Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Carousel of Progress

In Tommorowland in Walt Disney World a stage show takes place many, many times a day. Moreover, this show has had more performances than any stage show in the history of American theater.

It's the Carousel of Progress and it's stars are all robots. The Carousel was created in 1964 by Walt Disney as a attraction for the World's Fair. General Election sponsored the show and it's purpose was to show the history of technology and the American family. More specifically GE's technology.

The show starts around the turn of the century. Dad sits in his chair accompanied by his dog and gives us an update on all the electric items they use. A few minutes later the theater slowly rotates. It stops in the 1920's . Wow, have things changed. A few laughs and we are off to the 1940's. After that era, we rotate to the final scene.

When the show first debuted, this scene was in the present day 60's era. Later it was updated to the 1980s. Today it is supposed to be the near future. Time has made the future full of anacronisms. The scene features references to "car phones" as well as a stove you can talk to.

Oddly enough the stove has it's own show on Radio Disney.

Today, the Carousel of Progress opens most days, but has been presumed to be a target of upcoming demolition. The show has been a staple at Magic Kingdom since it opened in 1971. Before that it ran at Disneyland in fabulous Aniehiem California. You already know it was at the World's Fair before that because I told you. I also told you a stove had a radio show. Remember these sentences, then I can use you as a witness if I plead insanity at a future trial.

Perhaps the concept of the show has become dated (the Carousel, not the stove's. She combines the best of todays pop music with references to Disney films in a very hip way.)
In 1964 the whole concept of audio animatronics were facscinating to people, and the rotating theater was something that could only be provided through the magic of Disney (or the dark work of Satan, btu I would rather not think of that.)

I take in the show every chance I get, never knowing which will be my last turn. It is a nice peice of nostalgia, made even more nostalgic with A Christmas Story's Jean Shepard providing narration.

If you are ever in the Magic Kingdom, make sure to give it a twirl.

And call up the stove. I would request the Disney version of Mambo #5, it's a hoot.


  1. Anonymous1/31/2005

    I have seen the big building there for years, but I have never even thought about what was in there. I was too busy going on Space Mountain, I guess. 

    Posted by Sweetiefan

  2. Anonymous2/01/2005

    Hands down my favorite Disney attraction. It will be a sad day when it closes down for good. 

    Posted by CRAIG

  3. Anonymous2/01/2005

    When I saw the stove all she did was tell us the dates Disney films would be released on DVD. 

    Posted by Mr. Freeze

  4. Anonymous2/01/2005

    I love the Stove. She rocks! 

    Posted by Taco Kid

  5. Anonymous2/01/2005

    Thanks a lot, now I've got that "Great Big Beatiful Tomorrow" song stuck in my head. At least you didn't talk about It's a Small World.

    Posted by cravipat

  6. Anonymous2/01/2005

    Interesting, I must say I have never heard of this one. I love the description, however. 

    Posted by Dr. Candy Santa Esq. and sons

  7. Anonymous2/02/2005

    How very, um, arcane. 

    Posted by Nettie