Walt Disney’s Carousel Of Progress has been a Disney attraction since 1964 when it debuted at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.
Created by Disney for General Electric, and originally named the General Electric Carousel of Progress, it shows the progress of innovation throughout the 20th century by taking you through 4 generations of a typical American family as they experience the wonderful innovations and “modern” conveniences that they are able to enjoy.
The idea for this attraction came from Walt Disney
himself. It combines nostalgic glimpses of American life with the message that the future is something to look forward to with innovation. Well Traveled Disney Attraction
As mentioned earlier, the Carousel Of Progress was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. It was such a success that they decided to move it to Disneyland.
It stayed at Disneyland from July 2, 1967 until September 9, 1973. Then it was moved to its current home at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom where it debuted on January 15, 1975.
In 1994 it went through a redesign, with the last scene being updated. It was at this time that the attraction was returned to more like the original attraction that Walt created and it was also renamed: Walt Disney’s Carousel Of Progress. Groundbreaking Use of Technology
The Carousel Of Progress was a technological marvel when it was introduced and still holds up well today.
To start off the design of the theater itself was innovative. The round theater includes a stationary core surrounded by a rotating seating area for the audience that allows for new audiences to start the show every few minutes.
There are 6 sections to this carousel. The loading section, 4 show scenes, and the unloading section.
The use of audio animatronic performers to “tell” the story fits well with the message of life improving through the use of technology.
Life In The Late 1800’s
The first scene of the show starts with life in the late 1800’s just before the turn of the century. The audience gets to see how life was without electricity powering all of the appliances in the home.
Breakthrough in the Roaring 20’s
The next scene takes us to the 1920’s. Here we see many advances in the home with the addition of electric appliances like: sewing machines, refrigerators, electric fans, and even coffeemakers.
The sight of all of the wires running around the house is really amusing.
In this close up view of the audio animatronic figure, you can really see how lifelike they are.
Television Comes To The Home In the 1940’s
The 3rd scene moves ahead in time to the 1940’s. Here we see that the advancements in the home continue including the addition of a television. You also don't notice the electrical wires, because now electricity is considered a "regular" part of the home.
Advancing To The 21st Century
The final scene shows some of the modern ways that technology has entered the home with large screen high definition television, kitchen appliances that respond to voice commands, laptop computers, and virtual reality video games.
Disney World Classic Attraction For All Ages
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is an attraction that appeals to all ages. From the unique theater to the compelling story, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
It is hard not to end up singing the great Sherman Brother’s song “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” before the show is over and throughout your day at Disney World.
There is the right combination of humor and audio animatronic effects to keep everyone’s interest and it shows children what life was like in the 20th century, before we had all of the modern conveniences we take for granted today.
This attraction rarely has a long line, and should be a must see during your next trip to Disney World. Plan on checking out this trip through the past in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.