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Farewell to Carousel of Progress Audio-animatronics (April Fools’ Day Post!)

1 Apr

I was shocked this morning to read that a planned refurbishment of Carousel of Progress will eliminate audio-animatronics, relying instead on live actors to continue presenting this long-running Disney fan favorite. Disney Creative Entertainment (DCE) will take responsibility for the show, and is rumored to be planning auditions soon. The revised, live-action production will be a collaboration between DCE and They Might Be Giants, following up on their cover version of “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” on the soundtrack to Meet the Robinsons.

It’s hard to imagine anybody but Jean Shepherd walking us through the decades, musing that things just can’t get any better than this. There are some rumors that Janet Waldo might make a rare personal appearance from time to time, but for the most part these beloved characters will now be performed by a variety of Cast Members, rotating responsibilities in short shifts, given the huge number of performances made necessary by the constantly-spinning theatre.

Clearly the fan community is going to have a thing or two to say about this . . . there’s going to be an uproar bigger than when they removed Dole Whip from Adventureland, closed DisneyQuest, or extended the Monorail to serve Universal Studios. I for one will be adding my name to this online petition to keep the show audio-animatronic.

What’s Your Personal Dream Path for Walt Disney World?

24 Oct

There’s a new feature on the Walt Disney World web site: Custom Disney park maps, which yo can load up with the attractions of your choice, and/or include “Dream Paths.” The maps are then mailed out to you, free of charge.

Or, well. . . I’ve been told they get mailed to you, free of charge. Apparently they’re still working some bugs out of the system, because the web site keeps complaining about my zip code (which I promise you is in fact absolutely valid).

And what, may you ask, are Dream Paths? Part of the Year of a Million Dreams campaign, Dream Paths are suggested agendas (or touring plans) for making your way around the Disney parks, with specific interests in mind. The three I’ve seen so far are Fairy Tale Fantasy, The Call of Adventure, and Little Dreamers/Big Dreams. I’d love to see them offer Dream Paths for the geekier among us. How about . . .

  • Campy Retro Favorites, featuring Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Spaceship Earth, and Living with the Land
  • Cast Members Do Stand-Up, featuring Jungle Cruise, Great Movie Ride, and Kilamajaro Safaris
  • Round and Round, featuring Dumbo, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Triceratops Spin
  • Motion Sickness Madness, featuring Mad Tea Party, Star Tours, Body Wars, Mission: Space, and Primeval Whirl
  • What Were They Thinking?!?, featuring Stitch’s Great Escape, Stitch’s Great Escape, and Stitch’s Great Escape
  • Classic Audio-Animatronics, featuring Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, Pirates of the Carribean, and The Enchanted Tiki Room (yes, even with the new management)

Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents: Clearly No Laughing Matter

Surely you, gentle reader, will have other suggestions, perhaps a bit more subversive even? Let’s offer up a few Dream Paths of our own. The WDW Today podcast show #168 might be good fodder for thought . . . it’s a discussion of the panelists’ least favorite attractions at Walt Disney World.

Good News for Carousel of Progress Fans

21 Oct

Just heard today on the MouseGuest Weekly podcast: The soundtrack for the new Disney film Meet the Robinsons will include a cover of There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, the main theme from Carousel of Progress, played by They Might Be Giants. Perfect choice, as by definition anybody who loves TMBG or Carousel of Progress is, in fact, a geek (including, of course, yours truly).

Gentle reader, I trust that you already own a copy of TMBG playing Baroque Hoedown? If not, get thee to iTunes. (And I can’t resist adding a link here to an excellent TMBG fan site: This Might Be a Wiki.)

This news came to me right on the heels of seeing yesterday’s post on The Pickle Barrel, featuring an excellent picture from the 1920’s scene.

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