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  1. #1

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    Exclamation Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    From D-Troops:

    Inside, there are BIG plans to change Walt Disney’s Carousel. You see, the plans to remove this 40+ year-old show are now on the fast-track within WDI. Now, we need to protect our sources, so unfortunately we cannot provide you with specific information. But you’ve seen for yourselves how D-Troops’s sources – who provided us with the Walt Disney Imagineering rumors months before the layoffs gained heat – know their stuff.

    Yes... if you carefully look back at recent history, you could get a sense of the CoP’s endangerment. It closed in October 2001 when the tourism industry was hit hard by the tragic events on September 11th. After protest, the show reopened, beginning in December ’01 and becoming “seasonal” for several years. (Of course, examine the fate of Disney’s past “seasonal” attractions – Horizons, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – and our those currently under that type of operation – Wonders of Life and The Timekeeper).

    But the Carousel of Progress has something that no such other Walt Disney World attraction has - Walt Disney’s name. Even the recent Imagineer’s Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom heralds this show as perhaps the one attraction which most embodies Walt’s philosophies. And this, apart from the show being a family-pleaser, has allowed the CoP to thrive.

    However, this is not stopping Walt Disney Imagineering management from planning what it wants with what it wants. Imagineering, currently being downsized by such executives as Don Goodman, Tom Fitzgerald, and Kathlyn Klatt, is obviously very limited when it comes to investing in new projects (and ideas!). And to hear that the CoP replacement is on the fast track, well, that means this is serious. Something that could likely lead to the theater’s closure within the next few years - - if not months.

    So why is the Carousel theater being refurbished if its fate is supposedly near? Well, it’s as though Disney is operating with a split brain; one hand does not know what the other is doing. Refurbishment, maintenance, and cleanup crews are very different from concept designers - - and money crunchers.

    Here’s the deal, troops. This project is like no other. Once the Carousel of Progress is removed from the Magic Kingdom, the will to rebuild the show elsewhere are slim to none under the current leadership at Walt Disney Theme Parks/Resorts and Walt Disney Imagineering. Consider a top reason that could lead the CoP to this fate: its heavy-use of Audio-Animatronics figures. As you’ve read in “Walt Disney Imagineering: The Nature of Business,” Disney just doesn’t want to invest in Audio-Animatronics anymore -- and it is a high cost to maintain and upgrade them.

    Over the next week, D-Troops will be posting past articles about the Carousel of Progress in promotion of this website’s effort. I think the team is pretty much putting a hold on the other “theaters” and areas of site focus. For example, bad show can always be fixed. But a dismantled Carousel of Progress cannot.

    “BUT RICHIE! You’re a hypocrite! If it’s about PROGRESS, then why are you against changing a 41-year-old show?”

    Here’s what it boils down to in my opinion: if Disney is so concerned about building a new ride, it has plenty of space to do it. First, there is the entire 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea lot, currently being occupied by a kids’ playground. Or, if the vision is futuristic, the Wonders of Life has 100,000 square feet that could be put to use. And, now don’t forget The Timekeeper (which is now a refined meet and greet).

    And as for “PROGRESS...” “Jim Hill Media” holds that the Carousel of Progress will be replaced with a Flying Saucers “bumper-car” ride – starring Toy Story characters. What seems to be an off-the-shelf ride that would replace a clearly unique presentation. Even the Orlando Sentinel just recently passed on rumors of the CoP’s demise.

    I could understand if Disney didn’t have the land or space to open up a new attraction. I could understand if recent Tomorrowland attractions were in the spirit of forward-thinking and family entertainment. I could understand if creative people were in control of Walt Disney Imagineering – where no culture of fear existed. I could understand if recent “replacements” were far cries from playgrounds or meet and greets.

    Unfortunately, this is not the state of Walt Disney World or Walt Disney Imagineering.

    I don’t know about you, but I certainly think it’s time to get the pen or keyboard out and start writing.

    Just imagine if every reader, like you, wrote only a page-long (double-spaced) letter to Disney management, describing why the Carousel of Progress is an attraction that should be kept (and updated).


