Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a unique attraction in Tomorrowland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Those with a love of Disney history and nostalgia will want to take the time to experience this attraction while visiting the park.
Carousel of Progress was initially designed for a concept area of Disneyland Park called Edison Square. However, those plans never came to fruition, and the attraction was reimagined for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.
When the ride debuted at the fair, it was called Progressland and featured a song that helped make it an instant success. That song many of us know and love today, “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” by Richard B. and Robert Sherman.
After the fair, the ride was relocated to Disneyland Park, where it was named “The Carousel of Progress.” Over the next decade, millions of guests enjoyed the attraction while visiting the park.
The Carousel of Progress was relocated to Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World in 1975. At that time, the show was revised and opened with a new theme song, “The Best Time of Your Life.”
However, in 1994, the ride closed and was revamped to its original state, including the original Sherman Brothers’ song. Other than receiving a few minor updates from time to time, the attraction remains intact up to the present day.
Here are a few quick references for Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
|Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Seats Per Vehicle:
Theater Style Rows
Early Theme Park Hours:
Extended Evening Hours:
Carousel of Progress was initially created for the World’s Fair in the 1960s.
Guests may remain in a wheelchair or ECV for this performance. In addition, the following are also available: audio description, video captioning, handheld captioning, and assistive listening.
What is the Carousel of Progress?
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a rotating theater with six scenes transporting guests through time over four generations. Audio-animatronics provide narration and acting throughout the performance.
Starting with the turn of the 20th century, guests will see a time before homes had electricity. John and Rover are the primary actors in each scene.
When this scene is completed, the theater rotates to the next scene in the 1920’s. Electric lights, vacuums, and appliances are a new way of life.
In this scene, our narrator John talks to his wife, Sarah, who’s in a nearby room preparing for a July 4th celebration.
Uncle Orville, voiced by Mel Blanc, is taking advantage of indoor plumbing as he soaks in a bathtub.
Daughter Patricia is also preparing for the party.
As the Carousel progresses, we’ve reached the 1940’s where we see upgraded appliances. General Electric once had a corporate sponsorship for the attraction. This is also the first scene featuring a real refrigerator.
Grandma and Grandpa are nearby. John tells of how they’ve taken over his den since a television arrived.
The teenage son, James, is in his room working on a project.
Patricia is on the phone discussing an upcoming date.
Sarah is hanging wallpaper and could use some help.
As the carousel theater rotates to the final scene, we see the entire family in a more modern open floor-plan home. Some of the family are enjoying modern entertainment. For instance, Grandma is playing a virtual reality game with a VR headset.
Grandfather and Patricia are admiring a few presents.
Meanwhile, John is in the kitchen demonstrating how a voice-command kitchen timer works. Sarah works remotely nearby, and Rover has a bright red bow tied around his neck.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a high-capacity ride. Therefore, the only wait you’ll experience is for the next rotation. Then a panel opens and allows guests to enter.
Simultaneously, a panel on the other side of the Carousel opens, allowing guests who have finished the last scene to exit. All the while, guests in the middle are unaware and watching continued scenes.
It all works flawlessly. One can see how it was a modern marvel at the time it first debuted.
Each scene of the Carousel of Progress is approximately five minutes. Therefore, five minutes should be the longest wait you will experience to enter the attraction.
Guests enter on one side of the theater and start with the first scene. After that first scene, the theater automatically rotates to the next scene.
Every time a new rotation begins, the classic Carousel of Progress song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” plays in the background. Yes, the scenes are relatively dated, but I think most will still love the nostalgia it offers.
Carousel of Progress is an excellent place for anyone needing to take a break in the day’s heat or if you need to escape inclement weather. However, if it’s still raining when you exit, make sure to have an idea of where to head next.
For more rides at Magic Kingdom, you might like these nearby attractions:
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
- Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom
- Astro Orbiter
- Mad Tea Party
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Review
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Review
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort Review
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Review
In the Comments
I hope you’ll enjoy the Carousel of Progress on your next trip to Magic Kingdom! Leave a comment and share your thoughts about this attraction.