• Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress

Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 26, 2024

Last Updated: May 02, 2024

Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress
  • Year: 1975
  • Type: Rotating theater
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: None
  • Show Duration: 20min
  • A piece of Disney history
  • A bit dated
  • Not for kids

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress Review

A carousel through time and history with a personal touch from Walt himself

Fun fact: this ride holds the record as the longest-running stage show in the history of American theater.

This might be enough reason for you to come and watch this little show. The Carousel of Progress actually debuted first in Disneyland, before being brought to Magic Kingdom in 1975. This attraction reminds me a lot of classics like Epcot’s Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land. Instead of riding in a vehicle, you sit like you’re in a movie theater and enjoy a show with animatronics right in front of you.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress Walt.webp

The Good

The carousel in this case refers to the stage, which spins around to show different scenes and setpieces to the audience, each one taking you on a journey through the innovation and progress of humankind. Hey, now you know why this is called the Carousel of Progress. During the 20 minute presentation, you will go through four different setpieces and time periods: the 1900s, the 20s, the 40s and the 21st century. Each scene is filled with backgrounds that resemble a typical American home from the time period, with animatronic characters as well telling a story.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress stage 2.webp

Carousel of Progress is a classic, bearing Walt Disney's personal touch and one of the last rides reflecting his vision. The animatronics retain their charm, bringing a sense of nostalgia for the golden age of theme parks. Each act also explores pivotal innovations in human history, from the advent of airplanes to the introduction of electric light and even virtual reality games.

This ride is perfect for those who want to take a trip back in time, to an era when attractions were simpler. Here, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy something straightforward right in front of you. You can also come here to check off "Carousel of Progress" from your bucket list of classic theme park attractions.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress stage.webp

The Bad

You will probably visit this ride for two reasons: to see a piece of Disney history or to enjoy the AC during a hot day in the summer. Don’t expect ultra-advanced animatronics or anything close to that. The show also lacks any sort of excitement, which is expected. Not only are you just sitting down in a traditional theater, but the story in front of you is about humankind advancing through the ages and nothing else. No superheroes, no epic twists, nothing. 

Does it look dated? A bit, yeah. Animatronics are simple. Backgrounds are effective, but simple as well. Some visual effects look cool, but nothing that you could compare to rides which launched in the past five to ten years.

Magic Kingdom Carousel of Progress stage 3.webp

Being dated doesn’t mean that this isn’t charming. Carousel of Progress is a piece of theme park history and an artifact that should be preserved at all costs. Should Disney keep updating it through the decades, maybe adding new rooms and new setpieces? Sure, but I don’t see them ever removing it entirely.

Will Kids enjoy it?

Honestly, I don’t think they will. Magic Kingdom offers several attractions for kids and teenagers, such as Jungle Cruise, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and Space Mountain. Children likely won't be interested in the historical aspect of this ride and might find it boring to sit through a twenty-minute show with average-looking animatronics discussing topics like electric light and Thomas Edison.

If your kids are feeling tired and you need a break during your day, this could be an okay ride to bring them. Plus, it's equipped with great AC to beat the heat during the (scorching) Florida summer, which is a definite bonus. The queues are also usually short, which is always a plus.

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