    Their tips for contacting Disney:

    "Be sure to write letters to all of the following. Include why the show is so important to YOU and the DISNEY EXPERIENCE. Even if you have sent letters before, we strongly recommend that you write to any and *all* of the contacts below that you have not yet written.

    Erin J. Wallace
    Walt Disney World Resort Senior Vice President of Operations
    PO Box 10040
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

    Don Goodman
    Walt Disney Imagineering
    1401 Flower St.
    Glendale, CA 91201

    Mr. Marty Sklar
    Walt Disney Imagineering
    1401 Flower Street
    Glendale, CA 91221

    Mr. Al Weiss
    President of Walt Disney World Resort
    PO Box 10040
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

    Mr. James A. (Jay) Rasulo
    President of Walt Disney Attractions
    500 South Buena Vista Street
    Burbank, CA 91521

    Mr. Bob Iger (Include a note of congratulations!)
    500 South Buena Vista
    Burbank, CA 91521

    Mr. Lee Cockerell
    Executive VP of WDW Operations
    1375 Buena Vista Drive
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

    Mr. Phil Holmes
    Vice President of the Magic Kingdom
    PO Box 10000
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

    Walt Disney World Guest Communications
    PO Box 10000
    Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000

    ...Once again, a great big beautiful tomorrow can only be ensured with YOUR participation. If you would like to receive credit on D-Troops for participating in this cause, drop us an email at [email protected].

    As easy as a double-spaced, page-long letter is, it doesn't stop there. SPREAD THE WORD. Email, call, or meet with your Disney-fan-friends, and have them contact their friends. Tell your family, and get the message out. . . it's that important. There is no necessary reason to mention D-Troops; we're just here to get the word out. You've got the addresses, you've got the time - - there is no time to lose.

    Tips: Be clear, concise, and polite. Avoid pseudonames or the D-Troops name and write as yourself - and with your "mind and heart." You may even want to avoid discussing rumors and go straight to the importance of the "CoP." Feel free to use the same text body for each letter to save you time, but don't forget to personalize each letter."

  2. #2

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Just as a little extra info....

    If you'd like to phone your support, the phone number is 407-828-4383. The beauty of phoning them is that they can't ignore a phone call.

    Also, if you'd like to email them, go to here. Don't think they won't listen to emails. I emailed them twice and both times they have called me back.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  3. #3

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Thank you General for bringing this to our attention! I am a longtime fan of the CoP, and would be deeply saddened to see WDIs latest underachievement replace such a classic attraction. I will certainly be getting my pen and paper out!

    All I can say to this matter is, its happened before, it will probably happen again, but hopefully the fans will prevail and the CoP will be preserved for present and future generations.













  4. #4

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    Just as a little extra info....

    If you'd like to phone your support, the phone number is 407-828-4383. The beauty of phoning them is that they can't ignore a phone call.

    Also, if you'd like to email them, go to here. Don't think they won't listen to emails. I emailed them twice and both times they have called me back.

    -Michael
    Great advice, Mike.

    I didn't check your link out, but I'd also advise direct emails to the execs in charge.

    Usually with Disney, it's [email protected] ...or they sometimes use middle initials as well so it's [email protected]

    They will read them. They have no choice. And believe me, there will be a response.

    Do NOT just email their main guest relations account or you will get a very standard response.

    And if you'd rather phone, call the main number and ask for Erin Wallace or Phil Holmes or Al Weiss or Lee Cockerell etc ... they will transfer you to their assistants.

  5. #5

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Didn't they change over to 'mail.disney.com' to stop Joe Nobody emailing? I would change to 'mail.department.location.disney.com' myself... '[email protected]'.

  6. #6

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    It is very sad if they take out a crowd pleasing attraction like CoP for what they are describing.

    I am sure that it will have all the appeal of Pooh's playful spot (for adults!).
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  7. #7

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    It will be terrible if they actually close COP. I just hope if they do close it at MK they spend the extra money to move it to Epcot. This is a sure way for Mr. Iger to really show some respect to Walt Disney and the many loyal Disney fans out there. Epcot was walts real dream for Florida. I know its nothing like he invisioned but it is still the main reason we have Disney World today. I think it would fit in perfectly anywhere.

