More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

45 Years of Magical Dining in Magic Kingdom Park

On October 1, 1971, Magic Kingdom Park welcomed its first guests. Since then, thousands of people have made magical memories at Walt Disney World Resort. Food is so often linked to memories, and some of my favorite Magic Kingdom moments are tied to memorable meals. From dining at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant on my very first visit in 1994, to watching my niece eat her first ice cream cone on Main Street U.S.A. from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor – I even met my husband for the first time at Be Our Guest Restaurant!

Today, I’m excited to share a look into the past, at some of the very first restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort, with photos from the early 1970’s. While some locations have become part of Magic Kingdom history, there are several that still serve hungry guests everyday. Take a look:

Plaza Ice Cream

Main Street U.S.A.
The Crystal Palace
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
Refreshment Corner (now Casey’s Corner)

Sunshine Tree Terrace

Adventureland Veranda (now Jungle Skipper Canteen)
Sunshine Tree Terrace

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

Liberty Square
Nantucket Harbor House (now Columbia Harbor House)
Liberty Tree Tavern

Pinocchio's Village Haus

King Stefan’s Banquet Hall (now Cinderella’s Royal Table)
Pinocchio Village Haus

Tomorrowland Terrace

45th Anniversary Cupcake

If you’re in the parks on October 1, be sure to check out a special cupcake available at Main Street Bakery, and the 45th Anniversary Celebration Dog from Casey’s Corner, topped with potatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, fried onion straws and a chipotle-ranch drizzle.

What is your favorite memory of dining in Magic Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below!


  • We were celebrating at WDW yesterday by visiting Magic Kingdom originals. For dining we did: Aloha Isle/Sunshine Tree Terrace & Main St Bakery for snacks, Columbia Harbor House/Nantucket Harbor House for lunch & Pinocchio Village Haus for dinner. We had so much fun celebrating & hope for the 50th there are even more unique &/or vintage treats to try!

  • I grew up near Disneyland. My parents started their annual visits in 1956, a few years before I was born. I have been to Disneyland many times When Disney World opened, I dreamed of going there. 40+ years later in 2015, my dream came true. My first and only visit (so far) was magical. My husband, children and grandchildren enjoyed WDW for a week! When I walked into the Magic Kingdom, I was overwhelmed with joyful tears. I cried tears of joy again and again that day. I had no clue that WDW had rides that have long since left Disneyland. (My daughter did all the planning because I have health problems) When I was young, the Carousel of Progress was a family favorite. My dad would sing along at full voice. Guess who sang along at WDW? Yep me. I cried on People Mover, the Country Bears,Swiss Family Tree House and the Hall of Presidents because these were all rides no longer at Disneyland These rides at WDW brought back all the wonderful Disney memories shared with my great grandparents, grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. WDW recaptured my youth. Add in all the other wonderful attractions, food, entertainment and memories created at WDW, and I can now say I will die a happy grandma. Thank you Walt Disney for always blessing my life.

  • I must add one more comment!

    I have my original ticket book from my first visit in 1971.

    The price of entry for an 11 year old was only $5.75. It reads: (a $9.05 value).

    So glad I kept this as a souvenir!!!!

  • We have been going to Disney World since our honeymoon back in 1973. And we can relate to the changes that have taken place.

  • I’ll never forget eating in Crystal Palace on my very first trip in 1980! We also have fond memories of my son becoming Jr. Mayor in the Plaza Restaurant and watching a mommy duck and her ducklings while eating outside at Casey’s Corner.

  • Happy Birthday Magic Kingdom!!!! So exciting! I visited the park the summer following its opening when I was just 11 years old. We drove from Texas to Florida. Me, my Mom, my little brother, big brother (who did the driving) and his girlfriend. Happy times. I still have part of my ticket book and a map! It was a real 70’s road trip, complete with a visit to the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. Maybe drinking from that fountain and visiting Disney often helps keep me young at heart! Love Disney and have visited many times since with my children. Wish we had taken more photos back in the day. I make up for it each year taking tons of photos with my daughter! Can’t wait to visit this Spring and celebrate with Mickey!

  • Our daughters are sick of hearing my husband and I talk about how much we miss the GIANT fudgey chocolate cupcake/muffins we always treated ourselves to at Pinocchio Village Haus… sadly the cupcake is no longer there, we shared it years before the girls were born!

    One of our favorite memories… dining at Be Our Guest… the magical carts, the gray stuff (it WAS delicious) and a visit from Beast right at our table! We love dining there!

  • I have so many memories of dining in the Magic Kingdom, including watching the fireworks from our window-side table at Cinderella’s Royal Table, but one that was a lot of fun with great food (and that was unexpected) was when the Mayor and several Main Street characters put on a little impromptu show at The Plaza Restaurant.

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