One Family Lived in Walt Disney’s Abandoned City Idea

in Disneyland Resort

Credit: History@Disney @HistoryAtDisney

Although Walt Disney was not around to see some of his dreams come to life, we as Guests can feel his presence in a lot of the attractions that he had a hand in.

One of the attractions that Guests love in which Walt created for the 1964 World’s Fair is Carousel of Progress. Walt loved the idea of progress and the American family; with that, he wanted to create a stage show that would show Guests how technology has moved along as the years have gone by, and eventually what we can predict the future would be like. The attraction has gone through various iterations and locations, moving from Disneyland Resort to Walt Disney World Resort in Magic Kingdom.

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

Before it came to Disney World, the Disneyland version had the Progress family sitting in their final scene with a very familiar city behind them. Before EPCOT was a theme park, it was a Walt Disney idea to be the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. This would have been an actual city where people could live in that would be based on progress. It, of course, changed in style when it became a theme park, but at one point, the Progress family lived there!

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

History@Disney (@HistoryAtDisney) Tweeted a photo of one version of Carousel of Progress where we can see the family living in Walt’s idea of EPCOT, which is fitting as the ride is an original attraction that Walt helped create.

In this photo we see the Carousel of Progress finale from Disneyland (1967-1973).

Notice how the family is living in Walt Disney’s planned city of EPCOT.

This scene was changed when the attraction moved to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1975 where it remains today.

As noted, the show changed when it came to Orlando, and this window view was removed. It does make sense to have removed it as Disney was gearing up to open the theme park EPCOT, which would contradict Walt’s version of EPCOT to a certain extent. For now, Carousel of Progress has remained untouched for quite some time. The finale scene is quite dated, so it would be interesting to see if the show sees an update. At the moment, nothing has been said by Disney, but there have been multiple mishaps with the animatronics in the show. 

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

The official description listed on the Walt Disney World website reads:

Travel through the 20th century and marvel at the evolution of technology during this classic Audio-Animatronics show.

Follow an American family over 4 generations of progress and watch technology transform their lives. During each era, learn how the technological marvels of the day made life more comfortable—and paved the way for unimaginable innovations.

carousel of progress
Credit: Disney

Discover how gas lamps, the hand-cranked washing machine and gramophone made the pre-electric era a breeze. Watch the advent of electricity give rise to modern conveniences like the electric iron, the radio—and the simple, revolutionary light bulb. See how the automatic dishwasher and television set transformed the American household.

Today’s high-tech marvels include virtual-reality games, high-definition televisions and voice-activated household appliances. Imagine the wonders the next hundred years may bring!

What would you like to see change in Carousel of Progress? 

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!

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