There are a lot of truly amazing attractions at Walt Disney World. One of the most amazing and possibly also the most overlooked is the Carousel of Progress located at the
This attraction was one of several that Walt showcased at the1964 New York World’s Fair, others that debuted/were inspired by attractions here were It’s A Small World, the PeopleMover, and the Hall Of Presidents – all of which are now classic WDW attractions. The Carousel itself was originally moved from the Fair to Disneyland, and then in 1975 it was relocated to Walt Disney World, where it has remained since then, delighting audiences daily
So what’s it like? Well, its a six scene circular theater, where the seating sections rotate around the theater/stage portions. So you sit back and move slowly around the theater and watch the scenes as you spin! It’s not often the audience gets to revolve around the show, and I personally love this ‘spin’ on a traditional theater!
The scenes themselves are about technology and innovations during different eras of American history. We follow a family, narrated by the father, through the 20th century, starting at the turn of the century as the family uses gas lamps and a hand crank washing machine. The next scene utilizes electric lighting and a radio, placing it roughly in the mid 1920’s. The 3rd scene features an automatic dishwasher and the television as we get a glimpse into what the 1940’s were like. The fourth and final scene is meant to depict “modern day” technology, and has been updated a few times so that the technology still appears as modern – the most recent updates made in 1993 showing high definition television and quirky voice activated appliances (personally I think it’s time for this final scene to get another update – maybe introduce some ipods and computers in the mix of modern technology?
What do you think?
The idea of the attraction is to explore the joys of technology and how much it has helped our lives evolve and change throughout the 20th century. The theme song for the attraction was written by the famous Sherman Brothers (who wrote many Disney movie hit, including those from Mary Poppins and the Jungle Book)
What makes it unique and special is that it is among a (small) handful of attractions at WDW that Walt himself actually created. Many say that it was his favorite attraction and it was his wish that it never stop operating.
The Carousel of Progress holds the record as the longest-running stage show, with the most performances, in the history of American Theater, and I don’t see it ceasing operation anytime soon. It may not be the most exciting attraction, but I personally love it – the characters and the history it weaves into the show are amazing, and it makes me happy to know that it was a true “Walt Original”, it gives you insight into just how creative he really was, and I highly recommend you check it out on your next WDW trip!
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