"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Saturday, September 17, 2016

43 Days: Carousel of Progress

The Carousel of Progress at the New York World's Fair in 1964
This is maybe the most "Disney" attraction in Florida. It's one that you'd never see the likes of in Universal or Sea World or Busch Gardens, and that fans of those parks would never in a million years WANT there. The technology is fairly outdated, there's not thrill aspect or tie-in to a franchise, there's a song you'll not get out of your head unless it's replaced by "It's A Small World" later in the day, it breaks down with some frequency, the "modern" family segment is from the 1980s, but I love it.

First off, it's a tangible piece of Walt in a park he never lived to see or even supervise much of the construction of. The Carousel of Progress wasn't built for Walt Disney World, or even Disneyland, it was built for the 1964 World's Fair. The attraction we can ride today is the same one that was built in New York, disassembled and taken to Disneyland and then disassembled again and installed in its Tomorrowland home in Florida. For a guy who loves him some Walt and who hasn't been able to swing a visit to California (yet), it's pretty special to sit in an attraction the The Man himself had a real hand in creating.

But I also have a ore personal reason to find Carousel of Progress special. My parents actually rode it while on a date in high school at the New York World's Fair. They rode the train from Philadelphia to New York City and spent the day at the World's Fair as young teens. And today, I and an my family can experience one of the attractions they saw then in much the same form (with a few small updates). That is a piece of real Magic.

The Carousel of Progress has received a new paint job and is in the process of getting some new signage to match. Here's a link to some recent photos. I like that this classic piece of Disney History is being treated well but not really changed. The fact that Disney spent a few bucks to gussy her up tells me the Carousel won't be going anywhere anytime soon, and that makes me happy.

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