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  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    In 1971, a California teenager wrote to the General Electric Company about the Carousel of Progress at Disneyland. General Electric mailed a portfolio of six black-and-white photographs to him:


    I also updated Yesterland's Carousel of Progress page:


    Please discuss the Carousel of Progress here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Without a doubt my favorite attraction at Disneyland and even with the re do at Disney World, I very much enjoy visiting.
    “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,
    shining at the end of every day.”

  3. #3

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Hey, y'all, when was the Progress City (upstairs) exhibit removed from Disneyland? I visited in 1978 and I remember the Carousel of Progress but I don't remember Progress City at all. It's the sort of thing I would have been totally jazzed about, so I'm guessing it wasn't there.

    Then again, maybe my family didn't make it upstairs to see it...

  4. #4

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    Hey, y'all, when was the Progress City (upstairs) exhibit removed from Disneyland? I visited in 1978 and I remember the Carousel of Progress but I don't remember Progress City at all. It's the sort of thing I would have been totally jazzed about, so I'm guessing it wasn't there.

    Then again, maybe my family didn't make it upstairs to see it...
    Quote Originally Posted by the Yesterland webpage
    After running more than six years in Disneyland, the Carousel of Progress show closed permanently in 1973.
    If you saw it anywhere in 1978, it would have had to have been in Florida, where it didn't have Progress City. America Sings had already been playing in Disneyland's Carousel Theatre for four years by then.

    At Disneyland, it was similar to the way it is now with Innovations, where unless you were in a wheelchair, you had to go upstairs (well, up an escalator in CoP) in order to exit. So it was very difficult not to make it up to the second floor. You were all herded up there at the end of the show.

  5. #5

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Ahhh. Haha. Memory does not serve me so well then! Thanks for the correction. I must have seen it for the first time later in Florida.

    How odd, then, that I don't remember America Sings. Maybe we just didn't have time to get to it. The 1978 visit was definitely to DL in Anaheim.

  6. #6

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    I am 38 but only remember just a couple things about COP. What I want to know is just how did people get to the upstairs portion? I know the theatre didn't move upstairs, but where did people exit and where was this speedway? Is it that outside ramp portion, or am I not understanding things correctly?

  7. #7

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    That model of Progress City is amazing. I think that the model that we now see at WDW's TTA (peoplemover) is only a fraction if the whole thing!

    Thanks.


  8. #8

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
    I am 38 but only remember just a couple things about COP. What I want to know is just how did people get to the upstairs portion? I know the theatre didn't move upstairs, but where did people exit and where was this speedway? Is it that outside ramp portion, or am I not understanding things correctly?
    The sixth and last theater venue, following Act 4, was an escalator to the second floor. You actually went up onto the stage and right in the center, going directly forward, away from the audience (i.e., not right or left), was the escalator. At least that's what I remember.

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    The sixth and last theater venue, following Act 4, was an escalator to the second floor. You actually went up onto the stage and right in the center, going directly forward, away from the audience (i.e., not right or left), was the escalator. At least that's what I remember.
    That sounds pretty cool! I don't know why I don't remember that. The only thing I really remember is the dog. Oh well...

    Sounds like it must have been stressful for the CM to be sure that the audience was cleared before the carousel started to move again!

  10. #10

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    I remember America Sings quite vividly, but unfortunately I never saw the Carousel of Progress. Unfortunately Tomorrowland is just a mystery as to what exactly it's supposed to be and how to keep it from outdating itself. I'm sure having Finding Nemo, Star Wars, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Toy Story attractions doesn't help in finding Tomorrowland's identity, but that's beside the point.

    I just don't think they could have a CoP today, even if they updated it with modern technology. We are caught in the middle of the Digital Revolution and technology moves MUCH too quickly for anyone to get excited about the long-term future. I mean, all you have to do nowadays is wait a few years and the future arrives. And in the 1950's and 60's you had breakthroughs in DNA, radiation, plastics, space exploration, and communications. There is a lot of material to work with there. But nowadays, our breakthroughs are coming in the form of medicine, cars, computers and entertainment mediums. Not too much to work with there, as can be seen with the 1982 version of the Epcot Center.

    The days of looking forward to the future are pretty much over since the future gets here so quickly now. I mean, just 10 years ago a 14" LCD computer monitor cost $10,000 and was bulky and not nearly as clear or bright as today's 50" LCD TVs. And remember life before cell phones, Google and the Internet...that wasn't much more than 10 years ago either!

    Anyway, fantastic article! As usual.

  11. #11

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Another fun page Werner....Thanks

    If you can get your hands on a copy of Issue 22 of E-Ticket magazine, It has great stories on both the CoP and the Edison Square project.....Including lots of pics and many drawings of both.

    A few random thoughts......The first stage...or loading zone.....had the entire front wall covered with diamond shaped psychedelic colored lighting that followed the orchestral overture and the narrative introduction. Definitely a 60s experience.....

    There were three tiers, of standing room, facing the Progress City display that was the length of the room. As you stood there, the People Mover was traveling through...behind and above you.

    That model was amazing. It's hard to imagine in the still photos but the entire thing was in motion. It's scale was huge. The article in E-Ticket lists....20,000 scale trees, 4,500 lit structures and 1,400 working street lights. There were cars traveling the highways....It was really amazing......

    I have no doubt it was Walts idea for the main focus in Florida. If you read the text of his press conference to announce the Florida project.....Walt is asked if he plans on building another Disneyland there....He answers that it will be nothing like Disneyland. In a TV show, he points to a bench in the Progress City model and says that it's going to be for he and Lily. I think that the company lost their nerve, when Walt passed away, and fell back on a tried and true clone of Disneyland to get Florida started. Thats too bad......Progress City would've been something to see....

  12. #12

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    Re: Mar. 2, 2007: G.E. Publicity Photos of the Carousel of Progress

    Thank you so much for publishing this. COP was one of my favorite attractions. I couldn't wait for the show to end so I could run upstairs and see Progress City. I was fascinated by the thing and my parents usually had to drag me out of there.

    Over the years I started wondering if the City was really all that impressive -- maybe my child eyes made it appear larger than it was. After seeing these pictures, I can now see again how grand it was.

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