  8. #8

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Epcot may not be anything like what Walt intended it for, but it certainly shows his views of an optimistic future with incredible technology and world unity. It's like Tomorrowland meets "it's a small world". If they take it out, I think it'd be only right to have it back at Disneyland. Innoventions isn't exactly the greatest attraction ever, but Carousel of Progress is one of the greatest. All the other Disney World's Fair attractions or major parts of them still reside at Disneyland (with Mr. Lincoln coming back in late 2006), it would be right at home.


  9. #9

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Yes, the CoP is one of Walt's original attractions that he had a major influence in creating, but I don't see it staying around forever. It already has left it's original home in Disneyland, and yes we have a poor replacement now with Innoventions there, but America Sings was popular when it replaced CoP. I'm not sure I'm for it moving to Epcot either, too similar to an attraction that's already been removed from there as well (Horizons). I miss all of the AA attractions that Disney used to be known for as well, Horizons, World of Motion, etc. but I just don't see CoP having a long term future in the Magic Kingdom.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Quote Originally Posted by drnilescrane
    Didn't they change over to 'mail.disney.com' to stop Joe Nobody emailing? I would change to 'mail.department.location.disney.com' myself... '[email protected]'.

    I'm not sure to be honest as I haven't emailed anyone at Disney in the last 5-6 months. It's certainly possible they changed as they certainly don't want anyone to actally reach them and be forced to respond one-on-one instead of having guest relations send a standard email that was drafted by someone in public relations.

    Still, I would send to my original suggestion. It should get kicked back if it isn't an active/correct account.

    Just don't waste your time dealing with guest realtions.

  11. #11

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Quote Originally Posted by WDW1974
    It's certainly possible they changed as they certainly don't want anyone to actally reach them and be forced to respond one-on-one instead of having guest relations send a standard email that was drafted by someone in public relations.
    Or maybe they just don't want thousands and thousands of SPAM messages.

    -Michael
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  12. #12

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    Or maybe they just don't want thousands and thousands of SPAM messages.

    -Michael
    C'mon Mike. You're much too young to be an apologist for management.

    Disney execs don't want to hear from guests. I know some of them. I know some who used to work for the Mouse. They feel Guest Relations is designed to take care of guest complains (and/or compliments.)

    The problem is in the past decade or so, GR just rubber-stamps responses. Almost no one gets a truly personal response. Just form letters with a BS line about how they strive to make every guest's experience a magical one etc ...

    If I have a problem with any company in the 21st century, I tend to take the problem as high as I can IF it isn't dealt with correctly on the spot. Telling a 19-year-old kid working Mansion that the soundtrack hasn't been working right for at least three years is going to result in nothing but wasted minutes of my life.

    An email to Phil Holmes (who got his Disney start as a CM on Mansion) might not change things either. But it will likely ruin part of his day ... and at some point you just gotta take your small victories and be happy.

    As to your spam point, I'm quite sure Disney has some bigtime filters. So as long as you send your email once and not 697 times, I'm sure it won't cause a problem.

    And Mike, if you think the MK is run wonderfully, you can in turn send an email to Phil telling him the same thing too! People like getting compliments that are unexpected too.

    Either way, it works.

  13. #13

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Maybe Al Weiss will build a church in its place?? But really, i LOVE CoP but this is the WORST version EVER. Bringing the HOLIDAYS into teh SEASONS was a DISASTER. Every time this happens the script and show derail and goes off tangent. Jean Sheperd has NO business singing THERES A GREAT BIG BEAUTIFUL TOMORROW. He just cant pull it off. Listen to him in the 40s scene. Hes screeching it out. Then i listened to teh ORIGINAL 67-73 show and [B]THAT[B] is CoP! The optimistic LITERATE script. Rex Allens folksy narration. the BRASSY ORCHESTRAL score. GRAND. And the amazing theme song chorus in the final scene. Even the NOW IS THE TIME version was better. I believe that CoP, w/ THIS version its time has come....................................

  14. #14

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Ouch.

  15. #15

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    Re: Plans to Remove Carousel of Progress on WDI Fast Track

    Quote Originally Posted by Anders
    too similar to an attraction that's already been removed from there as well (Horizons).
    Very Similar, seeing that Horizons was the sequel to COP.

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