They know it’s an antique: They put Walt’s name in the title to compensate. But as a preboarding movie attests, Walt Disney loved this attraction—he created an earlier version with General Electric sponsorship for the 1964 World’s Fair. It was later moved here, and appropriate to its underwriter, the message is a banquet of consumerist overtones about how appliances will rescue us from a life of drudgery. Walt’s novel twist was that the stage remains stationary but the auditorium rotates on a ring past six rooms (four “acts” and one each for loading and unloading) of Audio-Animatronic scenes. You’ll see a modern person’s trivialization of daily life in 1904, 1927, and the 1940s, and an unspecified time that you could peg for 1989, what with Grandpa’s breathless praise for laser discs and car phones. While our very white, very middle-class narrator (voiced by Jean Shepherd, the narrator of A Christmas Story) loafs with his dog across the ages, his wife does chores and gets mansplained, his mother festers, his daughter primps, and his son dreams of adventure. (Funny how a tribute to progress is so riddled with obsolete gender stereotypes.) The Sherman Brothers, who also wrote the songs for Mary Poppins, wrote this attraction’s repetitive ditty, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow,” which they considered to be Walt Disney’s personal theme song. Set aside 25 minutes for the show, but it starts every 5 minutes because the rotating theater allows endless refills, like the chamber of a revolver. As a relic from a more idealistic time, it’s priceless, and here’s hoping they never remove it, as is always the rumor. Fun fact: Despite the fact it has no living performers, it’s billed as the longest-running stage show in the United States.
Magic Kingdom› Attraction
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
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