LIFE

10 Old Disneyland Attractions That Will Take You Back In Time

by Ana Luisa Suarez
Ana is an Associate Editor who loves animals and food. A good taco and a snuggle with her dogs is all she needs.

Disneyland opened its gates for the first time on July 17, 1955, in California.

It cost $1 to get into the park and $7.60 to get on all of the 18 attractions that were available that day.

That seems pretty cheap compared to the $100+ price tag there is today!

Other Disney parks have opened since then, but Disneyland is the only one overseen from start to finish by Walt Disney himself.

Many of the attractions from opening day are now gone, or they’ve since gotten a huge makeover to keep them in perfect running order for the millions of people who visit each year.

Disneyland and other Disney parks often shared many of the same rides, though avid fans will swear that one ride in Disneyland is slightly different from the version in Florida’s Walt Disney World.

If you’ve visited Disneyland, do you remember which ride was your favorite? I know I would spend half the day in Tomorrowland, trying to see how many times I could go on the “rides to the moon” there.

Sadly, not every ride is still standing, though we can feel nostalgic looking back on some of the coolest attractions the park used to offer!

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1. America Sings - 1974 to 1988

1. America Sings - 1974 to 1988

America Sings replaced the Carousel of Progress at Disneyland after the Carousel moved to Walt Disney World.

The ride was a moving theater that rotated in a counter-clockwise direction. It featured a cast of animatronic animals that sang to the audience in styles from various periods in America’s musical history.

However, the ride had been built to celebrate the bicentennial. It eventually felt very outdated once that milestone passed, especially since it was placed in the futuristic Tomorrowland. The ride was closed and replaced by Innovations in 1988, though that ride was also later replaced.

2. Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland - 1960 to 1977

2. Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland - 1960 to 1977

Mine Train came to Disneyland to replace Rainbow Caverns when Walt Disney requested that more humor be brought to the attractions.

Guests boarded a train in Frontierland in a fictional Western town, then went through Rainbow Ridge to travel through the desert area, making stops in places like Bear Country and Beaver Valley.

The attraction was popular during its run for being a fun and colorful wild West adventure. However, the eventual desire for more thrill-seeking rides led to it being replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

3. PeopleMover - 1967 to 1995

3. PeopleMover - 1967 to 1995

The PeopleMover is one of those classic Disney rides that almost everyone can remember. The ride was always on the go, as passengers boarded it on a moving platform.

In Disneyland, it gave people a circle tour of Tomorrowland, with each train providing a running commentary during the ride. It passed through a few buildings in Tomorrowland, while also passing over Autopia and Submarine Voyage.

The ride closed in 1995, as Disney Imagineers felt that it was outdated and was being used as a place for people to rest their feet. The ride may have closed then, but the track still remains in Disneyland to this day. In 2010, it was even slightly hinted that there is a chance the ride could come back one day. It still operates currently in Walt Disney World as the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.

4. Rocket to the Moon / Mission to Mars - 1955 to 1992

4. Rocket to the Moon / Mission to Mars - 1955 to 1992

The ride first began as Rocket to the Moon. As we entered the Space Race in the ’60s, the name was changed to Rocket to Mars and then to Mission to Mars.

Disney actually worked with NASA when creating the attraction, making it a realistic venture into space for park visitors. Though the ride was a huge hit with those who loved the idea of traveling to the moon or Mars, its closure came rather abruptly.

The mission was shut down to open new rides in the building as plans for a refurbished Tomorrowland were put in place. Over at Disneyland Paris, high refurbishment costs meant the ride was left unused until 1998, when it was finally turned into Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port.

5. The Motor Boat Cruise - 1957 to 1993

5. The Motor Boat Cruise - 1957 to 1993

The Motor Boat Cruise was a successful man-operated boat excursion at Disneyland, as opposed to the failed Phantom Boats that closed in 1956.

The ride survived many decades, serving as a simple but fun way to take guests across different parts of the park.

It was renamed the Motor Boat Cruise to Gummi Glen in 1991, before shutting down in 1993 in order to fund the building of Mickey’s Toontown.

6. Tom Sawyer Island - 1956 to 2016

6. Tom Sawyer Island - 1956 to 2016

Tom Sawyer Island had seen a few facelifts over the course of its run at Disneyland.

When the park first opened, the island was inaccessible to visitors, unless they thought to try and swim out to it! Guests could finally reach the island by motorized raft starting in 1956.

Places like Fort Wilderness were at one time open to all guests, though weather damage, neglect, and visitor accidents led to them being knocked down.

In 2007, the entire island was redesigned as Pirate’s Lair to coincide with interest in Pirates of the Caribbean. The spot was again closed in 2016 to make way for a Star Wars area.

7. Rocket Jets - 1967 to 1997

7. Rocket Jets - 1967 to 1997

The Rocket Jets ride came during the heavily beloved Space Age that took over Tomorrowland. Unlike some other dated space projects, the Rocket Jets lasted for 30 years.

For those who are very familiar with Disney rides or remember this one vividly, it was similar to the Dumbo ride in that you could raise and lower your rocket on your own. Though unlike Dumbo, you boarded the Rocket Jets above ground, on a platform directly above the PeopleMover.

It was replaced by the Astro Orbiter after closing in 1997.

8. Skyway - 1956 to 1994

8. Skyway - 1956 to 1994

The Skyway took visitors between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland in the park.

When it opened, it was the first of its kind in the United States. Disney Imagineering bought the ride from Switzerland.

It was such an interesting option for visitors who didn’t feel like walking, as they could get an aerial view of the park while passing through one of its popular attractions, the Matterhorn.

It closed in 1994 due to metal fatigue that required the Matterhorn being opened up. The area inside the Matterhorn that was once opened for the Skyway was quickly patched up.

9. Big Thunder Ranch - 1986 to 2016

9. Big Thunder Ranch - 1986 to 2016

Big Thunder Ranch opened in 1986 in Frontierland as an adventure area for park visitors. It had a petting zoo, though that was eventually removed to make room for an outdoor theater.

The area often hosted seasonal-themed events during its 30-year run. But much like Tom Sawyer Island, it was closed in 2016 to make room for the Star Wars-themed area in the park.

10. Adventure Through Inner Space - 1967 to 1986

10. Adventure Through Inner Space - 1967 to 1986

This was another Tomorrowland attraction meant to echo the Space Age and take visitors to another planet.

What made this different from the other attractions was that you were “shrunk down” to the size of an atom. Riders were greeted by a scientist’s voice as they boarded the ride and embarked on their adventure.

Like other rides in Tomorrowland, this was closed to make way for another attraction of the future: the Star Tours ride, which operates to this day.

Did we miss one of your favorite Disneyland rides that is no longer in operation? Tell us in the comments, and don’t forget to SHARE this with your fellow Disney fanatics!