An uninvited Guest with a sense of entitlement reportedly crashed the Carousel of Progress attraction at Magic Kingdom, and he didn’t even have a park ticket.
When General Electric approached Walt Disney about the prospect of creating attractions for its pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, the genius visionary was excited at the prospect of collaborating again with GE. The two entities had previously worked on plans for an extension of Main Street, U. S. A., at Disneyland, but the idea was scrapped when it was decided that the technology necessary to bring Walt’s plans to fruition simply wasn’t available. But Walt tucked the idea for his so-called “Edison’s Square” into the recesses of his mind, and when GE and Disney partnered to bring four innovative attractions to the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965, that idea served as the inspiration for what would soon be called the “Carousel of Progress.”
The newly-revived Disney-General Electric partnership ultimately gave birth to the development of four attractions: it’s a small world, Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, Ford’s Magic Skyway, and the Carousel of Progress. The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair was held in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens, New York, from April to October 1964 and again from April to October 1965. Housed inside the General Electric pavilion called “Progressland,” the Carousel of Progress attraction opened on April 22, 1964, to inquisitive fairgoers, and the response was overwhelming. The attraction accommodated approximately 200 visitors every four minutes.
For the second season of the World’s Fair in 1965, a covered queue was built adjacent to the General Electric pavilion on an open lot in an effort to keep visitors out of the heat from the sun as Disney’s Carousel of Progress was equally as popular as it had been the year before, and wait times were sometimes high.
A Unique Stage Show Experience Unlike Any Other
The attraction features a unique stage show with various acts, each one performed on a different part of a stationary stage that is partitioned off from the rest of the stage. At the end of each act, the audience seating area rotates around the stage, much like a carousel. (Hence, the name “Carousel” of Progress.) The show made use of animatronic human figures that moved in sync with a recorded script. Each act highlighted electricity and its effects on man’s progress over the years. In the original version, the acts took place in the 1880s, 1920s, 1940s, and 1964, the first year of the New York World’s Fair. It was so popular that following the conclusion of the fair, Disney had the massive attraction dismantled and moved across the country to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where it opened to park Guests in July 1967.
The Carousel of Progress wowed Guests at Disneyland until 1973, when it was closed to move it to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, where it reopened in 1975. Then in 1993, it was renamed “Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress” to honor Walt. The attraction today is a 21-minute production with the same premise—a look at the role electricity and technology have played in man’s progress, though a few minor changes have been made over the years, most of them barely noticeable.
Last month, the final scene of the attraction was rumored to have new additions that included elements to make the scene more “diverse” and “inclusive.” The reported changes were said to have upset some Guests who didn’t feel the new “woke” scene elements should be added. But the rumor was found to be false.
On Wednesday, however, a new addition to the attraction was witnessed by several Guests who were visiting Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom at Disney World. According to Entertainment Weekly, an uninvited Guest “crashed the Magic Kingdom’s Carousel of Progress attraction.”
According to the news outlet, a squirrel was seen scurrying around one of the show’s scenes. The out-of-place critter ran around the feet of John, the audio-animatronic dad and narrator of the show, as the father of two continued the recitation of his lines, as if he never even saw the unticketed, uninvited Guest on the stage floor.
It’s not clear from the report whether any attempts to interview the squirrel or John were made, and as of the time of this publication, there’s no word from either. As such, one can only assume the squirrel was only looking for his Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow as well.