Then vs Now: See the evolution of Disney World over 50 years

Posted at 11:51 AM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 12:14:11-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — On Oct. 1, 1971 Walt Disney World opened it's gates for the first time and Florida has never been the same.

In 1971, Disney World had just one theme park, Magic Kingdom, and a few golf courses and resorts.

Despite all the changes and advancements made in the last 50 years, some of the original rides and attractions from 1971 remain today including the Country Bear Jamboree, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Haunted Mansion and the Tomorrowland Speedway

Since then, three more major parks have been added. Epcot opened in 1982, Hollywood Studios in 1989 and Animal Kingdom in 1998. In addition, the water parks Typhoon Lagoon (1989 and temporarily closed) and Blizzard Beach (1995) were added to the resort.

A few of your favorite rides might be younger than you think. Space Mountain opened in 1975, but Splash Mountain didn't make an appearance until 1992.

To celebrate the occasion, we had our colleagues share their Disney photos spanning the past five decades. Click through the photos and travel in time.

Want to know what Disney has in store to celebrate the big anniversary? Click here.