Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a rotating theater show that takes guests on a journey through American history, showcasing the technological advancements of the 20th century through the lens of a fictional family, the Progress family.
The attraction was originally created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair by Walt Disney himself, and it was later moved to Disneyland before eventually finding its permanent home at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in 1975.
The Carousel of Progress follows the story of the Progress family, who represent a typical American family, as they experience the changes and improvements of technology throughout the 20th century. Each scene of the show represents a different era, starting from the turn of the century and moving through the 1920s, 1940s, and finally the present day (which, when the attraction was created, was the 1960s). The show is narrated by a warm and inviting voice, which guides guests through each scene and introduces them to the characters of the Progress family.
The seating arrangement of the Carousel of Progress is unique and adds to the charm of the attraction. The theater is a rotating platform, with the audience seated in 5 separate sections that rotate around the central stage. This allows guests to experience each scene from a different perspective and get a 360-degree view of the show. The theater is also air-conditioned, making it a welcome break from the Florida heat. The seats are comfortable and designed to accommodate guests of all ages and sizes, making it a family-friendly attraction. Overall, the seating arrangement of the Carousel of Progress enhances the immersive experience of the show and adds to the attraction’s appeal.
Another Disney Song to Get Stuck in Your Head!
One of the most iconic elements of the Carousel of Progress is its theme song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” which was written by the Sherman Brothers. The catchy tune and optimistic lyrics perfectly capture the spirit of the attraction and its celebration of progress and innovation. Some of the song’s lyrics include:
“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow’s just a dream away”
Editors Note: There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow was the original song written by the Sherman brothers for the Carousel of Progress. When the attraction moved to Walt Disney World in 1975, it debuted with a new Sherman Brothers song, “The Best Time of Your Life.”This song remained at the Carousel until the 1994 total redesigned Tomorrowland, when There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow returned.
“Now is the time.
Now is the best time.
Now is the best time of your life.
Life is a prize, live every minute.
Open your eyes and watch how you win it!”
Having toured the MK in the 70s with my family and worked there in the 80s, to me this is the Carousel of Progress song!
The Carousel of Progress is not just a fun and entertaining attraction; it also holds historical significance. When it was created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair, it was part of a larger initiative called “Progressland,” which showcased the progress and technological advancements of American industry. The Carousel of Progress was a key component of this initiative, and it was seen as a tribute to the American way of life and the ingenuity of American inventors.
Over the years, the Carousel of Progress has undergone some changes and updates. The most recent update occurred in 1993, when the attraction was given a new finale scene to reflect the technological advancements of the 1990s. However, the basic storyline and spirit of the attraction have remained the same, and it continues to be a beloved classic at Magic Kingdom.
The Carousel of Progress is a great attraction to visit when looking for a break from the heat or rain at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom. Due to its rotating theater design, there is never a line or a wait for the attraction. Guests can simply walk into the theater and take a seat in the air-conditioned theater to enjoy the show and escape the elements outside. The length of the attraction, which is approximately 20 minutes, also makes it a great option when needing to fill some time between other activities. Additionally, the timeless storyline of the Carousel of Progress and its catchy theme song make it an enjoyable experience for all ages. Overall, the Carousel of Progress is a perfect place to seek refuge from the weather while also being entertained and informed.
In conclusion, the Carousel of Progress is a charming and nostalgic attraction that celebrates American ingenuity and progress. Its catchy theme song and heartwarming story make it a must-see for anyone visiting Magic Kingdom, and its historical significance makes it a valuable piece of American cultural history. As the narrator of the show says, “It’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, and tomorrow is just a dream away.”
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This MDT Post By: Erin Schreiver
Erin is a MilSpouse who loves going to Walt Disney World with her family, pin trading, and collecting Minnie ears and coffee mugs! Check out her bio.
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