Friday, September 05, 2008

Disneyland in Focus: Carousel of Progress, Pt. 1

First off, many thanks for the kind comments on the Half Marathon - much appreciated! And now onto the good stuff! One of the most beloved extractions of bygone days at Disneyland is the Carousel of Progress. Originating at the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the theater rotated in a circle and showed the audience different scenes following the progression of inventions in the “modern” home over the course of approximately 70 years. Shot #1 shows Walt himself (who was extremely proud of this show) with the miniature model of the show. Shot #2 shows a concept rendering of the original show unloading area for Disneyland (before they figured out that guests had to go up or down to see the model, not into the building’s core as shown).

And here’s a construction photo in “New” Tomorrowland as the COP show building is being built.

Here are four views of the finished attraction building/exterior signage, sponsored by General Electric:

MANY MANY thanks to an anonymous reader who furnished the images and information for this amazing series of photos. The support of the readers out there in blogland is amazing.

See more vintage Carousel of Progress photos at my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Awesome post. Now that I have seen the show in Florida, these are extra special. I love the concept art & construction photos! Thanks!

Unknown said...

Great COP shots!

It is still a must-do on every visit to the Magic Kingdom.

I can't imagine how great it would have been to have seen Progress City back then.

Major Pepperidge said...

Great stuff Dave, especially the construction shot! I think that part of the appeal of this attraction is its place in Disneyland history, with the ties to the World's Fair, and the first major use of human animatronics.

Wow, do you own that concept artwork?!

TokyoMagic! said...

WOWEEEEEEE! THANK YOU, DAVE! These are absolutely incredible pics! I was only a kid when this was removed from Anaheim, but this was and still is my all time favorite Disneyland attraction. I don't like what they have done to it or Progress City in Florida, but at least they both still exists in some form. I wonder what the chances would be of it ever coming back to DL. I know, probably the same as a snoball's chance in ......

CoxPilot said...

I recently saw COP at WDW, and it was very much like what I remembered at DL in Anaheim, except for the updated late scene. Even that last scene had that outdated feel of the rest of the show. It was always one of my favorite, and it was great to see it again after 35 years.

These pics are wonderful because of everything being so "new". It all has sort of a worn feeling now.

TokyoMagic! said...

It is not well maintained now. I have been on it when there was a giant rip in one of the scrims/screens for the side scenes and they had only patched it with another big piece sewn over it. It looked horrible. I have also been on it when the television in the 40's scene did not turn on and I also got stuck once when the theater only rotated a few feet and then stopped and the same scene we had just seen started to play again and then half way through that same scene the theater decided to turn and we ended up in the next scene which was already half way finished. In addition to that, they chose to replace the voice of the father with Jean Shepard who was a writer and a narrator, NOT a singer. Listening to him sing the theme song is like listening to fingernails on a chalkboard in comparison to Rex Allen....who WAS a singer.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing. I was 1 year old when we went to the opening of Disney World and living in FLA we would go even for weekends at a time. This is such a part of my childhood. I heard that they don't keep it open all year round any more.
Isn't it a shame how we get rid of things that we consider old. I love this ride and really wish Disney would sink some of their millions into preserving it for my kids!