Magic Kingdom

Friday, April 07, 2006


The Carousel of Progress is a Disney theme park attraction that follows the journey of a typical American family through a century of technological progress. The attraction was created by Walt Disney himself. It has been performed at the 1964 New York World's Fair and Disneyland Park. It is currently being performed at the Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort.

After it's play at Disneyland, GE continued its sponsorship of the attraction in Florida. The GE Carousel of Progress opened in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom Park in 1975. The show remained relatively the same from Disneyland, with a few changes.

"There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" was replaced by another Sherman brothers song, "The Best Time of Your Life", to better reflect GE's then-current marketing campaign. The post-show with "Progress City" was also not included in the move. But, most of the model can still be seen on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority route today.

In 1985, GE decided to end its sponsorship of the attraction. The show dropped all references to GE and was slightly revised to keep it up to date and closed in 1993 for a more substantial revision. It reopened in 1994 as Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, a tribute to the man who created it. Included the restoration was the return of "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" as the theme song, and a new narration track featuring Jean Shepherd.

With its continuous showings from 1964 to today, the Carousel of Progress has become the most performed show in the history of American theater, as well as the most-seen stage show in America.

The show itself has been threatened by closing for a few years now, having been on seasonal operation for a few years, though as of now, is back on regular operation. It is rumored that the show would be gutted and replaced with a reworked version of the Flying Saucers attraction that used to be at Disneyland in the '60's. Disney fans object to this and there have been a few petitions online in an attempt to save it. Interestingly, Walt Disney himself said this was his absolute favorite attraction and always wanted it in the park (Disneyland, presumably) for the rest of its operation.


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