Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom Slated for Updates Following Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Jessica Figueroa

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Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom Slated for Updates Following Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow, shining at the end of every day! And tomorrow’s just a refurb away.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress Scene 1b
(C) Matthew Cooper Photography – www.thetimethespace.com

With all this talk about updates and refurbishments for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, one can’t help but think of the classics who are in need of the most help.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress Scene 1
(C) Matthew Cooper Photography – www.thetimethespace.com

Enter Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, whose final act scene has been stuck in the 1990’s future of LaserDiscs and car phones for the past 25 years. In the ultimate irony, some technologies in that final scene have come full circle, like virtual reality video games.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress Future Scene
(C) Matthew Cooper Photography – www.thetimethespace.com

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait till after the 50th anniversary celebration to see any updates or refurbishments done on Walt’s favorite attraction, according to internal sources. While there is an update scheduled and in the works, sadly it is not scheduled for completion until Summer of 2023.

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That means we’ll be getting the TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster attraction, set to open in time for the anniversary in 2021, and possibly even the Wreck-It Ralph attraction rumored to replace Stitch’s Great Escape in 2022 (which we may see announced this week during the D23 Expo 2019), before we see any updates to the beloved classic Carousel of Progress.

It seems a shame that such an iconic attraction is being overlooked for the big 5-0, but there’s hope for progress in the coming years.

44 thoughts on “Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom Slated for Updates Following Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary”

  1. Finally! I was so confused when the “future” portion I remembered from my childhood was almost exactly the the same when I went back 20 years later. I think the only thing they updated was the TV from a CRT “big screen” to an LCD flat panel.

    I know Disney has to battle the perpetual “Futureland” problem of the future eventually arriving and needing to update attractions, but I think Disney makes enough money that they should try to stay on top of it.

  2. We just rode this the other day. We realized that our son had not been on it, and didn’t understand the slightly silly tone when mommy and daddy sang “IT’S A GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW!” at him. So we went.

    I was on the floor, laughing. I had completely forgotten that Grandma and the son play a VR game with a Power Glove. I gasped out “It’s so BAD!” at my wife, who got mad at the stares I was getting. Only later, after I explained, did she realize I was quoting “The Wizard”, not talking about the ride itself. Didn’t help my case.

    Still, updates to this ride will be welcome. Will be tricky though, since so many people love that Walt worked on it and the time jump between scene 3 and 4 is already huge. Almost seems like it’s time for an all new version, to space out the scenes better.

    • It did not matter so much what you said, It is that you chose to say anything out loud, choosing to ignore other people’s right not to have to be disturbed and to listen to you. You are not the center of the universe. If you are incapable of suppressing outbursts, then stay home.

    • I remember back in the 80’s the theme song was different, I liked the original, Now is the time.
      Now is the best time.
      Now is the best time of your life. and so on…………

      • *pushes nerd spectacles up nose* Actually, “Great Big…” is the original song. It switched to “Now is the time…” when it moved to WDW, because the sponsor, GE (General Electric), wanted to sell TVs NOW, not tomorrow. The song reverted back in 1993, after Disney noticed that GE had stopped giving them money.

  3. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is one of my wife and my favorite Disney attractions. Walt was very hands on with this, and if anyone wants to get a feel for what Walt was like, this is the place to go. That last scene does need an update.

    • The whole ride needs an update, no one remembers 1900 or 1920, and the only people who remember the 40s are in their 80s and there aren’t a lot of people in their 80s at Disney World

      • But, isn’t that the point? I was born in 1959, so I don’t remember 1900 or 1920 or the 40’s, but I appreciate the lesson about how technology has changed our lives from a largely agrarian- to technology-driven culture. It is a history lesson. It just needs some changes at the end to bring it up to date – and perhaps more scenes to show the advances from the 80’s until today. It may also help younger people appreciate how far we’ve come as a society.

      • Apparently Jordan doesn’t get the idea of what the attraction is about. Yes, the last act does need a tech update when TV’s and computers change but the rest of the ride is how it should be because it’s showing how the past was and how far we’ve come. That was the intention all along, except it was GE that made our lives better thru their appliances. I’m a bit skeptical of the refurb. Last time a ride like this was getting a refurb it closed for good. And it’s been rumored for years that Disney wanted to get rid of this ride only they didn’t have a replacement on the boards. Remember 20,000 Leagues?? It doesn’t take 5 years to refurb a ride at Disney. They can build a new major ride in 2 years from the ground up!

