Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays Madame Leota in Disney’s new “Haunted Mansion” film, thinks Carousel of Progress should be the next Disney Parks ride turned into a movie.
Carousel of Progress Movie
In a TikTok video by Disney Studios, Curtis responded to the question, “If you could do another movie based on a Disney ride, what would it be[?]”
“So, my favorite ride/attraction was something called the Carousel of Progress,” Curtis said, “which is only now at Disney World. But it was the GE Carousel of Progress, and I loved it. So I would want to make a movie of the Carousel of Progress, which is basically time travel. It’s sort of about technology and it’s changed over the years.”
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
This classic Disney attraction premiered at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair at the General Electric (GE) Pavilion. The fair was notable for also featuring the debut of “it’s a small world.” After the fair, both attractions moved to Disneyland. The Carousel of Progress operated at Disneyland from 1967 until 1973, after which it was replaced by America Sings.
But Carousel of Progress lived on at Magic Kingdom, where it opened in 1975 and remains today. The attraction sees guests seated in a round, rotating theater, that takes them through four different scenes featuring the same American family in different eras of history. The first scene is Valentine’s Day at the “turn of the century,” the second is the 4th of July in the 1920s, the third is Halloween in the 1940s, and the fourth is Christmas in the 21st century.
The ride focuses on technology, as well as other elements of American family life, and how things have changed over the course of (now well over) a century. As the opening narration states, “Although our Carousel family has experienced a few changes over the years, our show still revolves around the same theme—and that’s progress.”
There have been multiple iterations of the finale scene in particular, but it has been mostly unchanged since the 1990s. In 2022, the family received new outfits, but the scene otherwise remained the same. Holiday decorations were updated later that same year.
Carousel of Progress is known for its theme song, composed by the Sherman Brothers, “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.” Many also remember “The Best Time of Your Life,” which was the theme song from 1974 to 1994.
New ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie
The upcoming “Haunted Mansion” film follows a doctor (Rosario Dawson) and her 9-year-old son (Chase Dillon) moving into a haunted abode in New Orleans. Dawson’s character ends up calling in a priest (Owen Wilson) to exorcise the manor. They also get help from a widowed scientist-turned-failed-paranormal expert (LaKeith Stanfield), a French Quarter psychic (Tiffany Haddish), and a historian (Danny DeVito).
Jamie Lee Curtis portrays Madame Leota, and Jared Leto serves as the Hatbox Ghost. Curtis called the film “modern, fresh, old-fashioned, and scary, but not scary like a monster movie. It’s scary, like a Disney ride, and funny. If you go on that ride, there’s a lot of humor as well as the scary, ghost-y stuff.”
Curtis, Wilson, and Stanfield recently worked the Haunted Mansion attraction at Disneyland to promote the film.
During the “Studio Showcase Day 1: Celebrate the Magic of Disney and Pixar” panel at the D23 Expo 2022 in Anaheim, Disney debuted the “Haunted Mansion” trailer. Director Justin Simien took to the stage to speak about the project and detail some of the cameos audiences can expect from Winona Ryder, Dan Levy, Hasan Minhaj, and more.
Walt Disney Studios will present a behind-the-scenes look at “Haunted Mansion” during Midsummer Scream — Halloween & Horror Convention in Long Beach, California, at the end of July.
“Haunted Mansion” hits theaters on July 26.