny Arcade was still a collection of historical arcade machines. Guests inserted coins and enjoyed a vintage entertainment experience. The exterior canopy of the arcade would later read Hall of Champions and then Main Street Fashion Apparel.

Main Street Bookstore and the House of Magic were just some of the shops with their own distinct identities. Shops were usually connected internally to their neighbors. Now, except for Casey’s Corner and the relocated barber shop, the entire west side of Main Street is merchandised as one huge Main Street Emporium, despite other store names along the street.

The Walt Disney Story (April 1973 through October 1992) is missing from the Spring/Summer 1973 guide, possibly because it had not yet opened when the booklet was being prepared. The Plaza Swan Boats attraction (seasonally from May 1973 through August 1983) is similarly missing—and it’s not listed under any other lands either.

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, 1973, Adventureland

© Disney

During Spring/Summer 1973, Adventureland had neither Pirates of the Caribbean nor Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Guests only had to wait until December 1973 for the former, but to May 2001 for the latter.

Not only is there no Pirates of the Caribbean ride on the map, but the land is considerably smaller. Caribbean Plaza is missing, along with its shopping and counter service dining.

The Sunshine Pavilion Enchanted Tiki Birds (Florida Citrus Growers) was also called Tropical Serenade and The Enchanted Tiki Room, depending on when you visited. In an effort to make the show hip and edgy, it was transformed in April 1998 into The Enchanted Tiki Room – Under New Management. After a fire, it reopened in August 2011 with the same name as the original version at Disneyland, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Thankfully, the obnoxiousness of New Management is just a distant memory.

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, 1973, Liberty Square and Frontierland

© Disney

Liberty Square was similar in 1973 to how it is today, just with different shops—and fewer attractions now.

The Mike Fink Keel Boats closed around 1997. The Diamond Horseshoe Revue is long-gone. The Diamond Horseshoe saloon is now a table-service restaurant with seasonal operations—and beverages appropriate for a saloon.

When the Hall of Presidents premiered, Richard Nixon was President of the United States; since then, Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden have joined the attraction.

The Frontierland part of the map is rather meager. Tom Sawyer Island Rafts (May 1973) opened while the map was in effect. Two of the land’s perennial favorites came later—Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (September 1980) and Splash Mountain (July 1992).

Did you notice the Burning Settler’s Cabin on the map?

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, 1973, Fantasyland

© Disney

Fantasyland is arguably the flagship land of the flagship park of the world’s biggest Disney vacation destination. So it was surprising that, for many years, there was less to Fantasyland than there was in Spring/Summer 1973.

Five of the ten Fantasyland attractions from Spring/Summer 1973 are still around. Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel just has a new name, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Dumbo the Flying Elephant has a new location and a two spinners instead of one.

Five others are gone. Skyway to Tomorrowland closed in November 1999. The former Mickey Mouse Revue space is now Mickey’s PhilharMagic (October 2003). Snow White’s Adventures became Princess Fairytale Hall (September 2013), a “meet and greet.” The former Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride space is now The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (June 1999). 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea closed September 1994, but the lagoon wasn’t removed until a decade later.

King Stefan’s Banquet Hall became Cinderella’s Royal Table. It had been odd that King Stefan, the father of Princess Aurora of Sleeping Beauty, would have a dining hall in Cinderella Castle.

The Magic Kingdom has a New Fantasyland that had a phased opening from 2012 to 2014. The highly popular Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014) is its centerpiece, and that’s just one of many enhancements.

Who would like one more 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarine journey or another ride through Rolly Crump’s wild reinterpretation of Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride? And whose first visit to Magic Kingdom Park was after these were already gone?

Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom, 1973, Tomorrowland

© Disney

What an empty Tomorrowland! It’s hard to imagine Tomorrowland without such longtime landmarks as Carousel of Progress (January 1975), Space Mountain (January 1975), and the WEDway PeopleMover (July 1975). But that’s how it was in 1973.

No attraction, shop, or eatery from 1973 has survived with the same name—except that there’s still an eatery called The Lunching Pad, just in a different location.

The Skyway to Fantasyland closed in November 1999.

The former CircleVision 360 is now Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor (April 2007).

The former “If You Had Wings” is now Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (October 1998).

The former Flight to the Moon awaits a new use. It had been Stitch’s Great Escape from November 2004 to January 2018.

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WDW Tickets in 1973
This Week at WDW in 1972

© 2022 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated May 13, 2022