“The Carousel itself continues to occupy a corner of Tomorrowland to this day, with the ‘94 revamp being its last update. Sheepishly branded as ‘Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress,’ the last attraction update seems to be self-aware of its perception as a period piece. In the introduction, the narration all but states: ‘even though it’s really old and dated, Walt Disney loved this and so should you.’
“There was little synergy with the Carousel and the ideals of New Tomorrowland save the new gear motif that served as attraction sign, but the Carousel of Progress has a certain charm and the ‘94 update was well received, albeit easily dated.”— Brice Croskey, “the Future That Never Was, Part Two”
Many of my favorite Tomorrowland attractions don’t actually work in Tomorrowland.
If You Had Wings would’ve thrived in the World of Motion. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was actually located in Fantasyland, not Tomorrowland. The Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor suits two of Studios’ largest emphases: synergy and live performance.
And to me, the Carousel of Progress would be a better introductory attraction to the EPCOT than Spaceship Earth. It certainly doesn’t belong in the Magic Kingdom—a park that draws from pre-war escapist literature.
Nothing illustrates this like the 1994 refurbishment, which attempted to unify Tomorrowland into a single, story-rich environment. That was the right move—after all, that’s what its sister lands are.
But the change highlighted the fact that the Carousel is a show about realistically extraordinary settings, in a land about fantastically extraordinary settings. It’s a shame that such a fine attraction sticks out so atonally.
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