July 2, 2012

From Carousel of Progress to America Sings and Beyond

With Fourth of July just around the corner, it seemed so appropriate to honor a beloved attraction from Disneyland's past. Although misplaced in Tomorrowland, the musical journey brought guests to the park a lighthearted look at our country's musical heritage.

Some long time fans may have been dismayed when the classic Audio-Animatronics filled attraction Carousel of Progress was replaced. I know I was one of them! Yet, Marc Davis, Imagineer extraordinaire probably won them over with a show filled with memorable characters in this charming musical revue. The new show became one of my must sees on every visit.

Much to my disappointment, the show itself did not last, and the characters inside were recycled for Tony Baxter's new classic Splash Mountain. Thrilled to see the frogs I loved find a new home!

As for the old carousel building, well, Walt Disney Imagineering wanted to use it for another musical show, Plectu's Intergalactic Revue. This even newer show for the planned new Tomorrowland would have showcased aliens from other planets entertaining patrons from Earth. Wisely, cooler heads prevailed, and the plans were put aside. Unfortunately, this meant the west coast version of Alien Encounter never made it off the drawing boards either!

(Art copyright the Walt Disney Company.)

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