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

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

(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.

(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.

(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.

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.

About the author

Jessica Figueroa

Jessica lives in South Florida with her 15-pound cat Gordo and a small army of Tsum Tsums. You can contact her, ideally with photos of your cats, at [email protected]

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Ben
Guest
Ben

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.

Mollyscribbles
Guest
Mollyscribbles

Agreed — can’t expect them to be *too* far-reaching, since the future is an ever-moving target, but maybe once-a-decade updates would be reasonable.

Pat
Guest
Pat

It’s not supposed to be the “future”. It’s the present.

Mollyscribbles
Guest
Mollyscribbles

When I went in the 90s, it was the future.

Phillip Ratter
Guest
Phillip Ratter

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.… Read more »

YLS
Guest
YLS

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.

Mike Alabed
Guest
Mike Alabed

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…………

Fantasmister
Guest
Fantasmister

*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.

Sample Text
Guest
Sample Text

Cool story, bro

Doug
Guest
Doug

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.

Jordan
Guest
Jordan

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

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

You don’t have to personally remember the time period portrayed to learn from it and enjoy it.

Jackie
Guest
Jackie

It helps us to imagine what it was like back then. I like it because of that.

Phil
Guest
Phil

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.

Pat
Guest
Pat

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… Read more »

Andrea
Guest
Andrea

I guess the refurb will be the celebration for the 30th anniversary of that final scene! ;)

Rob
Guest
Rob

I still like to sing “Now is the time…” Maybe they will bring it back!

Melanie B.
Guest
Melanie B.

Me too, I feel it is the catchier song!

Hayley
Guest
Hayley

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…

Awesome Amy
Guest
Awesome Amy

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?

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

I’m so glad to hear that it will be getting an update and not removed or IP nonsense added.

Bud C
Guest
Bud C

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.

Bud C
Guest
Bud C

Bring back the original script with Rex Allen’s voice, or have Stephen Stanton do his Rex Allen voice.

Scott
Guest
Scott

“Now is the time, now is the best time…”

Mike
Guest
Mike

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

Chris P
Guest
Chris P

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

Pete
Guest
Pete

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

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

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!

Greg
Guest
Greg

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.

Alfonso RONDON
Guest
Alfonso RONDON

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

Will
Guest
Will

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.

Alicia DeGregoria
Guest
Alicia DeGregoria

Idiot

Eddie
Guest
Eddie

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?

Dave
Guest
Dave

They should fire him to

Therea Beaumonte
Guest
Therea Beaumonte

Yay! My favorite!

Steve Ziolkowski
Guest
Steve Ziolkowski

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.

tvnutt
Guest
tvnutt

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?