Time for Progress: a DISney Debate

Just to try something different we thought we would take this week’s blog post to share what happens between Disney fans at a family cookout , weekly soccer field, or a thread of emails……A debate regarding news or ideas involving ¬†Walt Disney World.

We hope you enjoy being part of the discussion..feel free to comment with your own thoughts  (..with apologies in advance if this is somehow a train wreck in its attempt).

From: Michael Scoppa
On October 10, 2014 at 19:30
To: Kyle Strunjo
Subject: Re: Progress

Hello my friend…
Thought we would start the first of which I’m sure will be many discussions on the topic of progress in Walt Disney World. With that said, I thought what better way to kick off our initial Disney Debate than with the ride that bears its name…Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
So, in the name of progress itself, should Walt Disney World keep this attraction in the park?

On Oct 10, 2014, at 8:49 PM, Kyle Strunjo wrote:

What makes the Carousel of Progress a great attraction and why it should stay. This ride is a Disney World classic. It has a direct tie to Walt Disney being its official name is Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress and since he is the one who created the show and over saw its design and building from start to finish. The attraction was made for the 1964-65 Worlds Fair, having a short stint in Disneyland and then brought to the Magic Kingdom in January of 1975. Although this show has a lot of nostalgia, attractions should not be kept just for nostalgia sake and stands on its own for being an attraction to keep around for a little while longer. The show is done in perfect Disney style from beginning to end with its original storyline, Disney designed audio animatronics, hidden secrets throughout and a catchy tune written by Disney’s famous Sherman brothers. The entertainment and showmanship of this attraction is a reason why it has endured. Granted the last scene of the futuristic Christmas dinner needs an update there is no question.
However what ride doesn’t need a refurbishment from time to time, the Haunted Mansion and Tomorrowland Speedway have had many. As far as arguments that Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress does not belonging in Tomorrowland is not true. Sure most of the show takes place in the past but it embraces what technologies the future brings telling us repeatedly with the song, “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow”, and that there is a bright future ahead. In addition to being a great attraction, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress has a large seating capacity with four theaters operating at once. It is also a cost effective attraction of the Disney Company it takes minimal Cast members to operate and runs continuously throughout the day. In conclusion it is a fun attraction that has a high guest capacity and has a low cost to operate.

On Oct 10, 2014, at 22:18, Michael Scoppa wrote:

Well then…..looks like we are going to have to discuss two different points.
First..does it still need to BE there….second…does it still need to be THERE.
Let’s start with the second…before we decide if we really need to get deep into the need for the attraction at all. No matter what you think of the ride (and I do believe it is classic Disney storytelling)..does it really belong in a land that obviously caters to the “adventure of tomorrow”? How does it relate to its neighboring attractions: space mountain and buzz Lightyear space ranger spin? I’ll argue that it does not fit in with the theme of the area and should not be a part of The Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.
Well, where does it belong? If it is to remain part of the attractions in Walt Disney World, my first instinct is actually to pair it with Walt Disney’s One Man’s Dream……….and move them both to Epcot’s Future world in the old Wonders of Life Pavilion.
Wait…..
.. Hear me out…
By pairing the two together…Disney could make great use of the space over between Ellen’s Energy Adventure and Test Track. Looking at the themes of the neighboring attraction, Ellen’s Energy Adventure teaches about importance of natural resources while Test track displays innovations in technology…..with both being steps away from the history of communication in Spaceship Earth. The Carousel of Progress would also pair well with Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream as the latter illustrates Walt’s progress through his career as a pioneer in the entertainment industry. The parallels between the progress of technology in the home are apparent in the creations that Disney brought to them.
(Moving them both to a safe haven also protects them from expansion in their current homes.)

By removing from the Magic Kingdom (and relocating to a home with more of a natural match), Carousel of Progress could still have a place in Walt Disney world. Tomorrowland will have an opportunity to add another attraction (perhaps experiencing a science fiction take on the future of earth) and remain a theme of adventure into the time and space beyond our present…a place where and ode to history could do well to move on from.

On October 12, 2014 at 8:59:16 PM Kyle Strunjo wrote:

As my esteemed colleague suggests, to take the Carousel of Progress of out Tomorrowland would be a mistake especially at the current time. It’s an area of the park that needs the most updates. Look at the Tomorrowland Speedway, there is nothing futuristic about it and there is a lot that can be done in that space to do another attraction that would better fit the theme of the land. Although Stitch has a small following, the Stitch’s Great Escape attraction needs to be replaced as well. There is no re-ridability factor in it. Honestly, smelling a chili dog burp from Stitch once is more than enough. As a result of other attractions needing to be replaced, I believe that Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress will be safe for a long time to come.

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