Official: Iconic Carousel of Progress To Be Changed at Disney World

in Walt Disney World

Nighttime view of the iconic carousel of progress attraction at Disney, recently evacuated, featuring its futuristic architecture and illuminated signage.

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom is more than just a ride—it’s a journey through time, following the lives of an American family over four generations of progress. As you step into the revolving theater, you’re transported back to a bygone era when technological marvels were just beginning to shape everyday life.

Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort as seen from an archway.
Credit: Disney

Picture the scene: gas lamps flicker in the pre-electric era, where the family relies on hand-cranked washing machines and gramophones for comfort and entertainment. Life is simpler, yet filled with its own set of challenges. But then, the dawn of electricity arrives, illuminating the stage with the glow of modern conveniences like the electric iron, the radio, and, of course, the revolutionary light bulb. Suddenly, tasks that once took hours are completed in minutes, and the world feels more connected than ever before.

As you journey through the decades, witness the transformative power of innovation firsthand. The automatic dishwasher and television set become staples of the American household, changing the way families interact and spend their leisure time. Each new technological advancement brings with it a sense of wonder and excitement, as the family adapts to the ever-changing landscape of progress.

Fast-forward to today and the Carousel of Progress showcases the latest in high-tech marvels: virtual reality games, high-definition televisions, and voice-activated household appliances. It’s a testament to how far we’ve come in just a few short generations and a glimpse into the possibilities of the future. Who knows what wonders the next hundred years may bring?

An empty Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Greg C via Unsplash

Of course, because of its “dated” nature, many Walt Disney World Resort fans have wondered what might be on the horizon for the beloved Tomorrowland attraction. There have been numerous rumors over the years that Disney World is looking to change or close down the Carousel of Progress, but new construction permits confirm that this is certainly not the case.

In fact, the latest updates reveal that though some minor changes will be made to the attraction’s technical aspects, the beloved offering will remain for years to come.

Disney World just recently filed a construction permit for “mechanical” improvements to Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a construction permit filed for the attraction, and this one is intriguing because it involves a contractor– Siemens Industry Inc.– who specializes in infrastructure. The carousel has had its fair share of breakdowns over the years, and there’s no question that some of the animatronics are in need of refreshes. Still, this official permit signals that Disney is looking to fix some of the infrastructure of the attraction, which is absolutely a good sign for its “great, big, beautiful tomorrow.”

Carousel of Progress man sitting with a dog
Credit: Disney Parks

These will be small construction changes to the mechanical aspects of the ride itself, so don’t expect any major refurbishments to the attraction itself. For example, this will not likely not be to fix any of the animatronics. However, this does speak to Disney’s commitment to the Carousel of Progress moving forward, and this construction project is likely the first in a list of several that we’ll see filed over the next few years as the attraction moves forward into the future. For now, though, it will remain unchanged other than the updates and mechanical upgrades that this current construction project will allow.

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is more than just a showcase of technological innovation—it’s a theatrical experience unlike any other. Presented inside a revolving theater, the show features an innovative audience seating area that moves around a stationary central stage for each act. It’s a seamless blend of storytelling and spectacle that captivates audiences of all ages.

Walt Disney standing next to Carousel of Progress model
Credit: Disney

The attraction’s roots stretch back to Walt Disney himself, who originally conceived the show as part of a new area at Disneyland Park called Edison Square. Though the concept was later abandoned, it was reimagined and eventually opened as “Progressland” at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Set to the classic song “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” by the Academy Award-winning team of brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, the show was an instant hit.

Following its success, the show made its way to Disneyland Park, where it was renamed The Carousel of Progress. In 1975, the attraction found its permanent home at Magic Kingdom Park, where it was rewritten and restaged with a new theme song, “The Best Time of Your Life.” But true to the spirit of progress, the show was reworked once again in 1994 to its initial incarnation, with the original theme song intact—as a tribute to nostalgia.

What would you like to see Walt Disney World do in the future with Carousel of Progress? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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