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AT A GLANCE...
- Ariel's Grotto
- Barnstormer with the Great Goofini
- Be Our Guest Restaurant
- Big Top Souvenirs
- Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Gaston's Tavern
- Pete's Silly Sideshow
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Royal Majesty Makers
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Storybook Circus Giggle Gang
- Under the Sea - Journey of the Little
- Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
- Cinderella Castle
- "it's a small world"
- Mad Tea Party
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Merida at Fairytale Garden
- Mickey's PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan's Flight
- Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
- Harmony Barber Shop
- Harmony Barber Shop Photo Gallery
- Meet Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater
- Meet Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Enchanted Tiki Room
- Jungle Cruise
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Pirates League
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
- Carousel of Progress
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Space Mountain
- Stitch's Great Escape
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- Tomorrowland Transit
- A Pirate's Adventure: Treasure of the Seven Seas
- Captain Jack's Pirate Tutorial
- Celebrate the Magic
- Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Dream along with Mickey
- Electrical Water Pageant
- Frontierland Hoedown
- Main Street Electrical Parade
- Main Street Trolley Show
- Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!
- Opening Show
- Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
- Favorite Viewing Locations for the Fireworks!
- Carousel of Progress Photo Gallery
- Disneyland vs Magic Kingdom 1
- Disneyland vs Magic Kingdom 2
- Fantasyland Old and New
- Hats of the Magic Kingdom Photo Tour
- Haunted Mansion Attic
- Magic Kingdom vs Disneyland
- Main Street USA: Then and Now
- Parade Grand Marshals
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority
- Where Does the Music Come From
OTHER WALT DISNEY WORLD THEME PARKS
OTHER DISNEY THEME PARKS
Carousel of Progress
Introduction | Attraction | Touring Tips | Kids and Characters | Dining | Shopping |
Follow an Audio-Animatronic family through the last century, as they show how times have changed due to the many modern inventions. Located in Tomorrowland, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress has a rich history that marks it as one of the oldest attractions in Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress -- Through a rotating carousel theater, this attraction carries seated guests into the homes of four generations of the same family from the days before electricity to the present day.
After a brief introduction, your theater rotates to reveal Act I, set around Valentine's Day around the turn of the century. After our host, John, tells the audience about the current state of modern conveniences -- all pre-electricity -- the theme music, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," plays as the theater rotates again.
II brings us to the 1920s, and we see the family preparing for the
Fourth of July celebration. The father shows off all the new electric-powered conveniences, including the vacuum, electric lights, oven, and
refrigerator (subsequently blowing all the fuses out in the neighborhood).
Among the many other inventions spotlighted, we also see the son, Jimmy,
listening to radio, on which we hear a John Philip Sousa march, and we
hear about "air cooling", a fan blowing over a block of ice.
In Act III, the John of the 1940s tells us that he's entered the "Rat Race" by commuting to work, and we see the benefits of his new refrigerator and, most importantly, indoor plumbing.
turns one more time to reveal Act IV, with the family celebrating
Christmas on the eve of the new century. The family's automated oven manages
to burn the Christmas turkey to a crisp and the show concludes with a
final rotation into the Finale, from which the audience is dismissed.
(For a transcript of the show's script, visit A Tribute to Walt Disney's
Carousel of Progress, at
Mini-Review: Although there are no thrills or chills, this attraction holds a lot of charm -- both for its historical value and the well-designed Animatronics. It's long been one of my favorite shows -- definitely worth visiting. And be sure to check out our Carousel of Progress Photo Gallery HERE.
History (from Official Walt Disney World information): Walt Disney's original concept for the World's Fair was "a show that would interpret, in an educational and entertaining way, the role electricity has played in bettering man's living conditions." By 1959, General Electric was sponsor of the proposed attraction, which would consist of a series of stages depicting electrical history through which people would walk.
New York World's Fair: The result of the collaboration with GE was
"Progressland," one of the most successful and exciting exhibits
at the 1964 Worlds Fair. At the New York Worlds Fair in
1964, as many as 4,500 people per day enjoyed the Progressland show.
The widespread enthusiasm for it was astounding, for almost 16 million
visitors saw the show. After viewing the show inside, Guests went upstairs
to view Progress City. This 160 foot, scaled model was built at 1/8
inch to the foot. It occupied 6,900 square feet of space, using 22,000
scale trees and shrubs, 4,500 structures lit from within, and 1,400
working streetlights about one inch tall each. Progress City was Walt
Disneys model for EPCOT (renamed to Epcot). Progress City can
be viewed from the Tomorrowland Transit Authority at the Magic Kingdom.
the New York World Fair closed, the Carousel of Progress was moved to
Disneyland where it, and the original music, played from 1967 thru 1973.
