“There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day.” These words of hope and optimism open the longest running stage show in the history of American theater – Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. Located in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom this show is said to be Mr. Disney’s personal favorite imagineering project.
Carousel of Progress was originally featured at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. It was so popular that it was moved to Disneyland where it played from 1967 to 1973. In 1975 the show was moved to Walt Disney World where it remains today. Though it’s been updated over the years the story remains the same – a look back at inventions and industrial progress that shaped the history of our country and what the future might look like.
What makes this show so unique is the theater. Guests enter and sit in what looks like a regular show theater however this theater moves. In fact there are actually 6 identical theaters separated by partitions. After each scene the entire theater moves to the right in a big circle. When the curtains open you’ve leaped forward about 20 – 30 years. There is an introduction to the show, 4 different scenes representing different periods in time, and a closing.
The first scene begins at the turn of the century. We meet John (who stays with us throughout all of the scenes), his trusty dog, Rover, and John’s family. You won’t find any live actors here. Instead John and his family are part of the Disney audio-animatronic family. I don’t want to spoil the show so I’ll just say that with each subsequent scene, and leap forward into time, we see the new inventions and ingenuity that have brought improvements (and some frustrations) to John’s family.
Pay special attention to Uncle Orville – you might recognize his voice (hint: What’s up doc?).
While this might not excite the kids like a trip through space or fighting the evil Emperor Zurg next door, this is a fun and whimsical treat that will rest your feet, provide shelter from the weather and will entertain the whole family during its 20 minute show.
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a travel planner with Travel with the Magic. I’ve visited Walt Disney World over 25 times and I love sharing my passion with my clients. My planning services are completely free when using me as your travel planner. Contact me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com and follow along on facebook for tips, tricks and fun!