  4. Taking a modern kid on it now, they often think that the ‘future’ scene is set in the present as the tech is all now readily available. Plus it always confused me how it jumps from the 40s to the ‘future’ with nothing in between. I’d like to see more of the intervening years. It would be especially interesting for the youngsters who can’t possibly imagine life before iPhones to see more of the 60s, 80s etc…

    • As much as I’d hate to lose 00s and 20s, perhaps we could do 50s, 80s, 00s, Future? John could make a quick reference to how his mom (in the 20s or 30s) didn’t have some of the cool stuff he did?

  5. Love the COP, a must when visiting WDW!
    That’s great news…even if it is a wait. Change to current technology AA figures, do away with the 1940s scene, bring back the 1960s “future” scene, followed by a new futuristic scene. Restore it complete with the exit through a stage speed ramp to Progress City upstairs. That was so awesome at Disneyland.

  6. Maybe they could restore it to the original 1964 script, after snipping out any references to General Electric.

  7. They’re going to replace references to “car phones” and “laserdiscs” with “Siri” and “Facebook” to guarantee the death knell of those technologies.

  8. They should demolish it and make way for a new attraction as it keeps breaking down, thr only good thing it’s good for is a rest when you’re tired after s early start

  9. They can update it all they want, just don’t remove it! It’s our favorite ride, even with how corny the last scene is. Knowing how involved Walt was with it makes it special!

  10. My heart skipped a beat with I first saw the headline. I thought they might be shutting it down or removing it from the park. It has been an icon throughout the years and I make a point to visit it every time I am in the Magic Kingdom. I would agree with others that it does need to be updated a little. Look forward to seeing what the Imagineers have up their sleeves to improve the last couple of scenes. The animatronics could use some updates to look more realistic.

  11. One of the most underrated rides of the park, never a line best time for a cool off break especially duting a passing shower.

  12. I think a great sigh of progress would be to fire Bob Iger and then how someone who actually shares Walt’s values, in other words, not someone who hates Christianity and glorifies homosexuality.

  13. Which Pixar film are they going to theme it to? Bob Chapek’s “administration” is incapable of creating anything that isn’t tied to a franchise. Good Lord. The mind boggles. Buzz Lightyear’s Carousel to Infinity and Beyond, anyone?

  14. I actually feel this is one of those attractions that should either be completely rewritten or just removed.
    Being stuck in the nineties is the least of its problems, in that when it came out for the ’64 World’s Fair there was roughly a 20 year gap between each scene.
    Every year that goes by between the forties and modern times (at this point, almost 80 years) there’s less progress and more stagnation in the show as a whole.
    At the very least, they should adjust the gaps so the spread is over a century. Otherwise, use the space for something new.

  15. It’s kind of funny…even though the last scene is so dated some of the stuff exists in the present. I guess the oven could be the equivalent of a Siri or Alexa. Also, VR has made a resurgence. RIght?

  16. I have gone to Disneyland/World at least a dozen times. I love this show. I watch it on UTUBE. Some say it should be torn down because no one remembers the 1900s. This is the reason for the whole thing to show progress in a fun way. On UTUBE you can see how they put it together. It is pretty cool!!

    • The final scene will be everyone (even Uncle Orville) on their phones/tablets, not talking to each other, and then pizza magically arrives at the front door because someone used GrubHub.

  17. Disney needs to refurbish and give patron ‘s
    better rides for the money we all put out . The ticket prices are crazy people how love disney are not going back ,enough is enough . How high are prices goning to be in the next few years .🤔

  18. Ok ,I’m excited for the Carousel of Progress update….but to remove Stitch and put in Wreck it Ralph in Tomorrow Land…..so much fo keeping thing consistent with the area theme.

  19. The attraction needs to be updated and repaired. I was there in July, it broke down. The voice over was not in sync with the animatronics. It was sad and pathetic.
    Disney, just shut it down temporarily until you finish the rest of the construction.
    WDW, there is not enough pixiedust in the world to save you now! You’re charging more money for people to visit a construction site instead of an amusement park! The whole park is a joke now! My husband and I couldn’t stop making jokes in reference to the movie “Idiocracy” the entire time we visited! You can’t even make paint stick! Tip: try using primer first. 😢

  20. Wish they would have made plans to have done for the 50th Anniversary. I hope they dont change it too much and keep some of Walt’s original. Especially the old days!! Loved taking the break from the heat to sit in the Carousel. Love the memories I have sitting with my MawMaw and her singing the song as we turned to the next scene. <3

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