Disneyland: In order to extend and preserve the show permanently, GE brought it to Disneyland in 1967. The G.E. Carousel of Progress in Disneyland was a two-level pavilion which could be seen by up to 3,600 people per hour. The first level contained the same basic acts. However, at the end of Act IV, guests stepped onto a "speedramp" that carried them to the pavilions second level. There they viewed Progress City, Walts model of EPCOT (renamed to Epcot). During its six year run at Disneyland Park, more than 31 million people saw the show.
Walt Disney World: In 1973, it was then moved to a new theater at Walt Disney World, opening in 1975 with a new theme song, "The Best Time of Your Life." A 1993 rehab returned the original show music, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," which still plays.
1964 Created for the 1964-65 New York Worlds Fair, as General Electric's Progressland
July 1967 until 1973 Relocated to Disneyland and named 'Carousel of Progress'
January 15, 1975 Opens at the Magic Kingdom in WDW, with new final scene and new song, "The Best Time of Your Life"
March 10, 1985 General Electric's last day as corporate sponsor of the attraction
1994 The attraction was refurbished to its original state and renamed "Walt Disneys Carousel of Progress." At this time, it was redone as a tribute to the original attraction. The theme song was changed back to "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," and the story recreated as a tribute to the nostalgia of the past.
Mickeys: There are four Hidden Mickeys in the final scene. Mickey
appears as a nutcracker on the fireplace mantel, a plush peeking from
a present, a white peppermill on the kitchen counter, and an abstract
painting on the dining room wall.
Be sure to take the 20 minutes to experience it. There is seldom a long wait, and it is well worth the time to see this piece of Disney history at least once!
Show Time: 20:45 minutes
a wheelchair/ECV may remain seated during this show.
Buzz Lightyear holds Meet & Greets along the side of the Carousel of Progress. Check your daily Times Guide for times and locations.
There is no place to eat in the immediate vicinity of Carousel of Progress, except for some snack carts.
a number of carts in the area surrounding the Carousel of Progress.
Magic Kingdom Shopping at a Glance
of Progress opened in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on January
The attraction was originally called Carousel of Progress, but was renamed to Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress following refurbishment in 1994.
8 characters, 4 scenes (total 32 figures)
Designed and Manufactured by: WED (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering or WDI) and MAPO (previously known as the manufacturing division of WDI)
of Animated Acts: 4
Number of Stages: 6
Theater Capacity: 240 guests
Weight of Carousel: 375 tons
General Electric served as the corporate sponsor from 1964 until March 10, 1985.
Building Exterior: At both Disneyland in California and at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World, the exterior was originally painted in white and deep blue stripes that grew larger and then smaller as the carousel rotated. There were 276 stripes of each color. In 1993, with the rejuvenation of Tomorrowland, Walt Disneys Carousel of Progress was given a covering of large and colorful sprockets and bolts to fit in with the theming of Tomorrowland.
The following two theme songs were featured in the attraction and were
both written by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, who composed the music
favorite Disney films such as Mary Poppins:
The Best Time of Your Life - Featured as the theme song with the opening of the attraction at the Magic Kingdom Park in 1975.
Theres A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow- Current attraction theme song at Magic Kingdom (featured as the theme song for the original attraction at the 1964 World's Fair and the Disneyland attraction).
Rover (dog) has gone through many changes in the history of the attraction. His color has changed from white (at the World's Fair) to light brown and dark brown. His name has even changed, and has been Buster, Sport, Queenie, and Rover. When the attraction reopened at the MAGIC KINGDOM at the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort, his name was different for every scene. Today, the dogs name is Rover throughout the entire show. In this most recent version, Rover has been given new life and is the most realistic version ever seen.
Sign: The sign outside the attraction, is constructed of three large cogs and features a spinning year. The year is constantly changing, to represent the different eras depicted inside the attraction.
Voices: The following Audio-Animatronics characters, along with their voice credits, appear in Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction:
characters Current Cast:
Father: Jean Shepherd *
Mother: B.J. Ward
Daughter: Debbi Deryberry
Young son: Peter Nelson
Teenage son: Paul Osterhout
Grandfather: Rex Allen *
Grandmother: Mary Cervantes
Grandmother (Act IV): Janet Waldo *
Cousin Orville: Mel Blanc *
Radio Personalities: Noel Blanc *
Jean Shepherd, Father's current voice, is a contemporary American humorist. Guests may recognize him as the narrator from "A Christmas Story." Shepherd also provides the opening and closing remarks of the current attraction.
Rex Allen, the current voice of Grandpa, was the original voice of Father in the 1964 World's Fair version.
Janet Waldo, Grandma in Act IV, previously served as the voice of Judy Jetson on the popular 1960s television cartoon, "The Jetsons."
Debi Deryberry was the voice of Jimmy Neutron on Nickelodeon.
Mel Blanc is also known as the voice of Warner Brothers' cartoon character Bugs Bunny. Noel Blanc is the son of Mel Blanc.
If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring the Magic Kingdom, please email me. Thank you.