Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland

Autism at Walt Disney World

Wide Angle View of Carousel of Progress

CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS ATTRACTION

Autism at Walt Disney World

Travel through generations during the 20th century and see the evolution of technology in a classic rotating theater designed by Walt Disney. There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow – sing along with me – shining at the end of every day! If you have ever ridden Carousel of Progress located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, you now have the song stuck in your head. It is a catchy tune that people either love or hate. The same is true for the attraction itself. Most of the people in our family love Carousel of Progress, and I hope that you will share our love of it.

Tomorrowland Carousel of Progress

FastPass: Not available, and furthermore, it is not needed for the majority of the year

HISTORY OF CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS

Walt Disney World Carousel of Progress Sign

Location: The outer edge of Tomorrowland, located past The PeopleMover

Opening Date (in Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom): January 15, 1975

Walt Disney’s original idea was for a show in Disneyland. It was to be in Edison Square. However, this never developed. When the concept was developed, it opened under the name “Progressland” at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair.  It was part of the General Electric Pavilion. 

Visit Carousel of Progress poster Worlds Fair

The classic song, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was written by Richard and Robert Sherman. Classic attraction + classic song = Instant Hit. 

After the World’s Fair, the rotating theater was moved to Disneyland  and opened in 1967 under the name “The Carousel of Progress.” When it closed in 1973, it was replaced with America Sings. 

In 1975, Carousel of Progress was moved to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World with a new theme song, “The Best Time of Your Life.” 

However, in 1994, with the reimagining of Tomorrowland, the original theme song was reinstated.

This attraction was updated five times – 1967, 1975, 1981, 1985, and finally in 1993. 

Type of Attraction: Rotating Theater Show. The seating moves around a central stage.

A typical American Family is shown over 4 generations of progress. Learn about modern advances during those generations. Most of the 4 generations are set in the kitchen with appearances from the bathroom and beyond. See the progression of water, refrigerators, electricity (and where we get the term blowing a fuse).

Wide Angle View of Carousel of Progress

POTENTIAL SENSORY PROCESSING ISSUES INVOLVING CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS

You are required to go through a turnstile when entering the queue. If your child has problems with this, alert a Cast Member who can let your child enter the handicap gate. 

While waiting in the queue, there is a pre-show video that discusses the history and development of Carousel of Progress. The video is 4 minutes in length. 

You enter a circular building and sit in theater-style seats. The theater air-conditioned and the seats are comfortable. It generally is never full, but there are things you need to know before you go.

During the rotation, you are transported to different time periods. There are a narrator and dog on the stage and his family members appear behind curtains. In one time period, there is a “storm” with rain, lightning, and thunder on stage. The stage power goes out until the fuse can be changed. In another time period, the oven starts beeping and “explodes” with a burned Christmas turkey.

You experience the ride in darkness. Each of the 4 scenes has the same narrator and his dog.

 First Scene: 1900s- Valentine’s Day

Second Scene: 1920s -4th of July

Third Scene: 1940s- Fall: The set is decorated for Halloween

Fourth Scene: 21st Century – Christmas Day

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

DO NOT GET UP TO LEAVE DURING THE SHOW. THE RIDE WILL RESET. THAT MEANS EITHER THE REST OF THE PEOPLE SITTING IN THE THEATER HAVE TO EXIT AND NOT FINISH THE ATTRACTION, OR THEY REPEAT THE SAME SEGMENT. If you have ever been on this attraction when it stopped, you now know why.

 

WARNING: You cannot exit this attraction. I know I stated that above, but it is important to understand that.

HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE: Wheelchairs and scooters do not need to transfer

NO MINIMUM HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS

NO MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENTS

Closed captioning available

Assistive listening available

The following video will give you an idea of the sights, sounds, noises, and experience you will have while in The Carousel of Progress.

TIPS FOR RIDING:

Not only is an excellent attraction when the kids are tired, but it makes a great place to hang out when it is hot out. Since there generally is not a long wait, this has allowed me to take a nap. Additionally, this is an excellent place to nurse a hungry baby!

The final scene in this attraction needs an update. It should reflect Christmas of tomorrow, but the language and the clothing are outdated.

Flash Photography is not allowed.

FUN FACTS:

The length of the show is 21 minutes.

It is reported that this was Walt Disney’s favorite attraction, and he never wanted it to close. 

OTHER TOMORROWLAND RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS:

Astro Orbiter

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Space Mountain

Tomorrowland Speedway

Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

Walt Disney World Resort: Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland - Carousel of Progress

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